Appetizers
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    Chopped Liver

    1 large onion, chopped
    3 Tbs (45 ml) vegetable oil
    lb (250 g) chicken livers
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped

    Fry the onion in the vegetable oil in a saute pan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. Let cool. Season the livers with salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Broil or grill, turning once, until the livers are firm and have changed color, and let them cool. Combine the livers and onion in an electric food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add the chopped egg, reserving 3 tablespoons (45 ml) to be used as garnish, and mix by hand with the liver mixture. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and place chopped liver mixture in a serving bowl. Smooth the surface with a small spatula or the back of a spoon, and sprinkle the reserved chopped egg on top. Serve with slices of rye bread, crackers, pita, or French bread. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Yummy Chicken Wings

    12-18 chicken wings
    1/3 c soy sauce
    1 tsp. ginger
    2 garlic cloves minced
    2 green onions minced
    1 T honey
    2 tsp. oil

    Combine ingredients in your crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serves 2-4 people depending on appetizer or main dish.

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    Baked Stuffed Baby Bella Mushrooms

    lb. large Baby Bella mushrooms (These are the miniature "Portabellas")
    1 cup cooked salad shrimp (about 5 oz.) (usually comes frozen)
    1/8 cup finely chopped parsley
    1/8 cup finely chopped fresh dill (optional)
    1/3 cup soft margarine
    1 clove garlic, crushed or very finely minced
    2 green onions (scallions)
    teaspoon thyme
    teaspoon salt dash of freshly-ground black pepper
    Italian-style flavored bread crumbs

    Thaw shrimp if frozen.

    Wipe mushrooms with a clean damp cloth; remove stems and arrange mushroom caps in a shallow baking dish with hollow side up.

    Chop the salad shrimp, scallions, and mushroom stems very fine, then mix with the parsley, dill (optional), margarine, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and just a level tablespoon of flavored bread crumbs. Mix well.

    Heap filling into the mushroom caps, pressing down firmly to secure filling. There should be a rounded mound of the filling protruding above the cap. Sprinkle each filled cap with some more bread crumbs. Cover and bake in a 350F oven for about 35-40 minutes or until tender. Makes about 3 to 4 servings. Double amounts to make 6 to 8 servings.

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    Seafood Craibechan

    2 Tbs (30 ml) butter or margarine
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    1 leek, cleaned and sliced
    1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
    3 cups (750 ml) cooked seafood (lobster, crab, shrimp, salmon, cod, or any combination of these)
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    Tabasco sauce to taste (optional)
    For garnish:
    Lettuce leaves
    Lemon wedges
    Radish roses (optional)

    Melt the butter in a skillet and add the garlic, leek, and onion. Cook over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Combine the onion mixture and the cooked seafood and chop finely using a knife or food processor. Do not over process; the mixture should be somewhat coarse. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and the optional Tabasco sauce. To serve, place a mound on a lettuce leaf and garnish with lemon wedges, radish roses, or as desired. Serve with crackers, melba toast, or thinly sliced French bread. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Anise Boiled Peanuts

    2 cups (500 ml) raw peanuts* (without shells)
    3 cups (900 ml) water
    5 whole star anise**
    4 tsp (20 ml) Szechwan peppercorns**
    4 Tbs (60 ml) soy sauce
    A 2 inch (5 cm) piece of fresh ginger root, unpeeled, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
    1 tsp (5 ml) sesame oil
    1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    1 tsp (5 ml) hot pepper flakes (optional)

    * Available in Asian specialty shops and health food stores
    ** Available in the spice section of finer supermarkets and Asian specialty shops

    It is not necessary to remove the red skins from the peanuts. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Makes about 3 cups (750 ml).

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    Mexican Fudge

    8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
    8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack
    3 Eggs
    Cup thick and Chunky Salsa

    Spread half of cheeses in bottom of a greased 9 x 9 pan. Beat eggs and salsa together. Pour on top of cheese in pan. Add remaining cheese on top and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Serve warm or cold. Great finger food!

