Appetizers Tips

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Appetizer recipe

Cream Cheese & Sundried Tomato Triangles

Sun Dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Phyllo Appetizers

4 ounces goat cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sundried tomato pesto
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 package phyllo dough
butter, melted

Mix together all ingredients except phyllo until combined.

Butter a sheet of phyllo dough, cover with second sheet.
Cut phyllo into 4 equal strips with a sharp knife.

Place a teaspoonful of filling on the bottom corner of the strip, and fold flag style to form a sealed triangle.

Repeat until all filling is used; makes about 40 triangles.

   
How do I make a large quantity of canapes?

Savory Mini Quiches

Savoury Mini Quiches

36 tart shells
3 eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon dried onions, minced
1/2 pound sausage, cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
paprika, for garnish

In a medium fry pan saute crumbled sausage. Drain and set aside.

In small bowl beat eggs and whipping cream. Sprinkle some sausage and cheese into bottom of each tart shell. (Note: you can use all jack cheese, or cheddar cheese, or a combination of both.) Sprinkle a few dried minced onions over sausage and cheese.

Pour egg and cream mixture over all, filling just to the top of each cup. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Mini Quiches are done when knife inserted in center comes out clean.

   
Appetizer recipe

Phyllo Cheese Triangles

Phyllo Cheese Triangles

1 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound phyllo dough
2 cups butter, melted

Combine feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, oregano, and olive oil. Mix well and set aside.

Lay one phyllo sheet on a flat surface. Brush with melted butter. Cover with second phyllo sheet. Brush with butter. Repeat with one more sheet.

Cut the three phyllo sheets lengthwise in equal size strips about 2 1/2 inches wide. Place heaping teaspoon of filling at bottom of each strip.

Fold flag fashion, folding phyllo over filling. Continue to fold strip, maintaining triangular shape. Brush top with melted butter or margarine. Place on lightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets and filling Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

   
How do I make a dip?

Creamy Curry Dip

This exotic tasting dip takes just 5 minutes to prepare and can be made ahead. Perfect for the busy hostess!

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill a minimum of 8 hours to blend flavors. Serve with assorted raw vegetables.

Yields: 1-1/4 cups

   
How do I prepare canapes?

BLT Bites

Okay, not quite BLT, but these taste delicious, are easy to make and can be done a day ahead.

2 pounds bacon
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
24 whole cherry tomatoes

Dice bacon. Fry until crisp. Drain and cool on paper towels.

In a medium bowl, mix bacon, green onion tops and mayonnaise.

Remove stems from tomatoes. Place tomatoes stem-side down on cutting board. Cut a thin slice off tops.

With a small spoon, scoop out pulp. Invert tomatoes on paper towels to drain. Fill tomatoes with bacon mixture. Refrigerate several hours or overnight for best flavor.

   
How do I make spinach quiche?

Savoury Spinach Mini Quiche

These quiche go together in a snap, taste great and can be made ahead.
They're a popular item at parties, so make extra!

To freeze, place on rack to cool. Place on cookie sheet and flash freeze.
When frozen lay quiche in freezer bags and stack in freezer.

To serve, heat frozen quiche 5-8 minutes in 325 degree oven and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

For best results, use the smallest tart shell you can find.
I prefer the Tenderflake Mini Tart shells.

Mini Quiche: Spinach & Onion (36)

36 tart shells
3 eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons shallots, minced
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup swiss cheese, grated
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika, for sprinkling
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium fry pan saute shallots and spinach until water is evaporated and shallots are slightly cooked.

In small bowl beat eggs and whipping cream. Sprinkle some spinach and cheese into bottom of each tart shell.

Pour egg and cream mixture over all, filling just to the top of each cup. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Mini Quiches are done when knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Yield:
"36 pieces"

   
How do I bake puff pastry?

Blue Cheese Straws

Blue Cheese and Parmesan Cheese Straws

1 large egg
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup finely crumbled blue cheese
1 pound frozen puff pastry -- thawed
paprika

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and water to make an egg wash; set aside.

