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Exclusive Michelin-Star Chef Alex Stratta’s Appetizer Recipes Revealed

ALEX STRATTA, APPETIZER RECIPE HERO
We asked Michelin-star Chef Alex Stratta if we could steal a few of his notable appetizer recipes so you can look like a world-class entertainer.

Want to entertain like one of the top chefs in the world? Try your hand at these exquisite appetizer recipes and wow your guests. We talked with Michelin-star Chef Alex Stratta to find out what he likes to serve at a party. Plus, he shared some down-to-earth advice on making parties lovely every time.

Chef says, “Know your guests and their preferences. Knowing what your guests enjoy and remembering that they are vegetarian or gluten-free, for example, shows a great level of care. Create a theme for your party, even if it’s subtle. It will guide your decision-making on which foods work well together, what beverages to pour and how to create inspired decor.” 

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To avoid stress, choose appetizer recipes that don’t require much last-minute attention. Always balance fish, meat and vegetable options to suit every palette. Make sure that drinks and food are served at the correct temperature. Pre-chill bubbles and white wine at 49 to 55 degrees F, slightly warmer than refrigerator temps. Red wines should be slightly cooler than room temperature, around 68 degrees F. Take the time to make or buy good, purified ice. Crystal clear ice balls are best for single-liquor cocktails.

“My days in fine dining taught me to always have spotless stemware. This is not a job for the day of the party. When you are not in a rush, hand wash your stemware in warm water with odor-free soap. Allow your glasses to dry on a rack and then polish with a polishing cloth,” he says.

“Lastly, if you want to have the greatest success impressing your guests, keep your appetizer recipes elegant and do simple things well. Advanced planning will ensure you can enjoy your own party. If you want help, you can always hire a chef,” Stratta says. 

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Salmon Rilettes appetizer recipe

Tony Latimore

 

SALMON RILLETTES WITH FENNEL AND ORANGE (makes 28 canapes)

Servings 28 Canapes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Pound Fresh Salmon Filet bones and skin removed
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Fennel
  • 1/4 Cup Italian Parsley
  • 1/2 Cup Firm Sour Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cut the salmon into 2- to 3-inch pieces and place them in a bowl.
  • Coat lightly with olive oil and season.
  • Place on a baking dish and spread out to an even layer.
  • Cook for eight minutes at 350 degrees F in a convection oven, cool and reserve.
  • Dice the onions and fennel to 1/4-inch dice, coat lightly with oil and season.
  • Cook slowly in a heavy pan over low heat until soft and translucent.
  • Cool and reserve.
  • Combine the cooked salmon with the vegetables and fold in the remaining ingredients, squashing by hand until smooth.
  •  Cool and refrigerate and cover for at least three hours to come together.

Apperizer recipe grilled chicken and apple salad

 

Chicken Salad

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Cups Diced grilled chicken thighs cooked through
  • 2 Green apples peeled and cored
  • 1/4 Cup Celery
  • 2 Tablespoons Red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Cherries soaked in vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Italian parsley
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple caramel
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Combine all prepared items in a mixing bowl and stir with a spatula (or spoon).
  • Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate for one to two hours.
  • Serve on crostini, crackers or mini toast.

 

Chicken

Servings 40 Canapes

Ingredients
  

  • 6 Fresh chicken thighs
  • 1 Ounce Olive oil
  • 4 Cloves Garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh thyme sprigs
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Toss the whole thighs in the ingredients and store them in a shallow container with plastic wrap pressed against the meat.
  • Cover tightly with additional plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for up to three days.
  • Heat a grill to medium heat and season the marinated chicken well with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Gently grill chicken to an internal temperature of 150 degrees F and allow five minutes for the chicken to rest on a rack. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (about four hours) and dice into 3/8-inch cubes.
  • Refrigerate again until needed.

Cheese Puffs appetizer recipe

 

Cheese Puffs

Servings 40 bites

Ingredients
  

  • 11 1/2 Cups Whole milk
  • 4 Ounces Whole butter
  • 6 1/4 Ounces AP flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Granulated sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon White pepper
  • 5 Whole eggs
  • 6 1/4 Ounces Manchego cheese grated

Instructions
 

  • Simmer water with butter, sugar and salt and add flour in a slow and steady stream.
  • Stir over medium heat for four minutes.
  • Place the warm paste in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle and mix at medium speed.
  • Add eggs one at a time as the dough incorporates.
  • While the mixture is hot, grate the cheese and mix until the cheese has melted into the dough smoothly.
  • Place dough in a piping bag and pipe in 1/2-ounce dollops (the size of a chesnut) onto a baking dish fitted with a piece of parchment paper and cool.
  • Once the portions have cooled, roll them into even balls and, place them on a half-baking sheet fitted with a silpat* and refrigerate (or freeze) until needed.
  • Preheat a convection oven to 450 degrees F with a high fan, and bake the cheese puffs for five minutes.
  • Turn the fan to low, lower the temperature to 350 degrees F for two minutes, turn the sheet pan, and then another two minutes or until evenly golden brown.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Appetizer recipe chocolate budino

 

Chocolate Budino

Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 2/3 Cup Granulated white sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 1/2 Cups Whole milk
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy cream
  • 8 Ounces Bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark rum

Vanilla Cream

  • 1 Pint Heavy cream
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla paste

Instructions
 

  • Whisk sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in a two-quart saucepan.
  •  Slowly add milk and cream, whisking constantly.
  • Bring ingredients to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Cook, while whisking, until thickened and beginning to bubble at the edges of the pan (about 12 to 15 minutes).
  • Add chocolate and stir until smooth (about 30 seconds).
  • Remove from heat, then stir in vanilla and rum.
  • Divide between 4-ounce ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and chill until set (about 1 1/2 hours).

Vanilla Cream

  • Place the chilled cream, sugar and vanilla into a mixer with a whisk attachment and stir slowly to combine ingredients well.
  • Turn up the speed and whisk until it forms firm peaks, then place in a piping bag and reserve refrigerated until needed.
  • Pipe the vanilla cream over the set chocolate mousse and garnish with a dusting of cocoa powder.

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