Tag Archives: appetizer

Roasted Buttered Nuts with Two Variations

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Roasted Buttered Nuts with Two Variations for appetizers

Makes about 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  1. 2 C. (about 1 lb.) unsalted nuts such as pecans, almonds or cashews
  2. 1 Tblsp. peanut oil or melted butter
  3. S&P to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Toss the nuts in a bowl with the oil/butter and S&P.
  3. Place on baking sheet and roast, shaking occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. Cool before serving; they will crisp as they cool

Two Variations:

 

Sautéed Buttered Nuts:

Instructions:

  1. Place 4 Tblsp. butter or peanut oil in a large skillet and turn heat to med.-low.
  2. When the butter melts or the oil is hot, add the nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned—about 10 minutes.  Be patient; high heat will burn the nuts.
  3. As they cook season with S&P.

Spiced Buttered Nuts:

Instructions:

  1. Add 1 Tsp. to 1 Tblsp. of any spice mixture such as chili powder or all purpose curry powder to the mix as directed below:
    1. When roasting, toss the spice with the nuts at the beginning.
    2. When sautéing, add it to the butter or oil as it heats.

Smoked Salmon with Endive, Mini-Bagels, & Seasoned Cream Cheese Dip/Spread

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smoked salmon

Smoked Salmon with Endive & Romaine Inner Leaves, Mini Bagels & Thin French Bread Slices with Seasoned Cream Cheese Dip/Spread and Other Significant Additions

Makes 30 to 40 appetizers

 

I love smoked salmon and as far as I am concerned, it can be the thick or the very thin variety.  I don’t care; I just really like it and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  So, still thinking about picnicking on the beautiful lawn listening to the even more beautiful and melodious Sun Valley Summer Symphony, here’s something you can enjoy with your picnic gang.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb. whipped cream cheese (at room temp.)
  2. 1/2 C. sour cream
  3. 2 Tblsp. lemon juice
  4. 3 Tblsp. minced shallot
  5. 1/4 C. fresh dill finely minced and save some sprigs for garnishes
  6. 1 smoked salmon fillet (2 ½ to 3 Lb.)
  7. About 1 Lb. endive, washed and separated in spears; or small inner leaves from 6 heads romaine lettuce; or some of each.
  8. Medium sized sliced cucumbers which can be topped with the salmon, etc.
  9. 3 to 4 dozen small bagels (2-“size) partially split and/or combine the bagels with thinly sliced crusty French bread.
  10. 3 lemons thinly wedged mostly for décor but some like it squeezed on their salmon.
  11. Thinly sliced red onions for toppings.
  12. Capers (in the bottle and drained for easy picnic serving but you can put them in a small bowl if you would rather.)

Directions:

  1. Beat the cream cheese with the sour cream, lemon juice, shallot and dill till nicely blended; put it in a serving bowl.
  2. Set the salmon on a large platter or board. Surround the boarded salmon with the lemon wedges, dill leaf sprigs and sliced red onion; a bowl with the cream cheese dip; a larger bowl filled with endive and romaine inner leaves; a bowl with the medium thick sliced cucumbers and the drained bottle of capers which has a little fork in it for easy serving (hint: capers usually go on last).
  3. Place the split bagels and thinly sliced French bread in a pretty basket near the boarded salmon.
  4. Pre-fill/top some of the endive/romaine lettuce leaves and sliced cucumbers with some of the salmon topped with the cream cheese dip and other goodies; set these on a separate dish or if your board is large enough, on that—to show guests how really yummy this is and for quick, fun appetizer grabbing. Let the guests put on the capers because not everyone likes them.
  5. PS—Napkins, toothpicks and small plates are a nice addition for this spread.
  6. Frankly, I love a bit of champagne with this spread.

 For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

 @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

 

Oven Baked Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Strips and South of the Border Berry Salsa

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sugar cin. tortilla strips

Oven Baked Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Strips and South of the Border Berry Salsa for appetizers

Serves 8

This is such an easy delectable tidbit to make as an accompaniment to a nice fruit dish or even just for a good nibble or as guest appetizers (and maybe even desert?).  I served it with a Mexican breakfast consisting of my Mexican Egg Casserole which I served with Peppered Corn Muffins and a beautiful bowl of freshly made Poached Pears with Cinnamon and Fennel.  Of course, kids will really go for these and probably you will too.  So beware—put them away before you or your family  eat them all.

Ingredients:

  1. 8 inch Corn or Flour Tortillas—at least eight—the fresher the tortilla the better
  2. 1/2 C. Sugar
  3. 1 Tsp. Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cut the tortillas with a pizza cutter or a serrated knife in 8 long strips.
  3. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.  I put this mixture in an empty spice bottle that had a shaker top on it. I actually did not use all of this mixture.
  4. Arrange the wedges on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and spray the strips with nonstick cooking spray (I used olive oil spray).
  5. Immediately sprinkle the wedges with the sugar/cinnamon mixture—as much or as little as you wish.
  6. Bake the wedges in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp.
  7. Let them sit for a minute or so.  If you are not going to use them immediately, place them in a paper bag and seal till ready to serve.

