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Appetizer Recipes, page 2 

 

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Southwest Frittata Bites 

Having sampled a casserole of what was called "Chiles Rellenos," I found the recipe delicious, but certainly not what I would ever term "chiles rellenos." My knowledge of these is from Guatemala, and nothing like what is commonly found in the US with cheese stuffed chiles. I could not dispute the flavors though, and I felt this could be made in a similar manner to Millard's Artichoke Quiches (recipe below). This recipe was the result, and they were just fantastic.

Makes about 40 little mini-tart sized bites

3 (4-ounce) cans mild whole green chiles, drained, in ¼" dice
8 ounces shredded Mexican Blend cheese
6 - 8 scallions, minced
1 small can pickled jalapenos, drained and minced, optional
3 slices thick sliced bacon, fried crisp, chopped
5 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper, to taste, optional

Southwest Frittata Bites
Southwest Frittata Bites
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Pour the lightly beaten eggs over and combine well. Add salt and pepper if desired. I feel that between the bacon and the cheese these are salted enough, though this is personal preference. Fill mini tart pans about half to ¾ full. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

NOTES:  If you want these to come out about the same size, it helps to use a little cookie or ice cream scoop (about 1 tablespoon + capacity).

This recipe is completely gluten-free.


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Millard's Artichoke Quiches 

This recipe was placed in a subdivision newsletter by a neighbor, Millard Laney, some years back. The recipe is so simple my first thought was, "This can't work!" It does work, and these can also be made full muffin sized as a side dish, just as easily as for an appetizer. Everyone just gobbles these up, so be prepared. The recipe can be made Gluten-Free if omitting the crackers. There is only the slightest difference in texture.

Makes 6 muffin-sized quiches or 35 mini tart-sized quiches

1 (12 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 eggs
6 saltine crackers, optional
3 scallions, chopped, optional
Dash of hot sauce, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste

Millards Artichoke Quiches
Millard's Artichoke Quiches, mini-sized
Combine all ingredients. Divide into 6 greased muffin cups or into greased mini-muffin pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden. If using mini tart pans (size as in the photo), bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

NOTES: Millard goes on to say that if you want about 120 mini quiches for a party, buy two (32 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts and then use about 5 times the amounts of everything else except the eggs, which will work with about 18 instead of 20.


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Mushroom Crostini with Sherry and Rosemary 

Amazing flavors with this combination make it especially good on toasted breads. I created this recipe as a new way to use black cardamom, though it is in no way a necessity. A little bit of Parmesan shredded over top and broiled and this is a hit. Use small baguette slices for easy picking up to eat.

Makes about 3½ - 4 cups of mushroom mixture
Tops about 24 baguette slices

1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups boiling water for 20 minutes
1 pound 'Baby Bellas' or cremini mushrooms, stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced and rough-chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
a few grinds of the pepper mill
1 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 black cardamom pod, seeds only, optional
½ cup dry Fino Sherry or dry white wine
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 baguette, in ¼-inch slices
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil for brushing baguette slices
1 - 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
Mushroom Crostini with Sherry and Rosemary
Mushroom Crostini with Sherry and Rosemary
Heat a large skillet and add in the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and reduce heat to medium low, cooking the onion slowly, tossing often, for about 15 minutes, or until nicely golden. Add in the garlic and sliced mushrooms with the salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring often, until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to brown slightly. about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the shiitakes from the hot water (discard water) and cut out the hard stems. Slice them in half, then thinly slice them across. Add the shiitakes to the skillet with the cardamom, rosemary and Sherry. Raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring, until all the Sherry liquid has evaporated. Add in the cream off the heat and stir to combine. Set aside.

Broil the olive oil brushed baguette slices very close to the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until browned. Flip them over and brown the other side. Remove from oven and pile on mushroom mixture and top with grated Parmesan. Broil for another 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown. Serve immediately.

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My Favorite Pesto  

Emailing to my family one day, I asked if anyone had a pesto recipe? Anita gave me a recipe she had watched someone make. I made it but made a lot of changes. Here is my version, which I have really come to love. I use equal parts basil and parsley. Parsley is a natural deodorizer and cuts down on “garlic breath.”

Makes about 2 cups
2 cups basil leaves, packed into measure
2 cups Italian parsley, packed into measure
4 - 6 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup olive oil


My Favorite Pesto
My Favorite Pesto
Combine all but olive oil in a food processor. Process until very finely ground, scraping down sides as needed. Drizzle in olive oil while processing, until well blended.

