More Oyster Toppings + Champagne Granita Recipe

Oysters with Tabasco and Lemon Wedges // A Well Crafted Party

Continuing with all the oyster goodness (sorry for my followers that are not a fan… I will give oysters a break soon!) I have one more quick way to make a tasty topping for your oyster platters. At my recent Black, White & Gold birthday celebration I served to different platter of oysters. I served a briny oyster with champagne granita and a sweeter oyster with tabasco and lemon. I always love a good oyster with tabasco and lemon. However, these champagne granita topped oysters were AMAZING. I could have eaten a dozen of them myself! 

Oysters with Tabasco and Lemon Wedges // A Well Crafted Party

Me and The Spicy Bee enjoying oysters

Oysters with Tabasco and Lemon Wedges // A Well Crafted Party Oysters with Tabasco and Lemon Wedges // A Well Crafted Party

Oyster tips from Whole Foods Market:

  • The smaller they are, the sweeter they are
  • Shucking is about finesse, not power
  • The Sweet Spot – There’s an open area in the back of the shell when the knife stops turning, twist the knife and pop the shell open
  • Protection – Wear a thick glove to protect your hand and use a rag to hold the oyster for leverage
  • History – Find out where the oyster is coming from. They should always have a tag. If they don’t have a tag, you don’t want that oyster!
  •  If you’re hosting an event or just craving oysters, Whole Foods Market can shuck them in-house for you!
  • Oysters are best 2-3 hours after being shucked.
  • Prime time for oysters is now through February; the colder the weather, the better the oyster!
  • Check out my post on shucking oysters here!
  • Check out my tabasco shaved ice topping for oysters here!
  • Check out even more oyster topping ideas on the Whole Foods Market Blog.
Oysters with Tabasco and Lemon Wedges // A Well Crafted Party

Briny-flavored oysters topped with champagne granita

How To Make Champagne Granita Topped Oysters

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of champagne or sparkling wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Shucked Oysters – Use a briny oyster to pair nicely with the sweetness of the granita. Shuck the oysters yourself or you can do what I do and ask the nice people at your local Whole Foods Market to shuck them for you.

Directions:

  1. Pour 2 cups of champagne into a bowl with 1/2 cup sugar. 
  2. Stir until sugar is dissolved. 
  3. Pour solution into a pan or tupperware item, cover and put in freezer. 
  4. After 1 hour take a fork and break up the partially frozen mixture. You want to sort of drag the fork in lines along the mixture.
  5. Put mixture back in freezer. Repeat step 4 a few times until the mixture is a sort of snow cone consistency. 
  6. Top oysters with a spoonful (about a teaspoon) of champagne granita and serve immediately. 

Serving a less briny oyster? Pair it with little slices of lemon and tabasco for guests to use to taste or a top with a spicy tabasco shaved ice!

 Oysters with Tabasco and Lemon Wedges // A Well Crafted Party

This post was not sponsored by Whole Foods Market even though it sort of reads like it is… I learned a lot about oysters when I visited the store for an oyster tasting and then have visited several times since to purchase oysters and feed my oyster addiction. 

Oysters with Tabasco Shaved Ice

Tabasco Shaved Ice Topped Oysters // A Well Crafted Party images via Mary Boyden View More: http://maryboyden.pass.us/newyearseveparty

There is just something so decadent and fancy about oysters. They are not an everyday treat and at a restaurant they can get quite expensive. Oysters are actually quite affordable as an at home appetizer and not at all difficult to make… especially if you let the wonderful people at the seafood counter take care of the shucking for you! The fun part (for me) of serving oysters is making toppings that complement the oysters. For this recipe I used a Miyagi oyster with a full meat flavor and mild brininess (to me they were almost sweet!). I like the spicier topping for oysters that are less salty and sweeter toppings for the oysters that have a strong brininess. You’ll have to scroll through some amazing photos taken by the amazing Mary Boyden before you get to the recipe. Hopefully you don’t get TOO hungry.

Tabasco Shaved Ice Topped Oysters // A Well Crafted Party images via Mary Boyden View More: http://maryboyden.pass.us/newyearseveparty

Tabasco Shaved Ice Topped Oysters // A Well Crafted Party images via Mary Boyden View More: http://maryboyden.pass.us/newyearseveparty Tabasco Shaved Ice Topped Oysters // A Well Crafted Party images via Mary Boyden View More: http://maryboyden.pass.us/newyearseveparty

Tabasco Shaved Ice Topped Oysters

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • Oysters – Not too briny. I used Miyagi, but the seafood department may be able to help you find an oyster that they carry that will pair nicely with tabasco. I got my oysters from my local Whole Foods Market.
  • Tabasco
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Ice
  • Food Processor

Directions:

Tops approximately 12 oysters

  1. Shuck Oysters (or have them shucked for you) and put on a bed of ice
  2. Take 1 cup of ice and put in food processor
  3. Shake in about 1 1/2 teaspoons of tabasco into the ice
  4. Squeeze 1/2 lemon juice into ice
  5. Put food processor on until ice is to a shaved consistency.
  6. Taste ice– if the ice isn’t spicy enough add more tabasco and mix by turning on the food processor
  7. Spoon about a teaspoon of the tabasco shaved ice onto each oyster and serve immediately.