In another bowl, toss together the Parmesan and blue cheeses; set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each puff pastry sheet into a 14-by-10-inch rectangle.

Brush both of the pastry sheets to the edges with the egg wash and sprinkle with paprika. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over one of the pastry sheets and top with the other pastry sheet, egg wash side down. Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin to flatten slightly.

Cut the pastry in half horizontally with a sharp knife and then lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Carefully pick up a stick and, with both hands, twist to form a spiral (left hand counter-clockwise, right hand clockwise).

Arange cheese straws about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets, pressing ends onto the sheets. Bake until golden and puffed, about 12-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool before serving

Yield: 56 pieces
NOTES : Cheese straws can be made ahead and frozen until ready to use or baked up to two days ahead and kept in an airtight container. To recrisp them, place in a 400-degree oven until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.

   
Appetizer recipe

Garden Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are a popular item at any cocktail party.

1/2 cup dried stuffing mix
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1 pinch pepper
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
16 mushrooms, about 2 inches, stems removed

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In small bowl, stir all the ingredients together except mushrooms. Stuff
each mushroom cap with 1 tablespoon filling. Place in buttered 13x9-inch baking
pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

   
How do I make a dip?

Spicy Ranch Dip

This spiced up dip is excellent with crispy baked chicken wings or vegetable crudite.

1 cup ranch salad dressing
4 ounces chopped green chiles -- drained
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 Tablespoon Tabasco sauce -- (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or bottle. Mix or shake well to combine.

Let sit at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

   
How do I use phyllo dough?

6 Steps to sensational phyllo

** Make sure to completely thaw frozen phyllo dough before beginning to use it. It`s best to do this in the fridge overnight.

**Fillings need to be made ahead of time and completely cooled before you begin to fill the phyllo.

**Melt butter in the microwave and let cool. Milk solids that go to the bottom of the bowl are watery and should not be used.

**To keep phyllo from drying out while working with it, cover it with a clean, very very slightly damp kitchen towel.

**Brush the tops of the finished pastries with butter or cooking spray.

** If you're making the pastries/appetizers ahead and want to freeze them, place on parchment covered cookie sheets, flash freeze and then store in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

   
How do I cook Escargots?

Escargots Bourguignonne

This is not low fat, and it won't be any good if you try to adjust it. You must use real butter and lots of it! Good French Bread for dipping in the garlic butter is a must!

2 pounds butter
8 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
48 snails, with shells
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 ounces chicken broth
1/4 cup Madeira
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place butter in sauté pan and cook until it begins to turn brown. Add chopped garlic and sauté until light brown. Add snails and sauté for approximately 1 minute. Add parsley, chicken broth, Madeira, and salt. Cook until liquid is reduced to about one-quarter.

Place a little of the sauce in each shell, then add a snail. Reserve the remaining sauce. Place in a 425-degree oven long enough to get very hot. Pour reserved sauce over snails and serve.

   
How do I use phyllo dough?

Mushroom & Red Pepper Bites

Fresh mushrooms team up with roasted red pepper and rich cream cheese in these gourmet baked phyllo bites.

24 button mushrooms, stems removed
1 Oz pimentos, cut into 24 pieces
3 Oz cream cheese
24 tiny sprigs thyme
4 Sheets phyllo pastry
1 Small egg beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill mushrooms with pimento and cream cheese, top with thyme.
Cut pastry sheets into 48 squares. Brush with egg, stick sheets in pairs to create star shapes. Sit a mushroom in each, bring up sides of pastry and pinch in the center.

Bake for 3-5 mins, until pastry is crisp and just golden. Serve.

   
What appetizers can I make ahead?

Blue Cheese & Vegetable Turnovers

2 tablespoons oil
1 pound fresh mushrooms -- finely chopped
1 medium onion -- diced
5 cloves garlic -- minced
2 leeks -- thinly sliced
1 large sweet red pepper -- julienned
1 teaspoon dried dill -- plus more for garnish
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces blue cheese -- crumbled
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 pound phyllo dough -- thawed
1/2 cup butter -- melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Saute the mushrooms,onion, garlic, leeks, red pepper,
and dill until the vegetables are tender and the liquid
has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the salt,
cheese, and bread crumbs.

