Celebrated caterer Peter Callahan knows how to throw a party. With a career spanning more than two decades and a client list including celebrities, politicians, Fortune 500 companies, and New York City socialites, Peter has earned a reputation for creating hors d’oeuvres that are as inventive and beautiful as they are delicious.
A two-sip shot cleverly matched to a small bite is an incredible icebreaker, especially when the appetizer is playfully served on an edible spoon or inside a miniature Chinese take-out container. Bite-size cheeseburgers are served on tiny home-baked poppy seed buns with all the trimmings. Mango-marinated shrimp are served individually on lollipop sticks sprinkled with fresh cilantro; diminutive plantain cones are filled with dollops of tuna tartare; and chicken is rolled into nori “cigarettes.” And for an impressive encore, how about shots of coffee with sugar donuts, or mini bagels with lox and cream cheese paired with caviar cones and champagne?
In Bite by Bite, his debut cookbook, Callahan welcomes readers to share in the fun and beauty of his creations, providing inspiration for parties—whether casual gatherings, dinner parties, baby showers, or formal occasions such as weddings and holiday soirees—and 100 recipes for the home cook, ranging from savory to sweet, comfort food to haute cuisine. According to Peter, being prepared is the key to pulling off a self-catered party like a professional. With that in mind, he has included a “Kitchen Tools and Conveniences” section, listing the key equipment that will help you create the delicious masterpieces in this book. In the recipes he also notes what can be made in advance, how best to schedule your time, and any emergency substitutions and shortcuts that will make life easier on the big day. Along the way, he divulges his secrets and inspiration, recounting stories of how he dreamed up dishes that he’s catered for his impressive roster of celebrity clients.
Full of creative recipes, unique party ideas, and vibrant food photography, Bite by Bite is your go-to source for inspired hors d’oeuvres and whimsical treats that will transform any gathering into an unforgettable event.
Featured Recipe: Baked Beans in Bacon Cups Makes: Two dozen Ingredients For the honey
1 cup honey 1 fresh habanero chile, thinly sliced For the beans
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 large yellow onion, very finely chopped 2 1/2 cups canned navy beans, drained and rinsed 3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar 2 thick-cut bacon strips, finely chopped 1/4 cup port wine 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves 1 1/2 tablespoons dark molasses 1 teaspoon chili powder 2 teaspoons coarse salt For the bacon cups
Nonstick pan spray 2 pounds thin-cut bacon For serving
1/4 cup sour cream 1/4 cup finely chopped red or yellow bell pepper (or a combination of the two) 2 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced Instructions Honey
Pour the honey into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat, add the habanero, and allow the honey to cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into an airtight container. Beans
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the beans, brown sugar, bacon, port, cilantro, molasses, 1 tablespoon of the habanero honey, and the chili powder and salt. Stir to combine, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the mixture is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Bacon Cups
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Turn a mini muffin pan upside-down and lightly coat the bottom with nonstick pan spray.
Crisscross 3 slices of bacon over each upturned cup, and then place another mini muffin pan on top so that the bacon slices are compressed between the two pans. Place the pans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the bacon cups are crisp and browned, about 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
Lift off the top pan. Carefully remove the bacon cups from the bottom pan and place them on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain, wrong side up. How to Serve
Gently reheat the beans in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through (add 1 tablespoon water if they’re too thick or dry). Place a spoonful of the beans into each bacon cup. Top with a dot of sour cream, some bell peppers, and a scallion ring. Serve.