‘Appetizers’

Crab Velvet Casserole

Crab_souffle_pan Crab_souffle

 

Oven 350 F

Serves 6-8

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

2 cups (8 oz) grated sharp 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

¼tsp cayenne pepper

 

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

2 eggs

Add the eggs and beat well.

 

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 mix.

 

2 Tbsp butter

Place the butter in a shallow casserole dish or pie plate. Melt the butter in the microwave and cover the bottom of the dish. Pour in the crab mixture. Bake at 350 F uncovered for 30 minutes or until the center is set.

 

French Bread

Warm the bread in the oven at 350 F for 5 minutes. Cut into 1 “ slices. Remove and discard the soft bread and cut the crust into 2” strips. Spoon the soufflé onto the crusts.

 

Silly name, but that is the best description I can come up with! Whatever you call it, this is my favorite appetizer!

Salmon Cheddar Crusts

 

Oven 350 F

Serves 6-8

½ lb frozen salmon fillet or leftover baked salmon

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp dillweed

Salt and pepper

 

 

Prepare the baked salmon a day ahead of time if you like. Leave the fish in it’s plastic and thaw in a sink of cool water for 30 minutes.  Place a sheet of foil on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Remove the fish packaging and rinse with cold water. Place on the foil, skin side down (if there is skin). Drizzle the fish with olive oil. Sprinkle with dillweed, salt and pepper. Loosely fold up the edges of the foil. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. The fish is done when it flakes in the center.

 

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.

 

French bread

 

Fresh dill (if you have it)

 

Warm the bread in the oven at 350 F for 5 minutes. Cut into 1 “ slices. Remove and discard the soft bread and cut the crust into 2” strips. Spoon the cheese spread on the crust and top with a bite of salmon. Garnish with dill.

 

This is a fabulous appetizer for left-over salmon!

Deviled Eggs

Deviled_eggs

 

12 eggs

6 large eggs

Place the eggs in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 12 minutes. Cool with cold water.  Peel the eggs under cold running water. Cut in half lengthwise. Place the yolks into a small bowl and mash with a fork.

 

2 Tbsp Miracle Whip

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp creamy horseradish sauce

½ tsp salt

Grating of pepper

 

Add to the yolks and mix well.  Stuff the egg whites with the yolk mixture.

Cayenne pepper

Sprinkle with a tiny bit of cayenne pepper.

 

Bean Dip

 

 

Oven 350 F

 

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
 

Crumble the meat into a frying pan over medium heat.  Add spices and cook till done. Drain excess fat.

1 can (4 oz) chopped black olives

2 cans (4 oz) chopped green chilies

2 cans (16 oz) pinto beans or black beans

1 ½  cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/3  cup Ranch Dressing

 

Chop the beans and mash them a bit with the side of the knife, leaving some whole. Mix everything together with the meat.

 

Grease two shallow 9” casserole dishes or pie plates or one 9×13 pan. Spoon in the mixture and pat it down.  Bake 30 minutes at 350 F. Serve with tortilla chips.

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

 Stuffed Mushrooms 

 

Oven 400 F

1 dozen large white mushrooms

Rinse the mushrooms in warm water and rub until clean. Twist out the stem, leaving the caps intact. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.

 

2 stalks celery

1/2 medium yellow onion

2 garlic cloves

 

Chop the celery and onion to ¼ “ bits. Finely chop or mince the garlic.

3 Tbsp olive oil

 

Add the oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the celery, onions, garlic for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender. 

 

½ cup fine bread crumbs

1 tsp Frank’s Red Hot sauce

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

 

Add and continue stirring to mix well. Turn off the heat and allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes.

1 egg

Add the egg and mix well.

 

1 (6 oz) can Polar lump crabmeat

1 tsp lime juice

 

Drain the crabmeat and crumble lightly with your fingers to find and remove any cartilage. Add the crab meat to the pan and gently mix together. Sprinkle with lime juice.

 

 

Place the mushrooms in a baking dish such as a 9×13 cake pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Turn them over and move around to coat with oil. Stuff the mushrooms with a spoon, mounding the crab mixture firmly on top of the mushroom. Place them back in the pan.

 

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes until golden brown.

I prefer Pepperidge Farms Herb Seasoned bread crumbs, but you can make your own breadcrumbs or use crushed crackers. These are also delicious without the crab.

Buffalo Hot Sauce

¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)

¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

½ tsp minced garlic

Melt the butter in a glass dish in the microwave. Blend in the hot sauce and garlic. Stir well again before serving.

 

Sausage Cups

 

 

Oven 350 F

Approx 60 Appetizers

1 lb ground beef or turkey

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

 Optional:

½  red bell pepper, finely chopped

Crumble the meat into a frying pan over medium heat.  Add spices and cook till done. Add the red pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.  

½  cup of black or green olives, pitted

¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/3  cup Ranch Dressing

 

Add ingredients and toss together.

Taste the mixture. If you want to heat it up, add an additional ¼ tsp cayenne pepper.

60 mini phyllo (fillo) shells, frozen

Fill the cups with a teaspoon and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F  for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

 

This makes a great brunch dish- substitute spicy breakfast sausage and omit the spices and olives.

Spicy Shrimp

 Spicy Shrimp

 

Serves 6-8

2 lb frozen raw shrimp

 (Look for large, deveined or cleaned shrimp in the shell, 16-20 per pound)  

Remove the frozen shrimp from the package and place in a bowl of cool water to thaw for 30 minutes. Peel the shrimp and place in a colander to drain. Leave the tails intact or remove if you prefer.

 

3 cloves garlic

¼ cup olive oil

4 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot sauce

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp Provence or Italian herb Mix

½ tsp salt

Grated black pepper

  

Mince or finely chop the garlic.

 

Heat the oil, butter and garlic in a sauté pan or wok over medium heat. Add the seasonings. 

 

Carefully add the shrimp, protecting yourself with a splatter screen. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon and cook for 4-5 minutes, just until the shrimp becomes pinkish-white and opaque.

1 fresh lime

 

Remove from the heat and squeeze the lime juice over top.

 

For an appetizer, serve on a bed of crisp Romaine lettuce leaves.

 

For a main dish, serve on top of rice or pasta.

Thinking of Bing Crosby? No wonder… Christmas Eve dinner starts with this shrimp appetizer at our house.

Olive Tapenade

Olive Tapanade 

1 jar (12 oz) green olives stuffed with pimento

1 jar (8 oz) Kalamata olives, pitted

1 can (15 oz) black olives, pitted

1 jar (4 oz) tiny capers

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp salt

1 tsp Provence herbs or Italian herb mix

¼ cup olive oil

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)

  

Drain the olives and capers well. Mince or finely chop the fresh garlic.

Blend everything together in a salsa chopper or blender using the pulse mode.  Don’t over-blend; try for 1/8” bits.    

Serve with warm Herbed Flat Bread or garlic toast.

Bruschetta Salsa

 

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes or 1 large fresh tomato

3 Tbsp pine nuts

½ sweet yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp dried oregano

 

If you are using a fresh tomato, cut in quarters and peel. Pour the tomatoes into a sieve or colander and press out the water with a paper towel. Blend everything together in a salsa chopper or blender using the pulse mode until fairly smooth.

2 cups fresh basil leaves

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes or 1 large fresh tomato

 

Wash the basil leaves and dry with paper towel. Add another can of well-drained tomatoes and remaining ingredients and blend a few times until the basil is well chopped.

 

Serve with warm Herbed Flat Bread or garlic toast.