Category Archives: Appetizer

Something funghi

A few days ago, I noticed that I had two boxes of easy-make risotto. Uninspired to go to the grocery store (don’t judge Boston is like still 30℉ in March), I decided to make use of the risotto and the baby portobello mushrooms- by stuffing the mushrooms with the Porcini and Parmesan risotto. Here is the result.

Ingredients: 10 oz portobello mushrooms stems removed, 5.5 oz package of risotto (I used the Lundenberg one), 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, olive oil to drizzle the mushrooms, salt and grilled seasoning to season

Preheat oven to 400. Add mushrooms to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and grilled seasoning

Roast mushrooms for 15 to 20 minutes. Cook the risotto according to the instructions on the box.

When the risotto is cooked, stuff the mushrooms with it and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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Filed under Appetizer, Vegetarian

Eggplant Sandwiches

I never throw out my magazines. Eventually this might become a problem. I subscribe to a lot of magazines, let me tell you. One of the greatest things about keeping cooking magazines, in particular, is that you can always go back and fish (pun intended) for recipes.This recipe came from the May issue of Bon Appetit: Grilled Spiced Eggplant and Minted Yogurt Stacks. Doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue, but tastes delicious and can be served as both an appetizer and a main course dish. Even my roomate, who absolutely HATES eggplant, said it was pretty good.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 cup diced cucumber, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, 1 pressed garlic clove, 2 eggplants cut into 1/2-inch-thick circles, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, Olive oil (for brushing the eggplant), salt and pepper to season

Preheat the broiler. Begin by making the eggplant rub. In a bowl, mix coriander, paprika and cumin.

Brush eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle on both sides with the spice mix, salt and pepper

Broil the eggplant until slightly charred for 10 minutes, turning and brushing with more olive oil if dry. Meanwhile make the filling. Combine the cucumber with the mint and garlic.

Add yogurt, salt and pepper and mix together. When the eggplant is done, place half of the circles on a plate. Add feta and yogurt mixture evenly over the eggplant circles.

Top with an empty eggplant slice. Garnish with mint if desired.




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Filed under Appetizer, Main Course, Vegetarian

Death on a Stick

“What is in these? They are delicious”-someone asked me at the Super Bowl party I took these to.

“Just bacon, sugar, maple syrup and blue cheese”-I listed

“Just everything that is bad for you”-

Basically. But does it matter when these chicken bites are so delicious? Is there anything better than bacon and blue cheese though? Especially when the maple bacon is dredged in sugar and stuffed with blue cheese. I found this recipe on food network and updated the original Paula Deen Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps recipe by adding some blue cheese in the middle of it all.

Ingredients: 1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts, 1 lb sliced bacon (I used maple bacon), 2/3 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the chili powder and brown sugar

Slice the chicken into slices. Paula Deen cut the chicken into cubes but since I added blue cheese, I sliced it instead. Add blue cheese to the chicken strips.

Slice the bacon into thirds. Wrap each chicken slice with bacon

Secure with toothpicks

Dredge the chicken bits in sugar/chili mixture

Spray the cookie sheet with non-stick spray and bake for 30 to 35 minutes

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Filed under Appetizer, Chicken

Dip good for a game and a snow day

For those of you who have and use twitter, you must have noticed the hilarious terms that have been going around to describe the crazy weather that we’ve been having. Snowmaggedon, snowpocalypse, snowzilla, snowtorious, snOMG are just some among the many hilarious hashtags that there are out there to describe the crazy snowfall that we’ve been having for the last 24 hours. With the Super Bowl so soon and with most of us trapped in the house because of the snow days, what can be better than dip? Recipe from Paula Deen.

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoon flour, 2 cups half-and-half (or cream or milk), 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup sherry, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 egg yolks lightly beaten, 1 can artichoke hearts drained and chopped, 1 lb clean,peeled and deveined shrimp, 1/4 lb mushrooms chopped, 3/4 cups grated Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, dash of salt, red pepper and paprika.

Preheat oven to 350. Begin by melting the butter in an ovenproof pot on medium heat.

Add the flour and blend together. Add half-and-half (I used milk) and whisk until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth.

Add Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, sherry, salt and pepper. Mix together.

To a bowl with yolk add a few tablespoons of the cheese sauce to temper the yolks so as not to cook them.

Leave aside for 2 minutes and then add back to the pot with sauce.Add the mushrooms to the pot.

Top with shrimp and artichokes

Sprinkle with grated cheese and paprika

Send the pot to the oven. I covered my pot with some foil to prevent the cheese from burning but it’s up to you. Bake for 30 to 30 minutes.Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

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Filed under Appetizer, Seafood

Chicken Wings

My friend Lauren taught me all I know about football. There is a line. There are 3 tries. The team you are screaming for must cross the line. The End. This is progress in my knowledge about football. Four years ago when I first came to America, I assumed that what was referred to as football was two teams kicking a ball around and trying to get it into the goal. Nope, that turned out to be soccer. These wings will be great for a Super Bowl party and you can cook them while the game is on and eat them while watching the commercials.

Ingredients: 1 lb chicken wings, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 2 tablespoons plum sauce, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 10 tablespoons Tabasco sauce

Begin by making the sauce. Add all the ingredients except the chicken wings and mix together.

Mix the sauce with the wings and allow the chicken to marinate for an hour

Preheat oven to 375. Transfer wings to an ovenproof pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until the wings are fully cooked through.

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Filed under Appetizer, Chicken

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. The turkey is in the oven and the pies, stuffing and potatoes gratin are all done. While you are waiting for the gobble gobble bird to cook up, here is a snack that you can cook up while waiting with the family and friends. Cut some string cheese sticks in half. Dip in flour,then egg wash and finally coat with panko breadcrumbs. Fry the cheese sticks till the cheese begins melting in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Enjoy while waiting for the big feast to begin.

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Filed under Appetizer, Vegetarian

Moutabal,Moutabel…the Eggplant Journey Continues

As some of you remember, I had a huge eggplant to tackle a few weeks back. I used half of it to make a roasted eggplant soup

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 and then roasting the eggplants for 30-40 minutes or until the eggplant is tender and browned. Once out of the oven, remove the skin. Add the eggplant to a bowl and mash. You can also throw the eggplant into the food processor but I tend to avoid that method just because I like the chunks and irregular pieces of eggplant in my dip.

Add all the remaining ingredients.

Mix together and cool in the fridge for an hour. Serve with warm pitas or pita chips.

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Filed under Appetizer, Vegetarian