Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Prosciutto Wrapped Persimmons with a Kick

Sunday, October 20th, 2013


This morning I work up at 4:30am and jumped out of bed, not only because it was Saturday which means its basket day, but also the idea that I was getting something new to experiment on. I was going to have some fun with these wonderful new thing called persimmons that I had never heard of. Persimmons are not something I know anything about (shocker I know, I really am a newbie about some things. I’m just trying to make it in the big, NOT SO BAD produce world…haha! I like to joke about it now, but what I really am is a reformed extremely picky eater. Who is only learning about certain foods now because I was so closed minded about them before. I am a changed woman :)
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Stuffed Mushrooms

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

White button mushrooms are earthy, pleasing to eat, and the perfect appetizer! Mushrooms are available for many recipes but the holiday season is a great time to think about stuffing mushroom caps. The mushroom cap can be stuffed with a wide variety of fillings. This recipe is one of my favorites to use when company is coming!
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Savory Galettes

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

In planning a menu for a Games Night the idea of tapas came to mind. This reminded me of a recipe in the August 2013 Better Homes and Gardens August for Lemony Ricotta Summer Squash Galette. Not only was it easy, it used ingredients already on hand! I also knew I could easily change a few ingredients and use up even MORE!
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Zucchini Fries

Monday, August 26th, 2013


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Sweet and Spicy Mango Chutney (?)

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Beautiful Ataulfo mangoes from Bountiful Baskets paired with red peppers 3 for $1 at one of my favorite stores, what does that mean?  Well, in my kitchen it means “Sweet and Spicy Mango Chutney”.  I don’t know that this could technically fall under the “chutney” category as it has no nuts, no raisons, and none of the curry flavors I associate with chutney.  It’s probably more like a salsa but since that is the name it came with, and I do not think it’s polite to rename someone else’s baby…chutney it is.

This recipe is beautifully simple to create and has a wide range of uses.  I start by dicing mangoes, red bell peppers, and yellow onion.  That all simmers in a mixture of brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and lime juice.  I add in finely chopped garlic and finely chopped ginger along with a happy helping of crushed red peppers.  When that is smelling good and looking pretty I pack it all into my warm pint or half-pint jars and water-bath the heck out of it (15 mins in my neck of the woods).

Sweet and Spicy Mango Chutney (?)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups diced unripe mango (about 3 to 4 large, hard green mangoes)
  • ½ cups diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1¼ cups cider vinegar (5%)
  • ½ cup water

Instructions

  1. Wash and rinse half-pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.
  2. Wash all produce well. Peel and chop mango into ½-inch cubes. Dice bell pepper into ½-inch pieces. Finely chop yellow onions.
  3. Combine all ingredients in an 8-quart Dutch oven or stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to simmering, and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Fill hot solids into clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Cover with hot liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.
  5. Process in a boiling water canner. (10 mins to 1,000 ft- 15 mins from 1,001-6,000, 20 mins above 6,000)
  6. Let cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.
  7. Serve up and enjoy!

The shelf- life is supposed to be 1 year but with it’s delicious taste and versatility, mine has never lasted that long.  What do I do with it you wonder?  Thanks for asking because I really want to tell you.  One of my favorite ways to use it up is for a Sunday slow cooker meal that has become a family favorite.  I pop in a lightly seasoned pork roast, add a touch of water and let it go low and slow until it’s literally falling apart.  I shred that sucker up and mix in a pint of “Sweet and Spicy Mango Chutney”.  This “Sweet and Spicy Mango Pork” is then served over rice or in cabbage leaves and topped with macadamia nuts for a delicious Asian dinner.

We have discovered that this recipe is great on the grill. I open a jar, pour some into a ziplock bag and pop in a few chicken legs or thighs, whatever I have on hand.  I let that marinade for an hour or so (don’t go much longer or the vinegar will break down the chicken too much) and then put the chicken on the grill.  I serve extra sauce (NOT any that was used as marinade) right at the table.

I have also found success making it into a salad dressing.  I take a half-pint jar of the “chutney” and whisk that up with a combination of olive and sesame oil and use it to dress a chopped green salad or an Asian-style cabbage salad.

Last , but certainly not least, this sauce makes a great dip for my favorite wonton recipe.  I add a touch of sesame oil and some soy sauce to the chutney and then let my guests dunk away.  (I’m including the wonton recipe here just for fun.)