NOTES: This recipe is versatile, and many variations on the theme are in evidence these days. Pine nuts are very expensive, but walnuts make a perfect substitution. Some make pesto with young spinach leaves instead of basil. Some use no parsley at all.

The amount of garlic is completely “to taste”, though if raw garlic is a problem, chop it first and soak in a tablespoon of white vinegar for up to 10 minutes before using. Drain the garlic and add to the food processor.

If 2 cups of pesto is too much, but basil is in abundance, this recipe freezes perfectly. Divide into small containers and freeze until needed. I had so much basil and parsley growing last summer, I made 5 (2-cup) containers and froze them. I had plenty of wonderful pesto, redolent of summer, to keep me all winter long.

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Pork Tenderloin in Dukkah Seasoning 

An inspired combination, simple to make, sliced thin and served on baguette slices, these are excellent with a red Rioja wine. Use Aioli to give the meat a little spark of garlic flavor.

Makes about 25 slices

1 pork tenderloin (1 - 1½ pounds)
¾ cup hoisin sauce
¾ cup Dukkah seasoning

Place pork, cleaned of fat or silver skin, into a zip-top bag and pour on the hoisin sauce. Marinate the meat in the hoisin, turning every few hours, for at least 4 hours or overnight.


Pork Tenderloin Slices in Dukkah Seasoning
Pork Tenderloin Slices in Dukkah Seasoning
Place the Dukkah seasoning onto a plate long enough to accommodate the length of the pork. First, using kitchen twine, tie the pork tenderloin in about 5 - 6 places along the length. This ensures the pork comes out in nicely rounded slices. Trim any excess twine. Roll the pork into the Dukkah, pressing so it adheres well. Set aside to rest for at least ½ hour. This drying time helps the Dukkah stay on. Place the roast onto a rack over a baking sheet with sides. Roast at 450 for approximately 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven and tent the roast with foil. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

NOTES:  Hoisin sauce will likely contain gluten. Seek out a gluten free hoisin sauce to make this gluten free. If the GF hoisin is not sticky enough for the Dukkah seasoning to adhere, you might mix just a little honey into the hoisin before marinating the meat.


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Indian Spiced Chicken with Cilantro Sauce 

This recipe was created to pair with a red wine; 2012 Anderra Carmenere for the Winefest Renaissance fundraising event to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen. Cilantro is a flavor well suited to red Carmenere wines, along with other spiced foods, including chicken. The Indian spiced chicken is an old favorite of flavors, but the cilantro sauce is a new invention. The pairing of the chicken and sauce went exceptionally well with the wine.

Makes about 50 picks

4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
MARINADE:
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons coriander seed, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cardamom, ground
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 recipe: Cilantro Sauce

Indian Spiced Chicken with Cilantro Sauce
Indian Spiced Chicken with Cilantro Sauce
Clean the chicken breasts of any fat or cartilage. Cut into long strips about 1 inch in diameter. In a zip top bag, combine all the marinade ingredients and shake to combine. Add in the chicken strips and marinate for about 2 hours. Grill or broil the strips until just tender. Cut the strips into cubes and skewer two cubes onto a toothpick. Make the Cilantro Sauce and serve with the chicken skewers.

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Flank Steak with Gorgonzola Walnut Spread 

This recipe was created especially to pair with a 2009 Conn Creek ‘Herrick’ Cabernet Sauvignon for Winefest Renaissance 2013 fundraising event to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen. The pairing was a most spectacular hit. The flank steak was great on its own, but the Gorgonzola spread just took it over the top.

Makes about 50 rolls, depending on size of steak

1 flank steak, cleaned of excess fat

MARINADE:
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large knob fresh ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1½ teaspoons salt
Few grinds of black pepper
½ cup olive oil

One recipe Gorgonzola Walnut Spread
Fresh Rosemary sprigs for garnish

Flank Steak with Gorgonzola Walnut Spread
Flank Steak with Gorgonzola Walnut Spread
Combine marinade ingredients in a ziptop bag, place the flank steak into the marinade so it lays flat and marinate overnight, turning at least once to redistribute the marinade.

Heat the broiler with a rack quite close to the element. Set a rack on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray; this helps with cleanup later. Remove the steak from the bag and discard the marinade. Set steak on rack and broil for 6 minutes on each side. The meat should be medium rare. Remove from oven and tent with foil for at least 15 minutes.

