‘Appetizers’

Mango Salsa




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Prepare one day ahead

Yields ~ 4 cups

2 fresh ripe mangos

Peel the thin mango skin with a sharp paring knife. The center of the fruit has an oblong shaped pith. Cut into the fruit lengthwise down to the pith all around at ½ inch intervals. Turn the mango and cut around crosswise at ½ inch intervals.

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Shave off the pieces into a bowl. When you get down to the pith, squeeze all of the juice out with your hands. Discard the pith.

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1 medium cucumber

1 tomato or a handful of grape tomatoes

3 scallions

½ green bell pepper

1 green anaheim chilie

1 jalapeno (if desired)

Variation:

Add a diced avocado.

Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds. Dice the tomato, onions, cucumber and bell pepper into ¼” bits.

Sliver the chilies very fine. Remove the seeds and discard. If you like spicy food, add some of the jalapeno seeds.

1 lime, juiced

1 orange, juiced

½ tsp salt

6 fresh cilantro leaves

Add the rest. Mix well and store covered in the refrigerator overnight in a glass dish for the best flavor.

A ripe mango feels similar to a ripe peach. Buy a firm mango 2-3 days ahead and keep it on the counter under bananas to ripen. Mango salsa goes great with fish or chicken.

Pan-fried Artichokes




Serves 4

2 – 12 oz jars marinated artichoke hearts; large quarters are best.

Drain the artichoke hearts.

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1 egg

¼ cup flour

Salt & pepper

Beat the egg in a shallow dish. Coat the artichokes with the egg wash. Place the flour on a plate; salt and pepper generously. Lightly dredge the artichokes with flour. Use a plastic bag for the flour if you prefer.

Canola oil

Add the oil to a large sauté pan, covering the bottom with ¼” oil. Turn the heat to medium. Heat the oil for a few minutes. Add the coated artichokes one at a time with a fork. Cook until golden on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until the artichoke is again golden on the bottom. Transfer to a rack on a pan and place in the oven to keep warm.

Plan on about 6 ounces of artichokes per person.   

Salmon Cakes




Oven 400 F

Serves 4

White bakery bread

(no preservatives)

Allow the bread to dry out on the counter for a few hours. Process into fine crumbs in a blender or food processor. My chopper attachment on the stick blender works best. Freeze any excess crumbs for meatballs or turkey loaf later.

3 (6 oz) cans Trader Joes pink salmon, skinless, boneless

1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs (above)

¼ cup minced onion

¼ cup minced celery

3 eggs

2 tsp dillweed

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp milk

Mix all ingredients with a fork until well blended.

Olive oil

Line a baking tray with foil for easy clean-up. Drizzle olive oil over the foil. Measure out the salmon mixture with a 1/3 measuring cup; press tightly into the cup, then turn over and tap out onto the foil. Flatten to ¾ inch thick patties. This makes 12 patties. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil on each pattie.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.

Remove from the foil with a plastic spatula. Serve with Yogurt Tartar Sauce.

Salmon cakes on pita bread with Yogurt Tartar Sauce make wonderful sandwiches. Make mini size cakes (2 tablespoons mixture) to serve as appetizers on bite size pitas. This would also make a delicious filling for stuffed mushrooms.

Smoked Trout ‘n Capers

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Serves 4

1 large sweet onion

2 T olive oil

Slice the onion into thin half rings. Sauté in a small skillet on med heat until tender.

1 lemon

Slice the lemon into round slices. Set aside.

2-3 small fillets smoked trout (~8 oz)

2 T tiny capers

1 tsp dill weed

Gently place the trout on the bed of onions in the skillet. Sprinkle with the capers and dill weed. Place the lemon slices on top. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes to warm the trout.

6 thin slices of bread

Toast the bread lightly under the broiler and cut into fourths.

Yogurt Dill Dressing

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Keeping the layers intact, slide the trout from the skillet onto a serving plate. Arrange the bread and lemons. To serve, break the trout into bite size sections with a fork and pile on the bread with lots of onions and capers. Drizzle with the yogurt dill dressing if you like.

Hummus

 

 

Yields 2 cups

 

2 (15 oz) cans chick peas

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 Tbsp Tahini Paste*

1 tsp salt

 

Drain the chick peas, discarding the liquid. Place all ingredients in a blender (or beaker for an immersion blender) and blend to a smooth paste.

Hummus Prep

 

Serve with toasted pita bread.

 

Pita bread

Olive oil

Provence herbs or Italian herbs blend

Cut the pita bread into wedges. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs. Toast under the broiler for a few minutes.

