Archive | Appetizer Recipes RSS feed for this section

Pimiento Cheese Pinwheels

13 Nov

Pimiento Cheese Pinwheels

Pimiento Cheese:
1 1/2 cups (packed) finely grated extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups (packed) finely grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 a cup of cream cheese
1/4 cup diced drained pimiento peppers from jar, roasted red peppers, or piquillo peppers (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl.
  2. Mash with fork to blend well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover; chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

For the Pinwheels:
Pimiento Cheese
Pre-made puff pastry


  1. Thaw puff pastry until it can be rolled out.
  2. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin.
  3. Roll the puff pastry out to approximately a15x15 inch square, or until the puff pastry is thin, but does not easily tear.
  4. Spread a thin layer of pimiento cheese over the whole pastry, leaving a ½ inch border on all sides.
  5. Starting from the right side of the dough, roll the pastry up to form a log.
  6. Wrap the log in wax paper (to prevent sticking) and then tin foil (to seal) and put it in the freezer.   This can be frozen for several weeks.
  7. If you want to bake the pinwheels right away, I would still recommend freezing the log for 15-20 minutes, to firm it up.  Makes slicing a lot easier!
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Remove pinwheel log from the freezer and unwrap.  Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into thin rounds, less than a ¼ inch.
  10. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, or cover with parchment paper.
  11. Lay the pinwheel down, about an inch apart.
  12.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed up and lightly browned.
  13. Cool and serve.

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

12 Nov

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

3-4 whole wheat wraps (try to find ones with at least 3 grams of fiber or more per wrap)
1 (15oz) can pizza sauce (you may have some left over, depending on how much sauce you like)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
48 mini turkey pepperonis (or the 12 whole turkey pepperoni’s, each cut into 4 even pieces)
1 tsp basil/oregano mix OR Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of sweetener (sugar)
pinch of black pepper
*Put your own spin on these by adding anything that you would normally like on a pizza just before popping them in the oven!


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Start by laying each tortilla out individually on a flat surface, and use an empty can, cup, or cookie cutter to cut 3-4 medium circles out of each wrap. I used the empty pizza sauce can, which worked well!
  3. Press firmly enough, using a rocking motion, until it cuts through the wrap.
  4. Press each wrap circle into muffin tin using your fingers.  Note: it doesn’t have to cover the entire side of the tin, it should just fit snuggly!
  5. Meanwhile, pour pizza sauce into a medium sized bowl….
  6. Add in the Parmesan cheese
  7. And the spices. Stir until everything is well combined.
  8. Drop about 1-2 tbs of sauce in each wrap, this really varies according to how much sauce you like!
  9. Divide mozzarella cheese evenly over each mini pizza.
  10. Place 4 mini pepperoni’s on top of each pizza.
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  12. Wait for pizzas to cool, and remove from muffin tin using a fork or knife.

Onions and Goat Cheese Tart

12 Nov


Onions and Goat Cheese Tart

For the pastry:
125g plain flour
55g butter divided into cubes
2-3 tbsp cold water
pinch of salt
Herbs de provence (optional)

For the filling:
2 red onions finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 egg
100ml milk
85g goat’s cheese, crumbled
75g Boursin cheese, crumbled


  1. To make the pastry  put the four and butter into a bowl and rub the butter into the flour to form a breadcrumb like mixture.
  2. Add a pinch of salt, the dried herbs and 2 tbsp of cold water to bind the mixture, you might need the third tablespoon of water if the dough is dry and not coming together but take care not to make it too wet. Mix thoroughly and kneed for a bit.
  3. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Place the butter with a little oil and the onions in a pan, sprinkle with the sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the onion has caramelized, season if needed.
  5. To make the cheese filling, mix the egg with the milk and cheese in a bowl, season with black pepper and set aside. Keep a little of the cheese to sprinkle on top of the tart.
  6. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out onto a floured surface then place in greased tart tins.
  7. You will need to blind bake the pastry, do this by placing greaseproof paper onto the tart and weigh down with dry beans, rice or baking beads.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 15-20 mins or until the pastry has gone golden brown.
  9. When the pastry has cooked, put a layer of the caramelized onions and top with the cheese mixture and cook for a further 10-15mins at 180 degrees until the golden.