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    Spanish Pickled Beets

    1 tsp (5 ml) salt
    tsp (2 ml) freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup (250 ml) olive oil
    cup (60 ml) balsamic or red wine vinegar
    2 Tbs (30 ml) finely chopped onion
    2 Tbs (30 ml) chopped parsley
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    4 cups (1 L) sliced, cooked beets (may use canned)

    Combine all ingredients except the beets on a bowl and whisk to form an emulsion. Add the beets and toss gently to coat the beets. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours, tossing occasionally. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes about 1 quart (1 L).

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    Shrimp Remoulade

    1 lb (450 g) cooked, peeled, medium-sized shrimp

    For the remoulade sauce:
    1 cup (250 ml) mayonnaise
    2 Tbs (30 ml) lemon juice
    2 Tbs (30 ml) ketchup
    2 Tbs (30 ml) finely chopped celery
    1 Tbs (15 ml) prepared horseradish
    1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped dill cucumber
    1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped capers
    1 Tbs (15 ml) Creole or French style mustard
    1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped parsley
    tsp (2 ml) finely chopped tarragon
    1 Tbs (15 ml) Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
    For the garnish:
    Lettuce leaves
    Tomato wedges or whole cherry tomatoes
    Hard cooked eggs, peeled and cut into rounds or wedges
    Black olives

    Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the cooked shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce. Place each serving of shrimp on a bed of lettuce leaves, and garnish with tomatoes, eggs, and black olives, as desired. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Oysters Rockefeller

    12 fresh, raw oysters on the half shell
    1 cup (250 ml) cooked, finely chopped spinach
    2 Tbs (30 ml) finely chopped shallots
    cup (60 ml) dry bread crumbs
    2 Tbs (30 ml) cooked, finely chopped bacon
    1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped parsley
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    Hot pepper sauce, to taste
    3 Tbs (45 ml) melted butter
    1 Tbs (15 ml) Pernod or other anise flavored liqueur (optional)

    Place the oyster shells on a baking sheet that has a layer of rock salt to stabilize the shells. Place an oyster on each shell. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Spoon the spinach mixture over the oysters. Bake for about 10 minutes in a preheated 450F (225C) oven. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

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    Avocado Stuffed with Smoked Fish (West Africa)

    4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
    cup (60 ml) milk
    cup (60 ml) fresh lime juice
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
    lb (250 g) smoked whitefish
    2 large ripe avocados
    Chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish

    Rub the yolks of the eggs through a fine strainer and finely chop the egg whites. Mash the egg yolks and the milk together in a deep bowl. Add the lime juice, salt, and pepper. Beat in the olive oil, a little at a time, to form an emulsion. Remove the skin and small bones from the fish and mix it into the sauce, flaking it with a fork. Add the chopped egg whites and toss gently to combine thoroughly. Just before serving, slice the avocados in half and remove the seeds, along with any discolored parts of the flesh. Divide the fish mixture among the avocado halves, mounding it slightly. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley or cilantro and serve at once. Serves 4.

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    Bagna Cauda

    2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
    4 Tbs (60 ml) butter
    8 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
    1 tsp (5 ml) finely chopped garlic
    Fresh vegetables of your choice, such as cucumbers, carrots, fennel, sweet bell peppers, celery, scallions, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and mushrooms, cut into a size and shape suitable for dipping
    Italian bread sticks or Italian bread

    Simmer the cream over a low flame, uncovered, in a small saucepan for about 20 minutes, or until reduced to about half its original volume. In a fondue pot, or other flame proof enameled or earthenware casserole that fits over a candle warmer or electric hot tray, melt the butter over low heat. Add the anchovies and the garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add the reduced cream and bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Do not let the sauce boil. Serve immediately with the cold raw vegetables and the bread sticks or Italian bread for dipping. If the butter and the cream separate at the table, recombine them using a wire whisk. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer, 3 to 4 as a main dish.

