Category Archives: Appetizers/Small Plates

Upside Down Sweet Onion Cornbread

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This recipe is a true winner!! Sweet Vidalia onions are caramelized and create the top of this moist, delicious cornbread.

UPSIDE DOWN SWEET ONION CORNBREAD (Yield: 10-12 Servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8.5 oz.) boxes corn muffin mix
  • 2 Vidalia onions
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • chive cream cheese, garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Carefully slice your onions into rings, making sure to leave them intact.
  3. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and arrange 5-7 large onion ring sections in the center and around the edge of the pan. This will be the top of your “cake.” Fill in empty section with smaller pieces of onion.
  4. Sauté onions for 5-8 minutes, or until softened.
  5. While onions cook, beat eggs into corn muffin mix in a large bowl, then stir in cottage cheese, 3/4 cup melted butter and sugar.
  6. Once fully incorporated, fold in cheddar cheese, corn, bacon and green onions.
  7. Pour (thick) batter over the sautéed onions in the skillet, then transfer skillet to oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cornbread is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes.
  9. Carefully invert cornbread cake onto serving platter.
  10. Slice into wedges, serve with cream cheese (optional) and enjoy!

~ 12Tomatoes.com ~

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Carrot Tart with Ricotta and Herbs

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1CARROT TART WITH RICOTTA AND HERBS (Yield: 6 Servings)

Ingredients

2 cups ricotta
¼ cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 large carrots (about 8 ounces), scrubbed, thinly sliced into coins
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, beaten to blend
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons small dill sprigs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk ricotta and cream in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and cook, tossing occasionally, 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Lightly roll out pastry on parchment paper just to smooth out creases. Transfer on paper to a baking sheet. Lightly score a 1″ border around pastry. Brush with egg; bake until golden and slightly puffed, 10–15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and spread ricotta mixture over pastry, staying within border. Scatter reserved onion and carrots over top. Bake until carrots are tender, onion is starting to caramelize, and pastry is golden brown and baked through, 30–35 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Just before serving, toss herbs and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Scatter over tart.
  6. Do Ahead: Tart can be baked 6 hours ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

~ bonappetit.com ~

Cucumber Cups Stuffed with Spicy Crab

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CUCUMBERS CUPS STUFFED WITH SPICY CRAB 

Ingredients

  • 3 long cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup crab meat, excess water removed
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp brown mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs minced green onion
  • Garnish with chili powder or paprika if desired

Directions

  1. Remove the peel from the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler. Cut the cucumber into 2 inch slices. Using a small melon baller, scoop out most of the inside. You want to leave the walls and a thick portion of the bottom intact.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sour cream and the cream cheese with a fork until well combined. add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Fill each of the cucumber cups with the crab dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve within 2 hours of making.

Fresh Corn and Lime Fritters

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 FRESH CORN AND LIME FRITTERS  (YIELD: 4 Servings)

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 tablespoon Thai curry paste such as green, red, or panang
  • 1 4 inch stalk lemongrass, trimmed and white parts minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced galangal
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 lime leaves, stems removed and minced
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
  • Thai sweet chili sauce, for dipping

Directions

  1. Remove corn kernels from cob and divide in half. To the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add half the corn, curry paste, lemongrass, galangal, egg, flour, baking powder, and salt; puree until smooth. Transfer batter to a medium bowl and fold in remaining corn kernels and lime leaves.
  2. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 F. Line a large plate or rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Working in batches, gently scoop 1 tablespoon of the batter into the oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning halfway through. Using a small spider or slotted spoon, remove the cooked fritters from the oil and transfer to the paper towels to drain. Season fritters lightly with salt. Serve hot with chili sauce for dipping.

