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Annie Copps’ mini tarts, oysters with mignonette sauce

Spend more time with friends and family at your holiday party and less time in the kitchen. Here, Annie Copps of Yankee magazine shares her simple and delicious recipes.

Flatbreads with carrot and orange cumin dip and goat cheese and roasted red peppers dip

Ingredients

  • Flatbreads (if making from scratch)

    • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
    • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons yeast
    • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
    • 2 teaspoons evoo (extra-virgin olive oil)
    • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
    • 1 2/3 cups warm water
  • Carrot with orange and cumin dip

    • 1 pound carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
    • About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
    • Kosher or sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Goat cheese and roasted red peppers

    • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese
    • 3 scallions, roughly, chopped
    • 4 roasted red peppers
    • 2 tablespoons chopped basil, plus a few extra whole leaves for garnish
    • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    • About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Kosher or sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Baking Directions:

The flatbread pizza dough can be made from scratch or store-bought. Both will work for this classic recipe.Store-boughtIf store-bought, cut into small balls and let rest at room temperature. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out as thinly as possible (almost see-through). Sprinkle with fennel seeds and roll a few times to "secure" them. Cut into strips or triangles or leave whole. Lay onto oiled sheet trays and drizzle with more oil. Bake 6-8 minutes until lightly browned and crunchy. Cool and serve. If making from scratchIn the bowl of a standing mixer combine flours with dough hook attachment. Add remaining ingredients and "knead" in the mixer for about 3 minutes. Remove hook. Cover and let rise by double — about 30 minutes. Separate into 4 or 5 balls and let rest 30 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out as thinly as possible (almost see-through). Cut into strips or triangles or leave whole. Lay onto oiled sheet trays and drizzle with more oil. Bake 6-8 minutes until lightly browned and crunchy. Cool and serve. Carrot with orange and cumin dipIn a medium saucepan over high heat, boil carrots in salted water for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place the carrot, oil, cumin, garlic, and orange juice in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.Goat cheese and roasted red peppers dipIn the bowl of a food processor, combine ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with ribbons of basil.

Mini tart shells

Ingredients

  • Mini tart shells with chocolate pudding

    • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For garnish

    • Lightly whipped cream
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped pistachios with a pinch of salt or ground chili flakes, or whole almonds or pecans
  • Mini tart shells with lemon curd

    • 3 lemons
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 4 extra-large eggs
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
    • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    • Lightly whipped cream
    • Candied lemon peel
  • Mini tart shells with crab and coriander filling

    • 8 ounces lump crab meat, picked
    • 2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro, plus extra for garnish
    • 2 scallions, minced
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • Kosher or sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 ripe avocados

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Similar to flatbreads, mini tart shells can be homemade or store-bought. We'll start with store-bought pastry shells, then move on to making the different dips to fill the pastry shells.Mini tart shells with chocolate puddingIn a medium saucepan over high heat, combine 2 cups of milk with 1/4 cup of sugar and salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch unsweetened cocoa powder and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Add remaining 1/4 cup of milk and whisk until smooth. Whisk this mixture into the hot milk in the saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the pudding is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.In a medium bowl, whisk the whole egg with the egg yolks. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot cocoa pudding into the eggs until thoroughly incorporated, then scrape the pudding back into the saucepan. Cook the pudding over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until it just comes to boil, about 2 minutes.Strain the pudding into a medium heatproof bowl. Add the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla and whisk until the chocolate and butter are melted and incorporated and the pudding is smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or to six 6-ounce ramekins and refrigerate until chilled. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding in the bowl and refrigerate. Place in a pastry bag and portion into pastry cups. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with ground pistachios, chili flakes, or whole nuts — or make a mixed platter of all three. Mini tart shells with lemon curdUsing a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar. Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate. Mini tart shells with a crab and coriander fillingIn a small bowl combine crab, cilantro, scallions, and lime juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mash avocado until smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper. Using a pastry bag fill 1/3 of cup with avocado, then spoon crab mixture on top. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Oysters with mignonette sauce

Ingredients

  • Oysters with mignonette sauce

    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
    • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 dozen freshly shucked oysters

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Few ingredients express their hometown quite like an oyster. The size, shape and texture of an oyster are not from the type of oyster they are, but rather where they come from. Oysters from a coastal island in Maine taste completely different from the same species grown in other areas. There are several options when it comes to sauces for an oyster, but the classic mignonette sauce is a simple way to really enhance the brininess of the oyster. The sauce is a combination of finely chopped shallots, vinegar and cracked pepper.In a small bowl, combine shallots, vinegars, and black pepper. Chill until ready to use. Spoon over shucked oysters.

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