Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More Apps and Picks

'Tis the season for parties so I am doing another installment of appetizer recipes.  I LOVE to do apps on Sundays while we watch football.  Lots of times, we won't even have a real dinner...we just fill up on little stuff.  I think it's a great way to spend a Sunday and I have found some great new recipes.

This first recipe I got out of a magazine.  It comes from Stacy's Pita Chips and it's so simple and SO good on crackers.  If you click on the hyperlink, you can find it under "Classic Dips."

Classic Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup sour cream (I use Light)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use Light)
1/4 cup cream cheese (I use reduced fat)
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (I use Parmesan)
1/4 teaspoon garlic gloves, minced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a small baking dish, mix together artichoke hearts, spinach, sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, Romano cheese and garlic.  Cover and bake until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes.  Serve warm, hot or cool.

My notes:  I serve it hot and I also uncover it for the last 10 minutes of baking.

This next recipe was one I remembered from my childhood and I was excited to find it.  When I made them, it brought me right back to my family's Christmas Eve get togethers.

Spinach-Cheese Balls

1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1 egg                                           
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt                                           
1 cup tomato pasta sauce, if desired

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix all ingredients, except pasta sauce. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve with pasta sauce.

These next two recipes I tried this past weekend after seeing them on an episode of "Down Home With The Neelys"  Oh my God...they were both SOOO good.  On the second one, I have NOT tried the dip yet but I can't wait to!

BBQ Pot Stickers

1/2 pound ground pork

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Neely's BBQ sauce, plus an additional 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon Neely's BBQ seasoning, recipe follows
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
25 to 30 small square wonton wrappers
Canola oil, for frying
1 cup chicken stock

In a medium bowl, add the ground pork, green onions, garlic, BBQ sauce, BBQ seasoning, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Mix together with a wooden spoon until incorporated

Lay 3 wonton wrappers at a time out on your work surface. Cover the others with a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out. Dip your finger in a small ramekin of water and brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with water. Drop a teaspoon of the filling into the center of the wonton, add a drop of BBQ sauce, approximately a teaspoon, on top of the filling. Bring 2 opposite points together and seal, then bring the next 2 points together and pleat the top, making a little purse. As you go, set the filled dumplings on a sheet tray and cover with another damp paper towel. Repeat until all the filling is used.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Once hot, add the dumplings to the pan. Make sure they are not touching or crowded together. Let the dumplings cook, for 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of the chicken stock and cover. Reduce the heat to low, and allow the dumplings to finish cooking by steaming, another 2 to 3 minutes. Once done, gently remove the dumplings from the pan.

Repeat with the remaining dumplings. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Neely BBQ Seasoning:

3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups paprika
3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Onion Dip:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 Vidalia onions, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Dash hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
Shrimp Hushpuppies, for serving, recipe follows

Add the olive oil and butter to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat and allow the onions to cool.

Blend the sour cream, mayonnaise, hot sauce, garlic powder, and chives together in a medium bowl. Add the onions and stir well to blend. Taste for seasonings. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Cook's Note: This dip is best made the night before, so the flavors have time to meld.

Shrimp Hushpuppies:

1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup self-rising flour ( I didn't have any so I Googled a substitute recipe...easy peasy!)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 small onion, grated
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/2 pound cooked shrimp, cleaned and tails removed, chopped
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Peanut oil, for frying

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F.

Now, I will admit I haven't tried the next recipe  but I plan to make it on Christmas Day.  It looked so good, I just had to share.

White Beans and Rosemary Crostini

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 ounces pancetta, diced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thickly sliced
Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Squeeze of lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Baguette, sliced

Heat a fireplace to medium heat. Adjust the grill racks over the flame and heat a heavy Dutch oven over the rack. Alternatively, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Once hot, add the oil to the saucepan. Add the pancetta and render some of its fat. Add the rosemary and garlic, and saute until fragrant. Stir in the beans, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Mash the beans with the back of a wooden spoon. Don't mash them all smooth, you want some texture.

Toast the baguette slices. Serve the beans on top of the toasted baguette. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.

If you love apps like I do, definitely give these a try.  I guarantee they'll become staples.