Tabasco Shaved Ice Topped Oysters // A Well Crafted Party images via Mary Boyden View More: http://maryboyden.pass.us/newyearseveparty Tabasco Shaved Ice Topped Oysters // A Well Crafted Party images via Mary Boyden View More: http://maryboyden.pass.us/newyearseveparty

Want more?

Resources:
Photography by Mary Boyden— Connect: Website, Facebook, Instagram
Vintage Rentals by Something Borrowed— Connect: Website, Facebook, Instagram
Cocktail Napkins from Hen House Linens— Connect: Website, Facebook, Instagram
Aqua Leather Wrap Bracelet via Flourish Leather— Connect: Website, Facebook, Instagram
Styled Shoot by Bloggers of Create-Enjoy, Ladies in Navy & A Well Crafted Party:
Connect with Suzannah of Create-Enjoy: Website, Facebook, Instagram
Connect with Kelsey of Ladies in Navy: Website, Facebook, Instagram
Connect with ME! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest OR Click Share on the bottom of this post!

Holiday Party Food Round Up- Christmas and NYE Appetizers

Holiday Party Appetizers Round-Up // A Well Crafted Party

Photo Sources from Left Image Clockwise: Chocolate and Marrow // Good Hearted Woman // How to be Awesome on $20 a Day // MacSuzie // This Momma Loves // Newly Wed Survival

Holiday Party Appetizers

Today I’m sharing a round-up of holiday party appetizers that will be perfect for your Christmas Eve cocktail hour or your New Year’s Eve bash! Thank you to all the bloggers that took a part of this round-up.

Non-Meat Finger Foods

Dips

Meaty Appetizers

Now, tell me… what is YOUR favorite thing to serve at a holiday party? Comment below!

How to Shuck Oysters – DIY Oyster Platter

12 Days of Christmas DIYs // A Well Crafted Party

This post is the eighth in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “Free Holiday Potluck Facebook Invites & Printable Recipe Cards“)


How To Shuck an Oyster // A Well Crafted Party

This DIY is brought to you by an awesome recent Oyster and Wine tasting at Whole Foods Market in Portland, Oregon. I learned SO much about oysters…. and, I’ll be sharing little bits between now and New Years because I think Oysters make a fabulous party appetizer. It is decadent, tasty and so out of the everyday that they will make any celebration instantly feel like a fancy party. I was always intimidated by oysters until earlier this year when I found out that they are not only EASY, but also not nearly as expensive as you might think! I recently stopped by to grab 6 oysters and they only cost me $7.80!

How To Shuck an Oyster // A Well Crafted Party

How to Shuck an Oyster

Watch this video of how to shuck an oyster from a super awesome Sean from Whole Foods Market and learn how you can DIY your very own Oyster appetizer platter!

How To Shuck an Oyster // A Well Crafted Party

DIY Oyster Platter

Directions:

  1. Buy your choice of oysters. (See my tips below.)
  2. Either have the store shuck them for you or follow the DIY oyster shucking video to shuck your oysters. I highly recommend buying them shucked! Sean from Whole Foods Market said that they will last approximately 18 hours (properly iced) so you can order some up and pick them up on a day of your party.
  3. To serve put on a platter with crushed ice (throw some ice in a food processor and you’re good to go!)
  4. Serve with toppings or simply with lemons and hot sauce.

How To Shuck an Oyster // A Well Crafted Party

Need some ideas for topping your oysters?

Check out this blog post from Whole Foods Market for fresh oyster toppings. Also, check back in over the next few weeks… I’ve got a couple of fun toppings to share!

This post is not a sponsored post. I was invited to a tasting at Whole Foods Market in Portland, Oregon. I had a fantastic time and wanted to share the fun! 

 

Plateau de Fruits de Mer

Fruits de Mer // A well Crafted Party

Fruits de Mer is a seafood platter of raw and/or cooked shellfish usually served on a bed of ice. A long time ago I saw a beautiful fruits de mer platter in one of my favorite events books and have wanted to throw a party with a fruits of the sea platter.

