Last year I judged a food competition at the Nachum Segal Network. We had a blast and it was a fun, food-oriented competition among the talented staff at the network. The competition was close. The winner of the Chopped-style competition beat his competitors simply because of ONE unique item he produced: he made the most incredible pickled shallots. It was that one component on his plate that put him in the lead. This reflects a secret of many chefs and party planners. You don’t need to spend lengthy amounts of time making every component. Use fresh, store-bought ingredients and focus your energy on that ONE amazing component and you will have immediate success and awesome feedback from your guests.
For instance, take seasonal and stunning fruit and concentrate your effort on a two-minute Greek-yogurt dipping sauce and your platter is done.
Similarly, our Mexican-inspired platter places emphasis on a jalapeno cheese sauce.
For the Thai platter I focused on the meat!!
And for the deli-inspired party I focused on really succulent five-minute sausages in-blanks.
For the most successful cheese platter I have ever served, I focused on creating complementary dishes such as apple endive cups and homemade cranberry jam.
For the Thai Inspired Platter, try our Beef Larb, Crunchy Wonton Skins and Sweet and Sour Sauce. The rest of the recipes can be found in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine Chanukah 2013.