Appetizers III of III
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    Swiss Cheese Croquettes

    4 Tbs (60 ml) butter
    6 Tbs (90 ml) all-purpose flour
    1 cup (250 ml) milk
    1/2 cup (125 ml) cream or half-and-half
    1/2 lb (225 g) Gruyere or good quality Swiss cheese
    3 egg yolks, beaten
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Flour for dredging
    1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbs (15 ml) water
    Bread crumbs for dredging
    Oil for frying

    Melt the butter in a sauce pan over moderate heat and stir in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the milk and cream. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the cheese until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolks, salt, and pepper. Pour into a well greased 6 x 9 inch (15 x 23 cm) pan and chill for at least 2 hours. Remove from the pan by dipping it in warm water and cut the custard into squares, or into shapes using a cookie cutter. Dredge lightly with flour, dip into the beaten egg, and then coat with bread crumbs. Fry in hot oil until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Roquefort-Filled Mushrooms

    8 oz (250 g) Roquefort or other good quality bleu cheese
    1/2 cup (125 ml) butter, softened
    1 tsp (5 ml) dried mustard
    24 medium mushroom caps
    1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped green olives

    Combine the cheese, butter, and mustard, mixing until smooth. Pipe or spoon the cheese mixture into the mushroom caps and sprinkle with chopped olives. Makes 24 to serve 6 to 8 as an hors d'oeuvre.

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    Oyster Fritters

    1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp (2 ml) sugar
    1 cup (250 ml) milk
    4 Tbs (60 ml) butter, cut into pieces
    4 eggs
    12 - 18 fresh oysters, shucked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
    2 Tbs (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley
    Oil for deep frying

    Combine the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan over moderate heat and bring to a boil. Add the flour mixture and stir until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs one at a time. Stir until a thick batter is formed. Add the chopped oysters and parsley and stir to mix well. Drop into hot oil by teaspoonfuls and fry until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Makes about 4 dozen, to serve 6 to 8.

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    Chopped Curried Chicken Livers

    1 lb (450 g) chicken livers
    2 Tbs (30 ml) butter
    1 Tbs (15 ml) curry powder, or more to taste
    2 medium onions, finely chopped
    2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and finely chopped
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

    Simmer the chicken livers in enough salted water to cover for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and chop finely. Melt the butter in a skillet over moderate heat and stir in the curry powder. Add the onions and saute until the onions are tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Combine the chopped livers, onion mixture, chopped eggs, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne. Serve chilled or at room temperature with toast or crackers. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

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    Spicy Marinated Mushrooms

    8 oz (250 g) whole fresh mushrooms, cut into quarters
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 scallion (spring onion), white and green part, thinly sliced
    1 - 2 jalapeno peppers (to taste), seeded and finely chopped
    1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
    1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
    2 Tbs (30 ml) chopped fresh basil
    2 Tbs (30 ml) dry white wine or water
    1 Tbs (15 ml) lemon zest
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and toss mushrooms to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Serve cold. Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.

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    Grilled Rumaki

    1 lb (500 g) chicken livers, trimmed and halved
    1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
    2 Tbs (30 ml) brown sugar
    1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger
    Freshly ground pepper to taste
    Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
    4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch (2 cm) lengths
    1 small can (8 oz, 227 g) sliced water chestnuts, drained

    Combine the chicken livers, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, pepper, and optional cayenne pepper in a small bowl and marinate refrigerated for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Place a piece of bacon on a wooden or metal skewer, followed by a piece of chicken liver and a slice of water chestnut. Repeat until all the livers have been used. Grill over moderate heat for 8 to 12 minutes, turning once, until the edges of the bacon are crisp and the chicken livers are firm but slightly pink inside. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Puerto Rican Cheese Fritters

    lb (450 g) Gouda, Swiss, or Cheddar cheese, grated
    1 egg
    2 Tbs (30 ml) cornstarch (cornflour)
    Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
    Bread crumbs for coating
    Vegetable oil for deep-frying

    Combine the cheese, egg, cornstarch, and optional cayenne in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high speed until well blended. Roll into small balls about 1 teaspoon (5 ml) at a time. Coat with the bread crumbs and fry in oil heated to 350F (180C) until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.