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    Poached Salmon with Watercress Sauce

    2 to 3 lbs (1 to 1.5 Kg) salmon fillet (you may use a whole fillet, or individual portions)
    1 recipe court bouillon (see below)
    1 cups (375 ml) chopped watercress
    1 cups (375 ml) mayonnaise
    1 Tbs (15 ml) wine vinegar
    1 shallot, chopped
    Salt and ground white pepper to taste
    Cucumber and lemon slices for garnish

    Tie the salmon in cheesecloth and place on a rack in a poacher, or wide saucepan with a tightly fitting lid. Cover with the cold court bouillon and bring to a simmer over high heat. Do not boil. Cook for 10 minutes per inch (2.5 cm) of thickness of the fish. Remove from the heat and allow the fish to cool in the court bouillon. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. For the sauce, combine the watercress, mayonnaise, vinegar, shallot, salt, and pepper in a food processor or electric blender and puree until smooth. Pour over the chilled salmon and garnish with the cucumber and lemon slices. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer, or 4 to 6 as a main course.
    Court Bouillon
    3 cups (750 ml) water
    1 cup (250 ml) wine vinegar
    1 medium onion, sliced
    1 carrot, sliced
    1 celery stalk, sliced
    1 leek, trimmed and sliced, white part only (optional)
    3 fennel stalks, sliced (optional)
    1 sprig of fresh thyme or tsp (2 ml) dried thyme
    2 tbs (30 ml) salt
    8 white peppercorns

    Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes. Strain and reserve the liquid. Makes about 4 cups (1 L).

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    Bacon Dates

    1 lb raw bacon strips
    3 boxes (6 oz size or bigger) PITTED dates
    1 box toothpicks
    at least one cookie sheet WITH COMPLETE SIDES! (very important!)

    Cut bacon into thirds. Take a date and wrap with 1/3 strip bacon then close it using a toothpick. Place in cookie sheet with foil lining (makes cleanup easier). Repeat procedure until you have used all the dates. (I usually have some bacon left over - use for breakfast!) Place in a 325F oven for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes monitor until bacon is cooked to your liking. Remove from oven and take "treats" off quickly; place on plate or waxed paper. EAT! These can be made ahead of time and frozen - reheat for approx 10 minutes on 275F oven. Makes about 150.

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    Herbed Chevre Spread

    6 oz (170 g) goat cheese
    8 oz (225 g) non-fat cream cheese
    cup (60 ml) non-fat plain yogurt
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    tsp (2 ml) dried thyme
    1 Tbs (15 ml) chopped chives
    A dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Scoop the mixture into a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled and slightly stiffened. Serve with toast, crackers, or fresh raw vegetables for dipping. Makes about 2 cups (500 ml).

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    Escargots a la Bourguignonne

    12 Tbs (180 ml) unsalted butter
    1 Tbs (23 ml) shallots, chopped fine
    1 Tbs (15 ml) garlic, chopped fine
    Tbs (8 ml) parsley, chopped fine
    2 tsp (10 ml) salt
    tsp (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
    24 canned snails*, rinsed and drained

    *Canned escargots (snails) can be bought, complete with empty shells for serving, in most supermarkets in the US.

    In a small bowl mix the butter, shallots, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper until the butter is soft and the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Put about tablespoon (4 ml) of the butter in each shell, followed by a snail, and then another tablespoon (4 ml) of butter. Place on individual oven-proof serving dishes and bake in a 400F (200C) oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the butter begins to bubble. Serve with crusty French bread (baguette) for sopping up the sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Asparagus Canapes

    2 loaves white bread (like Wonder -- must be mushy!!)
    2 cans asparagus, drained
    8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    4 oz. blue cheese or Roquefort, crumbled
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon mayo
    1 stick butter
    Optional:
    Paprika, cayenne, chili powder, or similar for garnish
    Herb(s) of your choice to add to filling

    Cut the crusts off bread & flatten with rolling pin (I roll in both directions to get as flat as possible). Combine softened cheeses, egg and mayo - mix well. Add chopped herbs at this point, if desired. Spread mixture onto slices of bread, put a piece of asparagus along one edge, and roll up. Cut into thirds. (Can be made ahead to this point, wrapped well & refrigerated). Preheat oven to 350F, melt butter in pie plate, roll canapes in butter, place onto ungreased cookie sheet, sprinkle with paprika or cayenne if desired, and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. (makes about 9 dozen)