 

* For super easy hummus, substitute 1½ teaspoons of pure sesame oil instead of tahini paste. It is not as tasty as the homemade tahini paste, but it works in a pinch.

Yogurt Dill Dip & Salad Dressing




Yields ~2 cups

2 (6 oz) cartons fat free plain Greek style yogurt

½ pkg dry ranch dressing mix (1 ½ Tablespoons)

1 Tbsp dillweed

½ cup skim milk (for dressing)

Mix together. Omit the milk if you are using this as a dip.

1 tsp sugar (if desired)

Taste it first! I prefer no sugar, but you may add a little to suit your taste.

Place in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

I prefer Fage brand Total 0% yogurt, because it is low in sugar. This fat free salad dressing goes great on cucumbers, salads, tacos and burritos, fresh veggies, sandwiches and even baked potatoes!

Turkey Guac

 

 

 

Serves 4

3 cups diced cooked turkey

2 ripe avocados

 

Cut the avocados in half, and scoop out with a spoon. Chop into 1” pieces and combine with turkey.

 

1 lime

¼  tsp garlic powder

Salt

Pepper

 

Optional:

Diced Anaheim chili or Jalepeno

 

 

Squeeze juice from lime over the turkey, season to taste.

 

Warm slightly in the microwave.

Corn tortillas or tortilla chips

 

Serve in warm corn tortillas or with tortilla chips.

Left-over turkey, anyone?

Crab Poblano

 

 

 

Serves 4-6

4-6 extra large fresh Anaheim or Poblano green chilies

 

 

Char the chilies over a gas flame until black all over. Place in a paper bag, roll up tightly and let stand for 15 minutes to “sweat” the skin loose. Hold the peppers under cold water, and rub off the charred skin. Slit lengthwise on one side, leaving the stem intact, remove seeds, and drain on paper towel. Set aside.

 

2 (6 oz) cans lump crabmeat (Bumblebee Fancy Lump)

 

Drain and pick through the crab with a fork, removing any cartilage. Set aside.

 

Olive oil

¼ cup onion

¼ cup celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp black  pepper

1 tsp cayenne pepper sauce (Frank’s Red Hot)

 

Cover the bottom of a sauté pan with olive oil and heat to medium-high. Add all ingredients and cook until onions are softened.

1 cup of dry stuffing breadcrumbs (Pepperidge Farms Herb Stuffing)

 

1/4 cup chicken broth

 

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

 

Thoroughly crush the breadcrumbs and add to the onion mixture. Add half of the chicken broth, and add the rest if needed to form a moist stuffing. Add the crabmeat and cheese.  Stir gently.

 

½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

 

Cover the bottom of a small baking dish with olive oil. Roll the prepared green chilies in the oil. Fill the peppers with the crab stuffing. Now it looks like a stuffed canoe! Sprinkle with Jack Cheese.  Bake uncovered in a hot oven (400F) for 20-30 minutes until slightly brown and bubbly.

 

 

You may substitute canned whole chilies. Look for Hatch green chilies. These are already peeled, so skip the first step. Drain well and reserve the juice to use in place of the chicken broth.

Cheddar Spread

 

Serves 4-6

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

1 (5 oz) jar Kraft Old English cheddar cheese

 

 

Combine in a glass bowl or large measuring cup. Microwave on high for one minute. Stir and microwave another minute. Stir until smooth.

¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ – ½ tsp cayenne pepper

 

Add spices and mix well. Start with ¼ tsp cayenne and add more if you like it spicy.

 

You may store this in a plastic container in the refrigerator for two weeks.

 

To make a cheese ball or log, remove from the refrigerator and turn out on to wax paper. Form into a ball or log shape and roll in chopped walnuts or pinenuts.

 

French bread crust

or crackers

 

Serve cold or warm with warm bread crusts or crackers.

This is the base of several of my recipes.

Cheddar Crab Dip

 

Serves 4-6

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

1 (5 oz) jar Kraft Old English cheddar cheese

 

 

Combine in a glass bowl or large measuring cup. Microwave on high for one minute. Stir and microwave another minute. Stir until smooth.

¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ – ½ tsp cayenne pepper

 

Add spices and mix well. Start with ¼ tsp cayenne and add more if you like it spicy.

2 (5 ounce) cans lump crabmeat

Drain, rinse, and squeeze out water. Press lightly with your fingers to check for and remove any cartilage. Fold into the cheese dip.

 

French Bread

Warm the bread in the oven at 400 F for 5 minutes. Cut into 1 “ slices. Remove and discard the soft bread and cut the crust into 2” strips. Serve the crust to dip the crab.