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Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Shrimp And Lime Cocktail

Guess what time it is? It’s Secret Recipe time!

This months assignment for the Secret Recipe Club was for me to go sneak around A Spoonful of Thyme’s food blog. The site belongs to Kate who is a seasoned traveler (I’m a little jealous here) and her lovely food blog is filled with many, many delicious savory and sweet recipes. Usually I am tempted to go for the sweet recipes but Kate has numerous wonderful shrimp dishes and shrimp is what was on my mind that particular day. And so I pondered for a while over the shrimp dishes and finally settled on this Shrimp and Lime Cocktail.

This shrimp cocktail is a zesty little dish and it’s quick and very easy to prepare. The combination of the tangy lime, sweet ketchup with a little heat from the hot sauce is delicious. The only thing I did differently was to serve it on a bed of baby spinach or even better you could also use finely shredded lettuce. Thanks Kate for sharing your wonderful recipe with all of us ūüôā

Ingredients:

1 lb large peeled and deveined shrimp

1 teaspoon grated lime peel

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup ketchup

a dash of hot sauce (optional)

baby spinach or shredded lettuce

Directions:

Cook peeled and deveined shrimp for 3 minutes or until pink, careful not to over-cook. Place in refrigerator to cool.

Using a microplane, grate the green outer layer of the lime and place in a small bowl. Juice the lime and pour juice over the grated peel. Add wine, ketchup and hot sauce (if desired) to lime juice/peel, stir to combine. Pour liquid over shrimp and stir to cover shrimp. Place shrimp back into refrigerator and marinate for at least 3-4 hours, preferably overnight. Serve shrimp cold on a bed of baby spinach or shredded lettuce. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from A Spoonful of Thyme

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Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Quisadilla

I love a really good Chicken Quisadilla¬†and when you make them yourself at home, your completely in charge of the outcome. I don’t particularly¬†like a lot of cheese on my food and when¬†asking for light cheese¬†in a restaurant, it still comes loaded on.¬†In this write-up I have not written any amounts, simply just make it to your own liking.

Makes 1 Quisadilla

Ingredients:

2 flour tortillas (6 inch)

russian dressing for spreading

cooked chicken, sliced

Cabot extra sharp cheese

feta cheese

roasted red pepper, diced

fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Preheat pan or grill to medium heat. Spread russian dressing on one side of each of the two tortillas. Top first tortilla with chicken, Cabot and feta cheese, red pepper and cilantro. Top off with second tortilla. Place on grill or pan, cook until cheese is melted. Flip over and continue cooking until light browned. Remove from heat and cut into quarters. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Spicy Sausage Dip

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are coming up and there will be parties, family gatherings and potluck’s at work, so we need something that’s delicious of course,¬†quick and¬†easy to prepare such as a little side dish, snack or appetizer if you will.

This Spicy Sausage Dip is simply excellent! It is so easy and quick to make, perfect for potlucks or other gatherings and it always gets great reviews. I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese and it does not change the flavor of the recipe. The canned tomatoes with chilies that I use is the Rotal Original which is plenty spicy for me. ūüôā¬†I think you will really enjoy this Spicy Sausage Dip.

Spicy Sausage Dip

Ingredients:

16 oz package spicy sausage

two 10 oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

12 oz cream cheese, 1/3 less fat – optional

Hot sauce, optional

Directions:

In a large pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until just starting to brown. Drain off excess fat. Reduce heat to medium and mix in canned tomatoes and cream cheese. Continue to heat stirring frequently until cream cheese has completely melted down and throughly warmed through with other ingredients. Add hot sauce if desired. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats

Candle holder is handmade by blacksmith Joseph Gentile at jganvil.com

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Shrimp and Feta Cheese Quiche

This recipe is from an old Everyday magazine. I had made this quiche¬†a couple of times and my guests always loved it. It’s the kind of quiche that dissappears from the pie dish in no time at all. Then I lost the magazine¬†and I tried to recreate it from memory but something was missing. I looked everywhere for that magazine, or so I thought, until one day recently I was cleaning out a closet and found a stack of old food magazines. What a find! To me¬†old food magazines are like new food magazines and so I started reading them again and sure enough I found the long lost Shrimp and Fata Cheese Quiche recipe. I absolutely have to share this recipe with you because I know that you’ll love it. The feta cheese gives the quiche a wonderful slight tartness and the combination of shrimp, roasted red pepper and chives is just fantastic. I hope you enjoy this quiche as much as I do. I wonder what else is in that closet?