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    Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard

    4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    teaspoon salt
    teaspoon pepper
    cup milk
    1 cup vegetable oil for frying
    honey mustard (see below)

    Cut chicken into x 2-inch strips. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken in milk. Roll in flour mixture to coat well. Place chicken on waxed paper. Pour -inch of oil into a large, heavy skillet. Heat over medium-high heat to 350F or until a cube of white bread dropped into the oil browns evenly in 1 minute. Divide chicken into batches. Place chicken in an even layer in hot oil. Fry, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sauce.
    Honey Mustard
    cup honey
    cup Dijon mustard

    Prepare the honey mustard 1 or 2 days ahead of time so flavors have time to blend.

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    Spanish Almond-Stuffed Olives

    24 whole almonds
    24 large, pitted, Mediterranean style green olives

    Shell the almonds and drop them into boiling water for 2 or 3 seconds. Drain and remove the brown covering by rubbing between two dish towels, or by peeling with your fingers. For crisp almonds, stuff each olive with a whole almond and serve immediately. For soft almonds, stuff the olives as above, and return the olives to the jar with the olive juice. Marinate at least 24 hours. Makes 24 stuffed olives.

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    Baked Stuffed Celery Stalks

    10 large stalks of celery
    2 Tbs (30 ml) plus cup (60 ml) olive oil
    cup (60 ml) finely chopped onion
    1 lb (450 g) ground beef or lamb
    cup (60 ml) bread crumbs
    1 egg
    2 Tbs (30 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
    tsp (1 ml) ground cinnamon
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    cup flour
    1 egg beaten with 2 Tbs (30 ml) water
    cup (125 ml) white wine or water
    2 Tbs (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

    Wash and trim the leaves and ends from the celery stalks. Cut each in half lengthwise to a length of 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 cm). Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the olive oil in a small skillet over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until transparent but not brown. Transfer the onions and oil to a mixing bowl, and add the meat, crumbs, egg, parsley, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Mix vigorously with both hands, then beat with a wooden spoon until it becomes a smooth paste. Spread about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the meat mixture into the cavity of the each of the celery sticks. Heat the cup (60 ml) olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat until a haze forms over the oil. Roll the celery sticks, one at a time, in the flour and tap off the excess. Dip the stalks in the egg and water mixture and place them meat side down in the hot oil, four or five at a time. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until the meat is lightly browned. Carefully arrange the celery stalks stuffed side up in a baking dish, add the wine and lemon juice, and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a 400F (200C) oven for 1 hour, until the celery is tender but not falling apart. Remove from the oven, discard the foil, and allow the dish to cool to room temperature. Arrange the celery sticks on a platter and moisten with a little of the cooking juices. Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer.

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    Turkish Meatballs

    1 lb (450 g) lean ground lamb or beef
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    cup (60 ml) uncooked rice
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    3 cups (750 ml) water
    1 cup (250 ml) olive or vegetable oil
    2 eggs, beaten

    Combine the meat, onion, rice, and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Form into meatballs about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan and add the meatballs. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove the meatballs to a plate and discard the water. Heat the oil to a temperature of 350F (180C), or until the surface shimmers. Dip the meatballs into the beaten egg and deep fry for about 5 minutes, turning as necessary, until browned on all sides. Drain on paper towels and keep warm until served. These may be served on wooden skewers. Makes about 16 meatballs.

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    Japanese Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

    12 whole large shrimp, shelled and deveined
    4 slices bacon, cut into thirds
    2 Tbs (30 ml) soy sauce

    Wrap the shrimp in the bacon pieces and fasten with toothpicks. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle the soy sauce over them. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is cooked to the degree of doneness you prefer. Makes 12, to serve 4 to 6 as an appetizer.

