Nothing says Steamboat in the winter like a good après ski party. Bill Hamil, proprietor of Steamboat Meat and Seafood Co., shares a few secrets about how to put out the perfect spread.
After a long day on the slopes, there’s nothing better than a warm gathering with friends, food, and drink for après ski. At The Porches, not only do we have the best view of the Alpenglow, we don’t mess around when it comes to our après ski gatherings, which is why we call in the big guns: catering by Steamboat Meat & Seafood Co. We caught up with Proprietor Bill Hamil to talk about how to do après ski right.
What do you think when you think après ski?
No matter what the event, what people don’t realize is it’s not so much about making complicated dishes as it is about focusing on using fresh, quality ingredients. The better the quality of your ingredients, the better the flavor. Après ski is typically hosted in late afternoon between lunch and dinner, so a few platters of small bites and finger foods are all you need.
What are some of your favorite platters for après?
We do an artisan meat and cheese platter that’s perfect because it features really high-quality products that you can’t just go and buy at the store like Fol Epi, an Emmental-style cheese from the Loire Valley in France; Mobier, which is a soft brie style cheese also from France; and Heart of England, which is actually five cheeses in one. These cheeses pair nicely with Italian dry meats like Prosciutto and Sopressata. We also have an assortment of beautiful, homemade breads including Olives & Fruit Peasant Bread, Michel’s French Bread and La Brea Olive Oil Rosemary Bread.
What about cooked foods? Are there any good finger food appetizers you could recommend?
It’s nice to have a balance of hot and cold food. But you have to be careful of what you choose. It’s important to prepare dishes that will hold up for a couple of hours. A stuffed mushroom is a good choice because of the moisture in the mushroom, it will sit well. It’s also relatively easy to make. We also do a pear and prosciutto pizza that you can make yourself with a Boboli, which is like a premade pizza shell you can buy at City Market. Those are both easy dishes you can make at home.
What about drinks?
When I think about cold weather and something that pairs well with meat and cheese I go for a good pinot noir. You can also never go wrong with Prosecco. It goes with everything and is always festive.
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
3 Italian hot sausages, casings removed
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup freshly grated fontina cheese
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
24 large (about 2-inch-diameter) mushrooms, stemmed
1/3 cup dry white wine
Sauté sausage and oregano in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is cooked through and brown, breaking into small pieces with back of fork, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage mixture to large bowl and cool. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder, then cream cheese. Season filling with salt and pepper; mix in egg yolk.
Brush 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish with olive oil to coat. Brush cavity of each mushroom cap with white wine; fill with scant 1 tablespoon filling and sprinkle with some of remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange mushrooms, filling side up, in prepared dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered until mushrooms are tender and filling is brown on top, about 25 minutes.
Pear & Prosciutto Pizza
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced Oso Sweet or other sweet onion
1 Boboli prebaked pizza crust
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese
1 medium pear, thinly sliced
2 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin strips
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 cups baby arugula leaves
1 teaspoon balasamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 450°.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.
Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Top evenly with onion mixture; sprinkle with cheese. Top evenly with pear and prosciutto. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with nuts. Place arugula in a medium bowl. Drizzle vinegar over greens; toss gently to coat. Top pizza evenly with arugula mixture. Cut pizza into 8 wedges.