Ingredients:

1 sheet store-bought refrigerated pie dough, at room temperature

1 tbsp unsalted butter

8 oz large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 extra large eggs

1/2 cup half-and-half 

1 tbsp minced chives

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup jarred roasted red pepper, diced

3 oz crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Press the dough into a 9 inch pie or tart dish. Pierce the bottom of dough with a fork. Place tart dish on a baking sheet and line inside of pie dough with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and weights and reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Continue to bake dough until golden, about 12 minutes. Let tart shell cool on a wire rack.

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add shrimp to pan and cook for 2 minutes just until opaque, flipping shrimp half-way through. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, chives, salt and pepper. Arrange the shrimp, red pepper and feta cheese in pie shell and cover with the egg mixture.

Bake quiche in the 375 degrees oven for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of the pie comes out clean. Cool quiche for 10 minutes and serve. Enjoy.

Shrimp and Feta Cheese Quiche

Source: slightly adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

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Kaja's Corn Salad

My Danish friend Kaja served this wonderful salad for our last get-together, which she in turn got from my other Danish friend Henriette. It is simple, refreshing and good for you. Kaja served it with walnuts which was very delicious but my favorite kinda nut is pine nuts and so I choose pine for this presentation. The raspberry walnut vinaigrette adds a perfect finishing touch.  I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do.

Kaja's Corn Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 cup cucumber, diced

3/4 cup dried cranberries

Pine Nuts for topping

Ken’s Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette

Directions:

Dice red bell pepper and cucumber to size of corn kernels. Mix together corn, peas, bell pepper, cucumber and cranberries. Drizzle with Raspberry vinaigrette and top with pine nuts. Enjoy!

Source: slightly adapted from Kaja Mosley

Salad in the making

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Pasta Salad with sun-dried tomatoes

I was looking for a good Pasta Salad to serve for the “BurleyMen Club”¬†ūüôā aka Artist Blacksmith Group of Tidewater for their monthly meeting held at Gentile Forge. I came across this Pasta Salad and thought it sounded super delicious. Sun-dried¬†tomatoes and Kalamate¬†olives, what a winning combination. And it was delicious!….but….I’m now thinking that it might have been the wrong type of food to serve for all those MEN. Don’t get me wrong, they liked it, but the wrong type of food nonetheless. The sun-dried tomatoes may have been too refined, too¬†delicate and too modern. This Pasta Salad would fit-in much better at my work with¬†all the GIRLS there.¬†I’ll try it out there for our next potluck.

Sun-dried Tomato Dressing

If your not able to find pitted olives use a Cherry Pitter, it works great. 

Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

Dressing:

7 oz Sun-dried Tomatoes in oil, drained

2 small or 1 large Garlic Clove

3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Salad:

8 oz Spiral Pasta

20 Kalamata Olives (a good handful), sliced or chopped

1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, cut in halves

10 Basil leaves, julienned

1 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Directions:

In a food processor combine sun-dried tomatoes (drained), garlic, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Start the food processor and add the olive oil in a steady stream. Continue blending until a homogeneous mass. Store in an airtight container for 1-3 hours or preferably until the following day to allow flavors to marry. Note: this dressing recipe makes enough for 2 pasta salads.

Cook pasta in salted water until desired consistency, rinse under cold running water and drain. Add about 1/4 of dressing to pasta and stir. Add cherry tomatoes, olives, Basil and about 2/3 cup Parmesan, stir gently. Continue to add more dressing and Parmesan cheese to your liking. Note: reserve a small amount of Parmesan for topping. Enjoy.

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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Crab Cake Sliders

Sliders seem to be¬†a very¬†popular item¬†on todays restaurant menus. They are¬†often¬†served as an appetizer but can certainly go over for lunch¬†or as a light dinner. These fashionable little mini foods¬†can be made¬†with a variety of ingredients¬†like oysters, pulled pork, burgers of all¬†kinds, as a sandwich or with¬†meatballs and….drumroll please….as mini crab cakes.¬†I had been craving these little guys for a while and when Joe suggested we get some seafood from our local market I knew just what it was going to be. Let me tell you, these crab cake sliders are really delicious and if you make the sauce ahead of time the flavors¬†in the sauce intensifies very nicely.

Ingredients:

Crab Cakes:

1 lb crab meat

7 saltine crackers, crumbled

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp gray poupon mustard

1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp old bay

1/2 tsp salt

oil for frying

Horseradish Tartar Sauce:

3 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp sweet relish

1/4 – 1/2 tsp horseradish (depending on your taste)

King’s Hawaiian rolls

Directions:

Start by making Tartar Horseradish Sauce by mixing together mayonnaise, relish and horseradish in a small dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Beat egg, set aside.Crumble saltine crackers, set aside. Using your clean hands, gently inspect crab meat for shells and place in a bowl. Add egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, old bay, salt and crackers. Gently mix all ingredients together and form into small 2 inch patties.