This goes very nicely with another appetizer:

SOUTH OF THE BORDER BERRY SALSA

Combine 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1 cup fresh sliced strawberries, 1 cup fresh raspberries, 1 seeded and finely chopped yellow bell pepper and 1 seeded and minced jalapeño chili in a medium bowl; toss gently. Add 2 tablespoons each of finely chopped red onion, finely chopped green onion and finely chopped cilantro; toss lightly. Combine 1 tablespoon each of cider vinegar, olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, orange juice and honey in a small bowl; mix well. Drizzle vinegar mixture over berry mixture; toss to coat. Serve in a large bowl or in individual bowls with the tortilla chips mentioned above.   Makes 8- ½-cup servings.

Janet’s Crab Mold Appetizer (an appetizer made the night before serving)

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Janet’s Crab Mold Appetizer- (an appetizer made the night before serving)

My friend is a twin.  She lives here in Sun Valley but her sister lives in Alaska.  This is the sister’s recipe.  Her sister says that at her parties her guests can’t get enough of this and I can see why.  It’s delicious!! and like potato chips, hard to stop once you start. Even though I don’t favor cream cheese that much, Miracle Whip at all or processed foods like canned mushroom soup, however, with this particular recipe, II totally concede.  If you think like me, I believe that once you taste this, you will too.

Ingredients:

1-      1-8oz. package of cream cheese

2-      1 small grated or finely chopped onion

3-      1/2 C. finely chopped celery

4-      1/2 C. cream of mushroom soup-undiluted

5-      1 package unflavored gelatin—(you only use 1 dissolved Tblsp. for this recipe)

6-      1/2 C. Miracle Whip

7-      1 ½ C. crab meat (fresh is the best however good canned , drained, will do)

Instructions:

  1. Heat soup in a medium sized pan and add the dissolved gelatin. (Dissolve the gelatin according to package directions.) Stir well.
  2. Add the cream cheese and the Miracle Whip.  Mix until melted.
  3. Add rest of the ingredients and put in a pretty greased mold.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Before serving, set mold in warm water to help release.
  6. Serve on a pretty plate surrounded by thinly sliced baguette bread, good crackers, and celery.

Lox Salad Spears Topped with Dill Sauce

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lox spears

Lox Salad Spears Topped with Dill Sauce

Up to you as to how many you want to make

I love good lox.  Having lived in Beverly Hills, CA, I frequented Nate ‘n Als (established in 1945) a lot and they had the best lox ever.  Oh well, that was awhile ago and now I’m in a place where we do not, so far, have a  Nate ‘n Als. I wish we did so that I could revisit my childhood delights more frequently. I don’t travel much to Beverly Hills anymore and even though Nate ‘n Als supposedly delivers most everywhere in the US, that’s pretty pricey.  In any case, if you also like lox and some good unpackaged lox is available here in the valley, here’s a simple appetizer dish that is always a hit.

Ingredients needed:

  • Buy as much of good lox (preferably not pre-packaged) you wish to use.
  • Buy a combination of Belgium Endives and fresh Romaine Lettuce (as much as you visualize that you’ll need.  Left over’s always makes for a great salad.
  •  Also you’ll need the ingredients listed below for the Dill Sauce.

Dill Sauce Recipe 😦 makes about 2/3 Cup)

  1. 1/3 C. mayonnaise
  2. 1/3 C. sour cream
  3. 1 Tblsp. finely chopped onion
  4. 1 Tsp. lemon juice
  5. 1 Tsp. prepared horseradish
  6. 3/4 Tsp. dill weed
  7. 1/4 Tsp. garlic salt
  8. Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Mix the above Dill Sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  You can make this at the last moment however if you refrigerate this sauce for several hours it’ll make it taste even better.
  • On individual Belgium Endive and Romaine leaves, place a bit of lox and top it with the dill sauce and finalized with some capers.
  • Place on a pretty dish surrounded by some lemon slices.

Brussel Sprouts and Artichoke with Green Olive Dip

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Brussel Sprouts and Artichoke with Green Olive Dip

OK— this is not something for everyone, however, I like it so much that I wanted to share before the holidays.  This is a nice hors d’oeuvres that’s healthy and tasty.  The reason it’s not for everyone is because it consists of Brussel sprouts and olives.  Those two are not on everyone’s  favorite list.  But, they happen to be within my best loved list. Hope you might see my point.

Ingredients:

1 large artichoke—Cook it your way or mine

As many Brussel Sprouts as you believe you may need

Olive Oil—3 Tblsp. for the roasting of perhaps one pound of Brussel Sprouts

Lemmon Juice—to taste

S&P

For the Dip:

1/2 C. chopped parsley

5 Tblsp. olive oil

2 Tblsp. sliced green olives with pimentos (you can buy a jar of them)

1 Tblsp. drained capers

1 Tblsp. lemon juice

1/2 Tsp. Dijon mustard or Dijon Poupon with horseraddish

1/8 Tsp. salt

Directions:

To Roast Brussel Sprouts:

Pre-heat your oven to 400-425 degrees.

Wash and split the sprouts in 1/2 length wise

Mix 3 Tblsp. olive oil with some S&P and a squirt of lemon juice in a bowl large enough to generously coat the sprouts.