Lay out the sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface, and brush it with melted butter. Fold it in -- into thirds -- lengthwise.
Cut the dough in half, forming two rectangles.

Take each rectangle and fold as you would a box top, first one side towards center, then the other,
ending up with one long strip. Then cut short way, down center
to form strips.

Put 1 rounded tablespoon of filling in the bottom
left-hand corner of one of the phyllo strips. Fold the corner up to form a triangle, and continue to fold until the edges are closed (four times). Place the finished triangles on two baking sheets.

Repeat until you have used all the filling.

Brush the triangles with the remaining melted butter,
and sprinkle with dried dill.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp and browned on
the edges. Serve hot.

   
How do I bake puff pastry?

Basil Mushrooms Puff Cups

Make these easy and impressive appetizers in the summer months when fresh basil is at its best.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry sheets
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups mushrooms, cut in quarters
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.

In medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter.

Add mushrooms, onion and garlic and cook until liquid evaporates, stirring often. Remove from heat.

Stir in cheese and basil.

Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 15-by 12-inch rectangle. Cut into 20 (3-inch) squares.

Press squares into bottoms of 1 1/2-inch mini muffin-pan cups. Place about 1 tablespoon filling in center of each.

Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Garnish with additional fresh basil.

Makes 20 appetizers.

   
How do I make a dip?

Dilly Dip

Dilly Dip is easy to prepare and goes well with all vegetables on a crudite platter. This recipe yields 1 1/2 cups.

1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Dilly Dressing mix
1/2 cup mayonnaise

In a small glass mixing bowl, whisk together the sour
cream and mayonnaise.
Fold in the Dilled Dressing mix and whisk until the
mixture is combined.
Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving

   
Appetizer recipe

Mediterranean Bruschetta

Mediterranean seasonings are added to this traditional tomato based bruschetta for an exotic twist.

2 large tomatoes -- chopped
2 whole green onions -- chopped
1/2 cup greek salad dressing
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon fresh chives
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
1 Tablespoon fresh marjoram
1 whole baguette -- halved lengthwise

In a bowl combine tomatoes, green onions, dressing, and minced herbs. Mix well.

Place bread on a baking sheet, cut side up. Toast under pre-heated broiler.

Spread tomato mixture over toasted bread and broil 3-5 minutes or until heated through.

Cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces and serve.

   
Appetizer recipe

Seafood Pate

This recipe make a large quantity, which is good as it's simply a delicious seafood pate. Don't worry that it appears to liquid at first, the gelatin from the fish will set it once it's refrigerator.

1 pound white fish
6 tablespoons butter
6 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pound raw shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1/2 pound scallops
2 Tablespoons cognac
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Remove any skin from the fish and pull out any bones; cut fish into chunks and set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add green onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, fish, shrimp and scallops, cook stirring often until shrimp are pink and fish flakes. Remove from heat.

Warm the cognac or brandy in a small saucepan, ignite and pour over fish mixture and let flames die down.

Stir in cream, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne and salt. Pour cooled seafood mixture into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Pour mixture into 1 large or several small serving dishes, cover and refrigerate until firm. Decorate with lemon slices, dill sprigs and small cooked shrimp if desired.

   
How do I bake frozen appetizers?

Bake from frozen

Appetizers with a filling on the inside and a pastry on the outside are best cooked from their frozen state.

If allowed to fully thaw, the dough becomes soggy and will not crisp up properly when cooked.

To avoid over cooking, remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before baking and bake at 25 degrees less than
the recipe calls for.

   
How do I make a spicy dip?

Dip with a Kick!

This dip has a definite "kick" and goes well with a Mexican or Tex Mex party theme.

Chili Con Queso

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely minced
2 tomatoes, seeded peeled & chopped
8 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno's, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions:

1.Melt butter in a skillet and cook the onion until soft.
2.Add the tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat until sauce is thick.
3.Add the cream cheese,cream and jalapeno peppers. Stir over low heat until cheese has melted completely; do not boil. Season with salt.
4.Pour into serving dish and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

   
Appetizer recipe

Indian Spiced Turnovers

Try these flavorful, gently spiced turnovers
next time you want something a little exotic.

