Showing posts with label Appetizers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Appetizers. Show all posts

Everything Pita Chips

A couple years ago, I saved a recipe for "Everything Seasoning" from an issue of Food Network Magazine (November 2013: Recipe listing here). As a lover of the popular Everything Bagel, I knew I wanted to make this seasoning and find some fun ways to use it. I've enjoyed experimenting with it in a variety of ways, but none as popular as these baked pita chips. My family gobbles them up like crazy, and they get rave reviews whenever I take them anywhere. I didn't realize that I hadn't shared the recipe until a friend asked me for it this weekend, which prompted me to share them with all of you. 

5 Pitas, split to create 10 rounds
3 Tblsp butter, room temperature
1 Tblsp Everything Seasoning (recipe below)

In a small bowl, mix butter and seasoning until evenly combined. Spread lightly over cut side of pita rounds. Cut into wedges. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400` for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks completely before storing in an airtight container. (FYI: This amount of chips fills my largest baking sheet twice, so be prepared to bake these in 2-3 groups)

Everything Seasoning

1 Tblsp poppy seeds
1 Tblsp sesame seeds
1 Tblsp dried minced garlic
1 Tblsp dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Combine in a jar and shake until thoroughly mixed. Store in a cool dry place until ready to use.

Gluten-Free Pork Satays with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I have posted a recipe for Spicy Peanut Sauce before. I had previously only served it with chicken, but thought I would try it with pork satays (because, you know me, pork was on sale). I changed the orignal recipe slightly to omit soy sauce because I needed to make it gluten-free for a friend. I also opted to use some of the sauce as a marinade, and the remainder for dipping. The results were great!

The peanut sauce recipe is slightly adapted from a fantastic cookbook and party-planning resource, Do It For Less Parties by Denise Vivaldo.

3/4 C Unsalted Peanuts
1 Tblsp white sugar
2 Tblsp oil
1 Tblsp (+/-) red curry paste
1 1/2 C coconut milk
1/2 tsp lime juice
5 boneless sirloin porkchops (approximately 3 Lbs)

Place peanuts and sugar in food processor or blender and process until finely chopped/ground. Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the curry paste and coconut milk. Stir in the ground peanut mixture.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and then remove from the heat.

Slice porkchops into thin (approx 1/2-3/4 inch) strips. Stir with one third to one half of the peanut sauce - whatever it takes to coat the pork. Chill and marinate for 2 hours. (Alternatively, this could be done the day before and left to marinate overnight)

Thread pork on skewers (if serving as a meal) or large toothpicks (if serving as an appetizer). Lay in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Preheat boiler, and place rack in the second position from the top. Broil for about 4 minutes per side (Or until juices run clear, or until internal temperature reaches 160`).  Alternatively, these could be cooked on the BBQ.

Serve with remaining peanut sauce for dipping, adding lime juice just before serving.

Savoury Pinwheels

Trying to think of an easy snack to make for my book club meeting, I remembered these pinwheels that my aunt had brought to a party. It sounds like an odd combination, but the sweet and savoury offset each other wonderfully!

There aren't any 'real' measurements, because it depends on how many you want to make.

Start with a large tortilla. Top it from edge to edge with spreadable cream cheese. Sprinkled with chopped green onions (both the green and the white), chopped dried cranberries, and feta cheese. It will look something like this:

Roll up as tightly as you can, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least an hour, but even overnight works well.
Once chilled, slice with a serrated knife. Ideally, slice them just before serving so the tortilla won't dry out.

Grilled Salad

I made this to quickly use up some veggies in the fridge, but it was delicious! I am going to try it again soon adding some peppers into the mix too.

3 new potatoes
1 small egg plant
a handful of fresh cilantro
1-2 tsp olive oil
juice of one lime

As always with egg plant, once cut, place in a wire strainer and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes until moisture comes to the surface, then blot dry.

Grill potatoes and egg plant on the grill until done (approx. 15 minutes). Remove from grill and cut potatoes. Toss with remaining ingredients and serve warm.

Vegetable Samosas

I updated my Facebook status yesterday, saying that I was excited about the samosas I made. I got loads of comments asking for the recipe, so here you go!

The original recipe is from this cookbook from the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. (Page 3, for all my family that has the book) I always find it so much fun to go through a compilation cookbook like this, because there is always such a wide-range of recipes included. This one (or my interpretation) is definitely my favourite so far!

2 C flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 C plain yogurt

1 C potatoes, cubed
1 C sweet potato, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne 
1/4 tsp salt

1 C frozen peas

Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Add yogurt, and stir well. Begin kneading, adding more flour as needed, and form a ball. Wrap tightly and refrigerate.

