Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thanksgiving Appetizers


Layered Sun-dried-Tomato-and-Basil Spread

Layered Sun-dried-Tomato-and-Basil Spread
  • Ingredients

  • (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened and divided 
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable cooking spray 
  • Garnishes: fresh rosemary sprigs, sun-dried tomatoes
  • Crackers or baguette slices 


  1. Beat 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Set aside.
  2. Process dried tomatoes in a food processor until chopped. Add 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, tomato paste, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Spoon into a bowl, and set aside. Wipe container of food processor clean.
  3. Process garlic and next 4 ingredients in food processor until chopped. Add Parmesan cheese, remaining 3-ounce package cream cheese, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse just until blended, stopping to scrape down sides.
  4. Spray a 6-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup butter mixture evenly on bottom of springform pan. Layer with half of tomato mixture, 1/2 cup butter mixture, and half of basil mixture; top with 1/2 cup butter mixture. Repeat layers with remaining tomato mixture, 1/2 cup butter mixture, and remaining basil mixture. Top with remaining butter mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 8 hours.
  5. Run a knife gently around edge of pan to loosen sides. Remove sides of pan; carefully remove bottom of pan, and place layered spread on a serving tray. Garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers or baguette slices.

Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws


  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese 
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half


  1. 1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; pulse in 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.
  2. 2. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and roll into an 8- x 10-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut dough with a sharp knife into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-wide strips, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. 3. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until ends are slightly browned. Cool on baking sheets on a wire rack 30 minutes. Break into desired lengths.
  4. Note: To make cheese rounds, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness, and cut with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake and cool as directed. Freeze baked cheese straws or rounds in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic freezer bag up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Baking time is 12 minutes per batch. Each batch - 24 straws

Matt Lee and Ted Lee, Matt & Ted Leefrom their cookbook,The Lee Bros. Southern CookbookNorton,

Cranberry Meatballs

Cranberry Meatballs Recipe


  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • large eggs 
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • (16-ounce) can cranberry sauce 
  • (12-ounce) jar chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes


  1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Shape mixture into about 54 (1-inch) balls.
  2. Cook meatballs, in batches, in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned (about 5 minutes); remove meatballs from pan, and drain well on paper towels.
  3. Stir together cranberry and chili sauces and next 5 ingredients in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, and cook, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes or until smooth. Add meatballs; reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or until centers are no longer pink.
  4. Note: To make ahead, place cooked meatballs in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites recipe


Tbsp.  GREY POUPON Savory Honey Mustard, divided


Tbsp.  Worcestershire sauce


 boneless skinless chicken breast (6 oz.), cut into 24 pieces


slices  OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cut into thirds


oz.  CRACKER BARREL Vermont Sharp-White Cheddar Cheese, cut into 12 slices


 RITZ Crackers


tsp.  chopped fresh parsley

MIX 2 Tbsp. mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Add to chicken; toss to coat. Refrigerate 30 min. Drain chicken; discard marinade.

HEAT broiler. Wrap bacon around chicken; secure with toothpicks. Broil, 4 inches from heat, 10 min. or until bacon is crisp and chicken is done, turning after 5 min.

HEAT oven to 350ºF. Remove toothpicks. Cut cheese slices in half. Place crackers on baking sheet; top with cheese. Bake 4 to 5 min. or until melted. Top with chicken and remaining ingredients.

PAIRS well with a glass of Merlot. Please drink responsibly.

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip



  • 1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
  • 11/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot.

Stuffed Baby Bellas


  • 16 baby portabella mushrooms (creminis)
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey breast
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup shredded asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, a couple handfuls
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a clean kitchen towel
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or chopped almonds


Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth. Remove the stems and finely chop them. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, fennel seed, onion, garlic, lemon zest, half of the cheese, the chopped mushroom stems, breadcrumbs and spinach and season with salt and pepper. Brush lightly with EVOO and stuff the mixture into the caps.
Arrange the caps on a rimmed baking sheet or in a baking dish. Leave some room around each mushroom to prevent the caps from getting steamy. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the nuts on the caps and transfer to the oven. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Fried Ravioli


  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 box store-bought cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated, for dipping


Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F.
While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli.
When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain.
Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Crudite


    • 20 paper-thin slices prosciutto or speck
    • 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
    • 1/2 orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
    • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin strips
    • 10 stalks broccolini, blanched
    • 1/4 head cauliflower, separated into small florets with stems intact, blanched
    • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon olive oil
    • 1 (2-ounce) piece Parmesan
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Salt, for blanching water


    Working with 1 slice of prosciutto at a time, cut the prosciutto lengthwise in half. Wrap a small bundle of the fennel slices (about 3 slices) with prosciutto, allowing the fennel to extend over each side of the prosciutto. Bundle 1 strip each of the orange, red, and yellow bell peppers, then wrap each bundle with prosciutto, allowing the bell peppers to extend over each side of the prosciutto. Wrap the prosciutto around the stalks of broccolini. Wrap the prosciutto around the stem end of the cauliflower florets. Arrange the vegetables on a platter.
    Drizzle with the oil. Using a grater or vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan over the vegetables. Sprinkle with pepper, and serve.

    Ricotta-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates

    • 1 pound (about 12 to 13 slices) bacon, preferably thick-cut
    • 25 Medjool dates (about 3/4 pound)
    • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
    • Special Equipment: toothpicks, a bamboo skewer for removing pits


    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
    Cut the bacon in half lengthwise to make twice as many slices. Set aside. To remove the pits from the dates, cut the tips off each end of the dates and insert the flat end of the skewer until it pushes the pit out of the date. Repeat with remaining dates.
    Place the ricotta in the bottom corner of a strong plastic bag and seal tightly. Use scissors to cut a small hole in the tip of 1 of the corners. Now use the bag like a piping bag to fill the dates with the cheese.
    Wrap the ricotta stuffed dates with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick through the belly of the date. Arrange all the prepared dates on a parchment-lined baking sheet, allowing at least a little space between each one for good browning. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon is browned and crispy. Remove from the baking sheet and gently remove toothpicks. Serve immediately.

    Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms


      • 24 large whole fresh mushrooms
      • pound sweet Italian sausage
      • bunches scallions, chopped, green parts reserved
      • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
      • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
      • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
      • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened


      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Grease a sheet tray or line with parchment paper. 

      Clean the mushroom caps with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off the stems and, using the tip of a spoon, hollow out the center of the mushrooms. 

      Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon. Transfer the cooked sausage to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. 

      Add the white chopped scallions to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the scallions to the sausage and cool. 

      When the sausage and scallion mixture is no longer hot, stir in the Parmesan,breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and softened cream cheese. The mixture should be very thick. Using a small spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of the stuffing. Top with additional Parmesan if desired. Arrange the mushroom caps evenly on the prepared sheet tray. 

      Place in the oven and bake until themushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under the caps, 20 minutes.Garnish with the reserved green scallions.

      Hot Bacon Cheese Spread

      Hot Bacon Cheese Spread recipe


      loaf  (16 oz.) round Italian bread


      slices  OSCAR MAYER Center Cut Bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled


      pkg.  (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheeses


      cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese


      cup  KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise


      small  onion, finely chopped


      clove  garlic, minced

      PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Cut lengthwise slice from top of bread loaf. Remove center, leaving 1-inch-thick shell. Cut removed bread into bite-sized peices; set aside.
      MIX remaining ingredients until well blended. Spoon into bread shell; cover with top of bread. Wrap in foil. Place on baking sheet.
      BAKE 15 to 20 or until filling is heated through. Serve with the reserved bread pieces and assorted NABISCO Crackers.

      Spicy Cocktail Pecans

      Keep the holiday cocktails from going to everyone's heads with this firecracker of a snack. The healthy nut fats will balance the drinks and the Tabasco will keep the conversation lively.

      1 stick(s) unsalted butter, melted
      4 teaspoon(s) Tabasco sauce
      2 teaspoon(s) Worcestershire sauce
      2 teaspoon(s) sea salt
      1 teaspoon(s) garlic powder
      6 cup(s) (about 1 1/2 pounds) pecan halve (per serving)

      1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F with racks set in the top and middle positions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together all ingredients except pecans.

      2. Place pecans in a large bowl. Pour butter mixture over pecans, tossing to combine. Spread pecans evenly on 2 baking pans and bake until toasted and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking pan and let cool completely, 20 minutes. To package, place 1 1/2 cups pecans in each of 4 lined kraft paper bags.

      Spiced Yogurt Cheese Balls

       Country Living

      These cheese balls can easily be prepared ahead of time and need little more than colorful spices, seeds or nuts to dress them up for a party.

      32 ounce(s) plain yogurt
      1 teaspoon(s) sea salt
      1 teaspoon(s) curry powder (optional)
      .125 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper (optional)

      1. Make the cheese: Line a strainer with a double thickness of cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl. Place the yogurt, salt, and curry powder and cayenne, if using, in a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the yogurt to the strainer, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let the liquid strain off into a bowl placed beneath it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Cover a large plate with several thicknesses (about 6 to 8) of toweling and transfer the strained yogurt to the prepared plate. Cover lightly with plastic and let sit, refrigerated, for 4 to 6 hours.
      2. Make the cheese balls: Scrape the yogurt from the towel into a medium-size bowl. Serve in a bowl with assorted crackers and breads or shape tablespoonfuls of the cheese into balls. If desired, garnish the cheese balls with chopped nuts, seeds (such as poppy or caraway), or a light sprinkling of spice like paprika or cinnamon. Store refrigerated and tightly covered for up to 3 days.

      Kenyon Johnnycakes

       Country Living

      1 cup(s) stone-ground Kenyon cornmeal
      1 teaspoon(s) sugar
      1 teaspoon(s) salt
      1.5 cup(s) boiling water
      Vegetable-oil cooking spray

      1. Prepare the batter: Stir together cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the boiling water and stir vigorously. Batter may be thick. Add more water as needed to thin the batter.
      2. Cook the johnnycakes: Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat until it's very hot. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Drop batter by the tablespoon onto the grill. Do not turn cakes until browning can be seen around the edges -- cook for at least 6 minutes. Spray the top with a little more cooking spray, turn, and cook until cooked through -- 5 to 6 minutes. If you prefer thinner cakes, add up to 1/2 cup milk to the batter.

      Parmesan Pita Crisps

       Good Housekeeping

      These crispy homemade pita chips are perfect for dipping, but they are also flavorful enough to hold their own on the snack table.

      3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
      .75 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
      .25 teaspoon(s) ground red pepper
      5 whole(s) (5 to 6 inch) whole wheat or white pitas with pockets
      .5 cup(s) coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
      Salt, (optional)

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In cup, with fork, mix oil, cumin, and ground red pepper.
      2. With knife or kitchen shears, carefully split each pita in half. Brush 1 side of pita halves with oil mixture. Cut each half into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges, oiled-side up, in 2 ungreased 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" jelly-roll pans. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and salt if you like.
      3. Place pans on 2 oven racks and bake crisps 12 to 15 minutes or until golden, rotating pans from upper to lower racks halfway through baking for even browning. Cool crisps in pans on wire racks. Store crisps in tightly covered container or large self-sealing plastic bag up to 1 week.

      No comments:

      Post a Comment