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    Salmon and Caviar Spread

    4 oz (100 g) fresh salmon fillet, skinned
    4 oz (100 g) smoked salmon
    4 oz (100 g) butter, at room temperature
    Ground white pepper to taste
    1 Tbs (15 ml) Cognac (optional)
    4 oz (100 g) salmon roe

    Poach or steam the salmon fillet until it is cooked through. Break into chunks and place in an electric food processor along with the smoked salmon, butter, white pepper, and optional Cognac. Process until smooth. Place the salmon mixture in a bowl and gently fold in the salmon roe. Place in a serving bowl and smooth the top with a knife or decorate with the tines of a fork. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve chilled with crackers or toast points. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

    Appetizer Index




    Liptauer Cheese

    8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
    3 Tbs (45 ml) finely chopped onion
    1 Tbs (15 ml) anchovy paste or finely chopped anchovies
    1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped capers
    1/2 tsp (2 ml) caraway seeds
    1/2 tsp (2 ml) paprika

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. Serve with rye or pumpernickel bread, crackers, or fresh vegetables. Makes about 1 cup (250 ml) to serve 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

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    Roasted Tomato Salsa

    6 ripe medium tomatoes
    6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
    1 medium onion, unpeeled
    1 jalapeno chili, stemmed (optional)
    1 Tbs (15 ml) olive oil
    2 Tbs (30 ml) lime or lemon juice
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped cilantro

    Place the tomatoes, garlic cloves, onion, and optional jalapeno chili on a baking sheet and place under a preheated broiler. Broil until evenly charred, turning frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remove and discard the skins from the garlic and onion. Transfer the tomatoes, garlic, onion, chili, and the accumulated juices in the baking sheet to an electric food processor and process until a chunky sauce is formed. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the tomato mixture and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice, salt, and pepper. Add the cilantro immediately before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes about 3 cups (750 ml).

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    Roasted Garlic Spread

    1 garlic bulb
    1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil
    8 oz (225 g) cream cheese, softened
    2 oz (60 g) goat's cheese
    1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    2 - 3 Tbs (30 - 45 ml) milk
    Chopped fresh chives and/or parsley for garnish

    Slice the top off the garlic bulb to reveal the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in a 400F (200C) oven for 45 minutes. Cool and remove garlic cloves from their skins by gently squeezing. Mash the garlic with a fork and combine with the remaining ingredients, mixing well and adding enough milk to achieve a spreadable consistency. Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped herbs. Serve with raw vegetables, crackers, or pita bread. Serves 8 to 12 as an appetizer.

    Appetizer Index




    Mozzarella in Carrozza

    1 loaf French or Italian bread, cut into 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick slices
    1 lb (450 g) fresh mozzarella cheese
    1 cup (250 ml) milk
    1 cup (250 ml) dry bread crumbs
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    4 eggs, lightly beaten with 2 Tbs (30 ml) milk
    Vegetable oil for frying

    Cut the bread into 3-inch (8 cm) rounds using a cookie cutter or the rim of a small glass. Cut the mozzarella into slices 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick and slightly smaller in diameter than the bread slices. Make sandwiches of the bread and cheese and briefly dip each into the milk. Season the bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Seal the edges of the sandwiches by pressing them gently, and coat thoroughly with the bread crumbs, rolling the sandwiches in the bread crumbs like a cartwheel to coat the edges. Heat the oil to 375F (190C) in a deep fryer or large skillet. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture and fry in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

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    Mushroom Pate

    4 Tbs (60 ml) butter
    1 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
    1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped shallots
    1/2 cup (125 ml) chicken broth
    8 oz (250 g) cream cheese
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced

    Melt the butter in a grill-safe skillet and saute the mushrooms and shallots for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Add the chicken broth and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the cream cheese, salt, pepper, and uncooked scallion, stirring to mix thoroughly. Serve warm or chilled, with crackers, toast points, or raw vegetables for dipping. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

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    Herbed Goat's Cheese Spread

    4 Tbs (60 ml) plain goat's cheese
    1 cup (250 ml) non-fat ricotta or cottage cheese
    2 Tbs (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley
    2 Tbs (30 ml) chopped scallions (spring onions)
    2 small radishes, finely chopped
    1 tsp (5 ml) chopped fresh tarragon, or 1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, or process in a food processor for a smoother dip. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with crackers, bread, pita toast, tortilla chips, or raw vegetables. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

