WOW Factor

In the catering world, the art of selling food is all about keeping things fresh and exciting and once you've elicited the word "WOW!" from clients and guests, you know you've hit the jackpot.

I'm no longer in the business of selling food, but that doesn't mean I'm not still constantly trying to WOW my friends and family with food creations. It never ceases to amaze me what does or does not impress them. I can spend many laborious hours sweating over a hot stove and pull together a meal fit for a king and while they are appreciative, the level of enthusiasm just doesn't seem to meet my expectations. But just watch the eager stampede of approving noshers sing my praises shortly after I've presented something made by simply cleaning out the refrigerator and throwing it all together just to see what I could come up with.

It seems to be the simplest of things that get the WOW factor. For instance, some friends and I hosted a cocktail party not long ago and I had some leftover fruit from the sangria that I wound up plopping into the water and tea pitchers on the drink table. The guests weren't sure if the pitchers were for actual drinking or only for decoration and continuously expressed delight over the simple act of adding fruit.

Another thing that seems to trip the trigger of party guests is these muffuletta skewers. I ran across the original idea in a Southern Living magazine but have never followed the recipe verbatim, instead just winging it by using up bits and pieces of items that I have in the fridge at any given time. This particular time I managed to fish out some artichoke hearts, cocktail onions, olives, deli ham, pepperoni, and cherry tomatoes from my mother's garden. I combined them on a platter with Pioneer Woman's stuffed jalapenos and spent the rest of the evening basking in the glory of admiration from my friends.

The presentation is unbeatable no matter what you end up making them with and seriously, it took me like 15 minutes to pull these skewers together and cost nearly nothing. I can't help but think of this classic commercial every time I make them!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Muffuletta Skewers

Serving Size : 24
Categories : Appetizers

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
5 slices deli style ham
5 slices provolone cheese
5 slices Genoa salami
24 pepperoncini pepper
48 slices roasted red peppers -- thinly sliced
24 green olives
24 kalamata olive -- pitted
24 wooden skewer
1 bottle oil and vinegar salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Layer 1 slice of ham, provolone cheese, and Genoa salami; tightly roll up, and slice into 4 equal pieces. Repeat procedure 5 times.

Thread 24 (4") wooden skewers with 1 of each: pepperoncini pepper, red bell pepper strip, meat and cheese roll, large pitted green olive, another red bell pepper strip, and kalamata olive.

Place in a 9x13 baking dish. Whisk together 8 oz. bottle of olive oil and vinegar dressing and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning; pour over skewers, and chill 30 mins.

"Southern Living"



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