Access Hollywood Live: Susan Spungen’s ‘Eat Pray Love’ Holiday Appetizers!

Susan Spungen – cook, food stylist, recipe developer, editor and author – who most recently worked as the food stylist for the Julia Roberts movie “Eat Pray Love,” stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Friday to share some of her favorite international holiday appetizer recipes!

Mushroom Risotto Balls
1 ounce dried porcini or mixed dried mushrooms
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces chopped fresh mushrooms
1 small shallot, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups low sodium chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon flour
Mozzarella or Fontina cheese, cut into small cubes
Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Pour 1-1/2 cups boiling water over dried mushrooms. Let sit until softened. Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid. Rinse mushrooms and coarsely chop them. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter. Pour stock into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add mushroom liquid.

2. Add butter and oil to a large, wide, saucepan over medium heat and sauté the fresh mushrooms until wilted, 5 minutes. Add shallots and saute 1 minute. Add chopped dried mushrooms and saute 2 minutes. Add rice and saute 2 minutes. Add the simmering liquid, a ladleful at a time, stirring rice frequently until all the liquid has been added and the rice is creamy and al dente, 18 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in Parmesan and spread out in a large bowl to cool completely.

3. Stir in the egg and flour. Form into heaping tablespoon-size balls with moistened hands and press a small cube of cheese into the center. Roll in the panko and fry in 375 degrees oil for 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and chopped parsley, and serve immediately.

(Makes about 4 dozen)


Indonesian Sate

For the Marinade:
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced into 1-inch lengths and smashed
Juice of 1 lime
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sambal or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch thick strips or 1-1/2 pounds jumbo
Shrimp (about 24)

For the Peanut Sauce:
1 can light coconut milk
1/2shallot, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1. Combine all the marinade ingredients and add chicken or shrimp. Marinate chicken for 2-3 hours and shrimp for 1-2 hours.

2. Combine all ingredients for the peanut sauce except the peanut butter, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Cool. Serve at room temperature. Thin if needed with hot water or more coconut milk.

3. Thread onto skewers and grill or broil until lightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with peanut sauce.

(Makes 24 pieces)


Chana Chaat

24 mini pitas
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 mango, diced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon tamarind chutney, optional
1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
Chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds for garnish

1. Split mini pitas and discard or reserve the flatter halves. Toast the cup shaped halves until golden brown and crisp. Set aside.

2. Combine the chickpeas, mango, tomato, avocado, onion, chili powder, yogurt, lemon juice, chutney, and salt. Toss gently to mix well. Just before serving, spoon a little of the mixture into each pita crisp and top with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and cilantro. Serve immediately.

(Makes 24)


Proscuitto and Melon and Mozzarella
1 cantaloupe
4 ounces thinly sliced proscuitto
32 pieces bocconcini

1. Scoop the melon into balls. Wrap each melon ball with a strip of prosciutto. Skewer each melon ball with a mozzarella ball. Just before serving, drizzle with a little pesto.

(Makes 32)

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