Taking our cue from classic snacks, we’ve collected recipes for a fabulous CMA Awards viewing party! So roll out the red carpet and pop the champagne!
Have a Champagne Celebration
As the red carpet kicks off, toast with this bubbly cocktail. Sweet-tart oranges balance the flavors of the alcohol and cherries.
- 3 seedless oranges
- Peel of 1/2 orange
- ½ c. red cherries
- ½ c. sweet vermouth (such as Carpano Antica)
- ¼ c. blended Scotch (such as Famous Grouse)
- 1 bottle champagne or other dry sparkling wine (such as Domaine Saint Vincent Brut)
- Transfer orange juice to a blender. Add cherries and blend until fruit is pureed. Strain juice into a pitcher. Stir in vermouth and Scotch.
- Divide cocktail mixture among 8 glasses and top off each with about 1/3 cup champagne. Garnish with orange peels.
According to master mixologist Dale DeGroff, this is one of the few original cocktails that appeared in the first (1862) version of the seminal How to Mix Drinks by Jerry Thomas. The recipe has remained unchanged for 150 years.
- 1 sugar cube
- 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 5 ounces chilled brut Champagne
- 1 lemon twist, for garnish
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
In a small dish or glass, soak the sugar cube with the Angostura bitters. Fill a chilled flute with the Champagne, then add the bitters-soaked sugar cube. Garnish the drink with the lemon twist.
Crispy Corn Tortillas with Chicken and Cheddar
For these flautas, tortillas are rolled around a savory filling and pan-fried until crisp.
- 2 jalapeños
- 2 cups finely shredded roast chicken
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Freshly ground pepper
- 12 corn tortillas
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 radishes, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Skewer the jalapeños on a metal skewer or fork and roast over a flame until blackened, 3 minutes. Wrap in foil and let cool slightly. Rub off the skins and remove the seeds, then finely chop. Transfer the jalapeños to a bowl and add the chicken, cheese and cumin. Season with salt and pepper; toss well.
- Wrap half of the tortillas in a towel and microwave at high power for 1 minute, until pliable. Arrange the tortillas on a surface and pack half of the chicken filling into cylinders across the bottoms. Tightly roll the tortillas around the filling, securing with toothpicks. Repeat to form the remaining flautas.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fry half of the flautas over moderate heat, turning, until golden and crisp all over and heated through, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Fry the remaining flautas.
- In a bowl, toss the radishes with the cilantro, onion and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Remove the toothpicks and serve the flautas with the radish salad.
Pigs in Blankets
Is there a better appetizer than pigs in blankets? We use frozen pastry dough and all-beef hot dogs for these crowd-pleasing bites.
- 2 sheet(s) frozen pastry dough
- 12 all-beef hot dogs
- 1 large Egg
- ¼ tsp. salt
- poppy seeds
- Preheat oven to 425°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 puff pastry dough sheet into a 12- by 14-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 3 equal pieces for a total of 6 pastry pieces. Repeat with second pastry.
- Pat hot dogs dry with paper towels and pierce each several times with a fork. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and salt for egg wash. Roll each hot dog in 1 puff pastry piece, then seal with some egg wash.
- Place pastry-wrapped hot dogs on parchment-lined baking sheets and lightly brush with remaining egg wash; sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Slice each pastry-wrapped hot dog into 5 sections and serve warm with spicy mustard, if desired.
Tomato and Olive Bruschetta
When the acceptance speeches start, serve up a more sophisticated dish. A single baguette, sliced and used as a foundation, yields a host of easy-to-assemble appetizers. Prepare toppings the day before and add them just before serving. Provide guests with small plates and forks to scoop up the extras.
- 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ medium red onion
- ⅓ c. niçoise olives
- ⅓ c. chopped yellow bell pepper
- 2 c. cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp. Maldon sea salt
- .13 tsp. ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned — about 10 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl and add the olives and yellow pepper. Increase heat to high, add the tomatoes, and sear until heated through.
- Toss the charred tomatoes with the onion mixture. Serve over toasted bread slices. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt and black pepper.
Mini Brown-Sugar Cheesecakes
Once the show wraps up, discuss the biggest snubs and surprises with an easy-to-eat treat. Distinctive and delightful tang, lemon, and ginger are infused in these tiny desserts, perfect for ending the night on a sweet note.
- 1¼ c. graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. unsalted butter
- 2 package cream cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 c. light-brown sugar
- ½ c. thinly sliced candied ginger
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and salt. Add butter and stir until combined. Spoon about 1 tablespoon mixture into each cup of a buttered 24-cup mini muffin pan; press down to form a solid bottom layer. Bake for about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven to 300 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With beater running, add eggs, 1 at a time. Add lemon juice and zest, vanilla, ground ginger, and brown sugar and beat until combined. Divide filling equally among muffin cups and bake until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate until set, for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Gently run a knife around the cheesecakes’ edges to loosen them, and invert pan to release the cakes. Transfer to a cake stand and garnish with candied ginger.