Chef Bill Fuller stopped by PTL to make some easy, but delicious hors d’oeuvres!

Seared Rare Beef Forked with Pesto and Chili Peppers

  • 1 ea. Strip steak, about 12 ounces
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sliced mild red pepper rings
  • Pesto
  • Lovely large grain sea salt
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1. Prepare Pesto.
2. Heat cast iron skillet over high heat.
3. Allow steak to come to room temperature.
4. Lightly coat steaks with olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
5. Sear to desired temperature. On a good hot skillet, a 12 ounce steak will take 10-15 minutes to get to a solid medium rare. Adjust up 3 minutes total to cook them to medium.
6. Remove steak to a tray and allow to rest for 5 minutes
7. When rested, slice steak into nice thin slices.
8. Place onto fork half-folded with a pepper ring in the fold. Arrange nicely on a serving tray. This may be done an hour or so ahead of the event.
9. Right before serving, garnish with a small dollop of pesto. Place a receptacle for empty forks next to the tray on the buffet.


  • 2 ea. Cloves garlic
  • ¼ C. Pine nuts
  • About ½ C. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 C. Basil leaves, packed
  • ½ C. Grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel garlic, smash with side of your knife. Place in blender with pine nuts and olive oil.
2. Puree, making a thick mixture.
3. Add pine nuts. Pack down into bottom of blender. Puree.
4. Using a rubber spatula, push basil down regularly.
5. When pureed to thick, green goodness, stir in Parmesan.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Crostini topped with Ricotta, Figs, Thyme, and Sumac

  • 1 ea. Baguette
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 # Ricotta cheese
  • 6 ea. Fresh figs, cut into quarters or sixths
  • Sumac
  • Picked fresh thyme leaves
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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Slice baguette thinly on a bias.
3. Brush with olive oil. Enough to moisten surface but not enough to soak.
4. Lay out on a single layer on a sheet pan.
5. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
6. Bake in oven until lightly browned and crisp.
7. Remove to cool. This step can be done hours before the event.
8. Bring ricotta to room temperature. Drain off any extra moisture.
9. Spread crostinis with about a table spoon of ricotta. Top with one fig section.
10. Sprinkle with thyme and sumac.

Smoked Trout Salad and Honeycrisp Apple Tea Sandwiches

  • 8 oz. Smoked trout, skin and bones removed, flaked
  • ½ C. Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ea. Honeycrisp apples, julienned thinly
  • 8 ea, Slices pumpernickel bread

1. Combine trout, mayonnaise, parsley, and lemon zest and juice. Mix well and season to taste. Can be made a day ahead.
2. Shortly before assembling, julienne apples.
3. Lay out slices of bread. Spread trout filing across four slices
4. Top with apples. Place other four bread slices atop.
5. Cut off crusts. Cut into triangles or rectangles or whatever shape you want.

Butternut Squash Soup Spoons

Makes 3-4 qts, enough for 40-50 spoons if necessary

  • 1 ea. Butternut squash
  • 1 Tbs. Olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 1 C. Diced white onion
  • Water
  • 1 grate Nutmeg
  • ½ C. Heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar
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1. Split squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds with a spoon.
2. Rub cut faces with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place cut face down on a baking sheet.
3. Place in a pre-heated 375° oven and cook until soft to the touch in the middle of the neck (about half an hour to forty-five minutes).
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Scrape meat out of skin and reserve.
5. Meanwhile, sweat onions in butter until translucent. Add squash and barely cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently with stirring for 10 minutes.
6. Puree in blender and strain to remove any remaining bits of squash.
7. Return to pot and bring to simmer. Add cream and adjust consistency with water if necessary. Season well with salt and pepper and the barest grate or two of fresh nutmeg. The goal is to use the nutmeg to enhance the flavor of the squash, not to make the soup taste like pumpkin pie filling.
8. Pour while warm into spoons.
9. Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar for garnish.