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    Sardines in Tomato Sauce

    3 to 4 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
    1 green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and coarsely chopped
    1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
    3 Tbs (45 ml) chopped parsley
    3 Tbs (45 ml) olive oil
    1 tsp (5 ml) hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
    1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground cumin
    1/4 tsp (1 ml) paprika
    Salt and freshl;y ground pepper to taste
    2 Tbs (30 ml) dry white wine (optional)
    14 oz (400 g) canned sardines (preferably in olive oil), drained
    Lemon wedges for garnish
    Toasted bread for garnish

    Combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and parsley in a food processor and process until all ingredients are finely chopped. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat and add the tomato mixture. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and wine and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the drained sardines and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sardines are heated through. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature with lemon wedges and toast. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Buffalo Chicken Wings

    25 to 30 chicken wings
    Vegetable oil for deep frying
    4 Tbs (60 ml) butter or margarine
    3 to 6 Tbs (45 to 90 ml) Louisiana hot sauce, Tabasco sauce, or hot sauce of your choice, or more to taste
    6 to 8 ribs celery, cut into 3 inch (8 cm) pieces
    Blue cheese dressing for dipping

    Cut the wings in half at the "elbow," and remove and discard the tips. Deep fry in small batches in 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) of vegetable oil heated to 375F (190C) until the outsides are crisp and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Melt the butter in a saucepan and combine with the hot sauce. Place the cooked wings in a large bowl and pour the sauce over them, tossing them to thoroughly coat with the sauce. Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Anticuchos

    1 beef heart (about 4 lbs, 2 kg)
    16 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
    1 Tbs (15 ml) red or green hot chili peppers, finely chopped
    1 Tbs (15 ml) ground cumin
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    1 cup (250 ml) red wine vinegar
    For the sauce:
    1/4 cup (60 ml) dried hot red pepper (hontaka)
    1 Tbs (15 ml) ground annatto (achiote) seeds*
    1 Tbs (15 ml) vegetable oil
    Salt to taste

    * Available in finer supermarkets and Latin American specialty shops.

    Trim the heart of fat and sinew and cut into 1 inch (2 cm) cubes. Place the heart pieces in a large bowl and add the garlic, hot peppers, cumin, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Add more vinegar if necessary to cover. Marinate refrigerated 24 hours. Drain the heart pieces and reserve both the heart pieces and the marinade.

    For the sauce: Remove and discard the seeds and soak the dried peppers in enough hot water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain the peppers and place in an electric blender along with the annatto seeds, oil, and about 3/4 cup (180 ml) of the reserved marinade. Blend until smooth; the sauce should be quite thick.

    Thread the heart pieces on skewers and brush with the sauce. Broil over a charcoal fire or under an electric or gas broiler, turning to cook all sides, for about 5 minutes. Serve with additional sauce on the side. Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer.

    Appetizer Index




    Dilled Cucumbers

    2 medium-sized cucumbers (seedless if possible)
    1 Tbs (15 ml) salt
    1/2 cup (125 ml) sour cream or yogurt
    1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh dill
    Salt and freshly ground pepper

    Slice the cucumbers paper thin and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and weigh the cucumbers down with a plate and some canned good for additional weight. Allow cucumbers to drain for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Turn the cucumbers out onto paper towels and press dry, eliminating as much moisture as possible. Combine the cucumbers with the remaining ingredients and serve chilled. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Oriental Chicken Wings

    1 lb (500 g) chicken wings, cut into individual joints
    1 cup (250 ml) chicken broth
    1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
    1 Tbs (15 ml) sesame oil
    1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger
    1 tsp (5 ml) molasses or brown sugar
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    1 whole star anise*, optional

    * Available in the spice section of finer supermarkets and Oriental specialty shops.

    Place the chicken wings in a large skillet or pot in a single later. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes uncovered, until the liquid is reduced to a syrup-like consistency. May be served immediately, or refrigerated and served at room temperature. The flavor improves after a day in the refrigerator. Serves 4 to 6 as a dinner buffet item.