Slice the meat at an angle across the grain of the meat. The long strips can then be cut in half. Make little balls
with about a scant teaspoon of the Gorgonzola Walnut Spread. Roll each of the strips of meat around a ball of the spread. Skewer with a toothpick to hold in place. Garnish with the rosemary leaves.

NOTE: I never like to toast walnuts or any nuts when recipes call for this. The gorgonzola walnut spread was meant to have strong flavors to pair with an assertive Cabernet Sauvignon. In the recipe for the spread I did toast the walnuts, as I felt this would make the flavor stand out more. I had so many raves over this recipe, both for the flavors of meat and filling themselves, as well as for how well they paired with the wine.



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Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Pine Nut Tarts 

I created this recipe to pair with a 2011 Massimo New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for the Winefest Renaissance 2013 fundraising event benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen. The tarts were delicious on their own and paired excellently with the lovely, fruity Sauvignon Blanc. This could as easily be made as one large tart for brunch or dinner, accompanied by a green leafy salad.


Makes 30 – 36 (2x3” or 3x3”) individual tarts from each puff pastry sheet

1 box puff pastry, thawed for at least 40 minutes on counter top

1 bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Few grinds of black pepper

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup Parmesan, shredded

¼ cup mayonnaise

6 ounces Chevre or Montrachet goat cheese, crumbled

½ cup pine nuts

Asparagus Goat Cheese and Pine Nut Tarts
Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Pine Nut Tarts

In a zip top bag, place the asparagus. Over top, sprinkle the garlic salt, pepper and olive oil and toss to combine well. Set aside for a few minutes. In a small bowl, combine together the Parmesan and mayonnaise and set aside.

Grill or broil the asparagus until just barely tender. Cut the asparagus into approximately ½ inch bits and set aside. Preheat oven to 375.

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry sheet and roll it to about 15 x 18 inches, or to fit a large baking sheet. Cut the large sheet into either 3 x 3-inch squares or slightly smaller 2 x 3 inch squares, using a sharp knife or a pastry wheel. Prick the centers well with a knife or fork. Bake the plain pastry for 6 minutes. Remove and quickly press down the centers of the pastry squares. Return to oven and bake another 6 minutes. Remove from oven and press down centers again.

While the first pastry is baking, roll out the second sheet, if using, and repeat the above instructions.

Using the back of a teaspoon, smear about ½ teaspoon of the mayonnaise and Parmesan mixture into the center of each partially baked square. Place about 1½ to 2 teaspoons of the asparagus pieces into the center. Sprinkle on about 4 – 6 pine nuts per square. Press about 1 teaspoon of the goat cheese crumbles onto the top. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 - 12 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the cheese has started to brown in patches.

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Andouille in Puff Pastry with Mango Chutney  

I created this recipe to go with a 2010 J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah wine for a local Wine Tasting event benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen. Spicy sausages pair well with the bold Syrah flavors. A tiny touch of Mango Chutney gives these spicy appetizers a nice balance.

Makes about 60 little bites

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed completely
6 andouille sausages
Mango Chutney, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

Lay the puff pastry sheet so the fold lines are perpendicular to you (figure 1). Roll the pastry from side to side, mainly keeping the depth of the pastry the same. Each of the fold sections should measure about 5 inches wide, for a total of about 15 inches. Measure the sausages to see if two will fit end-to-end across the width. If not wide enough, roll a little more to fit. Cut the pastry into 6 equal sections.

Lay one sausage across one end (see figure 2, lower right). Moisten well the opposite edge of the pastry. Roll up and rock back and forth to press the moistened end well so it will stay together when baking. Slice the rolls into about ¼ inch slices and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Serve hot or cool with a tiny dab of Mango Chutney.

NOTES: While andouille sausages are generally quite spicy, other types of sausage will work perfectly, also. Try using a really good chorizo, or even a polish kielbasa.

I used store bought Major Grey Mango Chutney. Any slightly sweet chutney will work just fine, or even a sweet and sour sauce.




Andouille in Puff Pastry with Mango Chutney
Andouille in Puff Pastry with Mango Chutney, above
Below: figure 1: puff pastry sheet;
figure 2
: rolled to width with sausages in place


Figure 1 and Figure 2 Rolling Puff Pastry
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Fig, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tarts 

I created this recipe especially to go with an earthy 2012 Kenwood Russian River Pinot Noir at a Wine Tasting and Fundraising Event for the benefit of the Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen. The figs lend a little sweetness to the earthy mushrooms and the chevre lends the right balance. Packed into pie pastry lined miniature tart pans, these were a hit.