These are especially nice as they are suitable for
vegetarians.

2 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
16 ounces plain yogurt
2 1/2 cups red potatoes, peeled & diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons gingerroot, minced
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons ground red pepper, adjust to taste
16 sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
vegetable cooking spray

Position knife blade in food processor bowl.
Drop garlic through chute with processor running; process 3 seconds or until garlic is minced.
Add 1 cup cilantro; process until finely chopped.
Add yogurt; process until smooth. Spoon mixture into a bowl; cover and chill.

Place potato in a medium saucepan; add water to cover.
Bring to a boil; cook 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add carrot, onion, and gingerroot; saute 5 minutes.
Add potato, peas, and next 7 ingredients; saute 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; set aside.

Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time, cut each sheet lengthwise into
2 (16" -by- 16") strips; lightly spray with cooking spray.

Fold each strip in half lengthwise. Spoon 2 tablespoons
potato mixture onto end of each strip and spread to within
1 inch of end.

Fold the left bottom corner over mixture, forming a triangle; keep folding back and forth into a
triangle to end of strip.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Place the turnovers, seam side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly spray tops of turnovers with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve with yogurt sauce.

   
How do I make Liptauer ?

Liptauer Cheese Spread Recipe

This flavorful spread is best made at least 24 hours in advance
in order for it to meld.


Liptauer Cheese Spread

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup salted butter
1 tbsp. onion, minced
1 tbsp. capers, drained
1 can anchovy fillets, drained & chopped
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. caraway seed
pumpernickel bread

1. In a blender or food processor combine cream cheese and butter.
Process 1-2 minutes until smooth.
2. Add onions, capers, and anchovies; process 10 seconds.
3. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in white pepper, mustard and caraway
seed.
4. Press into a crock or small dish, cover and store in refrigerator
just until serving time.
5. Let sit at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

   
Appetizer recipe

Chili Cheese Bread

You'll need to make a lot of these Chili Cheese Bread fingers as you won't be able to stop at just one!

3 cups grated Monterey jack cheese (cheddar or colby also work)
4 ounces chiles, chopped (canned or fresh)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 whole french bread loaf, unsliced
red chili pepper flakes, for garnish

Mix the cheese, peppers, and mayonnaise, blending well. Spread on the cut surface of the French bread, which has been sliced in half horizontally. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes until cheese is bubbling.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with red chili pepper flakes and cut into strips.

Serve hot.

   
What appetizers can I make ahead?

Broccoli & Cheese Rolls

1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Use as filling for phyllo appetizers: flags and rolls work well for this filling.

   
How do I make hummus?

Cumin Hummus

Cumin Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
3 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
salt, to taste

Using a food processor, puree the garbanzo beans. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Put in a serving dish and make a depression in the center. Pour olive oil into the depression.
Garnish with more cumin. This can be served cold or at room temperature with pita bread, corn chips or fresh vegetables.

   
Need a vegetarian appetizer

Babaganouj

The roasting of the eggplant and use of tahini makes this a very flavorful
babaganouj recipe.

It can be made ahead, but should be brought to room temperature before serving.

Serve with pita chips, sliced focaccia, or fresh vegetables.

1 medium eggplant
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
2/3 tablespoon salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Place eggplant on center shelf in hot oven. Cook until soft, turning often. Peel off skin while hot. Remove stem and end of eggplant, if firm.

Chop flesh. Put in blender or food processor. Puree. Blend in most of the lemon juice. Gradually add tahini.

Crush garlic into a paste with 1 teaspoon salt. Add to eggplant. Beat well. Adjust flavor with lemon juice and remaining salt. Beat in olive oil and parsley. If using food processor, put about 4 sprigs of parsley into container. Process until chopped, but still visible.

Place in shallow dish. Garnish with parsley. Serve with Arab bread as an appetizer.