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    Artichoke Dip

    2-14 oz (390 g) cans artichokes, drained and chopped
    1/2 cup (125 ml) low-fat or fat-free sour cream
    2 cups (500 ml) fat-free plain yogurt
    1/4 cup (60 ml) Marsala or sherry wine
    3 Tbs (45 ml) finely chopped scallions (spring onions)
    2 Tbs (30 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
    2 Tbs (30 ml) chopped fresh chives

    Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and spoon into a greased oven-proof casserole. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately with crackers, raw vegetables, or toast points. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Marinated Snow Peas

    1 lb (500 g) snow peas or sugar snap peas
    1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
    1 Tbs (15 ml) sesame oil
    1 tsp (5 ml) grated fresh ginger
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    2 Tbs (30 ml) sesame seeds

    Boil or steam the snow peas for no more than 30 seconds. Rinse under running water to stop the cooking. Drain and combine with the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic and allow to marinate at least two hours or overnight. Sprinkle with sesame seeds immediately prior to serving. Serves 4 to 6.

    Appetizer Index




    Baked Brie

    This makes an elegant addition to the buffet table, or may be served as an hors d'oeuvre before you serve dinner. Simply wrap a round of brie in packaged puff pastry or several buttered sheets of filo dough, and bake in a 350F (180C) oven until the pastry is golden brown. It is not necessary to trim the crust off the brie, although some cooks prefer to do so. You may also top the brie with browned onions, sauteed mushrooms, chutney, or fruit preserves prior to wrapping it in the dough. Serves 6 to 8.

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    Shrimp Toast

    1/2 lb (225 g) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1 egg white
    1 Tbs (15 ml) corn starch
    1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    1/2 tsp (2 ml) granulated sugar
    1/4 tsp (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 scallion, both green and white parts, finely chopped
    1 narrow loaf French bread (baguette)
    1 cup (250 ml) vegetable oil
    Small bunch fresh flat leaf parsley

    Pulverize the shrimp to a paste with a food processor or blender. Add the egg white, corn starch, salt, sugar, pepper, garlic, scallions and stir well to combine. Cut the French bread into slices 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Spread the shrimp paste over one side of each slice. Decorate each slice with a whole parsley "petal", stuck to the shrimp paste. Heat the oil in a frying pan to about 375F (190C). Drop in the bread slices, shrimp side down. Fry until the underside is brown, then turn over and brown the other side. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels to remove excess fat. Serves 6 as a first course.

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    Smoked Fish Platter with Three Sauces

    Allow 3 to 4 ounces (75 to 100 g) of smoked fish per person. Arrange attractively on a large serving platter an assortment of smoked fish such as salmon, trout, herring, mackerel, or any other smoked fish available in your area. You may also include canned smoked mussels, oysters, or clams. Garnish the plate with lemon wedges, cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, and capers. Place the three sauces in small bowls for diners to serve themselves.
    Horseradish Sauce
    1/2 cup (125 ml) whipping cream
    2 Tbs (30 ml) prepared horseradish, or to taste
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Whip the cream until it has thickened and about doubled in volume. Fold in the prepared horseradish, salt, and pepper. Serve chilled. Makes about 1 cup (250 ml).
    Dill Sauce
    1 cup (250 ml) mayonnaise
    1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh dill
    2 Tbs (30 ml) chopped capers
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Serve chilled. Makes about 1 cup (250 ml).
    Lemon Mustard Sauce
    1/2 cup (125 ml) mayonnaise
    1/2 cup (125 ml) sour cream
    3 Tbs (45 ml) lemon juice
    2 Tbs (30 ml) Dijon-style mustard
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Serve chilled. Makes about 1 cup (250 ml).

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    Country-Style Pate

    1 lb (450 g) fresh pork fat, ground
    1 lbs (675 g) lean pork, ground
    1 lbs (675 g) calf's or beef liver, ground
    1/2 lb (225 g) lean veal or beef, ground
    6 Tbs (90 ml) butter
    1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    1/2 lb (225 g) chicken livers, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
    1/4 cup (60 ml) Cognac
    1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
    2 Tbs (30 ml) lemon juice
    2 Tbs (30 ml) flour
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground allspice
    1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried thyme
    1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground nutmeg
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    1/4 lb (100 g) cooked ham, cut in 1/4 inch (5 mm) cubes
    8 to 12 slices bacon

    Combine the ground pork fat, pork, liver, and veal or beef in a large bowl. Melt half the butter in a large skillet over moderate heat and saute the shallots and garlic until soft but not brown. Scrape the contents of the skillet into the bowl with the meats. Melt the remaining butter in the same skillet and saute the chicken livers for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are firm but still pink in the center. Remove the livers to a plate using a slotted spoon. Add the Cognac to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping the pan to dissolve the brown bits. Pour the Cognac over the meats. Add the cream, lemon juice, flour, egg, allspice, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the meat mixture and knead with both hands until the mixture is well blended. Continue to beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy. Fold in the ham cubes. Since this dish contains raw pork, saute a small amount to taste for seasoning.