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    Egyptian Shrimp Pate

    lb (225 g) cooked shrimp (prawns)
    (60 ml) cup almonds, chopped and toasted
    1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped candied ginger
    tsp (1 ml) curry powder
    1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
    1 Tbs (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
    2 Tbs (30 ml) finely chopped parsley
    2 Tbs (30 ml) melted butter
    4 Greek olives, pits removed, finely chopped
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    Suggested garnishes: whole cooked shrimp, lemon wedges or slices, Greek olives, parsley sprigs

    Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in an electric food processor or blender and process to a smooth paste. Form into a loaf, or fill a mold of the appropriate size, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. When ready to serve, place on a serving dish and garnish as desired. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

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    Polish Egg and Parsley Dip

    12 hard cooked egg yolks
    2 Tbs (30 ml) crushed dried parsley
    4 Tbs (60 ml) wine vinegar
    2 Tbs (30 ml) minced onion
    Salt and white pepper to taste
    1 tsp (5 ml) dried dill weed
    1 cup mayonnaise

    Mash the egg yolks and add the remaining ingredients, blending well. Makes about 1 cup.

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    Spanish Dates with Ham

    24 small strips thinly sliced Prosciutto or other smoked ham
    24 pitted dates

    Wrap the ham around the dates and arrange on a serving platter. Makes 24 appetizers.


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    Danish Horseradish Ham Rolls

    cup (125 ml) heavy cream
    1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
    2 Tbs (30 ml) prepared horseradish
    cup cooked macaroni
    6 to 8 slices cooked ham
    cup (60 ml) grated Swiss cheese

    Whip the cream until stiff and add the sugar and horseradish. Gently fold in the cooked macaroni and spread the mixture on the ham slices. Roll the ham into tubes and secure with toothpicks if necessary. Arrange on a serving plate and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Makes 6 to 8.

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    Stuffed Strawberries

    Make stuffing and prep strawberries a day ahead.
    Fill strawberries no more than 4 hours before serving.

    20 large fresh strawberries, divided
    1-3oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
    2 Tablesp. finely chopped pecans
    1- Tablesp. powdered sugar
    1 tsp. orange liqueur, optional

    Dice 2 strawberries and set aside. Cut a thin slice from end of each remaining strawberry, forming a base for strawberries to stand on. Cut each strawberry into 4 wedges, starting at pointed ends and cutting to but not through stem ends. Beat cream cheese at medium speed until fluffy. Stir in diced strawberries, pecans, powdered sugar and liqueur. Spoon about 1 tsp. of mixture into each strawberry.

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    Armadillo Balls

    2 cups Bisquick
    1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
    1 pound pan sausage, raw
    1 pkg. pork flavored shake n bake
    jalapeno slices

    Combine Bisquick, sausage,and cheese. Mix well. Flatten a small amount of the mixture and form into a circle. Place a jalape o slice in each circle. Close up the circle and roll into a ball. Coat each ball with the shake n bake. Place in baking sheet and bake 20 min. at 325F.

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    Smoked Salmon Rolls

    20 slices of smoked salmon
    20 canned asparagus spears, drained
    cup (125 ml) mayonnaise
    6 lemon wedges for garnish
    Fresh parsley for garnish

    Wrap the salmon slices around the asparagus spears. Arrange on a serving dish. Heat mayonnaise in a small pan and drizzle over asparagus spears. A small amount of lemon juice could be added to mayonnaise to thin it a little. Chill well before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

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    Nacho Dip

    1 lb. hamburger
    1 (16 oz.) box Velveeta
    1 (16 oz.) box Mexican Velveeta
    1 can Campbell's nacho cheese soup
    1 pkg. taco mix

    Brown hamburger. Mix taco mix with nacho cheese soup. Melt cheese in crockpot on low, when cheese is melted, mix all ingredients together.