Chutney, Salsa, Sauce or just YUM!  Whatever you decide to call it I hope you enjoy this delicious way to use up those mangoes.

Baked Wontons

Ingredients

  • 10 oz (about 1 can) shredded chicken
  • 1 can water chestnuts- drained and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 clove garlic pressed
  • Coconut oil (liquefied)
  • powdered garlic (optional)
  • 24 sqr wonton wraps

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Mix chicken, and all other ingredients except coconut oil, wontons and powdered garlic.
  3. Stir powdered garlic into the coconut oil (if desired).
  4. Brush edges of wonton with water. Place a small scoop (about a tsp) of filling into the center. For large wontons top with a second wrap. For smaller ones fold in half like a triangle.
  5. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Put the wontons on the wax paper and brush with the oil. Bake 12-15 minutes.

Eggplant Meatballs

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Have you ever tried eggplant in your meatballs? It adds a nice depth to the flavor, and has the extra benefit of adding a little bit of health to your dinner. 

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Got my husband to eat sweet chili peppers…

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

It will be 22 years this Spring that I have been married to my Darling Husband, and for 22 years I have tried to get him to eat fresh peppers.  He will eat them roasted or hidden in soups, stews and casseroles but raw, not a chance.  So here I sit with these cute little sweet colorful chili peppers, I don’t want to cook them…what to do…what to do… then i hear a cooking show on the television…pimento cheese spread.  Hmmmm…I have red peppers from the Italian pack sitting on the counter…I could make that!

A quick charring under the broiler peel and dice, whip together the cheese spread and slice the little peppers in half, fill with pimento cheese spread and onto my deviled egg tray (love when I find another use for a specialty platter.) and I now have an appetizer!

I took them in and sat then down near my husband and before I knew it half the tray was gone!  YES!!!  I got my husband to eat sweet chili peppers!!!

slice sweet chili peppers in half and remove seeds

stuff with pimento cheese

Pimento Cheese Spread

Ingredients

  • 1 roasted (seeded and peeled) red pepper finely diced
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
  • 2 Tbsp. grated onion
  • a dash of Cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. mix all together, and chill

Miranda S.

Home Cook

Recipe Round-Up for 2/23/13

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Chinese Di San Xian (Three Fresh Vegetables) from Bake Space (v)

Aubergine and Mint Bruschetta from Jamie Oliver (v)

Eggplant Parmesan from Shape (v)

Fresh Pineapple Pie from CD Kitchen

Pineapple Pops from Martha Stewart (v)

Broccoli, Leek, and Black Bean Rissoto from A Good Appetite (v)

Yukon Gold Potatoes: Jacques Pepin Style, from Rachel Ray (v)

Pineapple and Pink Grapefruit with Mint Sugar from BBC Good Food (v)

Black Bean, Egg Plant, and Leek Chili with Lime Sour Cream from Dinner Du Jour (v)

Carrot Ribbon Salad from Better Home and Gardens (v)

Chocolate Caramel Banana Upside-down Cake from the Food Librarian (v)

Apple, Orange, and Banana Smoothie by Morrisons (v)

Strawberry Chipotle Jam

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

One of the (many) drawbacks of being a gluten-free and nut-free household is that PB&J sandwiches are few and far between.  This is hard for me because not only do I love that lunchbox staple, particularly when accompanied by a tall glass of milk (another no-no in our house), but  I also really love making jams and jellies.  Unfortunately these goodies just don’t get used up as quickly in our home as they used to so I have had to make a decision- stop making them OR get creative with them.  I have learned that one of the (many) advantages to being a gluten-free, nut-free household is that I have the opportunity to get creative with the products I have on hand so that is the choice I have made.  Recently, I have taken my love of jam making to new levels.  I have been trying to find unusual ingredients and flavor combinations and then use them in ways that I have not tried before.  Pineapple-Lime Jam is now one of my favorite cake filling flavors.  (and thanks to BB I have a frequent supply of pineapple).  Apricot-Rosemary Jam has become a go-to for an elegant Sunday meal of glazed Roast Chicken.   One of my most requested flavors is Strawberry-Chipotle.  As strawberries pop up in the basket and the offerings page I try to keep some out of the view of the kiddos in order to make a batch of this delectable delicacy.