    Line a deep, rectangular, 2 quart (2 L) terrine, or metal or glass baking pan with a lid, with the slices of bacon. The slices should overlap slightly and completely cover the bottom and sides of the pan. If they are long enough to hang over the edge of the pan they can be folded over the top of the terrine once it is filled. Otherwise, use additional slices of bacon to cover the top. Spoon half the meat mixture into the terrine, pressing it down firmly and smoothing it with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Lay the chicken livers in a row down the middle of the terrine, and spoon the remaining meat mixture on top. Smooth the top of the meat mixture and fold the bacon strips over the top, or use additional strips of bacon to cover the top. Enclose the top of the terrine with aluminum foil and cover tightly.

    Place the terrine in a large baking pan in the middle of a preheated 350F (180C) oven and fill the baking pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the terrine. Bake for 2 hours. Remove the terrine from the oven and remove the lid and foil. Loosely cover with fresh foil and weight the terrine by placing a heavy pan, cutting board, or canned goods weighing several pounds on top. Allow the terrine to cool to room temperature, then place it in the refrigerator with the weights in place until thoroughly chilled. To serve, remove the weights and the foil and serve directly from the terrine it was baked in. Serves 10 to 12.

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    Barbecue Spread

    Flesh of 2 to 3 ripe avocados, mashed
    3 Tbs (45 ml) finely chopped onion
    3 Tbs (45 ml) mayonnaise
    2 Tbs (30 ml) ketchup
    1 Tbs (15 ml) lime juice
    1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Tabasco sauce to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Serve with chips, crackers, or pita bread. Serves 6 to 8.

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    Shrimp Cocktail

    24 to 36* shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1 lemon, sliced
    15 whole peppercorns
    1 recipe spicy hollandaise sauce (see below)
    Lemon wedges

    *Plan on 6 shrimp per person if using jumbo or extra large, and 8 per person for large or medium sized shrimp.

    Combine the shrimp, lemon slices, peppercorns, and enough water to cover in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, and remove from the heat as soon as the water starts to boil. Allow to sit in the hot water for 5 minutes, then drain and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until well chilled. Spoon the sauce into a small bowl or wine glass and arrange the shrimp by looping their curved bodies over the edge of the bowl. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serves 4.
    Spicy Hollandaise Sauce
    (Note: This recipe does not multiply well. If you need more than 1 cup make two separate batches rather than one double batch.)

    lb (100 g) butter
    3 egg yolks
    2 Tbs lemon juice
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    2 Tbs (30 ml) ketchup or tomato sauce
    Tabasco or hot pepper sauce to taste

    Melt the butter over a low flame until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and pepper in the container of an electric blender. Cover and blend on high speed for about 5 seconds. Remove the cover and add the butter in a slow stream, blending at high speed for approximately 30 seconds more. The sauce should be smooth with no traces of unincorporated butter. If it is not, replace the cover and continue blending until the butter is completely incorporated, scraping the sides of the blender (with the motor off) if necessary. Pour the sauce into a small bowl and whisk in the ketchup and Tabasco sauce. Makes about 1 cup.

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    Black Bean Dip

    8 oz (225 g) Neufchatel cheese, softened
    to cup (125 to 180 ml) cheddar cheese, grated
    3 Tbs (45 ml) green onions, diced
    tsp (2 ml) garlic powder
    tsp (2 ml) cumin
    tsp (2 ml) cayenne
    1 dash salt, Optional
    1 tsp (7 ml) lime juice (fresh squeezed preferred)
    Water, as needed to smooth
    cup (125 ml) canned black beans, lightly drained

    Combine and mix well, all ingredients except the black beans. Add beans and beat lightly. Refrigerate and spread on crackers or tortilla chips.

