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Mini Pumpkin-Sage Balls
Mian Catalano – Institute of Culinary Education

Makes 16 balls

3 Tbs. canola oil, plus more for frying sage leaves

1/2 cup finely diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

2 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage

3/4 cup pumpkin purée

3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

16 whole sage leaves

Green pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, for dipping

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Heat oil in small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook 10 minutes, or until lightly caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sage, and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer onion mixture to medium bowl, and set aside.

Combine pumpkin purée, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, and pepper in bowl with onion mixture. Form into mini balls (about 1 1/2-inch in diameter), and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown. 

Pour enough oil in large skillet to coat bottom 1/8 inch. Heat over medium heat until oil shimmers. Add sage leaves in single layer, and fry 20 to 30 seconds, or until brittle but still bright green. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate, and sprinkle with salt. Insert sage leaves at an angle in tops of pumpkin balls. Serve with green pepper sauce.

Mushroom and Artichoke Strudels
Araminta David – Johnson & Wales University

Makes 12 individual strudels – Vegan

1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing phyllo

1 small shallot, minced (1 Tbs.)

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

1 16-oz. can artichoke bottoms, rinsed, drained and finely chopped

6 large oyster mushrooms, finely chopped (2 cups)

2 Tbs. fresh rosemary, finely chopped

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray, and set aside. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic, and sauté 3 minutes more.

Add artichokes and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushrooms and rosemary, and cook 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to soften. Stir in balsamic vinegar, and cook 1 minute more, or until liquid has evaporated. Transfer to bowl to cool, and season with salt and pepper.

Place 1 sheet phyllo on work surface. Brush with oil, and set second phyllo sheet on top. Brush once more with oil, and place third sheet on top. Cut stacked sheets into thirds lengthwise, and then in half crosswise to make 6 rectangular strips.  Place 1 Tbs. filling at end of one strip and fold into triangles, like folding a flag. Repeat with remaining filling and phyllo. Transfer triangles to prepared baking sheet, brush with oil, and bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Brie Crostini with Mango-Avocado Salsa
Blake Shepler – The Culinary Institute of America

Makes 20 crostini – 30 minutes or fewer

Mango Avocado Salsa

2 avocados, diced (2 cups)

1 mango, diced (2 cups)

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

3 Tbs. pineapple juice

3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)

Brie Crostini

1 baguette, cut into 20 slices on the bias

1/4 cup olive oil

20 1/4-inch slices Brie cheese (about 8 oz.)

20 cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 350˚F. To make Mango Avocado Salsa: Combine all ingredients in bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

To make Brie Crostini: Brush baguette slices with oil, and place on baking sheet. Toast in oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to serving plate, and top each slice with Brie, 1 tsp. Mango Avocado Salsa, and cilantro leaf.

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