Line a high sided baking pan with parchment paper and place the sprouts cut side down in the pan, as many near the outer edge as possible without crowding.  Place in oven for 15 minutes.  No need to turn them over.  Test them for doneness and be aware that they will be very brown with some burnt edges after 12 minutes or so.   Don’t worry about the burnt edges—that’s part of the roasting veggies scenario and actually adds extra to the flavor.

The Artichoke:

With the artichoke, I cut the individual leaf ends off so that the thorns are removed; cut both ends (the stem close to the choke and also the very top off about 1/2 inch) and wash. I then place the artichoke, bottom up, in a steamer placed in a tall pot or just in the pot itself, with water that goes about half way up the artichoke.  In the water I add a dash of olive oil, a bay leaf, a garlic clove and a squirt of my favorite vinegar or lemon juice.  You can also add fresh tarragon or thyme.

In CA I lived nearby where these edible thistles grew in beautiful fields.  In  fact I had several plants in my very own yard so I garnered very fresh chokes that barely needed to be cooked at all.  However, here, transported, it usually takes a bit longer. I start watching the doneness at 20 minutes because overcooking an artichoke can create a mushy one and under cooking can create a very hard biting one. As well, I’ve found that the smell can tell you when they are done.  Cover the pot when cooking and steam it at least 15 to 20 minutes if truly fresh.  They are usually done when a leaf can be removed easily but make sure to taste.  A well traveled choke can take as long as 45 minutes to cook, however, if longer than that you usually have procured a very old choke.

Frankly, I like to eat my artichoke plain without any butter, olive oil or mayonnaise.  But if you so insist, a very simple combination of olive oil or melted butter with a dash of minced garlic, lemon juice and S&P will be perfect.  One more combination that I make and everyone loves is half or more cup of mayonnaise with a dash of curry powder in it.  Well, use your imagination.  That’s what cooking and eating is all about, isn’t it?

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Ceviche and Margaritas To Enjoy On The Pavillion Lawn

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Ceviche ( a perfect appetizer) and Margaritas To Enjoy On The Pavillion Lawn

Serves about 4 -1 ½ Cups Each

Yes indeed the Sun Valley Summer Symphony is in full swing and I am loving it.  What fun to see everyone on the lawn relaxing, munching, imbibing and listening to the wonderful notes floating through the air! It’s a perfect time for family, loved ones and friends to gather together along with a sumptuous something on which to dine.  So, here are two easy something’s (which I borrowed) for you to make and treat your group.

Ceviche:

Ingredients:

1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces (I used the $1 frozen packaged variety from Albertsons)

1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, minced

1/2 C. lime juice

1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tsp. chopped fresh oregano

1/4 Tsp. salt

1 bell pepper green, red, or yellow or mixed, halved crosswise and thinly sliced

1 large tomato, chopped (make sure it’s tasty)

1/2 C. very thinly SLICED white onion

1/4 C. quartered green olives (yes, even if you don’t like olives)

1 avocado, chopped

Directions:

Place tilapia in a medium skillet.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. (I slightly unfroze my Albertsons packaged tilapia first.)

In a medium sized bowl, place jalapeno, lime juice, 2 Tblsp. cilantro, oregano and salt. Whisk the mixture. Gently fold in the bell pepper, tomato, sliced onion, and olives. Finally, gently fold in the tilapia which has now cooled a bit and been cut into pieces into the mixture. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes—several hours is even better, so make this in the morning of your picnic.

When taking to the picnic put the ceviche in a pretty dish topped with the remaining cilantro and avocado that has been sprinkled with some lemon to keep it from turning brown, and put a good spill proof cover on the dish. Serve this with warm corn tortillas. Warm the tortillas in some paper towels which have been moistened in your micro—just a minute (mas o menos), and then put them in aluminum foil to keep warm for later.  To serve, let everyone scoop a generous portion of ceviche in their corn tortilla. Or if you wish, you can make your own fat free tortilla chips (350 oven-place tortillas on rack-after 3 minutes or so see if crisp enough to break into chips) or buy some. Make sure you have some sturdy plates and good napkins as well.

Margaritas:

Buy some Lime or Lemon Sorbet, put in a freezer bag along with a baggie of ice cubes from your freezer; take a bottle of gold tequila; a bottle of club soda; some fun glasses; 3 plastic containers (large enough that your glass rim can fit in it), one filled with some lemon or lime juice, and the second with salt and the third with sugar for glass rimming,; straws and spoons for sipping, stirring, and perhaps just eating; and a small baggie with thinly sliced limes. (Hint: For glass rimming, dip your glass in the lime or lemon juice container first and then dip into the sugar or salt containers.)When you are ready for your Margarita, place a generous scoop of the sorbet in the glass and pour a jigger or so of tequila over it.  Stir just a bit with your straw————-and there you are. Add some ice cubes and club soda if it’s too vigorous for your palate. YUM but of course as always, remember, have a designated driver if you are driving.  For the DD, try the sorbet and a bit of sparkling water with some sprits/slices of lemon or lime or just let the DD enjoy spooning the sorbet directly in the mouth.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.