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    Pate de Foie de Volaille

    1 lb (500 g) chicken livers, trimmed of fat and discolored parts, rinsed and drained
    1 onion, peeled and quartered
    cup (180 ml) melted butter
    cup (60 ml) grated onion
    2 Tbs (30 ml) Cognac or other good quality brandy
    1 tsp (7 ml) salt
    1 tsp (7 ml) dry mustard
    tsp (2 ml) freshly grated pepper
    tsp (1 ml) mace

    Place the livers and onion quarters in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook covered for 20 minutes. Drain well and discard the onion. Grind the liver three times in a meat grinder, or process in en electric food processor until very smooth. Do not use an electric blender. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pack firmly into a 2 cup (500 ml) bowl or mold (do not grease), and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve in the mold, or remove from the mold by rapping sharply on a cutting board and inverting onto a serving plate. Makes about 2 cups, to serve 12 to 18 as hors d'oeuvre.

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    Classic Clam Dip

    1 small can (7 oz, 200 g) chopped clams, drained, juice reserved
    1 8 oz (225 g) package cream cheese (room temperature)
    2 tsp (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
    2 tsp (10 ml) Worcestershire sauce
    1 Tbs (15 ml) onion, grated or chopped very fine
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients plus 4 Tbs (60 ml) of the reserved clam juice in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Put mixture in a serving bowl and serve with potato chips, crackers, or small pieces of raw vegetables.

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    Peruvian Marinated Shrimp

    1 to 1 lbs (250-375 g) cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
    cup (125 ml) each: lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1 scallion (spring onion) green and white parts, finely chopped
    1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
    cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro or parsley
    Finely chopped red or green hot chile pepper, to taste
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    2 to 3 avocados, halved and pitted (optional)

    Combine all the ingredients except the avocados in a glass or ceramic bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve mounded on the avocado halves, or on a bed of lettuce. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Shrimp Pate

    5 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
    C parsley
    5 green onion tops, chopped
    C mayonnaise
    2 T poupon mustard
    1 lb. salad shrimp meat, chopped
    t Worcestershire sauce
    t garlic powder
    t lemon juice
    1 t Vermouth

    Mix the cream cheese till smooth, add remaining ingredients. Chill before using.

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    Spiced Garbanzo Beans

    2 cans (15 oz, 425 g each) garbanzo beans (chickpeas, ceci), rinsed and drained
    1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil
    2 Tbs (30 ml) Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
    1 Tbs (15 ml) chili powder or curry powder
    1 tsp (5 ml) garlic powder
    1 tsp (5 ml) paprika
    Cayenne pepper to taste
    Salt to taste

    Dry the rinsed and drained garbanzos thoroughly on paper towels. Heat the oil in a large skillet over moderate heat and saute the garbanzos, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown lightly, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except for the salt and stir to coat the beans. Transfer the beans to a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven, stirring once or twice, until crisp on the outside, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and store for up to a week in an airtight container. Makes about 2 cups (500 ml).

    Appetizer Index




    Mussels Vinaigrette

    2 lbs (1 Kg) mussels
    1/2 cup (125 ml) olive or vegetable oil
    3 Tbs (45 ml) red wine vinegar
    2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon-style mustard
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    2 shallots, finely chopped
    3 Tbs (45 ml) finely chopped parsley
    2 Tbs (30 ml) capers (optional)
    Lettuce leaves for garnish

    Clean the mussels under running water, using a brush or the back of a knife to scrape off any sand and seaweed. Remove the beard with a knife. Place the mussels in a large pot with a tightly fitting lid and do not add any liquid or seasoning. Cover the pot and cook over high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool enough to handle. Remove the mussels from the shells, and discard the shells as well as any mussels that did not open. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the mussels and the remaining ingredients, stirring gently to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves, or in lettuce leaf cups. Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.

    Appetizer Index




    Taco Dip

    1 package cream cheese, softened
    1 jar Salsa or Picante Sauce
    1 bunch of green onions, diced
    1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
    1 tomato, diced
    1 small can of mushrooms, sliced
    1 small can of black olives, sliced (save a few to decorate top)
    1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
    2 C. Cheddar cheese
    1 bag of corn chips or tortilla chips

    Layer ingredients in the order given. You can use anything from a cookie sheet or cake pan to individual bowls. Serve with chips.

