Sarah Sellers, one of the most-robbed "American Idol" contestants of Season 10 and a food blogger in her spare time, has been posting her "Idol" viewing-party snack recipes in Reality Rocks all season long, each night cooking up a feast that corresponds to that week's "Idol" theme. Now we are in "American Idol's" big finale week, so for her last hurrah, Sarah is pulling out all the stops with a feast fit for an Idol. When you're throwing your finale viewing party this Wednesday, serve up Sarah's Sour Cream Pesto Crackers, Avocado & Tuna Sandwich Bites, and Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Almond Whipped Cream, and your guests will be delighted no matter who wins!
Sour Cream Pesto Crackers
1 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 large garlic clove
1/2 lemon, juiced (around 1 tbsp)
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt and cracked black pepper
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
20 table water crackers
1 red pepper (cayenne, Serrano or jalapeno), thinly sliced
Combine a cup of basil and the next 6 ingredients, through the salt and pepper, in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the olive oil through the spout while blending. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Fill a piping bag with the pesto mixture. If you don't have a piping bag, pour into a zip-lock bag and snip the bottom corner. Pour a dollop of the mixture on top of each cracker.
Chiffonade the remaining ¼ cup of basil and sprinkle a few of the basil ribbons on top of each cracker. Top with a slice of red pepper.
Avocado & Tuna Sandwich Bites
Yields 24 Sandwich Bites
2 (5oz) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, finally chopped
1 tsp kosher salt and pepper, divided
1 large avocado
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
6 slices sourdough bread
Mix the tuna, mayo, and thyme together in a small bowl. Season with 1/4 tsp of kosher salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
In a small bowl, mash together the avocado, lime juice, and remaining salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Using a serrated knife, cut the crust from the bread. Spread a heaping spoonful of the tuna mixture onto a piece of bread, then top with the avocado. Top with another piece of bread and cut into quarters.
(Side note: If tuna isn't your thing, swap out with your favorite chicken salad. Try Sarah's recipe here!)
Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Almond Whipped Cream
4 peaches, slightly ripe
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
zest from one lime
Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Slice the peaches in half and grill, skin side down, for 4-5 minutes.
While the peaches are grilling, pour the whipping cream in a large mixer (make sure the bowl and whisk are ice cold,) and mix until stiff peaks are about to form. Add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extract and continue to blend until stiff peaks form. Make sure you don't overwhip the mixture, or it will turn into a buttery consistency.
Remove the peaches from the grill and slice into wedges, around the pit. Put the slices from two halves in a small ramekin. Sprinkle with some cinnamon and drizzle with a bit of honey. Top with a spoonful of whipped cream and sprinkle with the lime zest.
Bon appetit and happy viewing!