Tag Archives: appetizer

Cucumber Avocado Rolls

This roll makes a great appetizer. It’s fresh and super tasty!

I used a potato peeler to peel my slices of cucumber, but you could also use a mandoline.

One batch of Avocado mixture filled one cucumber. Next time, I will double the recipe. An English cucumber is best for this recipe as a garden cucumber has too many big seeds.

I made this ahead of time, and it became soggy. For best results, make and serve right away. See step 5 in the recipe instructions for tips on how to prepare to bring to a party.

No toothpicks are needed, just make sure you spread the mixture from end to end.

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1 Avocado
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several grounds of pepper
1 cucumber
Smoked or sweet paprika for garnish

1. Add the Avocado, basil, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. You can also blend by hand, finely mince the garlic and basil, and mash all the ingredients together with a fork until smooth and creamy.
2. Use a mandoline or potato peeler to cut long thin strips from the cucumber.
3. Take a cucumber strip and spread a thin coat of the Avocado mixture along the length of the cucumber. A little goes a long way! Make sure to get some Avocado all the way to the end, so it will stick the roll together.
4. Roll it up! No toothpicks needed. Do the same with the rest of your cucumber strips. Sprinkle with a little paprika and serve right away.
5. Cucumber is watery and softens quickly, so if you plan on bringing these to a party, prepare the Avocado spread that morning, and store in an air tight container. Bring a whole cucumber and potato peeler and assemble at the party.

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Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites

My son couldn’t get enough of these chicken bites.  We are big pretzel lovers in this house, so combining chicken and pretzels are a sure bet!  I found this recipe on Pinterest which linked me to sallysbakingaddiction.com .

This recipe is super easy to make.  I used 3 chicken breasts and I also crushed 3 cups of Rold Gold Pretzel sticks. I also did not spray my chicken with the nonstick spray as my pretzels stayed on my chicken just fine. I lined a baking sheet with tin foil with excellent results.

Leftover bites are great chopped up and added to a salad.

pretzel bites

1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-ourpose)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups finely crushed Rold Gold Pretzel Thins (or more, as needed)
nonstick spray like Pam, or coconut oil spray

!. Preheat oven to 400F (204C). Line a large baking sheet with silicone baking mat or coat heavily with nonstick spray.
2. If using chicken breasts, pound down into little 1-1.5 inch pieces. If using boneless, skinless chicken tenders (chicken tenders are the lean strips of meat found attached to the underside of chicken breasts – they can also be purchased separately.) – simply cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Beat eggs in another shallow dish. Pour pretzels into a third shallow dish. Coat each chicken piece in flour, shaking off excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the pretzels, shaking off excess. Add more crushed pretzels to the dish if you are running low. Place the chicken bites on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray each with nonstick spray to “seal” the breading, which will prevent the breading from staying raw and allows it to bake onto the chicken.
4. Bake for 8 minutes. Turn each piece over and continue to bake until the outside is crisp and the centers are cooked through, about 6-8 minutes more. Baking times may vary, just make sure yours are cooked through. If you like them more brown, cook longer. Serve chicken bites with toothpicks (if using as an appetizer) and honey mustard. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
5. Make ahead tip: Baked chicken bites freeze well up to 2-3 months. Bake frozen chicken bites in a 350F oven for 20 minutes or until warmed through.

Mediterranean Cucumber Cups

I made this awesome appetizer for book club last night.  We all have dinner with our families before we meet for book club, so I like to have something light to nibble on. This recipe was perfect!

I will definitely make this recipe again and again.  It is super good and super easy.

Instead of a melon baller, I just used a teaspoon to scoop out the cucumber. I also cut up the scooped out cucumber and added it into the rest of the vegetables.

You could definietly make the filling and scoop the cucumbers out ahead of time and then assemble right before your guests arrive.

cucumberappie

YIELD: About 15 cucumber cups

2 cucumbers
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 vine ripe tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1/8 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 cup fresh feta, crumbled
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon plus 1/2 tablespoon zest
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the onion, bell pepper, tomato, olives, oregano, feta, parsley, lemon juice and zest, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

2. Peel the cucumbers partially, leaving thin strips of skin going down the entire length of the cucumber. Trim the ends of the cucumbers and cut each cucumber into 1-inch thick slices. Scoop out the center of each slice with a melon baller, leaving a shell of flesh.

3. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the Mediterranean salad into the cucumber cups. Garnish with additional parsley and feta, if desired.

Easy Fried Green Tomatoes

YUM!!!  My neighbour gave me so many tomatoes yesterday! He picked alot of green ones since we are now at a risk of frost at night. He told me how his wife made fried green tomatoes and how much he liked them.  I have always heard of fried green tomatoes but I have never made them. So, I was then off to find a recipe…

I LOVED this dish.  I am thankful for my gift of tomatoes, but where will I find green tomatoes in the winter??? I would love to be able to make this year-round, This recipe was super easy to make and so delicious!  I put a little bit of sweet thai chili sauce on my tomatoes and they were amazing!!

I took this recipe from Pinterest. The original recipe comes from eatgood4life.com http://www.eatgood4life.com/easy-fried-green-tomatoes/

cooked green

2lbs of green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick approx.
2 organic eggs, beaten
2-3 cups of panko crumbs, maybe a tad more
1 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
Olive oil for frying

1. In a medium mixing bowl place the beaten eggs. In another bowl place the panko crumbs with the salt and pepper. This is your assembly line.
2. Pour enough oil in the frying pan to coat the bottom. Heat over medium heat. Using your assembly line – eggs and panko, dip the tomatoes in the egg mixture, and then into the panko. Shake off any excess.
3. Sprinkle a couple of panko crumbs into the oil, if it sizzles it’s ready. Fry the tomatoes until light golden brown on each side. About 2 minutes per side.
4. Transfer them onto a plate, previously covered with paper towels, and fry all the tomato slices. Served while still warm.

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Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber Bites

This is my new favorite appetizer!  Using a cucumber instead of a cracker is such a nice change up.  It’s light, not too filling and full of wonderful flavour. Plus, It’s super easy to make!

I used light cream cheese. I did not add the heavy cream into my recipe and I did not use toothpicks to hold the salmon on. I used 1 cucumber since I was making this for 2 people. I used the rest of the ingredients as needed. The recipe below is great for making these bites for a group of guests.

I found this gem of a recipe on Pinterest.  I made these bites last night for my friend who is gluten-free. Another reason to love this appetizer… it pleases lots of different diet choices.

Smoked Salmon and CCcukebites

2 English cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1″ rounds
1 pound smoked salmon, cut into bit sized pieces
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoon horseradish (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional
Toothpicks or tiny party forks

1. Peel cucumbers and slice them into 1″ circles. Arrange on a platter as desired. Place in the refrigerator while preparing the cream cheese.
2. Place cream cheese, dill, horseradish, and cream in a large bowl. Beat until well combined (a handheld mixer really helps here)
3. Spread 1 teaspoon of cream cheese on top each cucumber slice (more or less to taste) then top each slice with a bite sized piece of smoked salmon. Insert a toothpick down the center to keep in place.
4. Serve at once, or keep in the refrigerator until needed.
**I recommend making these as close to the serving time as possible

Baked Honey Garlic Chicken

My sister-in-law made this recipe and loved it!  She shared it on Pinterest with me and now it is one of our favorites as well. So quick and easy. The original recipe can be found on http://www.damndelicious.net.

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1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup Panko

FOR THE HONEY GARLIC SAUCE
1/3 cup honey, or more, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha, optional
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Working in batches, dip chicken into eggs, then dredge in Panko, pressing to coat.
3. Add chicken to prepared baking dish. Place in oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine honey, garlic, soy sauce, and Sriracha, if using. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1/3 cup water. Stir mixture into the saucepan until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. stir in chicken and gently toss to combine.
5. Serve immediatley, garnished with green onions and sesame seed, if desired.
YIELD – 4 servings

Three Root Vegetable Latkes

These latkes are so good, and they are not at all greasy since they are baked. I took this recipe from “The Best of Rose Reisman” by Rose Reisman.

I used my food processor to grate the vegetables. It took minutes, so easy. I also baked my latkes on baking sheets with slide foil, so they would not stick. My latkes did not come out as crispy, so next time I think I’ll just cook them right on the pan.