   
How do I make Blue Cheese Dip?

Tarragon Blue Cheese Dip

A modern twist on an old classic, this dip is great with crudite or crispy chicken wings.

Tarragon Blue Cheese Dip

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces blue cheese -- crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well combined and cheese is no longer in lumps.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with chicken wings or veggies.

   
Appetizer recipe

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Simple and succulent, the combination of crab and parmesan is perfect.

1 cup crab meat
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
12 mushroom stems, chopped fine
12 large mushroom caps
1 egg, beaten
hot sauce, to taste

In a bowl, mix crab meat, bread crumbs, onions,
cheese, salt, parsley, and chopped mushroom stems.

Add beaten egg and hot sauce, to taste. Stuff mixture into mushroom caps.

Bake at 300 degrees until tender, 15 to 30 minutes.

Serve hot.

   
How do I soften cream cheese?

Softer Cream Cheese

When a dip recipe calls for softened cream cheese, buy whipped cream cheese instead of regular.

It's softer consistancy means you won't need to take the time to let it soften before adding it
to your other ingredients, and the resulting dip will be smooth and lump free.

   
How do I make a dip?

Roasted Garlic Dip

Roasted Garlic Dip

3 tablespoons chopped almonds
12 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 large shallots, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
milk, to thin

Instructions:

1.Toast almonds in a preheated 325 F oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven,
lower heat to 275.
2.In an ovenproof dish with a cover, place the oil, then the garlic cloves. Cover
and bake at 275 for 40 minutes, or until tender but not brown. Let garlic
cool.
3.Place garlic and oil in a blender or food processor. Whirl for a few seconds.
4.Add cream cheese, Worcestershire, mustard and sour cream. Blend well.
5.Add the parsley, almonds, rosemary, shallots and salt and pepper. Blend again.
Check consistency. If too thick, add a little milk and blend.
6.Scoop out into a serving bowl and chill at least 2 hours.

   
How do I make Ceviche?

Scallop Ceviche

An elegant cold appetizer featuring scallops and avocado with Mexican flavorings.

1/2 cup Fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons Peanut oil or vegetable oil
24 Green peppercorns, crushed
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound Sea or bay scallops, finely chopped
1 avocado, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
40 small White mushrooms
1/4 cup Vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons Fresh lemon juice
1 clove Garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional chives, optional

Combine the lime juice, oil, peppercorns, salt and pepper together in a glass or ceramic bowl. Stir in the scallops, cover and refrigerate for at east 4 hours while they marinate. They should become opaque in this time.

Mash the avocado until almost smooth, then add it along with the Chives or scallions to the marinating scallops (do not drain them) and mix well. Set aside for at least 1/2 hour, refrigerated. About half an hour before serving the scallops, remove the stems from the mushrooms and wipe them to remove any dirt.

Combine the vegetable oil, lemon juice, and garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and brush the insides of the mushrooms liberally with the mixture. Just before serving, drain the caps and fill with the scallop mixture. Garnish with additional chives, if desired.

   
How much dip do I need?

How much to make?

When preparing dip, you should plan on having 1 serving
per person, per hour of the cocktail party.

An average serving is 1 Tablespoon.

This is based on the standard 4-6 servings per person
per hour, and can be adjusted depending on the number of
items made.

   
How do I bake puff pastry?

Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato Mini Pizza

These upscale mini pizza's will add pizzazz to your next cocktail party.

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Mini Pizza

1 pound pkg. frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
5 ounces goat cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, (3/4 to 1)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil or fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the thawed pastry sheets on a clean, dry surface. Cut the pastry into as many rounds as possible with a
2-inch cookie cutter or the edge of a small drinking glass (it's important to cut the circles as close together as
possible; this dough doesn't re-roll well).

Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet.
Spread a small amount of tomato sauce on each round and sprinkle each with the remaining ingredients in order.
Bake for about 15 minutes until the dough is puffy and the toppings are slightly melted.

   
Appetizer recipe

Party Polenta

Warm cornmeal bites topped with basil butter make a wonderful finger food for any occasion.
They're cut into bite sized pieces so forks aren't necessary.

