Category Archives: Appetizers

Shrimp & Grit Cakes with Tasso Gravy

Shrimp & Grits may be a Southern staple, but these tasty treats take on a new spin to a classic dish.


Recipe makes about 24 cakes


2½ cups water

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup quick grits

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup half-and-half

½ cup cooked crumbled bacon

½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


For tasso gravy:

¾ cup water

1 tablespoon chicken base

½ cup diced tasso ham sauteed in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon paprika

1/3 cup prepared or homemade roux

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

For the shrimp:

12 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut in half lengthwise

Butter for sauteeing


For assembly:

Butter for sauteeing

Fresh chives, cut into 2-inch lengths



For the grits cakes: Bring water to boil. Add salt and grits. Return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Additional water may be added to reach desired thickness (should resemble oatmeal).

Add butter, half-and-half, and crumbled bacon. Stir well and remove from heat. Place pan of grits in refrigerator to cool. Once grits have reached 70 degrees, gently fold in cheese. Pack mixture into buttered, shallow baking dish. Grit layer should be approximately ¾-inch thick. Refrigerate until cold and thickened. Using a 1-inch diameter biscuit cutter, cut small rounds out of grit mixture. These should be ¾ inch thick and the approximate size of a quarter.

For the tasso gravy: Bring 3/4 cup water to a boil. Add chicken base, cooked tasso ham and paprika. Return to boil. Add 1/3 cup roux to thicken and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in chopped parsley.

For the shrimp: Heat a small amount of butter in a skillet until hot. Saute shrimp just until they turn pink throughout.

To assemble: Saute grits cakes in butter to lightly brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and drain. Place ½ teaspoon of tasso gravy and a half of a shrimp on top of grit cake. Serve warm and garnish with chive spear.


Share Button

Stuffed Peppadew

“Discovered in South Africa in 1993, the once obscure, oddly-named fruit manages to satisfy every possible craving in just one bite: they are tangy, tart, saccharine, and savory — a symphony of contradictions as they dance across your tongue.” From The Kitchn 

Peppadews are ideal for spontaneous entertaining. Typically found near your grocer’s salad bar, these tasty peppers are easy to prepare in a moment’s notice for your next cocktail party or football tailgate. This delicious yet quick recipe perfectly balances the Peppadew’s sweet yet vinegary taste.


Serving Size: 50


1 tbl. Salted Butter
1 tbl. Olive Oil
1/2 cup Chopped Yellow Onion
1/2 cup Chopped Celery
1 can Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 can Tomato Sauce (8 oz)
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1 tsp. Drived Oregano
1/2 tsp. Drived Basil, divided
2 tsp. Kosher Salt, divided
1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper, divided
1 Egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
1 1/2 cup Cooked, Long Grain Rice
Sweet Peppadews

Cooking Directions:

Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery and salute until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, basil, half salt and half pepper. Simmer 10 minutes. Combine eggs, 1/2 salt, 1/2 pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to blend. Add ground beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup tomato mixture. Mix well. Stuff peppers and place in greased pan. Pour remaining tomato mixture over stuffed peppers. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Top with cheese to melt and serve.

Share Button

Cucumber Spi Roll

Mix all ingredients, except for cucumber slices. Toss well. Lay out cucumber slices. Mound 1/2 oz. filling at one end of cucumber. Roll filling to center and pick with a toothpick. Serve with Chili Lime Vinaigrette.

Serving Size: 38
38 Thin Cucumber Slices (1″ x 10″)
3 oz. Carrots, julienne
3 oz. Red Bell Pepper, julienne
3 oz. Yellow Bell Pepper, julienne
1.5 oz. Snow Peas, julienne
1.5 oz. Scallions, julienne
1/2 cup Mint, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 Thai Basil, roughly chopped

Chili Lime Vinaigrette 
2 cup Sweet Chili Sauce
1 cup Lime Juice
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Sesame Oil
3/8 cup Soy Sauce

Share Button

Colorful Cuisine: A Feast For The Eyes

Science dictates that people gravitate towards bright, colorful cuisine. Eating is just as much about visual perception as it is about taste. Before taking the first bite of an hors d’oeuvre at an event, guests have already started to form an opinion about its flavor, based solely on the look and presentation.