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    Swedish Spring Sandwiches

    loaf day-old homemade-type white bread, unsliced
    12 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
    4 Tbs (60 ml) butter
    2 Tbs Dijon style mustard
    4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and finely chopped
    (60 ml) cup finely chopped fresh dill, or combination of dill, parsley, and chives
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    2 Tbs (30 ml) butter
    2 Tbs (30 ml) vegetable oil

    Trim the crust off the bread and cut into thin (1/8 inch, 0.5 mm) slices. You will need 12 slices. Mash together the anchovies, butter, mustard, eggs, herbs, and pepper in a small bowl. Spread this mixture evenly over 6 of the slices of bread, and top with the remaining 6 slices, pressing together lightly. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until the filling is firm. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy skillet until the foam subsides. Add the sandwiches 2 or 3 at a time and fry for 2 or 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain. To serve as cocktail snacks, cut into quarters. Makes 6 sandwiches or 24 hors d'oeuvre.

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    Bitterballen (Meatball Hors d'Oeuvre)

    4 Tbs (60 ml) butter or margarine
    lb (250 g) ground beef or veal
    cup (60 ml) finely diced carrot
    cup (60 ml) finely chopped onion
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    A grating of fresh nutmeg
    1 Tbs (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
    2 Tbs (20 ml) finely chopped parsley
    5 Tbs (75 ml) all-purpose flour
    1 cup (250 ml) beef broth or milk
    cup (125 ml) dry bread crumbs
    1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp (5 ml) water
    Oil for deep frying

    Heat one tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over moderate heat and cook the meat, carrots, and onions until the meat is browned and the carrots are tender. Drain the meat in a colander, then place in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice, and parsley and stir to combine. Set the meat mixture aside. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of butter in a saucepan over moderate heat and stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook this for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the beef broth or milk. Continue heating, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils and becomes quite thick. Combine the sauce with the meat mixture, stirring to combine them thoroughly, and chill this mixture for at least two hours in the refrigerator, until it has become solid. When the mixture has solidified, roll it into balls about 1 inches (2.5 cm) in diameter, using your hands. Roll the balls in the bread crumbs, then in the egg and water mixture, then in the bread crumbs again. Fry a few at a time in a deep fryer with at least 2 inches (5 cm) of oil at 375F (190C) until golden (about 2 to 3 minutes). Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

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    Sardine Stuffed Deviled Eggs

    12 large hard-cooked eggs, shells removed
    2-4 oz (100 g) cans of sardines, thoroughly drained
    1 cup (250 ml) mayonnaise
    4 Tbs (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
    4 tsp dry mustard
    tsp (2 ml) cayenne pepper, or to taste
    1 tsp (5 ml) salt, or to taste
    cup finely chopped parsley
    cup finely chopped fresh chives
    12 to 24 capers

    With a small sharp knife cut a 1/8 inch (1 mm) slice off the bottom of the eggs so they will stand up. Then slice off the top 1/3 of each egg, and chop the scraps of egg white finely and set them aside. Gently squeeze the yolks out of the eggs, being careful not to break the white cases. Mash the yolks and the sardines together with a fork, then beat the mayonnaise into the egg-sardine mixture. Add the lemon juice, mustard, cayenne and salt, mixing thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon the filling into the egg white cases, dividing it evenly among them and mounding it on top. Mix the reserved chopped whites together with the parsley and chives in a shallow bowl, and dip the filled eggs into the mixture, rolling to coat the tops thoroughly. Place a caper or two on the top of each egg. Stand the eggs on a chilled platter and serve at once, or cover the platter loosely with waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    Makes 12 eggs.

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    Deep-fried Camembert

    Camembert
    Oil for Deep Frying
    Bread crumbs
    Flour
    Egg
    Cayenne Pepper

    Freeze cheese for 1 hour. Add pinch of cayenne pepper to flour. Heat oil so cube of bread turns golden in about 60 seconds (about 350F, 180C). Cut cheese into bite sized cubes. Roll cheese cubes in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs
    Deep fry for 30-40 seconds then remove and drain on absorbent paper. Serve immediately as an appetizer with any sauce. Fruit sauce works well.

    Note:
    Cheese must be very cold, and well coated with bread crumbs, or else it will fall apart.