POLENTA
4 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
TOPPING
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 clove garlic -- thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon basil, fresh -- chopped (1 ts dried)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese -- grated

Lightly grease a 15 ½" x 10" jelly roll pan.

Bring water and salt to boil in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle in cornmeal, whisking to prevent lumps. Gently boil about 10 minutes, stirring often, until very thick (a spoon stands up in cornmeal), but still pourable.

Spread hot cornmeal evenly in pan with a rubber spatula. Chill at least 1 hour until firm.

Melt butter with garlic and basil.

Heat oven to 425°F. Invert cornmeal on work surface. Cut in 35 squares. Arrange half at a time on jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with Basil Butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until edges are crisp. Serve hot-–no forks necessary.

   
How do I prepare canapes?

Preparing Canapes for a party

When you're planning a party that requires a large quantity
of canapes, you'll need to follow these steps for the best
results with a minimum of fuss.

1. Cut all canape decorations, cover and set aside.

2. Prepare all salads, fillings or ingredients being
used for canapes, cover and refrigerate.

3. Trim crusts from bread, cut into shapes as desired.

4. Spread shaped breads with appropriate spread: butter,
mayonnaise, mustard, cream cheese etc.

5. Spread appropriate salad in a thin even layer on prepared
bread slices. Depending on shape, cut in half again if desired
and appropriate.

6. Top each canape with edible decoration and place on platter.

   
How do I serve dip for a party?

Pretty Pepper Container

Perk up your next party with this easy and elegant dip idea.

Take a whole bell pepper, red, yellow, orange, green or a
combination of your choice and slice off the top.

With a small paring knife carefully remove the seeds
and the white pith from the inside of the pepper.

If the pepper won't stand upright, slice of a very small
portion of the bottom (don't make a hole).

Scoop dip into hollowed out pepper(s) and place on a platter
surrounded by crudite.

   
Appetizer recipe

Spicy Pita Chips

These homemade spicy pita chips are a wonderfully different dipper for just about any kind of dip.

This recipe is enough to serve 50 so adjust accordingly. They will keep for 1 week stored in an airtight container... if they last that long!

Spicy Pita Chips

40 whole pita bread
2 cups unsalted butter
4 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 dashes salt
4 dashes pepper

In a medium bowl combine butter with seasonings, microwave on high for about 1 minute to melt. If you prefer you can melt the butter in a small pot.

Open each pita pocket to form two separate pieces, spread each slice completely with butter. Cut buttered halves into 6 pieces each; resulting in 12 triangular pieces per pita bread.

Spread pitas in single layer on baking sheet; bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until crisp like croutons. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt. Cool completely.

   
How do I use smoked oysters?

Smoked Oyster Roll

Use this recipe with crackers or crostini for something
a little different.

Smoked oysters can generally be found in the grocery store next to
the canned Tuna and Clams.

Smoked Oyster & Cream Cheese Roll

Ingredients:
1 can smoked oysters
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Garlic juice or powder to taste
1 tsp. onion, grated

Instructions:
1.Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and onion
together. Spread mixture on wax paper.
2.Chop oysters and put on cheese mixture.
3.Roll like a jelly roll. Freeze to harden, then put
in refrigerator until ready to serve.

   
Appetizer recipe

Artichoke Bruschetta

A rich combination of arthicoke hearts & parmesan cheese top crusty french bread slices..... just delicious!

6 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 ounces roasted red pepper, minced
freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
16 slices french bread baguette rounds, 1/3" thick

Place minced artichokes, parmesan cheese, red onion, red pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix in mayonnaise, enough to form thick spread.

Preheat broiler. Top bread rounds with spread. Arrange bruschetta on baking sheet. Broil until spread is heated through and begins to brown, about 2 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

   
What can I decorate my canapes with?

Edible decorations

Generally all canapes have some type of garnish or decoration
on them.

Cut small designs using a paring knife of sharp cutter from
any of the following to use in decorating cold canapes.

Carrot slices, green pepper, pimiento.

