Appetizers

Buffalo Wings - Super Nachos - Jalapeño Poppers - Spinach and Artichoke Dip - Cocktail Meatballs - Blue Cheese Gougeres - Basic Cheese Fondue - Chicken Liver Pate - Sausage-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms - Corn Dogs - Dill Deli Rolls - Smoked Mushroom and Shrimp Quesadilla - Pesto Cheese Dip - Mexican-Style Tortilla Wings - Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta - Holiday Cheese Ball - Crostini alla Mozzarella - Hot Crab-Artichoke Dip - Cheddar and Swiss Cheese Fondue - Blue Cheese Fondue - Egg Rolls - Sausage Scoops

Buffalo Wings with Spicy Blue Cheese Sauce

Ingredients: Directions:
• 24 Chicken wings
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
Essence Cajun Seasoning
Spicy Blue Cheese Sauce

Cut the tips off the wings and discard. Cut remaining chicken wings in half at the joint. Season wings with Essence and place on grill. Melt butter and hot sauce together. Toss wings in hot sauce to coat. Serve with Spicy Blue Cheese Sauce and celery sticks.

Super Nachos
recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 2 bags tortilla chips in 2 colors or 2 flavors

Pico de Gallo Salsa:

  • 4 tomatoes seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • salt

Beef and Beans Topping:

  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t dark chili powder
  • 1 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper sauce
  • 1 can black beans, 15 ounces, drained

Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 pound pepper jack cheese, shredded, about 2 1/2 cups

Additional toppings to choose from:

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chopped black olives
  • Diced pimento
  • Sliced avocado, dressed with lemon juice
  • Hot pepper sauces

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Arrange a mixture of 2 varieties of corn chips on a very large platter or use your broiler pan as a platter.

Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside for flavors to marry.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic, onion and peppers to the pan and saute 2 minutes, then add meat and crumble with wooden spoon. Season meat with salt, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper sauce. Cook meat 5 minutes, then stir in beans and reduce heat to low.

In a medium sauce pot, melt butter and add flour to it. Cook flour and butter 1 to 2 minutes over moderate heat, then whisk in milk. When milk comes to a bubble, stir in cheese with a wooden spoon. Remove cheese sauce from the heat.
Pour cheese sauce evenly over the massive spread of chips and top evenly with beef and beans and the pico de gallo. UBER NACHOS! Serve immediately as is or, garnish with your choice of extra toppings from the toppings list.

Joe's Screaming Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers
Recipe courtesy Joe Rao

Ingredients: Directions:

• 1 to 2 packages cream cheese, depending on the size of your pepper, room temperature
• 2 to 4 cloves chopped garlic
• 1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes - a nice handful from the jar
• Chopped fresh basil leaves
• 10 to 25 jalapeno peppers (larger then average size will make them easier to stuff)
• 1/2 to 1 pound thinly sliced bacon
• Toothpicks (for the peppers, not your teeth silly)

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Preheat the grill.
Mix each package of cream cheese with chopped garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and a dash of chopped basil. Add a pinch of salt. Mix until mixture is soft and manageable.

Slice each jalapeno lengthwise on 1 side, being careful not to cut the jalapeno in 1/2. Remove the seeds if you don't think your friends can handle the heat, otherwise leave 'em and enjoy watching your friends shed a few extra tears. He he... Depending on your pepper, you may have to slice around the stem of the pepper to create a manageable opening to squeeze the filling in.

Fill either a pastry bag, or your choice of tools with the filling. Use something that will allow you to squeeze the filling into the opening of the pepper with ease. I've used a plastic frosting tool, cookie press, and even just a small spoon to squeeze the filling in. However you choose, insert a liberal amount of filling into each jalapeno. Be careful not to overfill as the filling may spurt out during cooking.

