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Bite-size fun: Festive food for your next get-together

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Saturday, May 17, 2014, at 2:21 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, May 18, 2014, at 6:29 a.m.

Photos

ORANGE CORNMEAL CUPCAKES WITH MARMALADE CREAM

Makes about 40 mini-cupcakes

Cupcakes:

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup white cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Marmalade Cream:

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon orange extract

2 tablespoons marmalade

4 cups powdered sugar

Combine wet and dry cupcake ingredients in separate bowls, then add together, mixing well to avoid any lumps.

Pour into greased or lined mini-muffin pan; bake at 325 degrees approximately 15 minutes or until cakes spring back in center when lightly touched. When cool, top with Marmalade Cream.

To make Marmalade Cream, whip cream cheese, shortening and butter in bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Add orange extract and marmalade. Slowly incorporate powdered sugar until thick enough to pipe or spread. Coat cakes and refrigerate.

SUMMER VEGGIE TERRINE

1 zucchini

1 large sweet bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)

2 teaspoons oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 ounces cream cheese

6 ounces goat cheese

1 package spinach dip mix (1 ounce)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

Slice zucchini lengthwise and remove seeds. Quarter bell pepper and remove ribs and seeds. Place vegetables on sheet pan with small amount of oil, salt and pepper; roast approximately 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until softened and browned around the edges. Remove from oven; cool, cut into a small dice and place in separate bowls.

Combine cheeses, dip mix, garlic and shallot.

Coat mini-bread pan (5.5-inch) with nonstick spray and line with plastic. Make sure plastic is fitted tightly against walls of pan and in corners. Begin layering tomatoes, pepper, cheese mix, tomatoes, zucchini, cheese mix, tomatoes, pepper and cheese. Pan should be full at this point.

Wrap pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Weigh terrine down with something such as a piece of cardboard and heavy jar to compact layers. Chill overnight. To serve, invert terrine onto plate and carefully remove plastic.

HONEY MUSTARD CREME

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

4 tablespoons prepared mustard (dijon or spicy brown)

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in bowl until creamy.

ROASTED TOMATO

AND ONION JAM

Makes about 2 cups

3 large roma tomatoes

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, sliced thin

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup white wine

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Quarter and seed tomatoes; place on sheet tray with small amount of oil, salt and pepper. Roast approximately 15 minutes in 350-degree oven or until softened and beginning to brown on edges. Remove from oven and dice when cool enough to handle.

In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add remaining ingredients, including roasted tomato. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed. Serve at room temperature.

Like most of us, Michelle Zorn loves a picnic, potluck or any other get-together involving food. She’s just a little more qualified than most to contribute a dish to the mix.

“I really think that food makes the mood,” said Zorn, who will become the first graduate of Butler Community College’s Culinary Arts Institute this month. “When you bring something that’s visually appealing and festive, it makes people excited and makes them feel special.”

Zorn was already cooking professionally when she went back to school to get her degree. The institute is part of Butler’s Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, which relocated to Wichita in fall 2012.

Ultimately, Zorn would like to open a patisserie or small bakery and perhaps teach cooking.

For this article, she took up the challenge of creating a few easily transportable dishes that would be welcome at any gathering. Her recipes for Roasted Tomato and Onion Jam and Honey Mustard Creme are intended to be used as toppings for sliders – those little sandwiches that are so popular now. Use them alone or together to top beef, turkey, chicken or another sandwich filling.

The Summer Veggie Terrine, served with crackers or bread, is a great way to get things started. And the Orange Cornmeal Cupcakes topped with Marmalade Cream make for a fun finish.

“I wanted to do nothing too terribly heavy,” Zorn said of her creations. “My intent was just to make them party size and have fun with them.”

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