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2 tsp (10 ml) vegetable oil
2 cups (500 ml) diced onion
1 tsp (5 ml) crushed garlic
2 tsp (10 ml) brown sugar
2 cups (500 ml) grated peeled sweet potatoes
2 cups (500 ml) grated peeled baking potato
1 cup (250 ml) grated peeled parsnips
3 Tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
2 eggs
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup (125 ml) tzatziki

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a large oven dish with vegetable oil
2. In a skillet sprayed with vegetable oil, add the oil, onions and garlic. Sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes until tender. Add the sugar and sauté another 5 minutes. Place in a mixing bowl.
3. Squeeze out the excess moisture from the grated vegetables. Add the vegetables to the onion mixture along with the dill, eggs and salt and pepper.
4. Pat into 12 latkes, flatten and place them in an oven dish. Spray the patties with vegetable oil. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through the baking time, just until the vegetables are tender. Serve with tzatziki.

MAKE AHEAD: Grate the vegetables early in the day but keep them covered with water and refrigerated. Drain well, then prepare.

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Quick Cucumber Pickles with Rye Bread and Cheese

This amazing recipe is from “The Epicurious Cookbook” by Tanya Steel and the editors of Epicurious.

I brought this appetizer to a potluck Christmas dinner.  I loved the fresh taste of these pickles.  I made them an hour ahead and the cucumbers stayed nice and crisp.  I used a mandolin to cut the cucumbers.

As stated by the cookbook, you can jar these pickles to give as a gift, or serve alongside sandwiches in a buffet. The tart, lightly spicy crunch of the cucumber is a refreshing complement to most cheese, from Cheddar to goat.

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2 English cucumbers
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons drained bottled horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 loaf rye bread (1 pound)
2 (6-8 ounce) pieces semisoft cheese (preferably German, such as Cambozola or Mirabo)

1. Cut the cucumbers crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices, then toss with the salt in a bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Rinse and drain the cucumbers and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, mustard, horseradish, and dill until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the cucumbers and let stand at least 5 minutes.

3. Slice the bread and serve with the pickles and the cheese.

YIELD: Makes 6 hors d’oeuvre servings

DO AHEAD: The pickles can be made 2 to 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered.

Corn Fritters

These corn fritters are so good!!  I made them as appetizers served with sweet chili dipping sauce. (See tip below) You can also make them for brunch, just drizzle wiith maple syrup and serve alongside bacon and eggs.  I took this recipe from the Best of Bridge Cookbook “Bravo”.

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1 can (12oz/340 ml) corn kernels, well drained
3 green onions, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornmeal
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil

1. In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the corn, green onions, egg, flour, cornmeal, cilantro, sugar, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper; pulse a few times to blend. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining corn. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow batter to thicken slightly.

2. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp (25 ml) oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop in batter in 1/4-cup (50 ml) scoops and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, pressing down gently with a spatula, until golden brown on both sides and set on the inside. Transfer fritters to a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding and heating oil as needed between batches. MAKES ABOUT 6 LARGE FRITTERS

MAKE AHEAD: Let fritters cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day or layer between waxed paper in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Reheat on baking sheets in a 375F oven for 15 minutes.

TIP: For appetizer-size fritters, drop tablespoonfuls (15 ml) of batter into pan. They will only need about 2 minutes per side to brown.

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Broccoli and Cheddar White Bean Spread with Pita Wedges and Crudités

I found this great recipe from an old Canadian Living magazine.

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If you have a food processor, this spread is super easy and fast to throw together. I used white kidney beans since I could not find cannellini beans.

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This spread is much like a hummus consistency. Pack up some chopped up veggies and some pita and enjoy a lunch full of protein and fibre.

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1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 can (540ml) cannellini beans or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

9 cups vegetable crudités (baby carrots, celery, sweet pepper)
3 whole grain Greek-style pitas, cut into wedges

1. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain and chill in cold water, drain well. Transfer to food processor.

2. Add beans, cheddar cheese, garlic, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; purée until smooth. To take along, divide dip, vegetables and pitas among resealable containers.