~ Sur la Table ~

Tomato Crostata with Parmesan Cream

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TOMATO CROSTATA WITH PARMESAN CREAM  (YIELD: 9-INCH CROSTATA)

Ingredients (Crostata Crust)

  • 1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice water

Directions (Crostata Crust)

  1. To a food processor or large mixing bowl, add flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. By pulsing or a using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of peas. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture. Pulse or stir mixture until large clumps form. When enough water has been added to allow the dough to hold together, transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Press the pieces of dough together to form a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk about 6 inches wide, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds, drained on paper towels
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. and place a rack in the lower third. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Generously flour a work surface and place the chilled dough disk on the flour. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a circle, turning and flipping the dough as needed with a bench scraper, until the circle measures 14 inches wide and 1/8 inch thick. Starting at one edge, roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
  3. To a small bowl, add Parmesan, goat cheese, mayonnaise, chives, and thyme; stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with pepper. Spread the mixture in the center of the chilled dough round, leaving a 1-1/2 inch border. Layer the tomato slices in concentric circles, overlapping slightly, over the cheese mixture. Fold the border up and around the tomatoes, pleating it to make it pretty, circular enclosure and leaving the center open. Drizzle a little olive oil over tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush the top of the pleated dough with beaten egg, using a silicone pastry brush.
  4. Place crostata in the preheated oven and bake until crust is deep, golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Use a metal spatula to lift the crostata slightly and check the underside of the crust; it should be a beautiful brown color. Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the crostata to a serving plate, garnish with basil, slice, and serve.

~ Sur la Table ~

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

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I was trying out this recipe for use as a party appetizer, and it was a true success story. The Brussels sprouts are blanched in hot water for a few minutes to bring out their bright green color. Once removed from the pot, they are cut with an X about halfway down. A mixture of goat cheese and garlic is piped into the middle and then the entire thing is wrapped in bacon. I usually buy center cut bacon, but for this recipe I suggest using a longer cut. Pop these in the oven for 30 minutes and out come these tasty little morsels. Serve with the picks that secure the bacon for easy handling. I do suggest that you try to find Brussels sprouts that are all about the same size for this recipe. Such a perfect idea for Thanksgiving when you can find them fresh “on the stalk” at your grocer.


BACON-WRAPPED STUFFED BRUSSELS SPROUTS (Serves: 8)

Ingredients

  • 18 large Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed and loose outer leaves discarded
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 9 slices bacon, halved crosswise
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes to blanch.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a sieve. Pat the Brussels sprouts dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel. Using a paring knife, cut an “X” in the top of each Brussels sprout, cutting halfway down through the sprout.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Blend the cheese and garlic in a small bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture into a small resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag. Place the cut-out corner of the plastic bag in the “X” of each Brussels sprout and squeeze in a dollop of cheese mixture.
  4. Wrap a piece of bacon around each sprout vertically, covering over the cheese. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the sprouts and sprinkle with the pepper.
  5. Bake the sprouts, flipping them over halfway through the baking time, until the bacon is evenly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with toothpicks.

~ RodaleWellness.com ~

Cucumber Cups Stuffed with Spicy Crab

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3.jpgThis recipe combines the cool crispness of cucumber with the spicy savoriness of crab. I recommend using English cucumbers for both their diameter and length. It is a bit challenging to scoop them out with a melon baller, but it gets easier as you gain experience. Make a crab salad by combining cream cheese, sour cream, crab meat, hot sauce, brown mustard and green onion. I felt that mine came out just a bit too runny and, as a result, a bit sloppy. I think in the future I would reserve just a little of the sour cream-cream cheese mixture so that I can regulate the consistency. Some of the guests mentioned that the 2″ cup was a bit difficult to handle. As a result, I think it would be wise to create smaller cucumber cups in the future — perhaps 1 to 1-1/2 inches. Smaller cups but a greater yield. The crab salad and cups can be made in advance, but fill them just before serving. Dust with paprika and sprinkle with sliced green onion. A real people pleaser and a great contribution to any get-together.


CUCUMBER CUPS STUFFED WITH SPICY CRAB (Yields about 20)

Ingredients

  • 3 long cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup crab meat, excess water removed
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco or tapito)
  • 1 tsp brown mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs minced green onion
  • Garnish with chili powder or paprika if desired

Directions

  1. Remove the peel from the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler. Cut the cucumber into 2 inch slices. Using a small melon baller, scoop out most of the inside. You want to leave the walls and a thick portion of the bottom intact.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sour cream and the cream cheese with a fork until well combined. add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Fill each of the cucumber cups with the crab dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve within 2 hours of making.

~ DomesticFits.com ~