Wrap each pepper with 1 to 2 strips of bacon, securing the opening in the pepper. Secure the bacon with a toothpick (best to soak the toothpicks first, to prevent burning on the BBQ). This also helps the jalapeño's from falling into the BBQ (you're bound to loose at least 1, oh well). Long metal or wood skewers also work well for large amounts.

BBQ the peppers until they lightly roasted, or until the bacon is fully cooked. Use some foil to cook on if your peppers are cooking or burning too fast on a HOT BBQ.

Serve 'em up and watch your friends squirm with delight!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Ingredients: Directions:
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages fresh spinach, well rinsed and stems trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch cubes rind less Brie
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack
  • 1 (6 1/2-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 4 strips bacon, fried crisp, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    Assorted chips for dipping (pita chips, tortilla chips, bagel chips)

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round chafing dish and set aside.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach in batches and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and refresh under cold running water. Squeeze to remove all excess water and chop. Set aside. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and cream in a steady stream, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked spinach and lemon juice, and stir to incorporate. Add the cubed and grated cheeses, artichoke hearts, and bacon, and stir well. Remove from the heat and pour into the prepared dish. Top with the Parmesan and bake until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot with chips.

 

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Cocktail Meatballs

Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Ingredients: Directions:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons Creole mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Essence Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

    Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup grated yellow onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs, except the oil and butter. Mix well with your hands. Form into individual meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter. In a large skillet, heat the oil and the butter over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning until brown on all sides. Transfer to a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.

Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking to dissolve the sugar and combine. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bake until the meat is cooked through and the sauce is bubbly, 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

 

Blue Cheese Gougeres

Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Ingredients: Directions:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Emeril's Original Essence
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 pound blue cheese, or other creamy blue cheese


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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, combine the milk, butter, salt, black pepper, and Essence over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add the flour, and stir constantly with a large wooden spoon to incorporate, about 1 minute. Return to medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after the addition of each. Add the cheese and beat until mixed well and a slightly soft dough forms.

Drop the dough by the spoonful on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately, or at room temperature.

 

Basic Cheese Fondue (Fondue Neuchateloise)

Ingredients: Directions:
2 1/2 fl Dry white wine
Clove garlic
5 1/2 oz Emmental and Gruyere cheese*
1 t Cornstarch
1/2 fl Kirsch**
Shake pepper
Grind fresh nutmeg
6 oz White bread, cubed

(Note: the above measurements are for each person. Multiply by your number of guests.)


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* Grated and mixed half and half.

** This is Swiss cherry firewater: clear, dry-tasting -- *not* "cherry brandy", which is dark and sweet.
Most good liquor stores should carry it, at least one of the US brands like Hiram Walker, or else maybe Bols. The best Kirsch is "Etter" brand from
Switzerland, but the odds of your finding it are
minuscule.

-- In Switzerland, fondue is usually prepared in a "caquelon", an earthenware dish with a handle, glazed inside; but any enameled saucepan can be used, or a not too shallow fireproof dish. Rub the inside of the pan with half a cut clove of garlic, and let it dry until the rubbed places feel tacky. Put the wine in the dish and bring it to a boil. Slowly start adding cheese to the boiling wine, and stir constantly until each bit is dissolved, then add more. When all the cheese is in, stir the kirsch into the cornstarch well, then add the mixture to the cheese and keep stirring over the heat until the mixture comes to a boil again. Add freshly ground pepper and nutmeg to taste. -- Remove the dish to on top of a small live flame (Steno or alcohol burner) and keep it bubbling slowly. Bread should have been cubed - about 1-inch cubes -- for spearing with fondue forks and stirring around in the cheese. The old custom is that if you accidentally lose the bread into the cheese from the end of your fork, if you're male, you have to buy around of drinks for the table: if you're female, you have to kiss everybody. (Hmm.) .

Other fondue info:

-- Do not drink water with fondue -- it reacts unkindly in your stomach with the cheese and bread. Dry white wine or tea are the usual accompaniments.