Right before my Mohs Surgery to remove my skin cancer I really needed a good excuse to be distracted for the evening. I invited friends over for a big meal and made the above platter as an appetizer… boy, let me tell you. We didn’t need the meal! I actually made enough seafood for TWO of these large platters. Then we followed it up with steaks and veggies for dinner and then something for dessert. I’ve never been so full in my life!

Making this platter was much less intimidating than I originally thought. I used precooked crab and lobster… it would be even better with fresh shell fish, but it wasn’t readily available in my area. The whole thing was still delicious, but someday I plan to make it with all fresh shellfish. I’d also like to pair it with ceviche someday! YUM. Below is how I made this dish… know that it is completely easy to customize this dish to your cooking comfort level and your tastes. If you go to a great fish purveyor you can even asked for your lobster to be steamed and your oysters shucked… then there is NO work for you and your guests are completely wow’d!

Fruits de Mer // A well Crafted Party

Plateau de Fruits de Mer:

Great appetizer for a dinner party or can even be served as hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party. One large platter will serve 4 easily. I served this dish with a tarter sauce, cocktail sauce, chile lime sauce and butter.

To Build Platter (Just Like Above):

Cooking directions below this list!

  • Ice: Cover a large platter or bowl with ice.
  • Crab Legs: Add cooked and cooled crab legs to platter.  It is also helpful to go ahead and pre-crack the crab legs so it is easy for your guests to take out the meat.
  • Lobster claws: I was fortunate enough to find lobster claws already cut and pre-cracked for me! While I believe fresh lobster would have been even more amazing… the convenience of these little suckers was too good to pass up! I did go ahead and boil them quickly in a flavorful broth (see below) and then cooled quickly before placing on the platter.
  • Shrimp: I got the largest sized raw, shell on (deveined) shrimp. After cooking I peeled the shrimp and placed on the platter. Easy peasy!
  • Oysters: I spent all day looking up how to shuck oysters. I’d been SO excited about shucking oysters. However, the whole foods that these puppies came from cleaned and shucked them for me! I just got them same day and kept them on ice until serving! So, no directions below on how to shuck oysters… but, check out this oyster shucking resource if you’re in the mood to get your shuck on!
  • Cucumbers filled with spicy salmon: This was a creation of my own. They turned out pretty good… though, next time I’ll go with a sashimi grade salmon rather than cooking my salmon first.

 

Cooking Directions:

Crab, Lobster, and Shrimp:

  1. Get a large ice bath prepared and put to the side.
  2. In a large pot bring 2 gallons of water, 1 pint vegetable stock, 3 Bay Leaves, a Tablespoon of black peppercorns, and 1/2 bottle of dry white wine to boil.
  3. In batches cook the seafood. If cooking from live you want to do about 10 minutes for your lobster and crab. Move directly to ice bath once finished. For pre-steamed crab and lobster you’ll be infusing the shellfish with flavor and heating it back up to temp for about 8 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath. Finally, cook the shrimp. The shrimp will be dense and pink in about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to ice bath. Peel once cooled. Bring the liquid to a boil again between each batch.

Cucumbers filled with spicy salmon:

Ingredients:

  • two cucumbers, cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch portions
  • 10 oz of cooked salmon shredded (or, use sashimi grade salmon diced!)
  • 1 Tablespoon Siracha
  • 1 Tablespoon of Mayo (I used kewpie mayonaise)
  • Juice of one lime
  • Sprinkle of cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Using a melon baller or spoon take out most of the center of the cucumber portion. Leave a little on the bottom to hold in the filling.
  2. Mix the salmon, siracha, mayo, and lime juice together in a bowl.
  3. Fill the cucumber portions with mixture.
  4. Sprinkle on the cilantro and enjoy!

 

What would you think if you went to a party and saw a Fruits De Mer? Would you ever try one at your own dinner table?

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich // A Well Crafted Party
There is nothing quite like a good sandwich. This sandwich is no exception. It is super simple to make, and freaking full of flavor. A big part of the flavor punch is due to the great ingredients. Believe me when I say that sometimes it makes a HUGE difference whether you buy quality ingredients over value priced items. Making a big stew? A few value items aren’t going to make a huge difference. But, when you have an item like this sandwich where there are few ingredients and you aren’t going to be changing the flavor profiles with a ton of seasoning and cooking… quality ingredients is where it is at.

Take for instance the butter in this sandwich. Sure, I could go with just any ole butter. But, a nice rich Irish or European style butter will lend a nice base for this sandwich. Heck, a great butter on a piece of bread with a sprinkle of salt is a treat in itself!

