Chives Innovative Catering is an off-premise catering business serving St. Pete, Tampa, & the surrounding gulf coast of Florida. We provide gourmet food for casual to elaborate weddings, rehearsal dinners, corporate events, mitzvahs, hors d'oeuvre parties, bridal/baby showers or any other social event. We pride ourselves on our expertise in creative menus, delectable cuisine, stylish presentation & gracious service. A Chives event will meet & surpass all your expectations.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Not just for chips!


Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Time: 10 minutes
At its core a combination of mashed avocado with a couple of crunchy, strong-tasting ingredients and some acidity, guacamole takes well to all sorts of variations and is justifiably popular today as a sandwich ingredient.  I serve a dab of it with so many different foods especially on fish.  It's obviously a natural in tacos and burritos. Add 1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and diced tomato if you like.
2 large or 3 medium avocados
1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
1 serrano or jalapeño chile (optional), seeded and minced or cayenne, to taste
1 teaspoon chili powder or any mild pure chile powder, or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Cut the avocados in half. Peel, then mash the pulp in a bowl with a fork or potato masher, along with the onion, garlic (if you are using it), chile, chili powder, some salt and pepper, and lime juice. Keep mashing until it's as smooth or as chunky as you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
2. Garnish and serve; or, cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the dip so there is no air trapped between the guacamole and the wrap, and refrigerate for up to 4 hours before garnishing and serving.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pizza-Sweet Potato, Balsamic Onion & Soppressata

One of my family's favorites ...

·       1 tablespoon unsalted butter
·       1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
·       1 large white onion, thinly sliced
·       1 oregano sprig, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
·       1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
·       Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
·       1 cup prepared mashed sweet potatoes
·       1 12-inch prebaked pizza crust or make your own
·       1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (7 ounces)
·       4 ounces thinly sliced soppressata cut into ribbons

·       Preheat the oven to 450°. Use a pizza stone or the pizza can be baked directly on the oven rack. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil.  Add the onion and oregano sprig, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the onion is carmelized, about 10 minutes; add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet if necessary. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until it has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Discard the oregano sprig and season the onion with salt and pepper.
·       Spread the sweet potatoes over the pizza crust. Top with the mozzarella, onion and soppressata.  Scatter the oregano leaves on top. Slide the pizza into the ove and bake for about 10 minutes, until bubbling and golden in spots. Cut into wedges and serve.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Easy to make for your Super Bowl Party!!! Chile-Bean Quesadillas

Chile-Bean Quesadillas

Makes: 6 main-dish or 12 appetizer or side-dish servings
Time: 15 minutes

To me, quesadillas are more like grilled cheese sandwiches than tacos or burritos. The secret is to resist overstuffing them. Too much cheese, for example, and they ooze all over the place; too many extra ingredients, and the cheese never melds the two tortillas together.

2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more as needed
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 or 4 poblano or other mild fresh chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 cup cooked or well-drained canned pinto beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas or eight 8-inch flour tortillas
1 cup grated Mexican melting cheese, like cotija or queso blanco, or mild cheddar or Monterey Jack, or a combination
1/4 cup salsa, guacamole, or sour cream or yogurt (optional)

1. Put the oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron, over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. If the mixture begins to brown, add a little water to the skillet. Stir in the beans and cook them just long enough to warm (it's okay if they get a little mashed). Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.

2. Set the skillet over medium-low heat. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom lightly. Build your quesadilla: Put a tortilla on the skillet, spread on an even layer of cheese and the chile-bean mixture, then top with another tortilla. When the cheese begins to melt, after about 2 minutes, use a spatula to flip the quesadilla over. Cook just until the bottom tortilla is warm and lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

3. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve immediately with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream. (Or you can keep the quesadillas warm in a 200°F oven for a few minutes if you like before garnishing.)