Makes about 75

Pie pastry for three 10-inch pies (Never Fail Pie Crust)
6 ounces dried figs, cut into very small bits
¼ cup dry sherry (1/3 cup if the figs are very dry)
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound “baby bella” mushrooms, chopped into very small bits
½ cup shallot, chopped very finely
1 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Pepper, to taste
6 ounces chevre goat cheese


Fig Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tarts
Fig, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tarts,
accompanied by a Pinot Noir wine

Line three large mini tart pans with pie pastry. This can be done well ahead and the pastries frozen until time to fill and bake.

Check the figs to see if they are very dry or retain some moisture. Put fig bits into a relatively flat container and pour the sherry over. If they are not too dry, use the smaller amount of dry sherry to soak them. If they are quite dry, use the larger amount. Set aside for at least an hour, to plump. When ready to proceed with the recipe, pour off any remaining sherry into a cup; reserve liquid for later.

The amounts of the mushrooms call for sautéing them in two batches. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and put in half the shallots to sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, to soften. Raise heat to high and add half the mushrooms, stirring very frequently for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms have evaporated any liquids and are browned. Add half the rosemary and salt. Add in half the fig soaking liquid and cook to evaporate completely. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl.  Repeat this process with remaining butter, shallots, mushrooms, rosemary, salt and reserved fig liquid. Combine the figs with the mushrooms and combine. This mixture may be made ahead and kept refrigerated for 2 – 3 days .

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crumble the goat cheese and gently combine with the mushroom and fig mixture. You want the goat cheese to retain form; not make the mixture muddy looking. Spoon mixture into the tart shells. Bake the mini tarts for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until the tart shells are browned and the filling is bubbling. Serve hot or cool.


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Squash, Apple, Leek and Asiago Triangles 

I created this recipe to go with a 2010 Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay at a Wine Tasting Event to benefir the Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen. Chardonnay goes well with things like squash, apples, nutmeg and Asiago, so I just used these ingredients together to create this appetizer. The wine accentuated the apple flavors.

Makes about 50 triangles

2 - 3 leeks, white and light green parts only
1 - 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dry sherry or other dry white wine
¾ pounds butternut squash, peeled
2 (6 to 7 ounce) apples (I used Pink Lady)
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
A few grinds of black pepper
1 cup grated Asiago cheese, about 3 ounces
1 box Phyllo sheets
1 stick butter, melted


Cut ends off leeks, leaving only the white and lightest sections (about 4 to 6 inches) and slice in half lengthwise. Fan the layers under running water to clean out any mud or grit. Laying flat side down, cut them again lengthwise, then slice across into thin strips, making about 2 cups. Cut off about a 4-inch neck section of the squash, about ¾ pound. Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Laying flat side down, cut each section into three more lengthwise sections. Slice each of these across into thin pieces about 1 x 1 ½ inches, making approximately 2+ cups. Peel and core the apples and cut into 8 wedges apiece. Slice across the wedges into thin slices, making about 3 cups, total.

In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add in the leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the Sherry and cook to evaporate, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the squash and toss to combine; cook for another 5 minutes before adding apples. Add in salt and nutmeg and a few grinds of black pepper. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 10 - 12 minutes or until the squash and apple are very tender. Take off the heat and cool slightly for about 20 minutes. At this point, the recipe can be held in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Thaw box of Phyllo at least 12 hours in the refrigerator, or 4 hours at room temperature.

Squash Apple Leek and Asiago Triangles
Squash, Apple, Leek and Asiago Triangles


Folding Flag Fashion

Folding "Flag-Fashion"


NOTE on Phyllo: Phyllo dough must be handled with great care, since it is delicate and dry to the touch. Carefully unroll as many sheets as needed and store the remainder immediately. Place sheets not immediately in use between towels to prevent drying.  If weather is hot and dry, sprinkle a little water on the towels.

Preheat oven to 375. Add the Asiago cheese to the squash and apple mixture and combine gently.

Stack 2 phyllo sheets together and, cutting through both sheets at once, cut strips about 3-inches wide, lengthwise down the sheets. Brush with melted butter. Place a dollop of filling on one end of the strip closest to you (figure a). Fold one corner of the strip over to the opposite side, forming a triangle and enclosing the filling (figure b). Continue folding away from you, as you would fold an American Flag (figures c & d), continuing to the end of the strip, maintaining the triangle shape. Brush with melted butter. Place these on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until golden.

NOTES: This recipe is not complicated, but there are many steps. The fact that the filling can be mostly made and kept for up to 3 days is a great time-saving benefit.

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