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich // A Well Crafted Party

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich with Fig Spread and Black Pepper Cheddar

This recipe tells you how to build an individual sandwich. The amount of sandwiches you can make depends on the size of the bread that you buy and the amount of prosciutto comes in a package. Because these things are not standard, I didn’t elect to dictate serving size.

*Some links are affiliate links. Purchases made from affiliate links help support this blog. Thank you for your support!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Spread butter on thick slice of bread.
  2. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Spread fig spread onto butter
  4. Top with slice of black pepper cheddar
  5. Top with slide of prosciutto
  6. Enjoy!

We enjoyed these at a picnic along with my open-faced crab sandwiches. But, these would also be fantastic made in miniature and served as appetizers at your next party!

Open Faced Prosciutto Sandwich // A Well Crafted Party

Bacon Wrapped Scallops and a Whole Foods Market Gift Card Giveaway

[tabs] [tab title=”Whole Foods Market Giveaway “] bacon wrapped scallops with fig butter

Over the past month I’ve had several conversations with friends (and foodies) about Thanksgiving and the upcoming meal prep and plans. While some friends couldn’t wait to get to making their traditional items, others were commenting on the fact that they’d love to experiment with new items. Me? I fall into the “loves to experiment” category.

The past few several years we have spent Thanksgiving with friends because we live so far away from family. I love that am able to experiment often with new dishes to bring to our Friendsgiving dinner table. Areas that I find the easiest to experiment with for holiday dishes, even with all kinds of tradition-loving folks around, are the appetizers and desserts!

Which is why when Whole Foods Market approached me with the idea of creating a new holiday dish with ingredients from their store, I immediately went for creating an appetizer and a dessert selection. I created bacon wrapped scallops and elevated them with a fig butter spread. I also made a fun dessert I will share soon!

Bacon Wrapped Scallops with a Fig Spread

Click the tab above for the Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Fig Spread Recipe. Read on below for your chance to win a $25 Whole Foods Gift card so you can recreate this dish or something else entirely!

Enter to win a $25 Gift Card to Whole Foods Market!

This is a flash giveaway and will be over at the end of the day on the 25! That way you might be able to use your gift card for your holiday food shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Bacon Wrapped Scallops Ingredients

Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Fig Spread

Ingredients:

  • 12 Whole Catch Sea Scallops (Thawed)
  • 12 slices Wellshire Bacon
  • AFA Organic Fig Spread
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • Bamboo Skewers (optional)
  • Aluminum Foil

Directions:

1. Cut a length of foil off so that it will cover the bottom of a cookie sheet (a sheet that has at least a 1/2 inch edge) crumple up a bit, and then spread onto the cookie sheet. This will be a place for your bacon to rest on and drain as it cooks in the oven. Lay out slices of Wellshire bacon on the foil. Place bacon in cool oven, set at 350 degrees F, and cook for approximately 30 minutes. You’ll want to check your bacon to make sure it is done, but still pliable. Avoid crunchy bacon as it won’t wrap well around the scallop.

2. While bacon is cooking, spread some of the Fig spread on a platter or dinner plate. Spread using the back of a spoon.

3. While bacon is cooking, and after your platter is prepped, toss your scallops in a bowl with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.

4. Take Bacon out of oven when done and let cool some.

5. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Put tablespoon of butter in pan. The pan needs to be hot to sear the scallops just right. Place about 6 scallops in the hot pan. DO NOT MOVE. Just let the scallops sizzle for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the scallops using a pair of tongs. Then, let that side sizzle for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. The scallop will come opaque in color and firm. Move out of pan and onto a plate. Sear the remaining scallops.

6. Take bacon pieces and wrap around the scallops. Place on the platter with fig spread. Or, alternatively, place a few on a bamboo skewer and serve on skewer.

Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.

When eating the scallops make sure  you get some of the fig spread in each bite. It is divine! Serve as an appetizer or with a green salad as a light lunch or dinner.

bacon wrapped scallop dinner

 

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Featured: Fancy Fall Figs on Live the Fancy Life

Fancy Fig Recipe by A Well Crafted Party and Featured on Live the Fancy Life

 

The Fallen For You Printables that I created for a Live the Fancy Life guest post needed a delicious appetizer to really set off the table. Bonus, it served as a sweet and simple date for me and my hubby. These roasted figs are stuffed with a creamy goat cheese, drizzled with a peppered honey syrup, and garnished with sliced almonds. They paired beautifully with a crisp, dry sparkling wine.

Hop on over to Live the Fancy Life to get the recipe for this great early Fall appetizer!