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    Fried Squid

    Vegetable oil for deep frying
    4 lbs (1800 g) small squid, cleaned and cut into inch (1 cm) thick rings
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1 cup (250 ml) flour
    3 lemons, cut lengthwise into wedges

    In a heavy 10 to 12 inch (25 to 30 cm) skillet, heat 1 to 2 inches (2 to 5 cm) of oil until hot but not smoking, or until it reaches a temperature of 375F (190C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Wash the squid under cold running water and pat them completely dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the squid liberally with salt and pepper. Pour the flour into a shallow bowl (a pie plate is perfect) and drop the squid into the flour, a small handful at a time. Toss to coat thoroughly and shake the squid in a small sieve held over the flour to remove the excess. Drop the squid into the hot oil (CAREFULLY) and fry for about 2 minutes, until they turn a light golden brown. As each batch is done, transfer them with a slotted spoon to a baking sheet covered with two or three layers of paper towels, and keep warm in a preheated 200F (90C) oven while you fry the remaining batches. Mound the squid on a heated platter and garnish with the lemon wedges.
    Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer, 4 to 6 as a main dish.

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    Chevre-Stuffed Artichokes

    12 frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
    4 Tbs (60 ml) chicken stock
    2 Tbs (30 ml) red wine vinegar
    1 Tbs (15 ml) lemon juice
    A few sprigs of fresh thyme, or tsp (1 ml) dried thyme
    tsp (1 ml) dried tarragon
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    2 oz (60 g) chevre (goat cheese)
    2 Tbs (30 ml) skim milk
    1 Tbs (15 ml) butter or margarine
    1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
    2 Tbs (30 ml) dried bread crumbs

    Mix together the chicken stock, vinegar, lemon juice, thyme, tarragon, and pepper in a bowl. Add the thawed artichoke hearts and toss to combine. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Drain the hearts and discard the marinade. Mix the goat cheese with the milk until smooth and creamy. Pipe the mixture onto the artichoke hearts with a pastry bag, or spoon it on using a small spoon. Melt the butter or margarine in a small skillet and saute the garlic over low heat for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and stir until lightly browned. Place the artichokes on a lightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the tops. Bake in a 350F (180C) oven for 10 minutes, until heated through.
    Serves 4 to 6.

    Appetizer Index




    Scallops in Champagne Sauce

    2 lbs (900 g) scallops
    2 cups Champagne ("Brut", or "Extra Dry") or dry white wine
    2 Tbs (30 ml) shallots, finely chopped
    4 Tbs (60 ml) low-fat or non-fat sour cream
    2 Tbs (30 ml) flour
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    4 Tbs (60 ml) dry bread crumbs

    Combine the Champagne and the shallots in a large saucepan (large enough to hold the scallops) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the amount of liquid is reduced by half. Add the scallops and continue to cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until the contents of the pan almost reach a boil and the scallops have become firm and white. The scallops should be under-done at this point. Remove the scallops with a slotted spoon and place in an oven proof gratin dish, quiche pan, or other shallow container. Thoroughly mix the flour with the sour cream and add to the liquid remaining in the pan, stirring to combine thoroughly. Bring the liquid to a boil and continue to boil over high heat until it is the consistency of heavy cream. This may take from 2 to 5 minutes, depending on how much liquid the scallops gave up. Spoon the liquid over the scallops, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and place under a pre-heated broiler until the bread crumbs have browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
    Serves 4 to 6, or 8 as an appetizer.

    Appetizer Index




    Norma's Olive Spread

    2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    cup (125 ml) green olives, pitted (no pimientos)
    cup (125 ml) black olives, pitted (Greek Kalamata or oil-cured, not those awful things in a can)
    cup (60 ml) capers
    8 oz (225 g) cream cheese
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil

    Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a blender or food processor. With the motor running add the olive oil slowly in a thin stream and process until pureed. Refrigerate or serve at room temperature with crackers, raw vegetables, or large croutons.
    Makes about 2 cups.

