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Posts Tagged ‘appetizers’

We decided to do things differently for our New Year’s Eve party this year. We happily abandoned the elegant, complicated menu we usually serve. As an alternative, we enjoyed a simple yet succulent paprika/garlic roasted chicken with pan juices on a bed of roasted tomatoes and onions complimented by oven roasted sweet potato planks (to ensure a sweet new year) served with an herb and lime yogurt dipping sauce accompanied by a medley of steamed vegetables.

After so much holiday cooking for everyone else, I wanted to enjoy my party. So, while our dinner was in the oven, I prepared some simple appetizers.

We had a selection of cheeses consisting of a tangy special edition white cheddar and a homemade herbed cheese spread served alongside four delightful soft cheeses paired with wines. We paired the nutty Camembert with Chardonnay, the Bleu cheese with a Pinot Noir, the triple crème with Gewürztraminer and the buttery Déjeuner with a white Zinfandel. new year cheese platter

Next, I prepared an appetizer tray that encourages guests to interact. Each guest constructs their own bite-sized cracker beginning with a dollop of cayenne-spiced avocado spread and then topped with a spoonful of Crab seasoned with a hint of tart lime juice and fragrant mint. As our guests move around the table building their appetizers, the conversation warms up. new year crab appetizer platter

new year crab appetizer

The appetizer table rounded out with a fiery hot appetizer that I call a Wonton Cigar. This is one of my favorites. Inside a crisp oven-baked rolled wonton is a ground beef filling sprinkled with minced jalapeño and livened up with oregano, cumin, chili powder and sharp cheddar cheese. It’s served with a room temperature homemade salsa. If the salsa is too cold, it’s not as spicy tasting. We served this with a dark beer.

new year wonton appetizer

Overall, it was a fun evening with good food, great friends and lots of laughter. I wish everyone a sweet, healthy, happy and successful year ahead.

Happy New Year to you all!

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This has to be one of the easiest appetizers available!  It is so simple that my 8 year old niece was able to do this all on her own. The recipe below serves 12 but it is quite easy to size up or down depending in your needs.  I always make more than necessary because they are gone in a flash!

Ingredients:

12 Crimini mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned, or more depending on the number of guests

Drizzle of olive oil to lightly coat mushroom caps

Several grinds of sea salt, taste or 1/4 teaspoon of table salt

Optional, 1 stalk of rosemary leaves, chopped finely

5 oz. high quality goat cheese, divided into 12 servings

1 Tablespoon walnut oil

1/4 cup walnut halves or pieces

Preheat toaster oven, or conventional oven if making a large quantity, to 400 degrees.

Gather all the mushroom caps in a small bowl.  Drizzle until covered in olive oil, about 1 tablespoon.  Stir to coat and add one or two twists of ground sea salt or 1/4 tsp. table salt. If desired, you can add one stalk of rosemary, finely minced to the bowl.  Stir until well combined, gently so that you don’t break or injure the mushrooms.

Next, place each mushroom cap, round side up, on a broiler pan or cookie sheet.  Place in either the toaster oven or conventional oven.  Roast until browned.  Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, for about 10-15 minutes.

Turn the mushrooms stem side up.

Spoon a heaping glob of goat cheese into the mushroom cap.  Add either a walnut half or chopped walnuts.  Drizzle with 1/4 teaspoon walnut oil.

Let stand at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes.  Serve.

Another twist to these is to add a few strips of sun-dried tomatoes, sparingly and just for color and a spark of flavor.  Too much is overpowering.

These are good for all occasions from New Year’s Eve, Birthdays and Superbowl to simple dinner parties.  Enjoy!

This has to be one of the easiest appetizers available!  It is so simple that my 8 year old neice was able to do this all on her own. The recipe below serves 12 but it is quite easy to size up or down depending in your needs.  I always make more than necessary because they are gone in a flash!

Ingredients:

12 Crimini mushooms, stemmed and cleaned, or more depending on the number of guests

5 oz. high quality goat cheese, divided into 12 servings

1 Tablespoon walnut oil

1/4 cup walnut halves or pieces

Preheat toaster oven, or conventional oven if making a large quantity, to 400 degrees.

Gather all the mushroom caps in a small bowl.  Drizzle until covered in olive oil, about 1 tablespoon.  Stir to coat and add one or two twists of ground sea salt or 1/4 tsp. table salt. If desired, you can add one stalk of rosemary, finely minced to the bowl.  Stir until well combined, gently so that you don’t break or injure the mushrooms.

Next, place each mushroom cap, round side up, on a broiler pan or cookie sheet.  Place in either the toaster oven or conventional oven.  Roast until browned.  Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, for about 10-15 minutes.

Turn the mushrooms stem side up.

Spoon a heaping glob of goat cheese into the mushroom cap.  Add either a walnut halve or chopped walnuts.  Drizzle with 1/4 teaspoon walnut oil.

Let stand at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes.  Serve.

Another twist to these is to add a few strips of sundried tomatoes, sparingly and just for color and a spark of flavor.  Too much is overpowering.

These are good for all occasions from New Year’s Eve, Birthdays and Superbowl to simple dinner parties.  Enjoy!

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