Category Archives: Appetizers/Snacks/Starters

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Prep Time: 0

Yield: 10

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

These are healthier than their breaded deep fried cousins and they have twice the flavor. I first saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman and it has become cult legend in our circle of friends. Thanks Ree!

Ingredients

  • 20 whole jalapenos, split lengthwise and seeded carefully
  • 2 blocks cream cheese
  • 1 lb thin bacon, cut into thirds
  • toothpicks

Instructions

  1. Depending on the heat levels of the peppers you are using you may want to use latex gloves to protect your skin. I personally like incredibly hot Bulgarian Carrots instead of the Jalapenos but I am insane.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Once your jalapeno slices are split and seeded fill them generously with cream cheese. Wrap a piece of bacon around the pepper half and secure with a toothpick. You can freeze or refrigerate this peppers for later use or bake immediately.
  4. Bake on a pan with a rack for 20-25 minutes. If after 20 minutes your bacon is not brown turn on your broiler and watch carefully until brown.
  5. These are great hot or at room temperature so don't waste hot plate space on these. They probably won't survive long enough to get cold anyway.
http://www.culinarycafe.com/2010/11/04/bacon-wrapped-jalapeno-poppers/

Salt Cucumbers

Salt Cucumbers

Prep Time: 0

Yield: 8

Salt Cucumbers

Traditional Russian style cucumbers. Every family has their own recipe so these are just the basics and some optional additions.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 1 cup chopped fresh horseradish root
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed with skins removed
  • 5 bay leaves
  • tarragon as desired (optional)
  • celery leaves as desired (optional)
  • 2-3 banana peppers chopped into large chunks
  • 1/2 bushel of cucumbers

Instructions

  1. You will need a large container or two for preserving the cucumbers in. Wash and dry the containers.
  2. Boil 5 liters of water then add salt and stir until dissolved. Allow this to cool before adding to cucumbers.
  3. Wash and sort the cucumbers by size. You will want to try to keep cucumbers of the same size together. Discard any cucumbers with bruises, cuts or broken skin.
  4. Take the dill and other optional herbs, horseradish, garlic, and peppers and pack evenly on the bottom of your chosen containers.
  5. Pack jars tightly with cucumbers stacked in a vertical position. If you are using very large containers you can split the herb mix and put half on the bottom and half midway up the container to evenly distribute the flavor.
  6. Once your containers are full of cucumbers slowly pour in salted water until the container is filled to the brim. Close the containers and store at 32-40 degrees F for 50-60 days. You can keep at room temperature for cucumbers ready in 30 days but the flavor and texture will not be as good as the cold stored cucumbers.
http://www.culinarycafe.com/2010/11/03/salt-cucumbers/

Roasted Kale Chips

Roasted Kale Chips

Prep Time: 0

Yield: 6

Kale is an amazing vegetable used in soups an sides but here it makes an awesome healthy snack that is a life saver for those of use trying to cut the carbs but need something crunchy and salty to get through the day.

Ingredients

  • 4 small bundles of Kale
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher or Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash and dry kale. Remove stems from kale and tear into chip size pieces. Place kale on a baking sheet and drizzle oil over it while working it with other hand. One all the oil is on use both hand to work the oil into all the kale. Make sure that the kale is evenly coated for best results. Spread kale out evenly and try to lay out flat.
  2. Bake for 15-20 minutes then salt immediately and serve.
http://www.culinarycafe.com/2010/03/16/roasted-kale-chips/

Gyoza

Gyoza

Prep Time: 0

Yield: 40

Gyoza

These Japanese dumplings are light and wonderful and terribly easy to make in large batches and freeze for later use.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Napa Cabbage, minced
  • 1/2 tsp table salt, not kosher this time
  • 12 ounces Pork, ground
  • 1/2 tbsp Ginger, grated
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp Scallion Tops, minced
  • 1 tbsp Miso Paste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 40 Gyoza Wrappers
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil - for cooking
  • 1/2 cup Water - for cooking

Instructions

  1. 1. Evenly coat cabbage with salt and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Using both hands, or a cheese cloth, squeeze the cabbage firmly to drain and discard the excess water and then transfer the cabbage to a deep bowl. You want to remove as much liquid as possible to prevent soggy gyoza. Add the pork, ginger, garlic, green onion, miso, sesame oil, crushed red pepper, and sugar.  Mix everything together with your hands until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Refrigerate and to let flavors meld for 10 minutes while setting up your gyoza making station.
  2. 2. Have a small bowl of cold water ready.  Lay a dumpling wrapper on a dry work surface, and place a heaping teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of the wrapper.  With a fingertip moistened with water, trace a line along half of the edge of the round wrapper.  Fold the wrapper over to enclose the filling, and pinch the wrapper in the center to seal the edges together at that spot.  Holding the filled half-circle in the left hand, pleat the top of the wrapper from the middle out, pressing it to the flat edge of the wrapper at the back.  Set aside the stuffed dumpling with the pleated-wrapper edge up. Repeat to make 40 dumplings in all.
  3. 3. In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place as many of the dumplings that can fit without touching in the skillet with the pleated-wrapper edge up.  Cook the dumplings for 3 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom.  Check the progress by lifting 1 or 2 dumplings by their pleated edge.
  4. 4. Once the bottoms are nicely browned, use the skillet lid to shield yourself and carefully pour in 1/4 cup of the water.  When the hissing and splattering die down, drizzle in 1/2 teaspoon of the sesame oil around the edge of the skillet.  Place the lid on the skillet to trap in the moisture and then quickly lower the heat to keep the liquid at a bare simmer.
  5. 5. Check the dumplings after 2 minutes.  When the wrappers appear slightly translucent and the meat feels firm when pressed lightly with a spoon, remove the lid and raise the heat slightly.  Continue to cook until all the water has evaporated and only the oil remains (about 2 minutes).  Once you hear a sizzling sound, shake the skillet.  The dumplings should slide about.  If they seem to stick to the skillet, move the skillet away from the stove and replace the lid for a moment.  Remove the dumplings from the skillet with a broad flexible spatula. If you’d like, flip them over so that the seared surface faces up.  Cook the remaining dumplings the same way.  Serve the dumplings hot accompanied by the dipping sauce.
http://www.culinarycafe.com/2010/03/15/gyoza/