Boil potatoes until almost fork-tender. Drain. In a pot over medium heat, combine oil, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, curry, and salt. Cook until the onion starts to soften, then add the peas and cook until heated. Remove from heat and stir in potatoes.

On a floured surface, divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a circle, and place 2 Tbsp of filling on each one. Dampen inside edge of dough circle with a wet finger, and fold into a half-moon. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. Place on a greased baking pan, and brush tops sparingly with oil (approximately 1 tsp of oil between all 12 samosas). Bake at 425` for 15 minutes. Flip samosas and reduce temperature to 350` for an additional 15 minutes.

I made my samosas several hours before I planned to serve them. To compensate for reheating, I only cooked them at 350` for 10 minutes before cooling on wire racks. To reheat, I placed the wire rack on a baking sheet, and placed in a 350` oven for an additional 10 minutes just before serving.

Here is the lovely filling. It smelled amazing! I had to chase my husband (fork in hand) away from the pot more than once.

Here they are, before they hit the oven. The little bundles totally reminded me of making eggrolls .

And here are the samosa, before the last 10 minutes, so they browned a little more before serving.

I will definitely be trying this recipe again soon, and try some different combination for the filling. Lots of possibilities! Enjoy - and let me know how you make out.

*Edited to add that I just did some math, and these delicious little guys are only 2 weight watcher's points each!*

Roasted Chickpeas

I spotted roasted chickpeas here, and knew I'd like them. They were chunchy, nutty, and flavourful - and quickly turning into my new favourite snack.

(PS: At my local Shoppers Drug Mart, Yves Organic Chickpeas are on a price freeze for $0.79 until July. I'm not sure if it's chain-wide, but worth checking out.)

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin

Place chickpeas on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast @ 425` for 15 minutes. Shuffle the chickpeas on the pan, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove chickpeas from oven, and lower temperature to 400`.

Combine oil, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Add chickpeas and stir to coat. Again, spread chickpeas in a single layer on the baking sheet, and roast for an additional 15 minutes until crunchy.

Sweet Potato Curry Dip

I was trying to think of a healthy dip that would be a little something different. I tried googling for a recipe using the key ingredients I wanted, but I didn't find anything. I decided to just get in the kitchen and improvise - and I'm glad I did! This dip was so good when we snacked on it at home on Friday night that I made more to take to a party on Saturday night. And our vegan hostess was pleased that it was friendly to her diet too.

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, minced
1 large sweet potato, chopped (mine yielded 4 cups)
1 can coconut milk
3-4 Tbps curry paste (I used Biryani, which is medium spice)
heavy pinch of salt, or to taste

Saute onion in a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat until nearly transparent, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic and stir until nice and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sweet potato, and cover the entire mixture with coconut milk. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Stir in curry paste. Lower heat to simmer, covered but stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat and let stand a couple of minutes before pureeing with an immersion blender. Add salt to taste. Serve warm with naan or pita. (Once cooled, it had the consistency of hummus which is nice too - just different again. May also be reheated in mircrowave.)

Potato Slabs

I love potato skins, but the prep time is often a little much: Bake the potatoes, cool the potatoes, slice the potatoes, scoop the potatoes, fill the potatoes, bake the all gets a little monotonous and a little time consuming. I was so excited to find Amber's potato slabs prior to the Superbowl. They have the same great taste as my traditional potato skins, but take a fraction of the time. I have made them a couple of times since initially trying them for Superbowl, and they met rave reviews each time. Most recently, I cooked the potatoes in the afternoon, then topped them like nachos and baked again once Josh and I were settled down to watch The Office. What an awesome snack! (To any local folks, they were like Ale House Kettle Chips, without the guilt of eating something fried.)

Russet potatoes, cut into 1/4" slices
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1/3 cup marble cheddar cheese
5 slices of bacon, cooked and diced
Green onions, finely chopped
Sour cream, if desired for serving

Place potatoes on baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook for 30 minutes @ 375'. Flip potatoes over, season again, and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and top with bacon, onion, and cheese. Return to oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Pictured are our "nacho potato slabs", where I used different veggies: red onion, green pepper, and tomato

White Bean Dip

Photo-less posts are bland, I know. But I've made this dip twice recently, and it was devoured before I thought to take a picture!

God love Giada for this one . How can something be so healthy and so addictively delicious? And I don't mean 'healthy' as in 'not that bad'...I mean, packed full of protein and fibre!

1 (15-ounce) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil (I added it very gradually and used a bit less)
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh flat parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley in food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with toasted pita bread or tortilla chips.

I had planned on having leftovers in quesedillas, but we have yet to have leftovers. I guess that's a good sign!