    Appetizer Index




    Surullitos (Cheese Corn Sticks)

    3 cups (750 ml) water
    2 tsp (10 ml) salt
    1+ cups (375 ml) yellow cornmeal
    1 cup (250 ml) freshly grated, good quality Edam, Gouda, or Cheddar cheese
    tsp (1 ml) cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
    1+ cup (375 ml) vegetable oil for frying

    Combine the water and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cornmeal in a slow, constant stream, stirring constantly, and making sure the water does not stop boiling. Continue to cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese and optional cayenne pepper. Cool to room temperature. Roll 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the mixture into cylinders about 3 inches long and 1 inch thick (7.5 cm x 2.5 cm). Moistening your hands with water will help prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers. The surullitos may be kept refrigerated at this point, covered with plastic wrap or wax paper, for a day or two. When you are ready to fry the surullitos, heat the oil in a heavy skillet over high heat until the surface of the oil begins to shimmer (approx 350F, 180C). Fry the surullitos 4 or 5 at a time for about 5 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. You may keep the surullitos warm by placing them on paper towels in a baking dish in an oven set on its lowest setting. Serve hot or at room temperature.
    Makes about 20 to 24 sticks.

    Appetizer Index




    Herring Salad

    1 cup (250 ml) marinated herring in wine sauce
    1 cup (250 ml) potatoes -- cooked and cubed
    1 cup (250 ml) beets, canned - chopped
    cup (125 ml) dill pickles - chopped
    cup (125 ml) Spanish onions - chopped
    1 small apple, peeled and chopped

    For the Cream dressing:
    1 cup (250 ml) half and half cream - 35%
    1 Tbs (15 ml) white vinegar
    1 tsp (5 ml) prepared mustard
    tsp (2 ml) dill weed
    tsp (1 ml) salt
    tsp (1 ml) pepper
    For Garnish:
    Hard cooked eggs (optional)
    Lettuce leaves

    Mix dressing ingredients then add in all others. Line each serving dish with lettuce leaves. Top salad with eggs if desired. Serves 8.

    Appetizer Index




    Cheese Stuffed Mushroom Caps

    1 cup (250 ml) ricotta cheese
    cup (60 ml) finely chopped parsley
    lb (100 g) prosciutto (thinly sliced Italian cured ham), finely chopped
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1 Tbs (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
    4 Tbs (60 ml) olive oil
    18 medium-sized mushroom caps
    2 oz (50 g) mozzarella cheese, cut into in (5 mm) pieces

    In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta, parsley, prosciutto, salt, pepper, and the lemon juice and mix until thoroughly combined. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat and fry the mushroom caps for about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Remove from the heat. Fill the mushroom caps with the ricotta mixture and top each with some of the mozzarella pieces. Arrange in a shallow baking dish and bake in the center of a 400F (200C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the filling begins to bubble. Brown the tops under a hot broiler for about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.
    Serves 4 to 6

    Appetizer Index




    Ceviche

    1 cup (250 ml) fresh lime juice
    1 cup (250 ml) fresh lemon juice
    1 Tbs (15 ml) hot pepper flakes (or to taste. I like it spicy) or hot rec chili peppers, finely chopped
    2 red onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
    1 clove garlic, chopped very fine
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1 lb (450 g) grey sole fillets cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces (or substitute any other firm, white, mild flavored fish)
    1 lb (450 g) scallops
    cup (125 ml) parsley or cilantro, coarsely chopped
    Lettuce leaves for garnish

    Combine all the ingredients in a glass or ceramic dish or bowl. Metal may affect the flavor of the dish. If the marinade does not cover the fish, add more lime or lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate the dish for 3 hours, or until the fish is white and opaque, indicating that it has been "cooked" by the acidity of the marinade. Serve individual portions on a bed of lettuce. Although this is not traditionally done, it may be served with crackers or thin slices of French bread.
    Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

    Appetizer Index




    Spinach Dip with Artichokes

    1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked
    cup fresh dill, finely chopped
    1 bunch scallion, chopped
    1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
    1 cup mayonnaise
    2 Tbls sour cream
    2 Tbls capers

    Drain spinach thoroughly and mix with the other ingredients. Serve with raw or slightly blanched cut vegetables.



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