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)
- 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
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 ~
This 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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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 ~
So beautiful and so tasty — this recipe from Ree Drummond is true perfection. We cut fresh rosemary from the garden and stripped off the lower leaves to make skewers. (Why hadn’t I thought of this before?) Begin by marinating the mozzarella in olive oil and seasonings for an hour or so. We weren’t able to find bocconcini so we used the slightly smaller ciliegine mozzarella balls instead. Puree the plum preserves and balsamic vinegar together and then put on the stove to reduce by half. Thread the mozzarella and grape tomatoes on the rosemary skewers and drizzle with the plum balsamic mixture just before serving. A wonderful thing to take along to a party or to serve as an appetizer at any gathering.
CAPRESE SKEWERS WITH PLUM BALSAMIC DRIZZLE (Serves: 20)
- 20 bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One 15-ounce jar plum preserves
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 20 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 pints grape tomatoes
- Put the bocconcini in a large bowl with the olive oil, red pepper flakes and some salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- In a food processor or blender, puree the plums with the balsamic vinegar until smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook until the mixture has reduced by about half, several minutes. It should be fairly thick, but remember, it will continue to thicken as it cools. When cool, pour it into a squeeze bottle and refrigerate.
- Trim about 2 inches of the leaves off the bottoms of the rosemary sprigs. Skewer a tomato followed by a bocconcino onto each. Arrange on a platter, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, squeeze over the plum balsamic drizzle.
~ FoodNetwork/Recipes/ReeDrummond.com ~
This is the perfect recipe to serve your family and friends for game or movie night. It is full of veggies and tossed with a delicious spicy-sweet dressing. To add color I picked up a package of Stoplight peppers (green, yellow & red) and some fresh avocados. Begin by prepping all of the chopped fresh vegetables and then, drain and rinse the black beans and black-eyed peas. Combine all of the ingredients, toss with the dressing and then into the refrigerator it goes until you are ready to serve. Bring it out with some sliced avocado and corn chips . . . and a stack of napkins. It is definitely drool worthy.
COWBOY CAVIAR (Serves 8)
- 3 cups seeded and diced Roma tomatoes (about 1 pound Roma tomatoes)
- 1 – 15-ounce can corn kernels, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup seeded and diced bell pepper, any color (about 1 medium pepper)
- ¾ cup red onion or shallot, small diced
- 1 – 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 – 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
- ¾ cup chopped cilantro (about ½ bunch fresh cilantro)
- 1 to 2 avocados, sliced (optional)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- In a large bowl, add the diced tomatoes, corn kernels, diced bell pepper, diced red onion, black beans, black-eyed peas, and minced jalapeño. Stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, honey, cumin, minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Whisk the dressing ingredients together until well-combined.
- Pour the dressing into the large bowl over the veggies. Add the cilantro, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
- Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight to blend flavors. Serve chilled or at room temperature, with sliced avocado or corn chips, as desired.
~ TipHero.com ~