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Honey Drizzle

12 Nov

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Honey Drizzle

Coconut Shrimp:
12 tiger shrimp, cleaned and peeled with tails intact
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste

Spicy Honey Drizzle:
2/3 cup honey
2 Tablespoons fresh chili sauce (such as Sambal)
sea salt to taste


  1. Pre-heat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with PAM (or grease with a little vegetable oil using a paper towel).
  2. In a small bowl, season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  3. In a shallow dish combine flour, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. In another shallow dish, gently toss together the coconut, almond meal and breadcrumbs.
  4. Dredge shrimp in the flour mixture and shake off any excess flour.
  5. Then dip each shrimp into the beaten eggs, followed by the coconut mixture.
  6. Shake off any excess coconut transfer your prepared baking sheet and transfer to pre-heated oven.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. If you want them to be more golden brown, transfer to top rack and broil for 2 minutes. (Keep an eye on it!)
  8. For the honey drizzle: Place all ingredients into a small ramekin and mix.
  9. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with warm shrimp.

Fried Cheese Balls with Chili Mayonnaise

12 Nov

Fried Cheese Balls with Chili Mayonnaise
Yields about 24 balls

For the Cheese Balls:
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion, (ex. Vidalia)
1 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
vegetable oil for frying
For the Mayonnaise
1/4 cup mayonaise (I use Hellman’s)
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Tabasco to taste, optional (but good)
Ground cayenne pepper to taste, optional

For the Chili Mayonnaise:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, chili sauce, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Stir until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Mayonnaise can be made up to one day in advance.

For the Cheese Balls:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, onion, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and eggs until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Roll the mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter.  (I use a packed 1/2-ounce ice cream scoop to shape).
  3. Place the balls on a wax or parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to fry.
  4.  The cheese balls can be prepared to this point up to three hours in advance. 
  5. In heavy medium frying pan, heat 2 inches of oil to 375º F.  Carefully place four balls at a time in the hot oil.  (Adding to many balls at time will reduce the oil temperature).  
  6. After 30 seconds, gently nudge each ball with the side of a spoon/skimmer (use a bamboo chinese skimmer) to loosen from the bottom.  Allow the balls to fry for another 1-1 1/2 minutes or until golden brown.  
  7. Remove the balls from the oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet. 
  8.  Keep warm in a 200º F oven until ready to serve.

Crab Rangoon Wontons

12 Nov

Crab Rangoon Wontons
Makes 10 servings

Recipe #1:

12 ounce cream cheese (at room temperature)
50 wonton wrappers
1 cup imitation crab (chopped)
2 green onions (minced)
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts (drained and minced)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon soy sauce
1 egg (beaten)
oil (for frying)


  1. In a medium bowl cream the cream cheese together with crab, green onions, water chestnuts, garlic powder, and soy sauce. In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg.
  2. Lay out a wonton wrapper in the shape of a diamond. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling into the center of each wrapper. Brush the opposite corners of the wrapper with the beaten egg. Fold the edges over to form and triangle and seal.
  3. Heat oil in the deep fryer to 375 degrees. Deep fry in bathes (turning once if needed) until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Recipe #2:

1 can (6 oz.) white crabmeat, drained and chopped
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonaise
½ teaspoon Sriracha
2 teaspoons finely sliced chives, plus more for garnish
fresh ground pepper to taste
12 won ton wrappers


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. Combine crab meat, cream cheese, mayonaise, Sriracha, chives, and pepper in a bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Place 1 won ton wrapper in each muffin cup. The edges of the won ton wrappers will extend beyond the mini muffin tin cups and may need to be folded slightly.
  5. Fill the center of each won ton cup with crab/cream cheese mixture.
  6.  Bake about 15 minutes or until edges of cups are golden brown and filling is heated through.
  7. Garnish with reserved chives.

Baked Green Bean Fries with Roasted Garlic Dipping Sauce

12 Nov

Baked Green Bean Fries with Roasted Garlic Dipping Sauce
Serves 2 – 4

For the fries:
8 ounces green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dipping sauce:
1 small head of garlic, roasted, and smashed into a paste
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or a nonstick liner, and set aside.
  2. To prepare the fries, begin by blanching the green beans.  Submerge them in boiling water for 2 – 3 minutes until they are bright green but still a bit crisp.  Immediately transfer the green beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Then, lay them out on a clean towel and pat them dry.
  3. Set up the three breading stations in three shallow bowls.  Place the flour in the first bowl and the eggs in the second bowl.  In the third bowl, combine the bread crumbs, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.  Season all three bowls with salt and pepper, and give each one a quick whisk to make sure the seasonings are evenly incorporated.
  4. Dip the green beans first in the flour, shaking off any excess, and then in the egg.  Then, toss the green beans in the bread crumbs to coat evenly and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Be sure to place the green beans in a single layer, leaving some space between them so that they bake evenly and get nice and crunchy.
  5. Bake the green bean fries for about 15 minutes, until golden and crisp.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce.  Wisk together the roasted garlic paste, mayonnaise, olive oil, and Dijon mustard.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve the fries immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.