Drumroll, please! Yummy starters to start off the holiday season!
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November 15, 2015



The Pilgrims and Native Americans would have most definitely included you on The First Thanksgiving guest list. So long as you brought these bites along.

They are delicious, and much of the prep can be done in advance.  These will be a hit with all, including the kids. And the variety of ingredients does not compete with the Thanksgiving fare.


Here is the menu:



Mary’s Crab Cakes

Mini Red Bliss Potatoes with Sour Cream, Crumbled Bacon and Chive

Tenderloin Au Poivre (fancy for “with pepper sauce”) on Homemade Parmesan Crostini





  • 16 oz crab
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (panko)
  • 11/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • The zest of one lemon
  • The juice of one lemon
  • Two eggs- lightly beaten
  • One tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • One tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning
  • One small orange bell pepper minced
  • One large scallion minced
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper


  • Drain and mince the crabmeat
  • Add the bread crumbs 
  • Set aside
  • In a separate bowl mix all the other ingredients
  • Combine with the crab and breadcrumb mixture
  • Make teaspoon sized balls and flatten so that they are patties
  • Cook in batches in olive oil until browned on each side
  • Finish in the oven for approximately 12 minutes (or finish in the oven immediately before serving)

This makes a  scrumptious stuffing for mushrooms! Instead of cooking the patties in olive oil, stuff a large butter brushed mushroom with the filling, top with a bit of parmesan cheese and bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Oh, My. GOODNESS.


Red Bliss Potatoes with Sour Cream, Crumbled Bacon and Chopped Chive




  • 16 small red potatoes, cooked and chilled
  • Three tablespoons sour cream
  • One pound of bacon cooked crispy
  • Three tablespoons of snipped chives, for garnish


  • Slice the potatoes in half
  • Cut a small slice of the rounded side of the potatoes so that it sits straight up on the tray
  • Flip over and, with a half-teaspoon measuring spoon, scoop out some of the flesh sides of each potato to create a small cavity.
  • Fill each with a dollop of sour cream, and top with bacon.
  • Garnish with chives.
  • Serve immediately.


Tenderloin Au Poivre on Parmesan Crostini



Au Poivre is the fancy name for tenderloin with a pepper sauce. It is a great make-ahead appetizer because you can cook the meat in advance and serve at room temperature. The crostini and sauce can be made ahead, too. Just reheat and serve.


For the Crostini


  • One small baguette (stale works!) thinly sliced (1/4 “)
  • Olive Oil
  • grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Heat oven to 425. Brush each side of the crostini with olive oil. Put a layer of the slices down and cook for 3-4 minutes (golden brown)
  • Remove from the oven, flip and cover the alternate side with grated parmesan cheese, a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper. Pop back into the oven and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  • Set aside

For the Beef Tenderloin and Au Poivre Sauce


  • One pound of tenderloin beef cut into four fillets of equal thickness 
  • 1/4 cup of cognac (brandy is ok)
  • One and a half cups of beef or chicken broth (I prefer chicken broth- but that’s me)
  • Two tablespoons of heavy cream
  • One quarter cup peppercorns in brine- rinsed and drained


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan to medium
  • Rub the fillets with olive oil, generous salt, and ground pepper
  • Sear beef on all sides about 2-3 minutes per side
  • Place the beef in the oven and roast for about 7-10 min until medium rare, remove and let rest in a tin foil tent
  • Reheat the skillet on high for about a half a minute
  • Remove skillet from the flame, add cognac and ignite. Stand Back!
  • Loosen particles in the pan. After the cognac has reduced by half, add the stock and cook 12 minutes or so. Stir in cream and add peppercorns
  • Slice the beef thin and put one slice on each crostini- drizzle with the sauce and serve.

And that's the dish.

Because the table matters.


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