-- Another tradition: the "coupe d' midi", or "shot in the middle", for when you get full: a thimbleful of Kirsch, knocked straight back in the middle of the meal, usually magically produces more room if you're feeling too full. Don't ask me how this works...it just does.

-- The crusty bit that forms at the bottom of the pot as the cheese keeps cooking is called the "crouton", and is very nice peeled off and divvied up among the guests as a sort of farewell to dinner.

Chicken Liver Pate: Terrine de Foies de Volaille
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003

Ingredients: Directions:
1 pound fresh chicken livers, cleaned
1 cup milk
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons green peppercorns, drained
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
French bread croutons or toast, accompaniment
French cornichons, optional accompaniment


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In a bowl, soak the livers in the milk for 2 hours. Drain well.

In a large saute pan or skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken livers, 1 tablespoon of the peppercorns, the bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the livers are browned on the outside and still slightly pink on the inside, about 5 minutes. Add the Cognac and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated and the livers are cooked through but still tender.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Discard the bay leaves.

In a food processor, puree the liver mixture. Add the remaining butter in pieces and pulse to blend. Fold in the remaining 1 tablespoon peppercorns and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Pack the pate into 6 individual ramekins or small molds, about 4 ounces each. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours.

To serve, place the ramekins on individual plates. Garnish the tops with parsley and surround with croutons. Serve with cornichons on the side.

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Sausage-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004

Ingredients: Directions:
6 portobello mushrooms, stemmed (reserve 1 cup minced stems)
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
12 ounces hot Italian sausage
12 ounces sweet Italian sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons Emeril's Essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling


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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Using your hands, lightly rub each portobello mushroom with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

Cook the sausage in a medium skillet until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and mushroom stems and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Transfer sausage-vegetable mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Add, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan, 1/4 cup of parsley, the Essence, and the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped and comes together slightly, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the egg, and stir until well combined.

Divide the filling among the mushroom caps, about 1/2 cup for each mushroom. Place the filled mushrooms on a baking sheet. Combine remaining 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and 1/4 cup of Parmesan in a small mixing bowl. Divide the bread crumb mixture evenly among the tops of the mushrooms. Bake until golden brown on top and the mushrooms are tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Garnish with remaining tablespoon of parsley, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Kicked Up Corn Dogs
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Essence, plus more for dusting,
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 cup buttermilk, or more if needed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 1/4 cup grated yellow onions
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 3/4 cup grated Cheddar
  • 12 hot dogs or sausages, skewered on thick wooden sticks



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In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons of the oil and stir to combine. Fold in the onions, jalapenos, and cheese.

In a large pot or electric fryer, heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides to 360 degrees F.

One at a time, while holding the skewers, dip the hot dogs into the batter, turning to completely and thickly coat on all sides. Slip the coated hot dogs in batches into the hot oil and cook, turning, until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with Essence.

 

Dill Deli Rolls
Recipe courtesy George Stella

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 4 slices zero-carb deli ham (about 1-ounce each)
  • 4 slices zero-carb deli turkey breast (about 1-ounce each)
  • 8 kosher dill pickle spears

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Combine the cream cheese, dill, and green olives in a bowl and mix well with a fork.

Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture on each deli meat slice, arrange a pickle down the center of each, and roll them up.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm; then cut each roll into 3 slices and serve. May be made up to 1 day in advance.

 

Smoked Mushroom and Shrimp Quesadilla with Adobo Chili Salsa
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 2 Anaheim chile peppers
  • 12 ounces medium shrimp, shelled, deveined, and cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons Essence
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 6 (9-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
  • 8 ounces smoked mushrooms, recipe follows
  • Adobo Chile Salsa, recipe follows

Smoked Mushrooms:
8 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed and thickly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Essence

Combine the mushrooms, oil, and Essence in a medium bowl and toss to coat evenly.

Smoke mushrooms until the mushrooms are tender and completely smoked, about 20 minutes. Remove from the smoker and set aside until ready to assemble the quesadillas.

