Chef Kelli's happy hour appetizer recipes

Chef Kelli Lewton from Two Unique Caterers in Royal Oak joined us on The Nine to show us some appetizer recipes ahead of a virtual happy hour she's hosting. 

The event is a fundraiser for Forgotten Harvest Farm on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. You can get more information on the event here, and get Chef Kelli's recipes below. 

Local Goat Cheese Bowl      

Serves 10 gf/v
•    1 pound of local goat cheese (Zimmerman’s would be a good pick) crumbled 
•    3 tablespoons dried cherries or cranberries 
•    ¼ cup apple juice or cider 
•    1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger 
•    1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon raw michigan honey
•    3 tablespoons toasted pepita’s 

1.    Place: apple cider or juice in small pot or pan with dried cherries and ginger, simmer on low heat until juice is close to evaporated, set cherries aside and let cool.
2.    sprinkle crumbled goat cheese into serving bowl or small shallow platter 
3.    sprinkle or lightly mix cooled cherries, drizzle honey and sprinkle pepitas on top.  
4.    Serve with crackers, crostini, and or baguette slices 

Chef Note
Prepare a day or two before, then drizzle honey and sprinkle with pepitas, just before service.  

Squash & Pumpkin Flatbread with Kale & Prosciutto      

4 whole or 24 squares 
•    4 naan flatbreads or pizza flat breads 
•    1 can organic pumpkin puree 
•    1 bunch fresh sage leaves (12-15 leaves) picked 
•    1 cup green kale cut into thin strips 
•    6 tablespoons olive oil
•    1 cup shaved Parmesan 
•    2 cups raw medium diced hard squash (butternut is good or your favorite) 
•    ½ cup goat cheese 
•    ⅓ cup honey
•    ½ chipotle pepper
•    ¼ teaspoon sea salt 
•    Couple pinches of cayenne pepper 

1.    Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and cook for 30 seconds or until lightly crisped. Remove from oil, place on a paper towel and season with kosher salt. Reserve oil.
2.    Using same pan and oil give prepared kale a quick one-minute sauté just to melt the greens a little, remove kale and bot on to work surface on top of paper towel  
3.    Toss diced squash with a little reserved sage olive oil and season with salt & pepper then roast on sheet tray in 375-degree oven moving around occasionally with spatula about 15-18 minutes until golden and cooked through.  
4.    Place chipotle pepper, goat cheese and honey to a small food processor or blender and mix until smooth, season with sea salt and pepper to taste 
5.    Place naan or prebaked pizza flatbreads breads on a baking sheet topped with parchment paper. 
6.    Smear with goat cheese spread, sprinkle sautéed kale & roasted squash and then drizzle with reserved extra sage oil
7.    Sprinkle shaved parmesan and bake at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes until golden 
8.    Remove from oven and sprinkle with fried sage leaves, cut each naan into approximately 8 pieces (could be bigger or smaller depending on bread flat you choose  2x2 would be a good size)  and serve 

Chefs note
These will hold well frozen, make pizzas, and just melt cheese to glue everything down, Cool, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze.  Pull an hour before you want to serve them, place on sheet tray, bake 400 degree’s 5-7 minutes until bubbly or crisp.  If you have a rack to sit on sheet tray even better so air circulates better for an improved crispness 

*Keep it vegetarian if you like and ditch the procuitto!

Sweet Potato Hummus  

yield 2 lb. serves 10-15 v+/gf
•    3 cups medium diced sweet potatoes 
•    3 Tablespoons olive oil 
•    2 cups drained garbanzo beans 
•    2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
•    1 tablespoon cumin 
•    2 teaspoons smoked paprika 
•    1 tsp chipotle pepper puree (optional)  
•    1 teaspoon sea salt

1.    Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper, roast in 375-degree oven 20 minutes or until golden and soft through. 
2.    Place cooled sweet potatoes in food processor, add garbanzo and remining ingredients, blend until smooth, adjust seasoning as needed. 
3.    serve with toasted pita chips & cucumber coins 

Chefs Note
Make this up to three days ahead of time, it holds up great in the fridge. 