Spinach Dip with Red Pepper

This was the best spinach dip that I've ever made. Perfectly creamy with just the right kick of spice from the crushed red pepper. It's the most restaurant-like spinach dip I've ever had outside a restaurant. Better yet? I almost always have peppers and spinach in the freezer and cream cheese in the fridge, so I will always be able to make this in a pinch. Try it - you'll love it!

1 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup thawed frozen chopped spinach
1 package cream cheese
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

Sautee spinach and red pepper.

Combine the cream cheese and milk in the saucepan and cook over medium heat until hot and softened. Stir in the cooked spinach and red peppers, Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and ground black pepper. Continue to stir until well combined and heated through.

Sweet Potato Kettle Chips

Talk about a yummy snack for movie night!

Slice sweet potatoes and toss with a little oil and some coarse salt. Cook at 400' for about 20 minutes, flipping over halfway. Meanwhile, chop some red onion, scallions, and whatever other veggies you might like. Top sweet potatoes with veggies and grated cheese. Return to oven for 5-7 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve with sour cream for dipping.


Soft Pretzels

Josh hosted a diaper party last weekend, so I had to come up with some party snacks that would be easy to eat between poker hands. We ended up setting up a self-serve nacho bar (complete with nacho chips, chili, salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, green onions, and cheese) and soft pretzels with dipping sauce (including honey mustard, nacho cheese, marinara, and caramel).

I got the idea for the pretzels from Katie's recent post, but I knew I'd have to make a double-batch and didn't want to do all that kneading. I set out to find a recipe where I could make the dough in the breadmaker, and I settled on this one. Because I was going to have both sweet and savory dipping sauces, I opted not to salt the pretzels. I made each batch into 16 medium-sized pretzels instead of the 8 large pretzels as recommended. (I made 2 batches, but did them one at a time. The dough totally filled the breadmaker pan, so don't try to increase the recipe in a single batch!)

I'll definitely be making these again, and hopefully trying Katie's recipe too. These pretzels were easy and met great reviews from Josh and his guests. (and Isaac liked them too!)

Chipotle Lime Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

My friend Laura recommended this recipe site, and I found this shrimp recipe on my first visit. We had friends for dinner last night, so we made them as a quick weeknight appetizer. I can't believe how delicious they were for how quickly they were thrown together!

24 large, raw, peeled and deveined shrimp
3 Tbsp olive oil
Zest from 1 lime
Juice from one lime
1 teaspoon chipotle sauce
12 strips thin bacon, cut in half (24 pieces)
Skewers for grilling

Place the bacon over paper towel on a microwavable plate. Cook on high for 1 1/2-2 minutes, just to slightly cook the bacon, but leave pliable. It will finish cooking on the grill.
Mix together the lime juice, olive oil, and chipotle sauce, then toss the shrimp in the mixture until leach piece is well coated.

Preheat grill to a high temperature.
Wrap a half piece of microwaved bacon around each piece of shrimp, and thread onto skewers. The recipe called for brushing the remaining lime chipotle mixture on the outside of the bacon-wrapped shrimp, but I forgot and poured it down the drain once I had everything skewered. Oops!

Grill for approximately 10 minutes or until done.
I didn't take a picture, so here's the one featured on the recipe site.
Mmmmmm! Makes me want them all over again!

Cedar Plank Brie

What a simple and delicious starter! I've done baked brie a few ways in the oven, but never on the grill. I found the recipe here, though I didn't use the brands and bruschetta mix it recommended. Give it a try!

The picture is fuzzy, but it was great!

Kim Bap

I mentioned my friend Erin's awesome Korean Sushi (Kim Bap) a few posts back. We finally got all the supplies yesterday and had it for supper last night, along with some fresh cold spring rolls and some tempura. I used the following, although you could definitely substitute some of the vegetables to give it a different flavour

Seaweed Wraps
Sticky Rice
Sesame oil
Pickled Radish (sliced thinly length-wise)
Seasoned Burdock (which came already sliced)
Carrot (sliced thinly length-wise)
Cucumber (seeded and sliced thinly length-wise)
Strips of cooked egg

Cook the sticky rice according to package directions, then stir in a heavy pinch of coarse salt and a glug of sesame oil. Place a seaweed wrap on a work surface, and cover with a layer of rice. Lay a slice (or two) or each filling across the centre of the wrap. Rub sesame oil on your hands to help hydrate the seaweed wrap as you work. Roll the bottom to cover the filling, then continue to roll until you have a tube. (There are pictures on this site, although you don't need to use a bamboo matas illustrated) Use your hands to help spread some sesame oil along the seam of the tube, to help it stick in place. Slice into 1/2-3/4 inch slices.

