I always seem to panic when the Gourmet Group is coming...why? Because I hate trying to figure out what to do for a centerpiece. It has always been a challenge for me. My friend and fellow group member came to the rescue. She arrived on the doorstep with a lovely bouquet of orchids that she had grown. I think they are stunning and were perfect for the evening. Thank you, friend!
Since it was warm outside when we had the Gourmet Group over, the gal responsible for the appetizers was able to prepare one of the appetizers on the grill. They were very tasty. The guys actually hovered over the serving plate!
Apple Brandy-Glazed Shrimp and Sausage
Caprial's Bistro-Style Cuisine
12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on
3 chorizo or other spicy sausage
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp peeled, chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup apple brandy
1/2 cup cider
2 Tbsp honey
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Set wooden skewers to soak in water. Bring a stockpot of water to a boil. Add the sausage and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a colander to cool.
To prepare the glaze, heat the olive oil in a saute pan over high heat until hot. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant,l about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, add the brandy, and return the pan to the burner. Cook until the brandy is reduced by half, then add the apple cider and reduce again by half. Add the honey and jalapeno and cook for about 2 miutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the oil, thyme, and black pepper, then set aside to cool.
Cut the sausages on the diagonal into pieces. Place 1 shrimp and 1 slice of sausage on a skewer, then repeat adding another shrimp and a;nother piece of sausage. Repeat with the remaining skewering the remaining shrimp and sausage.
Place the skewers on the prepared grill and generously brush the top and sides with the glaze. After about 2 minutes, turn the skewers and brush them again with the glaze. Cook for another 2 minutes, until shrimp is just cooked through. Brush lightly with the glaze on all sides and serve.
Since we had a large group of folks a second appetizer was added, Mustard Batons from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. I was late getting to the batons with a camera....I am glad I got there before they all disappeared. This was my favorite of the two appetizers. I loved the tang of the mustard and the crunch of the pastry accompanied by a glass of Pinot Grigio! Dorie has made this recipe available on her website here.
I am sending this to Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper, French Fridays with Dorie, as well as Make a Foodie Friend Monday at The Saturday Evening Pot
One more shot of the orchids...they are so beautiful!