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Add oil to pan and heat to medium high heat. Brown patties on both sides, remove from pan and place on baking sheet lined with foil. Finish cooking in oven or toaster oven for 10 minutes. Add rolls to oven the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time to heat through.

Assemble crab cakes on rolls with dressing. Enjoy

Crab meat patties ready for cooking

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

If you¬†read my blog on a regular basis¬†you’ll know that I am a bit of a tomato freak. So it makes sense that tomato soup is one of my favorite types of soup. In my humble opinion, there is nothing¬†more soothing¬†than a bowl of warm and slightly peppery tomato soup served with a slice of fresh bread. Yum!

This time I chose to make it a smooth textured soup but if you would like it a little more coarse, use canned diced tomatoes instead of whole canned tomatoes. And only blend the roasted tomato chunks and then pass them through a sieve. This will give you more chunks but without skin and seeds from the roasted tomatoes.

Also I should mention, that this recipe makes quite a few portions and if your family or friends are not too keen on tomato soup, no worry, because this soup freezes really well. I like to divide it into smaller serving sizes, freeze and defrost as needed for a quick-lunch. I hope you enjoy this wonderful Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.

Delicious roasted tomatoes

 Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients:

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)

5 garlic cloves, minced

a pinch red pepper flakes

1 (28 ounce) canned whole San Marzano tomatoes

4 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 quart chicken stock

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut tomatoes into halves. Toss together tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread tomatoes out onto a foil covered baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, saute onions, garlic and red pepper flakes with 2 tablespoon olive oil until onions start to brown. Place the roasted tomatoes and canned tomatoes in a blender, food mill or a food processor and blend until smooth. Press tomatoes through a sieve to remove skin and seeds, make sure to scrape all the thick good stuff off the bottom of the sieve.  Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, chicken stock and juices from baking sheet to the skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Tomato and Basil, a match made in heaven

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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Blinis

Blinis with Salmon and Caviar

This post is not a recipe but rather a collection of ingredients which make up a delicious little appetizer. I first had this at my Danish friend Tina’s¬†house and I was immediately hooked. It consist of these wonderful mini pancakes called Blinis¬†which are Russian in origin and traditionally made of buckwheat flour and yeast. However, the ones I got a hold of was actually French Blinis¬†which have no¬†buckwheat flour in them. I choose to serve the Blinis at room temperature but you can warm them up a little if you so choose. Then add the following toppings of your choice; slice of smoked Salmon, sliced hard-boiled egg, dollop of sour cream and top off with caviar. I just love the rude popping sensation against the roof of¬†my mouth from the caviar, delicious!

Blini topping ideas:

Salmon, hard-boiled egg, sour cream and caviar

Chopped strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegar

Brie and fruit preserves

Chopped, cooked fresh apples with cinnamon

Creme Fraiche, minced red onion, smoked salmon and dill

Blini with Sour Cream and Caviar

Blini with Salmon, Sour Cream and Caviar

Source: my Danish friend Tina

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Hummus With Roasted Red Bell Pepper

Hummus With Roasted Red Bell Pepper

My first encounter with Hummus was when I watched the movie War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning. Tom Cruise picks up a wedge of pita and dips it into the Hummus, starts to eat it and then puts on an expression of disgust and horrid.¬† The conversation goes something like this:¬†Tom –¬†“What is that?” and Dakota Fanning replies¬†– “Hummus”, ¬†Tom – “Hummus?”, Dakota – “from the health food place, you said to order”, Tom – “I meant order¬†food“.

And so I kept wondering what this horrible Hummus could have been, it evidently was healthy and so it probably was terrible. Then one day I¬†noticed it at the grocery store and it didn’t look so horrible, actually it looked kinda good. I got some and tasted it and guess what….Tom Cruise was soooo wrong, Dakota Fanning was right on. I knew that little girl was so much wiser than her Dad.

Not only is Hummus delicious, it’s considered a¬†relatively¬†healthy food and as an added bonus it is super easy to make. Serve with Pita wedges, crackers, use¬†as a dip with veggies or as a sandwich spread. Here is my Hummus version made with Roasted Red Bell Pepper, give it a shot.¬†

Ingredients:

1 – 15.5 oz can Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas)

2 oz fire roasted red bell pepper

1 tablespoon oil from jar of fire roasted bell pepper

3 tablespoon Tahini (Sesame paste)

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon olive oil

2/3 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup water

Directions:

Rinse off Garbanzo beans. In a blender or food processor puree all ingredients except water. Gradually add the water. Puree until desired consistency. Enjoy!

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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