Friday, September 09, 2016

The Serial Entertainer's Passion for Parties

Before we part for the weekend, I'd like to recommend a new book on entertaining: The Serial Entertainer's Passion for Parties. Written by Steven Stolman, a.k.a. The Serial Entertainer, Passion for Parties is Stolman's second book on entertaining, a subject about which the author knows a great deal. An inveterate party-giver at his homes in Milwaukee and Palm Beach, Stolman is also the man who introduced me to Mater's Mess, a party dish that has subsequently garnered fans in my building. (It's really good.)

Stolman's latest book is full of reminiscences of parties the author has attended and recipes inspired by them. Written in a breezy, anecdotal style, the book is both a fun read and a go-to book for party recipes, which include Chicken Hash, Caviar Pie, and Potatoes Pauline.  Also included are recipes for such basic-but-delicious appetizers like Cheese Straws and Smoked Salmon Canapes, because as most avid hosts and hostesses know, guests love simple, delicious food.  And flowers, too, figure prominently in this book, with Stolman's tips on arrangements sprinkled throughout the book.

If you'd like to test drive one of Stolman's recipes before purchasing the book, I'm including one for Crab Canapé Lorenzo below.  Enjoy!

Crab Canapé Lorenzo
4 slices white bread, toasted
1⁄4 cup melted butter, divided
1⁄2 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked and cleaned
Salt and white pepper
Cayenne pepper
1 cup Béchamel Sauce (page 109)
4 egg yolks
1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs (made from toast scraps)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
8 anchovy fillets

1.Preheat broiler to high. Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter, cut circles from the centers of the toasted
bread slices. Reserve the circles and grind the bread trimmings
in the food processor. Set aside.

2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the
scallions and parsley and cook for 3 minutes until tender. Gently fold in the crabmeat and
continue cooking until heated through. Season to taste with salt, white pepper, and cayenne

3. Fold in the béchamel sauce and cook for 4–5 minutes, until the mixture just begins to simmer.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the egg yolks, 1⁄4 cup of the breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of
the Parmesan cheese. Continue to stir gently over low heat
for 1 minute. Remove the pan from
the heat and allow the mixture to rest for 2 minutes.

4. Place toast circles on a sheet pan. Divide the crab mixture into 4 equal portions and form into
balls. Place each of the balls on a toast circle and compress gently. Crisscross 2 anchovies across
the top of each canapé.

5. Mix the remaining 1⁄4 cup breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and sprinkle the
canapé evenly with the mixture. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and place
under a broiler until golden brown.

Serve immediately.

Photographs by Capehart Photography from The Serial Entertainer’s Passion for Parties by Steven Stolman, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith


  1. It's great that a guy who has two homes makes his own party food!

  2. Thank you for including this recipe! This Crab Canapé Lorenzo looks so yummy. I really like that the book also incorporates lots of flowers (what is a party without flowers?).

  3. This sounds too good to share. These with a bit of salad would make an excellent dinner for me.