    Appetizer Index




    Fried Ravioli with Quick Tomato Sauce

    For the sauce:
    2 Tbs (30 ml) olive oil
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 14 oz (411 g) cans of Italian-style tomatoes, with liquid
    3 Tbs (45 ml) coarsely chopped fresh basil
    or 1 Tbs (15 ml) dried basil
    Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
    For the ravioli:
    9 oz (255 g) frozen or refrigerated ravioli of your choice
    2 Tbs (30 ml) olive oil

    Begin with the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat and saute the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, until tender but not brown. Add the tomatoes, breaking up the larger pieces with the edge of a spoon if necessary, and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened some. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Makes about 2 cups (625 ml).

    Cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Drain and manually separate the ravioli to prevent them from sticking together. Blot dry with paper towels. Heat the olive oil in a skillet (preferably non-stick) over moderate heat and saute the ravioli for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until lightly browned and slightly crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 10 as an hors d'oeuvre or 4 to 6 as a first course.

    Appetizer Index




    Plantain Fritters

    3 plantains, peeled
    4 cups (1 L) water
    4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
    3 Tbs (30 ml) salt
    Vegetable oil for frying
    Salt (optional)

    Cut the plantains diagonally into slices about 1 inch (2 cm) thick. Combine the water, garlic, and salt in a large bowl and stir to dissolve the salt. Add the plantains and soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Drain and pat the slices dry with paper towels. Heat the oil to 350F (180C) and deep-fry the plantain slices a few at a time until light golden brown, about 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and when cool enough so as not to burn yourself, place them between paper towels and press with the palm of your hand to flatten them to about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thickness. Increase the temperature of the oil to 375F (190C) and fry again, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt if desired. Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.

    Appetizer Index




    Mushroom Strudel

    Vegetable oil spray
    8 oz (250 g) mushrooms, sliced
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 - 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    2 oz (60 g) low-fat cream cheese
    1 Tbs (15 ml) chopped fresh chives
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    A grating of fresh nutmeg
    6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

    Lightly spray a large skillet with the vegetable oil spray and saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic over high heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the cream cheese, chives, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Lay the phyllo dough on a clean dishtowel and spread the mushroom mixture about 1 inch (2 cm) away from the short edge of the dough. Fold the sides over about 1/2 inch (1 cm) and use the towel to help you roll it up like a jelly-roll. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and spray lightly with the vegetable oil spray. Bake in a preheated 375F (190C) oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the phyllo is golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting individual portions. Serves 6 to 8.

    Appetizer Index




    Cheese Puffs

    2 egg whites, beaten until stiff
    1 cup (250 ml) shredded Cheddar, Swiss, or American cheese
    1 tsp (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp (2 ml) paprika
    1/2 tsp (2 ml) dry mustard
    Cayenne pepper to taste
    10 to 20 (depending on size) small rounds of bread, toasted

    Combine the beaten egg whites, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, mustard, and cayenne, folding gently so as not to deflate the egg whites. Spread this mixture on the rounds of toast. Place on a baking sheet and place under a preheated broiler. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese mixture is puffed and golden brown. Serves 6 to 8 as a canape.

    Appetizer Index




    Stuffed Gouda

    1 small Gouda or Edam cheese, wax coating removed
    1 to 2 Tbs (15 to 30 ml) red wine or Worcestershire sauce
    1 Tbs (15 ml) Dijon-style mustard
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Scoop out the cheese, leaving a hollow shell. Grate or finely chop the scooped out cheese and mix with the red wine or Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper. Fill the shell with the cheese mixture. Serve with crackers or thin slices of French bread. Serves 2.

    Appetizer Index




    Artichoke Dip

    2-14 oz (390 g) cans artichokes, drained and chopped
    1/2 cup (125 ml) low-fat or fat-free sour cream
    2 cups (500 ml) fat-free plain yogurt
    1/4 cup (60 ml) Marsala or sherry wine
    3 Tbs (45 ml) finely chopped scallions (spring onions)
    2 Tbs (30 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
    2 Tbs (30 ml) chopped fresh chives

    Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and spoon into a greased oven-proof casserole. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately with crackers, raw vegetables, or toast points. Serves 4 to 6.

    Appetizer Index



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