We had it with some tempura (shrimp, carrots, and zucchini) and some fresh cold spring rolls. Mmmmm!

I have a feeling that one of our other meals planned for this week may be swapped out for more sushi, because Josh won't stop raving about this stuff!

A Lesson in Sushi

My friend Erin came over several nights ago armed with all the necessities for making Korean Sushi. (She had another name for it, but it escapes me...)
This was SO delicious and I just had to share the picture. It was much easier than I thought it would be, but I have yet to try it again by myself. I have to get the list of ingredients from Erin, and then I'll share them with you. (Along with step-by-step photos when I make them, perhaps?)
(**Erin, if you are reading: maybe you can comment with the list of stuff I need to buy again? Seaweed wraps, sticky rice, sesame oil, burdock, pickled something? I forget what!!)

Spicy Peanut Sauce

On my Superbowl post, Kate commented asking for my peanut sauce recipe. I Emailed it to her, but then realised that others may want it too!

I'll take this opportunity to say that I lovelovelove this book. It is such a great ressource for party planning. The menus are awesome. Every recipe has versions for preparing for 12-75. It has great suggestions for laying out a buffet, planning a bar, or garnishing plates. Long story short, I **heart** this book!

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce [Source: Do It For Less Parties by Denise Vivaldo]

3/4 C Unsalted Peanuts
1 T White Sugar
2 T Peanut Oil
1 T Red Curry Paste (I'm usually a little generous with the curry paste)
1 1/2 C Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 T Soy Sauce
1 T Lime Juice

Pleace peanuts and sugar in food processor or blender and process until finely chopped. Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the curry paste and coconut milk. Stir in the ground peanut mixture.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour the mixture back into the food processor or blender and blend until smooth. The sauce can be prepared to this point up to a day in advance. Cover tightly and refridgerate until ready to proceed.

Just before serving, stir in the soy sauce and lime juice. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The cookbook suggests this sauce with beef satay, but I've only ever served it tossed with breaded chicken bites and it's delicious.

Superbowl Grub

Are you ready for some football? Or, more accurately, some football snacks? Here's what we served on Sunday for the Superbowl crowd gathered at our house.
Crab Rangoon Wonton Cups
The recipe I used is for wontons, but I didn't want to fry them. I shaped the wonton wraps in mini-muffin pans and baked them at 450' until they started to brown. Then, I filled them with this recipe's filling, and baked at 350' for about 10 minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
I found the recipe here, after hearing lots of raves. It doesn't specify, but the cooked chicken is to be shredded.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
Recipe found here

Slow-coooker Chili

I just starting throwing stuff together to make this chili, but a couple people raved about it, so I better record approximates while they are fresh in my mind

1.5lb extra lean ground beef
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 cans of tomato paste
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1/3 cup frozen corn
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Brown ground beef and season with oregano, garlic powder, red pepper, and salt. Combine cooked beef with all other ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. Serve sprinkled with grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

...And I don't have pics of a simple nacho dip (1pkg cream cheese, 1 can rotel tomato & chilis, and 2 tsp olive paste), or thai chicken bites (breaded chicken tossed with a simple peanut/curry paste/coconut milk sauce). All in all, a great night with good grub & good friends...and a game outcome that won Josh $60!

Black Bean Soup

I found this recipe in the January '08 issue of Parents magazine. For some reason, it's not posted on their website, so I'll have to type it out for you. :)

2 tsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 (19oz) cans of black beans, with liquid
1(32oz) pkg of chicken stock
1 large sweet potato, chopped

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and cinnamon. Cook for 6 minutes. Stir in beans, chicken broth, and sweet potato. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cook for 5 minutes. Use a hand blender to purée to put in blender in batches until smooth. Reheat on low until warm before serving.

The magazine suggesting topping it with sour cream or plain yogurt. I was majorly ticked off when I opened a new thing of sour cream to find it half frozen. Instead, I just grated some cheddar cheese on top. It was delish! But you know what was even better? When I had some leftovers for lunch the next day, topped with white cheddar with jalapenos.

Yet Another Veg Soup!

I can't stop with the puréed vegetable soups! Here's another one...

1 Tblsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 achorn squash, peeled and chopped
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
5 fingerling potatoes, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 carton of reduced-sodium chicken broth (more or less)
2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp salt

Over medium heat in a large pot, sauté onion in oil until transparent. Add all other veggies and stir to combine. Pour enough chicken stock into pot to cover. Cook until vegetables are fork tender. Use a hand blender to purée. Add additional broth until desired consistency is achieved while reheating. Season to taste with spices.