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Appetizers for the holidays

recipes Tasty appetizers are always in demand for the holidays!

Crabcakes
(Courtesy of Mary Evely, Simi Winery Chef)
   1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
   1/2 small onion, minced
   1/2 c. soft bread crumbs
   2 Tbsp. heavy cream
   2 eggs
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/2 tsp. dry mustard
   1/8 tsp. Tabasco
   1/8 tsp. cayenne
   1 Tbsp. minced chives
   3 Tbsp. minced parsley
   2 c. crabmeat,
   1 c. dry bread crumbs
   Vegetable oil for frying

   Cook onion in butter over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix soft bread crumbs with cream in a medium bowl. Let stand until crumbs are well soaked. Beat eggs with a fork until frothy, then mix into the bread crumbs and cream. Add all seasonings and mix well. Fold in crabmeat. Shape into 8 cakes and dust with bread crumbs. Fry in oil over medium heat until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Sun Dried Tomato Cheese Puffs
   24 Ritz Crackers
   1 c. (4 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
   1/4 c. chopped sundried tomatoes
   3/4 c. milk
   2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
   4 eggs, beaten
   2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

   Place two crackers in each of 12 lightly greased 2 1/2-inch muffin-pan cups; evenly divide and top with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. In large bowl, blend milk, parsley, basil, and eggs. Pour evenly over cheese layer; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F. for 30 to 35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and remove from pan. Serve warm.