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Archive for the ‘appetizer’ Category

football-fest-empanadas

Football Fest Empanadas

Ingredients
1 jar (16 ounces) black bean and corn salsa
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 package (9 ounces) ready-to-use Southwestern chicken strips, chopped
2 packages (14.1 ounces each) refrigerated pie pastry
4 ounces quesadilla cheese, shredded
1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the salsa, corn, jalapenos, 2 tablespoons cilantro and lime juice. In another bowl, combine the chicken, remaining cilantro and 1/2 cup salsa mixture; set aside. Reserve remaining salsa for serving.

Unroll a pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Using a floured 4-in. round cookie cutter placed halfway on edge of pastry, cut 4-in. x 3-in. football shapes. Repeat with remaining dough, chilling and rerolling scraps as needed.

Transfer half of the cutouts to greased baking sheets. Place 1 tablespoon chicken mixture in the center of each; top each with 1-1/2 teaspoons cheese. Brush edges of pastry with egg. Top with remaining cutouts; press edges with a fork to seal. Cut slits in the tops to resemble football laces. Brush tops with egg.

Bake at 450° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with reserved salsa mixture. Refrigerate leftovers.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled pastries in a freezer container, separating layers with waxed paper. To use, reheat pastries on a greased baking sheet in a preheated 400° oven until crisp and heated through. Yield: 2 dozen.

Editor’s Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Recipe found here: Football Fest Empanadas

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Two-Cheese Pizzas

Two-Cheese Pizzas

Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 pita breads (6 inches)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 small tomato, diced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pizza sauce, warmed, optional

Directions
In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic powder; brush over pitas. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, basil and tomato. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 400° for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with pizza sauce if desired. Yield: 2 servings.

Recipe found here: Two-Cheese Pizzas

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Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller

Ingredients
3 dozen fresh oysters in the shell, washed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1 package (9 ounces) fresh spinach, torn
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds kosher salt

Directions
Shuck oysters, reserving bottom shell; set aside. In a large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Add spinach; cook and stir until wilted. Remove from the heat; stir in the cheese, lemon juice and pepper.

Spread kosher salt into two ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans. Lightly press the oyster shells down into the salt. Place one oyster in each shell; top each with 2-1/2 teaspoons spinach mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 450° for 6-8 minutes or until oysters are plump. Serve immediately. Yield: 3 dozen.

Recipe found here: Oysters Rockefeller

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Inside-Out Veggie Dip

Inside-Out Veggie Dip

Ingredients
2 large cucumbers
16 cherry tomatoes
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Directions
Peel strips from cucumbers to create decorative edges if desired; cut into 1/2-in. slices. Finely chop two slices; set aside. With a small spoon, scoop some of the seeds from the remaining slices.

Cut a thin slice from the bottoms of tomatoes to allow them to rest flat. Cut a thin slice from tops of tomatoes; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-in. shell. Invert onto paper towels to drain.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, red pepper, celery, onion, carrot, seasonings and chopped cucumber.

Fill tomatoes and cucumber slices with cream cheese mixture, about 1 teaspoon in each. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

Recipe found here: Inside-Out Veggie Dip

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spinach quesadillas

Spinach Quesadillas

Ingredients
3 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 4 cups)
4 green onions, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
6 flour tortillas (6 inches)
Reduced-fat sour cream, optional

Directions
In a large nonstick skillet, cook and stir first six ingredients until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat; stir in cheeses.

Top half of each tortilla with spinach mixture; fold other half over filling. Place on a griddle coated with cooking spray; cook over medium heat until golden brown, 1-2 minutes per side. Cut quesadillas in half; if desired, serve with sour cream. Yield: 4 servings.

Recipe found here: Spinach Quesadillas

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Crisp Cucumber Salsa

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

Ingredients
2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
Baked tortilla chip scoops

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately with chips. Yield: 2-1/2 cups.

Editor’s Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Recipe found here: Crisp Cucumber Salsa

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Cheeseburger Pockets

Cheeseburger Pockets

Ingredients
1/2 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
5 slices process American cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain and cool.

Place two biscuits overlapping on a floured surface; roll out into a 5-in. oval. Place about 1/4 cup of meat mixture on one side. Fold a cheese slice to fit over meat mixture. Fold dough over filling; press edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining biscuits, meat mixture and cheese.

Place on a greased baking sheet. Prick tops with a fork. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 5 servings.

Pricking the tips of Cheeseburger Pockets helps steam escape during baking. If you don’t do this, the pockets will puff up and may break open.

Recipe found here: Cheeseburger Pockets

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