Ramp Guacamole

Ramp Guacamole

Prep Time: 0

Yield: 4

Ramp Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup ramp (wild leek) leaves or scallions
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbs. garlic mustard root or horseradish, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process with the chopping blade until well-mixed (or mince the ramp with a fork and mash with the other ingredients with a whisk or fork). Lasts 1 week refrigerated.
http://www.culinarycafe.com/2009/08/17/ramp-guacamole/

Buttermilk Battered Vidalia Onion Rings

Buttermilk Battered Vidalia Onion Rings

Prep Time: 0

Yield: 0

Buttermilk Battered Vidalia Onion Rings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable oil
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 Vidalia onions (or other sweet onion, such as Maui), cut into 1/4-inch thick slices and separated into rings

Instructions

  1. In a 3-quart pot, preheat 4-inches oil to 375 degrees F.

    In a shallow bowl, combine flours, cayenne, paprika, salt, and white pepper. Pour the buttermilk into another shallow dish.

    Toss the onion rings in the flour mixture and shake off excess flour. Add to buttermilk mixture and make sure the rings are thoroughly coated. With a clean hand, add rings to flour mix again and shake off any excess flour.

    Begin to fry in preheated oil in small batches, 1/4 of total amount at a time. Cook onion rings for about 3 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally with metal tongs or slotted spoon, until crispy and browned. Drain on paper towels and keep in warm place (low oven, about 200 degrees F) until ready to serve. Sprinkle with extra salt, if needed.
http://www.culinarycafe.com/2009/08/17/buttermilk-battered-vidalia-onion-rings/

Aztec Pyramid Avocado Dip

Aztec Pyramid Avocado Dip

Prep Time: 0

Yield: 18

Aztec Pyramid Avocado Dip

Ingredients

  • 3 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (16-oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives

Instructions

  1. Mash avocados and blend in lemon juice and salt, mixing well. Spread evenly in a bowl or on a serving plate to the edges.

    Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Stir in sour cream and taco seasoning mix, blending well. Spread over the avocado layer. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, green onions and black olives. Keep refrigerated until serving time. Serve with tortilla chips.
http://www.culinarycafe.com/2009/08/17/aztec-pyramid-avocado-dip/

Chinese Marbelized Eggs

Chinese Marbelized Eggs

Prep Time: 0

Yield: 0

Chinese Marbelized Eggs

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 8 small eggs (or 24 quail eggs)
  • 2 tbs. of loose-leaf black tea, e.g. Keemun
  • 1 tbs. kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Cover the eggs in a pot with cold water and bring to a boil, simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove eggs with slotted spoon, reserving the water. Place eggs in cold water to cool and, when they're comfortable enough to handle, gently tap the eggs all over with the back of a teaspoon to make cracks. Add tea leaves to the reserved water and then place the eggs back in gently and add the salt. Simmer covered for an hour. Take the pot off the stove and leave the eggs in tea water to soak for 30 more minutes. Remove eggs and allow them to cool before removing the shells. The eggs will then have a cobweb of brown lines giving them their "marbelized" name. Halve them and sprinkle with paprika and minced parsley for added color. If using smaller eggs, no garnish is necessary.
http://www.culinarycafe.com/2009/08/17/chinese-marbelized-eggs/

Herbed Bagel Chips

Herbed Bagel Chips

Prep Time: 0

Yield: 0

Herbed Bagel Chips

Ingredients

  • 9 (1-ounce) frozen mini-bagels, thawed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • butter-flavored vegetable cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Cut each bagel crosswise into 4 slices. Place slices, cut sides up, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly coat tops with cooking spray. Combine Italian seasoning and next 3 ingredients; sprinkle evenly over bagels.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 minutes or until crisp.
http://www.culinarycafe.com/2009/08/17/herbed-bagel-chips/

Oysters Rockefeller

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Oysters Rockefeller
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Instructions
  1. Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Finely chop garlic in processor. Add spinach, watercress and green onions to garlic. Process, using on/off turns, until mixture is finely chopped. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Combine butter, breadcrumbs, Pernod, fennel and hot sauce in processor. Process until well blended. Return spinach mixture to processor. Process, using on/off turns, just until mixtures are blended. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill.) Sprinkle rock salt over large baking sheet to depth of 1/2 inch. Arrange oysters in half shells atop rock salt. Top each oyster with 1 tablespoon spinach mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until spinach mixture browns on top, about 8 minutes.
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