Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Makes 20 – 24

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Whipped cream and raspberry jam for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 200°F.  Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, peanut butter, egg and vanilla.  Lightly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; the batter will be fairly thick. 
  2. Pour enough oil into a small, deep saucepan to reach a depth of 1 1/2 inches and heat over medium-high heat until the oil registers 310° on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. 
  3. Working in 3 or 4 batches, drop the batter by rounded tsp into the hot oil and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. 
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to paper towels to drain.  Keep the fritters in the oven as you continue frying.  Serve hot wil the whipped cream and jam. 

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Makes 4 servings

  • 4 zucchini (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 jar (12 oz) roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • Hot pepper sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.  Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and set aside.  Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the zucchini into a large colander.  Toss with 1/2 tsp salt and let stand for 10 minutes.  Place the colander in the sink and press the zucchini firmly with paper towels to remove all excess moisture. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tps pepper until light and frothy.  Using a whisk, stir in the zucchini, then the flour. 
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.  Working in 3 batches, drop in th efritter batter by rounded tbsp, gently flattening the back of the spoon, and cook, turning once, until the fritters are browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking the remaining batches; add more olive oil to the skillet as needed. 
  4. Using a food processor, puree the red peppers with the garlic, the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and hot pepper sauce to taste.  Serve the dip with the warm fritters.

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Makes 8 servings

  • 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, shells and tails on
  1. Place shallots, ginger, garlic, soy, lime juice, and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the green onion and oil and blend until combined. Season with black pepper, to taste. Place shrimp in a large bowl, pour the marinade over, and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat a grill to high. Remove shrimp from the marinade and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Serve on brown paper bags, if desired.

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Rich Chocolate Fondue

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  1. In a small saucepan, warm cream over low heat.  Add in chocolate chips, and stir constantly until completely melted and smooth. 
  2. Pour into a fondue pot or heavy serving dish and serve immediately. 

What to dip: Crispy cookies or biscotti, fresh fruits such as bananas, berries or pineapples, marshmallows

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  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small pot, sauté bacon over medium heat until it turns brown and the fat turns to liquid.  Spoon out a few tsp of bacon fat, leaving about 2 tbsp in the pot. 
  2. Add chopped onions and cook it, stirring often, until it’s soft and see-through, about five minutes.  Turn heat down to low, add flour, and slowly stir in milk.  Stir until mixture thickens slighly, about one minute.  Add cheese, and mix well until it melts completely and there are no lumps. 
  3. Season with salt and pepper.  Pour into a fondue pot or heavy serving dish and serve immediately.

What to dip: Baked french frieds or potato wedges, vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower or celery, tortilla or pita chips

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  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 lb Swiss cheese, sliced
  • 5 grinds fresh black pepper
  • 1 pinch of salt
  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add garlic and cook until it gets fragrant and slightly soft, about one minute.  Add tomato paste and stir well.  Cook mixture for two minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add flour and stir mixture until it forms a paste.  Add in chopped tomatoes and stir in milk.  Turn up the heat to medium and cook mixture until it gets thick, about three minutes, stirring constantly. 
  3. Add cheese and stir until melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour into a fondue pot or heavy serving dish and serve immediately. 

What to dip: Crusty Italian bread, vegetables like raw carrot sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, or celery, breadsticks or crackers

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Makes 6 servings, 1 steak piece each

  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 boneless beef sirloin steak (1 1/2lb), 3/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup steak sauce
  1. Spread garlic onto both sides of steak, pressing firmly into steak.  Place in shallow glass dish or resealable plastic bag. 
  2. Pour steak sauce evenly over steak; turn to evenly coat both sides of steak.  Cover dish or seal bag.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour to marinate.  Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. 
  3. Preheat grill to medium heat.  Grill steak 5-7 minutes on each side for medium doneness (160°F).  Cut into 6 pieces to serve.

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Makes 36 servings

  • 1 container (8 oz) cream cheese spread, divided
  • 1 container (7 oz) basil pesto sauce
  • 1 container (16 oz) sour cream, divided
  • 1 jar (12 oz) roasted red peppers, drained, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • crackers
  1. Remove half of the cream cheese spread; place in medium bowl.  Add pesto; mix until well blended.  Stir in half of the sour cream.  Place remaining cream cheese spread in separate medium bowl.  Add peppers; mix well.  Stir in remaining sour cream.  Cover both bowls. 
  2. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. 
  3. Spoon dips alternately into 1 serving bowl.  Swirl with knife to marbleize, if desired.  Serve with the crackers. 

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Makes 16 servings

  • 1 pkg l lb 7 oz thin crispy crust four cheese pizza crust
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Brush edges of pizza crust lightly with oil.  Drizzle remaining oil evenly over pizza. 
  2. Mix 3 tbsp of the Parmesan cheese and the pepper; sprinkle evenly over pizza.  Place pizza directly on center oven rack. 
  3. Bake 20 – 22 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Cut pizza into quarters; cut each quarter into 8 thin sticks.  Serve as dippers with salsa, pizza sauce or marinara sauce if desired. 

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Makes 3 cups

  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
  • 1 cup Italian style cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  1. Beat cream cheese, mayo and half the onions in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add spinach; mix until just blended. 
  2. Stir in cheese crumbles and peppers; cover. 
  3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Sprinkle with remaining onions just before serving. 

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