Recipe: Mandarin Orange, Cream Cheese, and Mint Appetizers

Over the weekend I enjoyed several different events with tasty food… however, this little treat was my favorite! My friends Joan and Brandon hosted a wine tasting at their home and created all of the appetizers to pair with local wines. Brandon is a taste master… this simple, and quick appetizer is a knock-out winner for any party, but especially with a Muscat wine from Purple Cow Vineyards.

Continue Reading…

{Recipe} Mini Corn dogs

This past Superbowl Sunday I wanted to bring something that would fit into the whole “Superbowl Food” category. From experience, I interpreted that as snack food/ bar food/ appetizers. Warning: This is not a healthy treat… but, it is a treat! These were a fun addition to the Superbowl snack table, but they would also work for a carnival themed party, game night, or guys’ night. And, they are not too difficult to make!

I adapted my recipe from the Epicurious recipe, Mini Corn Dogs by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park. I didn’t have all they had on hand and needed a larger batch… so, I made the following changes. But, I encourage you to check out their recipe too!

Continue Reading…

{Recipe} Blinis with Crème Fraîche and Caviar

This is a guest post featuring one of the delicious hors d’oeuvres that was pictured in the Chic & Modern New Year’s Eve party featured on Pizzazzerie.com. This is part of a Portland Blogger’s Collaboration photo shoot and post series. Read on to see a recipe for a delicious (and easy!) party appetizer: The Blini with Creme Fraiche and Caviar.

Continue Reading…

Monday Menu Madness: Farmer’s Market Frenzy

If you saw Saturday’s post then you know how much I LOVE the Farmer’s Market and the opportunities for parties that come with it.  So, today’s menu features my recipe for a delicious dinner party meal using things that are in season RIGHT NOW! I used a grill for this meal but a broiler would also work just fine.

Wouldn’t this be a beautiful dish to set in front of people at a dinner party? It would be great served individually or family style.

Ingredients: 
-Tuna (We used one big tuna steak for 2 people and it was more than enough)
-asparagus
-1 large tomato (we used beefsteak)
-1 lemon
-rice (we used short grain but any will do)
-sea salt, pepper, olive oil
-optional wine (we used Chardonnay)
-salad greens (not pictured)

Directions:  1. Prep the asparagus by washing and then cutting off the ends (cut to just where the white ends and the beautiful green color begins) 2. Cut the tomatoes in wedges– if you are using smaller tomatoes just cut in half 3. Put the asparagus and tomatoes in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1 half of the lemon (then throw the lemon in the bowl) 4. toss in a couple of teaspoons of sea salt 5. drizzle olive oil over the vegetables (about 2 tablespoons) 5. grind pepper onto the vegetables (about 6 twists)

Directions: 1. Prep rice in rice maker (use rice cooker directions). You will end up needing about 1/2 a cup of cooked rice per person 2. Start the rice (if you do not have a rice cooker then just follow the directions on the rice package to cook the rice. 3. Season tuna with the juice of half a lemon and olive oil. Put the lemon half in the bowl with the vegetables. 4. Heat grill to a high even heat (my grill is electric so it just meant turning a knob– if you have charcoal you might want to do this step earlier.

Grilling Directions: 1. Start grilling the tuna. If you want the tuna to be cooked through then cook 4-5 minutes per side on high heat. If you prefer a seared tuna then cook 1-2 minutes on a very high heat per side. 2. After about 3 minutes turn the tuna 90 degrees to get the beautiful sear marks. At this time also put the vegetables on the grill. 3. At five minutes turn the fish over and rotate the vegetables. 4. Turn the fish 90 degrees at the 8 minute mark. The tomatoes will be finished before the asparagus. Once they are softened a bit take them off the grill. If you want the lemons to have the nice charred face then put them face down on the grill. 5. Take everything off the grill at the 10 minute mark. Cut the fish into serving sizes and plate.

Want to make a delicious appetizer instead? This dish can be served as a first course to a menu with an Asian flair. Or, if you make several, they’d be great for passed Hors D’Oeuvres.

Prep the vegetables and tuna the same as the recipe above. For this recipe you will also need Nori (a seeweed paper used in sushi) and soy sauce.
1) wrap the rice in the nori (you really need to use the short grain rice for this appetizer) 2) slice the wrapped rice into 1/2 inch or smaller slices 3) top the wrapped rice with the grilled tomato 3) slice into the asparagus making equal sized portions. Using two portions make an X on top of the tomato 4) add a cube of salmon and place the entire portion on top of a bed of soy sauce

Delish!

Oh, and the optional wine? That is for drinking! I’d suggest a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc to pair with the grilled goodness of the tuna. Enjoy!

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