You can also slice stuffed olives, tiny pickled onions,
or gherkin pickles and place on top of the canape as desired.

   
How do I use cherry tomatoes?

Presenting Cherry Tomatoes

Use this simple trick to stop Cherry Tomatoes from rolling around on a platter.
Place them stem side down, cut off what is now the top, hollow and fill. The stem side is flatter and the tomatoes will stay in place.

   
How do I make canapes for a party?

Quails Eggs with Caviar

Traditional deviled eggs become cocktail party fare when done with Quails eggs and topped with Caviar.

24 Quails eggs, hard cooked and peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise (as needed)
1 Tablespoons Dijon style mustard
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste
Caviar for garnish (red and black both look nice)

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and carefully pop out the yolks, being careful not to damage the whites.

In a small bowl combine the yolks with the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, mashing with a fork to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

The mixture should be thick and creamy; adjust the consistency if needed by adding more mayonnaise.

Using a piping bag with a very small star tip fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture. Add a little
caviar to the top of the yolk mixture immediately prior to serving.

   
What can I make with Pesto?

Pesto Deviled Eggs

Everyone loves deviled eggs, but these are even BETTER!

6 hard-cooked eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pesto sauce
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley
capers

Peel the eggs and slice in halves. Remove yolks.
In a small bowl, mash yolks. Add mayonnaise and mustard, blending until smooth.
Stir in pesto, cheese, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon into egg white shells and garnish with parsley and capers.

For an especially nice presentation, use a star tip and a piping bag to
fill the egg whites with the egg yolk filling.

   
Appetizer recipe

Baked Onion Dip

4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 1 quart baking dish.

In a medium bowl mix cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sweet and onion. Pour into greased dish; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until the onions are tender
and the mixture is bubbling hot.

Serve with chunks of bread, or pita chips.

   
Appetizer recipe

Italian Style Stuffed Mushrooms

These stuffed mushrooms have a nice cheese flavor to them.

12 large Mushrooms
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
2 Tablespoons Red wine
1 1/2 cups Bread crumbs
3/4 cup Asiago (or Parmesan) cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Remove the stems from the
mushrooms. Heat the oil in a skillet.

Mince the stems and cook them in the oil for 3
minutes. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute longer.
Remove from the heat.

Toss in the remaining ingredients. Divide the stuffing into the
mushroom caps. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet
for 30-40 minutes (or until lightly browned).

Serve warm. Makes 12

   
Appetizer recipe

Caramelized Onion & Tomato Bruschetta

Caramelized Onion & Tomato Bruschetta:

1 French baguette, cut into 1/2" diagonal pieces
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, very thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the bread slices with the olive oil, place on a baking sheet and bake until very lightly toasted, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the brown sugar and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes more until the onions are golden and most of the liquid from the onions has evaporated.

Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and parsley. Evenly divide the onion mixture among the toasted bread slices.

Top each with a small amount of the tomato mixture and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little Parmesan cheese.

Just before serving, turn on the broiler and broil the Bruschetta to heat through and slightly melt the cheese.

   
What appetizers can I make ahead?

Chevre & Mushroom Phyllo Cups

Phyllo Cups

2 boxes frozen phyllo dough
2 pounds unsalted butter, melted
2 pounds button mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temp
1 pound goat cheese (Chevre)
3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

1. Leave dough out at room temperature while preparing filling.

2. Saute mushrooms and garlic until moisture has evaporated. Let cool completely.

3. Mix in cheeses, dill, parsley, season to taste with salt & pepper.

4. Unroll phyllo and cover with a lightly moist towel. Butter 1 sheet of phyllo; top with another buttered sheet, then another..A total of three buttered sheets.

5. Cut the sheets into 24 squares; 6x4 and press each square into a mini muffin pan.

6. Fill each one with 1 tablespoon of the filling and refrigerate for 1/2 hour..

7. Bake at 350 degrees until brown.

Optional garnish: Fresh julienned roma tomato, 1 for each.

Yields: 75 phyllo cups

   
How do I make canapes for a party?