Adobo Chile Salsa:
2 cups chopped, peeled, and seeded tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped white onions
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until just smooth but still slightly chunky.

Transfer to a bowl and serve with the quesadillas.

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Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Roast the peppers by placing them on an open gas flame, turning them frequently with tongs until all the sides are charred black, 7 to 10 minutes. (Alternately, the peppers can be roasted under a broiler, or on top of a gas or charcoal grill.) Put the peppers in a plastic or paper bag, and cool for about 15 minutes.

Peel the peppers, remove the seeds and stems, and discard. Coarsely chop the peppers.

In a bowl, season the shrimp with the Essence, tossing to coat evenly. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are just pink, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate to cool. Wipe the skillet clean.

In a bowl combine the 2 cheeses.

On a work surface, spread 3 of the tortillas. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the cheese over the bottom of each tortilla. Top each with 1/3 of the shrimp, mushrooms, and chiles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the remaining cheese and top with a tortilla, pressing to adhere.

Add 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil to the pan over high heat. Add 1 assembled quesadilla and cook until the cheese starts to melt and the bottom starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn with a large spatula and cook until the bottom is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and quesadillas.

To serve, cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges and divide among plates. Serve with the Adobo salsa on the side for dipping.

 

Jillie's Pesto Cheese Dip
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004

Ingredients: Directions:
  • pita
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Basil Pesto, recipe follows

Basil Pesto:

  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted walnut pieces
  • 1 cup cleaned basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

In a blender, combine all the ingredients and process on high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.

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Preheat a grill to high.

Brush the pita lightly on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place on the grill and grill until marked on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and cut each pita into 8 triangles.

Place the cream cheese on a decorative microwave-proof plate, and microwave it, uncovered, on high until it begins to melt slightly, about 15 seconds.

Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the cream cheese from the microwave and spoon the Basil Pesto evenly over it. Return plate to the microwave and cook, uncovered, on high until the pesto is just warm but still thick, 5 to 10 seconds.

Alternately, place cheese in gratin dish. Pour pesto over cheese. Slide under broiler for 7 to 8 minutes until warm and bubbly.

Remove the dip and serve with grilled pita.

 

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Mexican-Style Tortilla Wings
Recipe courtesy Christopher B. O'Hara, Wing It!: Delectable Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Bar Snack, Clarkson Potter, 2004

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 36 ounces plain tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups corn oil
  • 1/4 cup mild chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 30 chicken wings, small wing joint removed

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Preheat the oven 375 degrees F. Oil a large baking sheet.

Using a food processor or blender, pulverize the tortilla chips until finely ground, then place them in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the corn oil, chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, and black pepper. Dip the wings into the oil mixture, let excess oil drip off, then dredge them in the tortilla coating. Place coated wings on a large oiled baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, following the method below, until the tortilla coating is browned and uniformly crispy.

Method for Baking Wings: Using a paper towel, lightly oil a 9 by 13-inch baking sheet to prevent wings from sticking. Place your prepared wings in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until crispy brown, 30 to 40. If you are using a marinade, you can periodically baste wings for the first 15 minutes. If you are applying a barbecue glaze, apply during the last 10 minutes of cooking. For extra-crispy wings, you may place the wings under the broiler to 2 to 3 minutes at the end of cooking.

 

Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta

Ingredients: Directions:
Relish
  • 1 lb Ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tb Finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tb finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tb extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/4 lb Fresh Mozzarella, cut into 1/2 cubes

Bruschetta

  • 1 medium baguette, into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

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Dice tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces; drain over a bowl for 1/2 hour to remove excess liquid. Combine all relish ingredients except the Mozzarella cheese in a small non aluminum bowl. Stir well and taste for seasoning.