The fresh, sweet strawberries pair beautifully with the spicy smokiness of chipotle peppers.  The result of this pairing is a rich, red-hued jam that is versatile and delicious.  The deep red of this jam and the resulting sexiness (yes, I’m weird and totally think food can be sexy) of the dishes it creates make this a perfect part of a Romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.  I’m giving you here the basic jam recipe and three of my favorite ways to use it up.  I will warn you that these are not all the healthiest of recipes.  (I’m a sucker for cream cheese)  But for a special occasion they are fabulous!

Strawberry Chipotle Jam

Strawberry Chipotle Jam

Ingredients

  • About 3 lbs of strawberries
  • 2 large lemons- zest and juice
  • 6 cups of sugar (told you it wasn't the healthiest)
  • 4-6 chipotle peppers minced plus a few drops of the adobo sauce to taste (watch out if you are Gluten-Free many brands have gluten. The one GF brand I have found is La Costena)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Chop half of the berries into small pieces, smash the rest, and mix together. You should end up with a total of 6 cups- a little extra is OK.
  2. In a saucepan combine the lemon juice, zest, sugar and salt over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. This is a thick, heavy mixture- be sure that you stir everything up from the bottom so you do not burn your sugar (This is the voice of experience speaking)
  3. Add all the berries, peppers, and adobo sauce to the pan (be careful as you add sauce- the flavor will intensify as it cooks.)
  4. Bring to a good boil and simmer. And simmer. And simmer. Seriously it could take up to 40 mins so just keep stirring and be patient.
  5. Check the gel consistency by placing a small amount on a very cold spoon, If it is the desired consistency take it off the heat. If it is still too runny…keep simmering!
  6. Place the hot jam in prepared jars. You can seal in a hot water bath according to the guidelines for your area (Vegas is 15 mins). Or you can refrigerate immediately and use up within a week or two. This recipe usually gets me 5-6 jars.

Strawberry Chipotle Cream Cheese Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 Jar Strawberry Chipotle Jam
  • 1 8 oz block of cream cheese
  • Assorted Crackers, pita, bread, veggies, etc. for dipping

Instructions

  1. Put the block of cream cheese into an oven-proof dish.
  2. Spoon the jam over the cream cheese.
  3. Bake in a 350 oven for 7-10 mins. until the cream cheese is soft.
  4. Serve up and enjoy!

Strawberry Chipotle Grilled Steak Salad

Ingredients

  • Strawberry Chipotle Jam
  • Oil of your choice (I like olive for this)
  • Spinach
  • Sliced or chopped Strawberries
  • Feta Cheese
  • Grilled Steak- Thinly sliced (this is even better if you have used some of the jam to glaze the steak as it grills)

Instructions

  1. Make a quick vinaigrette by whisking some of the jam into the oil (about two parts oil to one part jam) I like giving this a couple of zaps through the blender so that it is less likely to separate and has a creamier texture.
  2. Arrange the spinach and strawberries on the salad plate.
  3. Top with the sliced steak, drizzle with the dressing, sprinkle with feta cheese

Strawberry Chipotle Chicken

Ingredients

  • Strawberry Chipotle Jam
  • Water
  • Chicken- whole, legs, breast- whatever you like

Instructions

  1. Thin some of the jam with a little water (or if your jam turns out a little runny just go with that)
  2. Dry the chicken well. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin.
  3. Bake or grill as desired using the thin jam as a glaze. If you are roasting a whole chicken don't start the glaze right away as it will over cook- start glazing about half way through your cooking time.
  4. The jam gives the chicken a beautiful color and flavor. This dish is delicious paired with potatoes or rice, a nice salad, and hot green beans.

Recipe Round-Up for 1/19/13

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Recipes with (v) are vegetarian.

Amy's Freaky Good Apple Tart from Food Network (v)

Lemon Pavlova from Eating Well (v)

Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets from Eating Well (v)

Strawberry Chicken Salad from My Recipes

Roasted Red Pepper and Potato Egg Pie from Rachel Ray (v)

Braised Salad-Savoy Cabbage from Melissa's Produce (v)

Salad Savoy Chips from Tasty Kitchen (v)

Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans, and Rice from Ingrid Hoffman

Orange and Balsamic Chicken

Orange Chicken from Blog Chef.net

Spring Salad with Strawberries and Creamy Orange-Avocado Dressing from Whole Foods Market (v)

Onion Potato Pancakes from Taste of Home (v)