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 ~

Caprese Skewers with Plum Balsamic Drizzle

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1So 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)

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 ~

Rainbow Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

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We received some beautiful fruit from Edible Arrangements — but what do you do with all that fruit?! We adapted the following recipe for Rainbow Fruit Salad by adding strawberries, mango, banana, kiwi and blueberries to the surplus of melon, grapes, and pineapple. It turned out to be a fantastic idea! The honey-lime dressing lightly coats the fruit and provides the perfect accent to the salad. So healthy and perfect for breakfast, lunch, dessert or as a side salad.


RAINBOW FRUIT SALAD WITH HONEY LIME DRESSING (Serves: 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. strawberries, quartered
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 4 kiwi, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 12 oz. blueberries
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 T. lime juice

Directions

  1. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Thread corn, kielbasa and sweet peppers on 4 long metal skewers.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together Italian dressing and mustard; brush some of the mixture on the kabobs before grilling.
  3. Grill, covered, directly over medium- to medium-high heat for 8 to 12 minutes, turning and brushing occasionally with remaining dressing mixture, until vegetables are tender and charred.

~ CleanHealthyRecipes ~

Easy Chicken Breasts with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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This was a meal that made use of the random things that I had floating around in the fridge. I loved the fact that it utilized two good sized chicken breasts to create four servings. You begin with one tablespoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter to saute the chicken. Once cooked I put them into a warm oven while I prepared the rest of the dish. Add another tablespoon of butter and throw in the mushrooms and shallots to cook for a few minutes. Use the white wine and chicken broth to deglaze the pan and allow to the mixture to cook until it is reduced by half. I didn’t have any heavy cream on hand so I used another tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of milk to finish the sauce. This was a really delicious meal. The lemon zest really heightens the flavor profile and make this a recipe to repeat.


EASY CHICKEN BREASTS WITH CREAMY MUSHROOM SAUCE (Serves: 4)

Ingredients

  • 2 6 to 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. Cut each chicken breast in half horizontally. Pound the chicken breasts lightly with a meat mallet until about ½ inch thick. Season the breasts with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper then melt the butter in a large skillet with half of the olive oil. Add 2 of the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the rest of the olive oil to the pan then repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Cook and transfer to the plate with the other breasts, then cover to keep warm.
  2. Add 1 more tablespoon of the butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened, stirring often.
  3. Add the wine and chicken broth to the skillet, bring to a boil, and reduce to half. Add the whipping cream, thyme leaves and the last tablespoon of butter. Stir to combine and add the lemon zest.
  4. Serve the mushroom sauce over the chicken breasts. Garnish with chopped parsley, more fresh thyme leaves and additional lemon zest if desired.

~ FoodieCrush.com ~

Mustardy Grilled Corn and Sausage Kabobs

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We combine two superfoods here to create a super supper. This dish is the ultimate heart healthy meal. The avocado is loaded in healthy monounsaturated fat that helps lower cholesterol and the salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are great for the heart, joints and memory. I would change up the order in which I prepared the ingredients. I first put together the salsa so that it had time to chill properly. I followed that with the dry rub and allowed the salmon to rest for about 45 minutes before I put it on the grill. We found the rub to be a little heavy for the fish. I think that I would reduce the cumin and paprika by half next time. I recommend that you grill the salmon for about 7-8 minutes total (4 minutes skin side down then flip for another 3 minutes). A fantastic way to start out the grilling season.


MUSTARDY GRILLED CORN AND SAUSAGE KABOBS (Serves: 4)

Ingredients

  • 2 large ears sweet corn, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 8)
  • 1 large green sweet pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 14 – ounce package kielbasa, cut into 12 pieces
  • 1/3 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard

Directions

  1. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Thread corn, kielbasa and sweet peppers on 4 long metal skewers.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together Italian dressing and mustard; brush some of the mixture on the kabobs before grilling.
  3. Grill, covered, directly over medium- to medium-high heat for 8 to 12 minutes, turning and brushing occasionally with remaining dressing mixture, until vegetables are tender and charred.

~ MidwestLiving.com ~

Apple Rose Pie

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pieWhat a wonderful dessert this turned out to be! It took some time and preparation, but it was sooo worth it. The apples are sliced on a mandolin and tossed with sugar and spice and everything nice (sorry, really just lemon juice). As the apples sit, they release the juices that will be used to create the wonderful glaze that is spread atop the apple rose. The rose is created by overlapping the apple slices in a prepared pie crust starting along the outside edge. The sugar and apple juice mixture is reduced on the stove top and then brushed across the top edges of the apples. Once it has been placed in a 350 degree oven and baked for thirty or 40 minutes, an apricot glaze is then spread across the top of the pie before it is returned to the oven to finish. This pie is delicious, chock full of apples and a makes a stunning presentation when served.


Apple Rose Pie (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, premade or homemade
  • 2 pounds Honey Crisp apples
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • Egg wash

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Peel and core the apples, and cut in half. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, slice each apple into ⅛-inch thick slices.
  3. Place the sliced apples in a large bowl. Combine and toss with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt and lemon juice. Let the apples sit for 30 minutes to release their juices.
  4. Strain the juice from the apples into a small saucepan with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Over medium heat, simmer for about 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half and thickened. Set aside and reserve for later.
  5. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the pie dough. Line a pie dish with the rolled-out dough. Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers. Brush the crimped pie crust with the egg wash.
  6. Starting at the outside edge, begin to place the apple slices into the pie dish in circles, snuggly overlapping the apple slices and working toward the center of the dish. Fill in any spaces or gaps with remaining apples slices so they are packed tightly in the pie dish.
  7. Pour half of the reserved liquid over the top of the apple slices. To the remaining reserved liquid, add the apricot preserves and stir until dissolved. Set aside in a warm place.
  8. Cover the pie with foil with vents for steam. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender.
  9. Remove the pie from the oven and remove foil. Brush the apples with the remaining apricot glaze, then return the pie to the oven. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pie is bubbling and golden brown.

~ FoodNetwork.com ~

Garlicky Lemon Shrimp with Angel Hair

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15This is a fantastically simple recipe from Delish. As your angel hair pasta cooks on the back burner, saute some garlic and shallots on the front burner. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the pan and cook until just done (just about 4 minutes). Toss with some fresh lemon juice and a bit of zest and, then add to the cooked pasta. I would recommend that you add a tablespoon of butter to the pasta once it has been drained. It will help keep the pasta from sticking together and, it helps keep the lemon from being too overpowering. Serve with chopped basil and lemon slices.


GARLICKY LEMON SHRIMP WITH ANGEL HAIR (Serves: 4)

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. angel hair
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 lb. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Chopped fresh basil, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook angel hair until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and shallot and cook until soft and fragrant, 3 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp and cook until pink, 2 minutes per side. Add lemon juice and zest and stir until combined, then add cooked angel hair to skillet and toss until fully combined.
  4. Garnish with parsley and serve.

~ Delish.com ~