Photos by Clinton Hussey

Did you adore the pretty pictures in “For Starters,” the cocktail reception feature in our fall/winter 2013 issue? Here's your chance to try some of the recipes too! Our thanks to our caterer friends for sharing these fabulous appy and cocktail recipes with us.

West Coast Rustic Chic

Recipes courtesy Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events

Bride’s Cocktail: Osake Bliss

3 oz. Granville Island Osake Junmai Nama 1-1/2 oz. fresh lime juice, strained 3/4 oz. simple syrup* 1 oz. Summerberry fruit juice (SunRype)

Put all chilled ingredients in a shaker and mix. Pour into a serving glass. Garnish with a fresh raspberry and key lime slice dusted with glitter. Makes one cocktail. *To make simple syrup: Stir 1 cup of sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Stir until sugar dissolves completely. Cool syrup and store in a glass jar in the fridge.

Groom’s Cocktail: Granville Island Junmai Sparkling Sake

3 oz. Granville Island Junmai Sparkling Sake

Serve chilled in a wine glass. Garnish with a shiso leaf. Makes one cocktail.

Crab Tapas with Watermelon & Passion Fruit

4 oz. fresh Dungeness crab, cooked and shells removed 1 tsp. chopped chives ½ tsp. Korean chili flakes 2 Tbsp. passion fruit white soy vinaigrette (recipe below) 1 oz. Romaine lettuce, chopped roughly 1/3 inch 4 oz. watermelon, in 1/3-inch cubes 4 Tbsp. sour cream 3 Tbsp. passion fruit purée 1-1/2 tsp. white soy 1-1/2 tsp. honey Fried wonton wrappers, for garnish Pea shoots, for garnish

Combine cleaned crab with chopped chives and Korean chili flakes. Toss the Romaine lettuce with the vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, mix sour cream, passion fruit purée, white soy and honey. Put 2 Tbsp. of the sour cream mixture in the bottom of the tapas glass. Layer the dressed romaine and then cubed watermelon. Finish with crab mixture and garnish with a pea shoot and fried wonton wrapper (see below). Makes 4 servings. Garnish: Wonton wrappers are cut into 1-inch wide strips and fried at 375˚F, then lightly dusted with Korean chili and salt as they come out of the fryer. You can also purchase specialty flat croccantini crackers.

Passion Fruit White Soy Vinaigrette

1/3 cup passion fruit purée 1/2 cup olive oil 1 Tbsp. lime juice 1 tsp. sugar 1 Tbsp. jalapeño, minced Salt to taste

Whisk all ingredients together. Store vinaigrette in your refrigerator until ready to use. Makes 1 cup.

Retro Tiki

Recipes courtesy EdgeCeptional Catering

Ahi Tuna Poke

2 large sashimi-grade ahi tuna steaks (1-1/2 lbs.) 1 shallot, sliced 1/2 cup chopped green onion 3 Tbsp. soy sauce 1 tsp. sesame oil 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Cube the tuna into 1⁄2-inch cubes and refrigerate (this is critical to keep the tuna very cold). In a bowl combine everything else together. Toss with tuna and refrigerate until serving. Poke will keep in marinade for 12 hours. Flavours will intensify the longer its marinating. Garnish with black sesame seeds and fresh sliced scallions. Makes 12-18 portions.

Chicken Drumettes with Kung Pao Sauce

12-18 chicken drumettes, frenched 1⁄2 cup honey 4 Tbsp. dark soy sauce 1 Tbsp. sesame oil 1 Tbsp. black vinegar 1 tsp. ground Szechuan peppercorns 1 Tbsp. sambal chili sauce 1 tsp. grated ginger

Breading: 4 eggs, beaten 1⁄2 cup flour 1⁄2 cup panko crumbs

Kung Pao Sauce for serving 1⁄2 cup crushed peanuts, toasted, for garnish 3 sprigs of cilantro, for garnish

French the chicken bones, pushing all the meat to form a ball of meat attached to the bone. Mix the remaining ingredients. Bread the chicken in a 3-step breading process. Starting with flour, then egg and finally panko. Be sure to only coat the meat. Leave the bone unbreaded. Place on a tray until ready to fry. Heat a fryer to 350°F. Fry the chicken for 8 minutes. Place on paper towel to remove excess oil. Dip fried chicken into Kung Pao Sauce. Garnish plate with toasted peanuts. Place chicken on peanuts and serve topped with cilantro sprigs. Makes 12-18 portions.

Vintage Glamour

(Pictured in top photo) Recipes courtesy Thyme to Indulge Catering

Pins & Needles Cocktail 2 Tbsp. fresh cucumber, crushed 2 oz. rosemary simple syrup? 1 oz. gin Sliced cucumber for garnish Sprig of fresh rosemary for garnish

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a glass. Add slices of cucumber to glass, then a sprig of fresh rosemary to finish. Makes one cocktail.

Bird’s Nest

Cooked soba noodles Olive oil Chopped parsley Dash of salt Orange gastrique aioli Zucchini, pearled (choose colourful in-season zucchini) Confit duck Spring onions, thinly sliced for garnish

Toss the soba noodles with olive oil and chopped parsley. Arrange like a bird’s nest using culinary tongs. Add a dash of salt and spoon the orange gastrique aioli (orange reduction infused with aioli) into the centre of the nest. Top with a mound of confit duck, then the pearled zucchini. Finish with sliced spring onions.