Prepare grill (or broiler) for medium hot grilling. Place the bread on the grill; grill each side just until marks of the grill appear. Remove from grill and place on serving platter. Rub the bread pieces on each side with cut edges of the peeled garlic cloves. Add cheese to the relish, spoon mixture over each baguette slice and then drizzle the final 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over top. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve. Makes 6 servings.

 

Holiday Cheese Ball

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 11 oz, cream cheese
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 tbs. finely chopped onion
  • 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 tsp. Season Salt

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Soften cream cheese, add drained pineapple, 1 cup pecans and other ingredients. Form one large or two small balls and chill. Roll in remaining pecans and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. this freezes well.

 

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Crostini alla Mozzarella
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 1 (17-inch) loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 24 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile in a medium skillet, heat the butter until it begins to foam, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low, add the rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Alternate cubes of bread and cheese on 10-inch skewers, starting and ending with bread. Suspend the skewers over a shallow pan, making sure that the bread and cheese don't touch the bottom. Brush the rosemary butter over the bread and cheese cubes. Bake until the bread is golden and crunchy and the cheese is beginning to melt, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Slip the bread and cheese cubes off the skewers onto a warm platter and serve immediately.

 

Hot Crab-Artichoke Dip
Recipe courtesy Ms. Patti

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 1-6 oz real crab meat can
  • 1 c real mayo
  • 8 oz shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 c shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 cans Artichoke Hearts
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

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  1. Drain and chop Artichoke Hearts
  2. Drain crab meat
  3. Add all ingredients together
  4. Heat at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

 

 

 

 

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Cheddar and Swiss Cheese Fondue

Ingredients: Directions:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon Ac’cent (season salt)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 can (12 ounces) beer
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
Bite size pieces of pumpernickel bread


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Melt butter in saucepan. Blend in flour, Ac’cent, salt, dry mustard. Gradually stir in beer. Add Worcestershire sauce. Cook stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Add cheese, a little at a time, stirring constantly until melted. Keep warm in a fondue dish. Serve with chunks of pumpernickel bread.

 

 

 

 

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Blue Cheese Fondue

Ingredients: Directions:
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 oz pkg cream cheese, cubed
8 ounces monterey jack cheese, cubed
1 tablespoon kirsch (cherry brandy)

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Heat wine and cream cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Add monterey jack cheese, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Blend in blue cheese. When smooth, add kirsch. Serve with dippers of French bread, fresh fruit or vegetables.

 

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Egg Rolls

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 1 pkg. Egg Roll Skins
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3 tbs. peanut oil
  • 1/2 lb. lean pork chopped
  • 1/4 lb. raw shrimp chopped
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce
  • Oil for frying

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Heat 3 tbs. oil in large fry pan over high heat. Add pork. Cook, stirring until meat loses its color. Add shrimp.Cook 1 minute. Add vegetables and seasoning. Cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle with cornstarch. Mix well. Stir in soy sauce. cook 1 minute. Turn into colander set in bowl. Cool completely.

Place 2-3 tbs. filing on each egg roll skin. Brush edges of dough with beaten egg. Fold corner nearest you over filling. Fold left hand corner over. Fold over the right one. Roll toward the top corner to form cylinder. Cover with a damp towel until ready to use. Heat 2 inches depth oil or shortening to 375. Cook rolls 3 or 4 at a time until crisp and golden. Drain.

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Sausage Scoops

Ingredients: Directions:
  • 1 lb. bulk sausage
  • 6 oz grated mild cheddar chesse
  • 6 oz grated pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 jalapeno pepper diced
  • 6 oz black chopped olives
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro minced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 bags "Scoops" corn chips
  • 6 oz black olives sliced

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In a large saute pan cook sausage, jalapeno and red pepper. When done add cheese, ranch dressing, diced black olives and cilantro. Cook until cheese is melted. Arrange about 6 dozen scoops on baking sheet(s). Fill each scoop with a teaspoon of the sausage mixture. Add a black olive slice to the top of each filled scoop.

Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 5-8 minutes.

Serve hot

 

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