Phyllo Cups

Use these light & crispy cups to nicely display your favorite savoury filling

3 sheets of phyllo pastry
3 tbsp butter, melted

Lightly brush 1 sheet with butter mixture; top with remaining sheets, brushing each with butter mixture.

Cut lengthwise into 4 strips and crosswise into 6 strips to make 24 squares.

Press each into mini muffin cup.

Bake in centre of 400F oven for about 5 minutes or until golden. Let cool in pan on rack.

To Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. Recrisp in 350F oven for about 3 minutes.) Makes 24 pieces.

   
Appetizer recipe

Chicken Liver Pate

This quick yet tasty recipe for pate will yield 2 cups.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 pound chicken livers
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup white wine
1/16 teaspoon dried dill
3 drops Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup butter

Simmer for 5 minutes in first measure of butter; mushrooms, chicken livers, garlic powder, and paprika.

Add green onions, white wine, dill weed and Tabasco.

Cover and cook slowly 5 - 10 minutes more. Cool.

Whirl in food processor until smooth.

Blend in butter and salt to taste.

Turn into serving dish and chill overnight.

Garnish with parsley. Serve with crackers or toast rounds.

   
Seafood appetizer

Smoked Salmon & Caviar Rolls

This smoked salmon canape can be made ahead and requires no cooking.

Smoked Salmon, cut in strips
Cream Cheese, whipped
Black Caviar

Cut smoked salmon into strips.

Mix together whipped cream cheese and black caviar.

Spread onto lox and roll up into bite size pieces.

   
How do I make devilled eggs?

Elegant Eggs

To make devilled eggs more elegant, try using a star tip and a piping bag
instead of spooning the filling into the yolk.

Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley, dill or paprika as desired.

   
What appetizers can I make ahead?

Tiny Tart Shells

Tiny tart shells, available frozen in the grocery section
are an excellent item to use for make ahead appetizers.

Prepare them with fillings of your choice, then half bake
(about 12 minutes) and flash freeze.

Once frozen, place in an airtight container until needed.

To cook, allow to partially defrost and then complete cooking
until heated through and crusts are golden.

Try Savory Mini Quiches in the recipe section.

   
Appetizer recipe

Red Pepper Bruschetta

Red Pepper Bruschetta

8 slices french bread -- 3/4" thick
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic -- cut in half
8 slices fontina cheese
3 sweet red peppers -- roasted, peeled & diced
salt and pepper -- to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil -- chopped

Arrange slices of bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Broil or grill until lightly browned - watch carefully. Turn and toast the other side. Centers should remain soft.

Brush one side of bread lightly with oil and rub with garlic. Top each slice of bread with a slice of cheese cut to fit.

Meanwhile in a bowl combine remaining oil with roasted red peppers.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped basil.

Spread this mixture evenly over bread slices.

Just before serving, bake in a preheated 400F oven for 5-10 minutes until thoroughly heated and cheese melts. Cut each slice in half and serve.

   
How do I make baked appetizers?

Crispy Cornmeal Wings

These crispy cornmeal coated chicken wings will reheat well if you happen to have any leftovers.
I like these served with Spicy Ranch Dressing.

3 pounds chicken wings, cut in two
1 cup flour
1 cup stone ground cornmeal
2 Tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons salt
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)

In a shallow bowl, beat eggs, add 1/4 cup water.

In another shallow bowl, combine all dry ingredients; mix well to combine (use a wire whisk for good results).

Dip wings into egg, and then coat with cornmeal/flour mixture. Place each dredged wing onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake wings at 375 for 20 minutes, turn once and bake an additional 20-30 minutes until very crispy and golden brown. Serve with Cilantro Jalapeno dipping sauce or your favorite dip.

Note: You can bake these for the first 20 minutes early in the day and finish in the oven just before serving time. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled as needed to serve a crowd.

   
phyllo dough

Folding Phyllo dough

Folding Phyllo dough can seem daunting at first, but with a little practice you'll be making elegant and delicious parcels in no time.

For diagrams of the various Phyllo dough folds I recommend this site.

http://www.athens.com/recipes/index.html#shapes

   
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