Autumn Demi Salad

•    1 dozen 6 oz plastic cups (the wider mouth ones that you might serve wine in)
•    3 cup chopped baby greens
•    1 cup kale cut into thin strips 
•    ½ cup dried cherries 
•    ½ cup shaved manchango  
•    ¼ cup chopped marcona almonds
•    ¼ cup diced roasted squash 

1.    Toss greens and slaw and divide into cups evenly
2.    Evenly sprinkle other toppings over cups and squirt or drizzle with your favorite balsamic dressing 
*Make it vegan and omit cheese 

Harvest Salmon Bites 10 gf/df

•    1/3 cup pure maple syrup of maple- flavored syrup
•    1/4 cup orange juice
•    4 Tbsp. bourbon whiskey (optional) 
•    1 tablespoon course Dijon mustard 
•    2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard 
•    1 teaspoon orange zest
•    10 3 oz (raw) pieces of salmon 
•    1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (optional) 

1.    Preheat oven to 375, place baking rack over sheet stray and spray with nonstick pan coating.  
2.     syrup glaze: in a small heavy bottom saucepan combine maple syrup, orange juice, and whiskey. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for about 5 minutes to reduce liquid.
3.    Season salmon bites with salt and pepper and place on prepared sheet tray
4.    Spoon or glaze salmon and bake for 7-9 minutes until flesh is firm 
5.    Stir pecans into remaining glaze; heat on medium high for about 4 minutes or until glaze reaches the consistency of syrup. Serve salmon topped with pecan syrup.
Turkey Cranberry Meatballs df 
1 cup fresh cranberries (or frozen, thawed and bottled dry) 
1 tsp olive oil
1 & ½ lbs. ground turkey (I prefer to use 50% white and 50% dark meat)  
2 egg
¾ cup shredded apple (gently squeeze extra juice out) 
1 & ½ teaspoon dried sage
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
½ cup and 2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs  
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon sea salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cranberry Orange Sauce

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
¾ cup orange juice
¼ teaspoon ginger 
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)

1.    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay cranberries out evenly. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until they become shriveled and slightly dried.
2.    In a bowl combine, eggs with seasoning and then mix in remining ingredients well until thoroughly combined, gently fold in cooled oven dried cranberries.  
3.    Roll the mixture into approximately 20-24 medium meatballs and place on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 18-20 minutes until slightly golden on top and cooked through.
4.    While the meatballs are baking, place the cranberries, orange juice and honey on medium heat until the cranberries begin to pop. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Before serving gently toss meatball with the cranberry sauce (or brush) and sprinkle with parsley, any extra cranberry sauce and serve on the side for a quick dip  

Chefs Note
Get a jump on your prep and make meatballs ahead of time ( up to three days to keep fresh) and bake them at time of service or make them and freeze raw on sheet tray and after frozen transfer to a zip lock bag and they will be great for three month for a quick grab and go appetizer on the fly. 
*Gf no problem use gf breadcrumbs 

Butternut Squash Zoodles

(garnish for 10 small plates) v+/gf

16 oz. butternut squash noodles
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt 
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh sage 
Preheat oven to 425°. Place noodles on a baking sheet and toss with oil, salt, pepper, roast until tender and golden in spots about 10 minutes.

Using tongs or a large fork, make 10 Butternut squash nests on a small 9 micro) style plate and top with meatball screwed with petit cocktail fork. 

Seasons Sweet Dipping Station 

If you want to add a little something sweet, try festive petit doughnut holes from your favorite bakery spot. Fill small bowls with interesting toppings and smears.  Consider adding pretzels, vanilla bean marshmallows and strawberries if you want to mix it up a bit!
Pretzel sticks, doughnut holes, marshmallows & strawberries 
Hot fudge
White chocolate (melted)
Carmel sauce  
Vanilla bean marshmallows 
Donut holes
Shredded coconut
Colored sprinkles
Edible confetti 
Crushed candy 
Mini chocolate chips 
Crushed Oreo crumbs

Harvest Moon  

2 oz gilded age vodka
1 oz pumpkin spice puree
4 oz oat milk
3 dash molasses bitters

Build and stir over ice.

Pumpkin Spice Puree:
1 cup water
1 cup cane sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin spice blend
---Simmer on low heat ~20 minutes, stirring well to melt sugar into water.  Strain.
---Let cool to room temp and blend in 2 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree or fresh roasted pumpkin.