Easy Entertaining - Office Parties

Raspberry Horseradish Filled Ham Pinwheels

Ham and Raspberry Horseradish Cream Cheese Pin Wheels Summer
2 packages (8 oz ea) softened cream cheese
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 package Raspberry Horseradish dip mix
1 pound rectangular sliced boiled ham

Mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise and dip mix until well combined.

Spread about 2-3 tablespoons on each slice of ham, leaving about 1/4” uncovered on the short sides.    Spread all the way to the edges on long sides.

Starting from a short side, roll ham as tightly as possible until it is completely rolled.
Place rolled ham pieces on plate, cover and chill until filling is firm and flavors have set (at least 1 hour), preferably over night.

To make ahead, cut each ham roll into 5-6 “pin wheels.”  Place each “pin wheel” individually on serving plate, or stack pyramid style.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.
To Serve:

If not already cut into pin wheels, cut each ham roll as described above. 
Garnish plate with snipped parsley or parsley sprigs if desired.
TIP:  Packaged sliced boiled ham is recommended because it is readily available in the lunch meat section of most grocery stores, and easy to work with for this dish; it’s just the right shape and thickness.  Honey or smoked ham works too, just be sure the slices are thick enough that they don’t come apart when they are rolled.  Avoid pre-cut deli ham - it’s not thick enough.  Ask for the deli attendant to cut ham for you.  Look for the ham piece being cut to be at least 6” wide and 4” high, and ask for it to be cut into about 1/8” thick pieces.

TIP:  These pair well with semi-dry white wine and seasonal ales.

Madras Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken Pasta Salad with Madras Vinaigrette Dressing
This dish is a fusion of Indian flavors and a classic Mediterranean salad.  Subtle warmth from the spices blends with the cooling taste of fresh vegetables in a deliciously unusual combination.  This salad is ideal for a picnic or pot luck; no mayonnaise to worry about, and it goes as well with hamburgers as it does with grilled fish or lamb.  Omit the chicken and it’s a perfect vegetarian offering too.

1 pound orzo
3/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced into small wedges
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup kalamata olives, cut in half or quarters
3/4 cup green onions, chopped
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 cups cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups Madras vinaigrette dressing (see RECIPES for vinaigrette directions)

Cook orzo per package directions.  Rinse well and drain.

Place all ingredients except dressing in large dish.  Stir to combine.

Add 1 cup of dressing and stir to combine.  Add more dressing a little at a time until salad is a bit juicy.  Reserve leftover dressing.

Chill covered at least 2 hours for flavors to set, or preferably over night.
To Serve:

Stir salad.  Add reserved dressing if needed.

Serve in a large bowl, or on a large lettuce lined platter garnished with parsley sprigs if desired.
TIP:  2 cups of chicken is about 2 breasts, or 1 breast plus one leg/thigh.  Use more to taste.  Left over rotisserie chicken works great in this dish.  Canned chicken works too, but isn’t as tasty.

TIP:  This salad requires most of a double recipe of vinaigrette, using a whole package of Madras dip mix.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Apricot Sweet Ginger Dressing

Sweet Ginge Chicken and Apricot Salad Sandwich on French bread, served with chips and ice tea
2 cups mayonnaise
1-1/3 cups apricot preserves
1 package Sweet Ginger Dressing Mix
6 cans cooked chicken
1 chopped dried apricots, re-hydrated
1 cup chopped green or red onions
Lettuce leaves if desired
12 Croissants, ciabata rolls or sandwich rolls
Dijon mustard

Dressing:  Mix together mayonnaise, preserves and dressing mix until well combined.

Sandwich Filling:

Drain and flake chicken.

Cut apricots into quarters.  Soak apricots in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain and pat dry.

Combine chicken with apricots and green onions.

Add enough dressing to thoroughly moisten chicken.
To Serve:

Spread a small amount of dressing on cut side of top of the sandwich roll. 

Generously spread Dijon mustard on the cut side of roll bottoms.

Pile chicken salad on roll bottoms.  Top with lettuce leaves if desired.

Place top half of cut top on lettuce.

Cut sandwiches in half if desired.

Pile sandwiches on serving platter. 

Garnish platter with parsley sprigs if desired.

Serves about 12.
TIP:  Scale this recipe up or down as needed.  Prepared dressing makes about 2-1/2 to 3 cups.

TIP:  To use fresh chicken breasts, save money and buy bone in breasts.  Allow 1 breast for each 2 sandwiches needed.  To cook, bring large covered pot of water to boil over high heat.  Sprinkle in about 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning, then add chicken.  Bring back to boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer about 20 minutes.  Drain, cool and de-bone.  Store in fridge in covered container or closed plastic bag until ready to make sandwich filling.

El Paso Chicken Soup

El Paso Chicken Soup Summer
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 cups water
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
1 package El Paso Chicken Soup Mix

Sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat just until pieces are broken up.

Add spice packet from soup mix and stir.

Add 6 cups of water and vegetables from soup mix.  Stir.

Bring water to a boil over medium high heat. 

Reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes.

Add chicken and heat until chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes.
To Serve:

Use snack cups and plastic spoons to make clean up easy.

Garnish each cup with baked or fried tortilla strips if desired.

Caramel Pecan Mousse Topping

Caramel Pecan Mousse topping oatmeal raisin cookies and waffle bites

2 Tablespoons of milk, divided
1 package (8 oz) softened Philadelphia® Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip® Lite
1 package Caramel Pecan Mousse Mix
1 package chewy oatmeal cookies or frozen waffle bites

Let cream cheese soften 1/2 hour at room temperature, or heat at 100% in microwave for 30 seconds.

Stir mousse mix into 1 tablespoon of milk until smooth. 

Using a food processor or mixer, whip cream cheese until fluffy, scraping sides as needed.

Add 1 Tablespoon of milk and blend well, scraping sides.

Remove cream cheese mixture to a large bowl.  Gently fold in Cool Whip®.

Cover and chill at least 4 hours to let flavors set.

To Serve:

If using waffle bites, heat in toaster oven or microwave according to package directions. 

Dollop mousse onto center of each cookie or waffle bite.

Chill remaining mousse for another use.