Food shades and hues play a big role in the sensory experience of eating. At Hamby, we strive to create and serve colorful food that appeals to the eyes as much as it does to the stomach. After all, vibrant food makes eating more fun, and most importantly it means that the produce is fresh and rich in nutrients. Taste buds approved!

Throughout the year, seasonal produce springs up allowing Hamby to get creative with food. Summer is an exceptional time to cook deliciously healthy and eye-catching fruits and vegetables (think tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peaches, watermelon & more!). With ripe produce, you’re not only cooking with fresh and colorful ingredients, but you’re crafting mouthwatering dishes that are doubly enticing – at first sight & bite!

There are an abundance of recipes that incorporate a mixture of seasonal trends. Check out this month’s featured Hamby recipe, our Cucumber Spi Rolls to try your hand at this multicolored appetizer!


Hamby’s Chef Brunski is known for his innovative plating methods and creative use of blended color palettes. Whether he’s preparing a simple selection of bright red watermelon cubes topped with green basil oil, tuna tartar on a crispy sesame wontons or Carolina sushi with cucumber, mango and avocado – Chef carefully considers how every detail works together to produce a visually impactful dish.



In addition, spreads like our Signature Farm Stand provide a spectrum of shades at a summer event. From its green kiwi, pickled peaches and dried apricots to roasted yellow squash, zucchini and lemon cream dip, this dish’s rainbow appearance is a win-win on taste and looks.


Hamby has recently pushed the color spectrum even further with event color-themed food creations. We crafted this purple and golden Cauliflower Timbale with Avocado Microgreens and a Batonnet of Fresh Radish for the SC Aquarium Gala, donning the event’s colors right on the plate!

Colorful cooking guarantees a fresh, healthy and beautiful dish. Try your hand at color cuisine exploration with your next meal!

To learn more about colorful food health benefits, check out this article “Eat By Color” on


Share Button

Mini Bites, Big Flavor

One of the Top 20 Catering Trends for 2015 is emerging, and it’s not the traditional beef carving station (surprise, surprise).  According to Social Tables,  a nationally recognized resource on event planning, serving miniature portions of dishes at events is hot this year.  At Hamby, we love creating the perfect bites, and have shaped our menus to offer unique options in line with this trend.

As cocktail hours continue to get stretched to longer, more extravagant affairs so that newlyweds can get photos in the “magic hour” of light, or social events become “standing room only” – our clients have started ordering more passed hors d’oeuvres for their events. We think we can credit this movement to a couple of different reasons.

First of all, people like options. It’s fun to have a stacked menu with different flavors and pairings to satisfy all tastes, and it give guests an opportunity to try something unexpected. We recommend providing variety by offering a fish or shrimp bite, a hearty meat option and a vegetarian treat.  Our Watermelon Cube with fresh mozzarella, house-made basil oil and balsamic salt is a new crowd favorite!

Guests also like to chat while they eat, so it’s best to have food that can be consumed in a single bite (or maybe two). Some events aim to have a more relaxed atmosphere and are not suited for a sit down meal, so mini bites are the perfect solution to feed your guests while keeping the party going.  It doesn’t mean they have to leave hungry.  Our braised short ribs atop crispy polenta cake, or fried chicken bite on a maple syrup waffle, are sure to appease appetites.

Combining a wide variety of ingredients into one perfect bite is not an easy task, but our chefs are up for the challenge. Chef Brunksi and his team, including sous chefs Maybell Williams and Fred Herring, work diligently to make each bite unique and precise.  From the preparation to the plating, we take a lot of pride in the display of each miniature portion.

As we spring into April, we’re excited to highlight our Spring/Summer Hors D’oeuvres menu that includes items like Carolina Sushi, Chicken Ceasar Bibb Lettuce Cups and Mini Tomato Pie.


Share Button
Page 2 of 712345...Last »