December 25, 2000
Holiday Quesadillas with Smoked Salmon and Caviar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 scallions, trimmed and minced
3 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon, minced
3 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Freshly ground pepper
6 8-inch green or white flour tortillas
6 8-inch red or white flour tortillas
Olive oil for brushing, if grilling directly over fire
1/2 c. sour cream
2 oz. salmon caviar or other favorite caviar
Place cream cheese, scallions, salmon, dill and Monterey Jack in a mixing bowl.
Mash together with a fork until thoroughly blended. Season with pepper.
Lay the green tortillas out on large work surface and spread each with a generous layer of the cream cheese-salmon mixture. Top with red tortillas, pressing gently to make them adhere.
Brush both red and green sides lightly with olive oil and place on the cooking grate.
Grill each side until lightly browned and blistered, about 2 minutes per side. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges and garnish with a 1/2 tsp. dollop of sour cream and a few caviar eggs. Serve at once.
Holiday Cheese Ball
1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 3-oz. package cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. sherry
1/4 c. coarsely chopped. pitted ripe olives
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Dash each - onion, garlic, and celery salts
1/2 c. coarsely snipped smoked sliced beef
In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, thoroughly combine cheese, sherry, olives, Worcestershire sauce and salts. Shape mixture into a ball; wrap in foil; then refrigerate until needed.
About 30 minutes before serving, remove foil from cheese ball and reshape into ball with hands; then roll it in the beef until it is completely coated. Makes a 3" ball.
1 2-1/2 oz. package smoked sliced beef, finely chopped
1 tsp. minced onion
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 3-oz. package cream cheese
Saltines or crisp rye crackers
Cook beef and onion in butter or margarine until beef is slightly crisp. Add to cream cheese and blend. Spread on crackers.
Buffalo Chicken Wings
2-1/2 lbs. chicken wings
1/2 c. RedHot sauce
1/2 c. melted butter or margarine
Split wings at each joint; discard tips. Place wings on rack in foil-lined pan. Bake one hour at 425 degrees until cooked and crispy, turning halfway. Combine RedHot sauce and butter. Dip wings in sauce to coat completely.
Makes 8 appetizer servings.
Michelle Le Bleu's Crab Cakes
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 c. yellow peppers, chopped fine
1 c. red peppers, chopped fine
1/2 c. serrano peppers, chopped fine
2 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. liquid pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco)
10 leaves of basil, chopped
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, cleaned
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 c. all-purpose flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 to 1 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in large sauté pan. Add to pan, garlic, onions and peppers and sauté until soft.
Mix sautéed vegetables in large bowl with paprika, pepper sauce, and herbs. Add egg, flour and breadcrumbs as needed to hold mixture together. Fold in crabmeat and salt and pepper to taste.
Form mixture into small patties and, using standard breading procedure, dip each in first flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
Heat clarified butter in sauté pan and brown crabcakes on each side.
Place on lightly greased baking pan. Bake crabcakes in preheated oven at 300 degrees for approximately 10 minutes.
Savory Roasted Eggplant Spread
1 large eggplant
1 peeled, seeded tomato, chopped
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. minced green onions
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
Place the eggplant in a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes. Cool, then cut the eggplant in half and scrape the insides into a bowl.
Process in a blender or processor, leaving slightly chunky. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
To serve, spread on a hearty whole grain bread or focaccia. If desired, top off the sandwich with sliced tomatoes, roasted green or yellow squash slices, pepper strips or onions.
Makes 6 servings.
Pesto with Crackers
2 c. fresh basil
5 cloves garlic
1/3 c. pecans (optional)
3/4 grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 c. olive oil
Mix all ingredients thoroughly and serve with crackers.
Real Onion Dip
3-4 large Spanish onions
1 c. defatted beef broth
1 tsp. onion powder
1 c. sour cream
Freshly ground pepper
Thinly slice onions, then chop them, making 10 cups.
Coat a large Dutch oven very heavily with cooking spray. Place pot over medium-high heat.
When pot is hot, stir in onions until they are coated with the spray. Cook two minutes. Remove pot from the heat.
Spray the onions in the pot heavily, then stir again. (Per instructions on the can, never use cooking spray on a pot set over heat, or spray food near a hot burner.)
Return the pot to the stove and cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent and look moist, 10-12 minutes. Tightly cover the onions. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 30 minutes, until onions are soft and very wet, but not colored, stirring them two or three times.
Add beef broth. Bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook onions gently until quite soft.
Uncover pot. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook until onions are mushy, caramelized to a golden brown, and are almost dry, stirring often and scraping up any bits sticking to the pot. This process takes up to 10 to 15 minutes.
Puree onions in a food processor. Transfer puree to a bowl. (There will be 1 cup.) Chill onions.
Mix in onion powder and sour cream. Season dip to taste with pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably 24 hours, before serving. Refrigerated and tightly covered, dip keeps for 3 to 4 days.
Makes 8-12 servings.
Mango Tango Black Bean Salsa
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (7 oz.) whole kernel corn with peppers, drained
1 medium mango, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve with baked tortilla chips, if desired.
Makes 8 servings.
Stuffed Mushrooms with Hummus
1 dozen large mushrooms with stems removed, washed
Pierce mushrooms with fork and marinate (overnight if possible).
1/2 c. champagne
1/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. herbs de Provence
Stuff mushrooms with hummus, bake at 350 degrees in oven for 10-20 minutes (until browned) and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
1 c. cooked garbanzo beans
6 garlic cloves
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 c. Tahini paste
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 c. fresh parsley
Combine all ingredients and pureé.
Honey Broiled Sea Scallops
1 lb. sea scallops
3 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
Combine lime juice, oil, honey, soy sauce, and ginger. Add scallops and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove scallops from marinade. Thread scallops evenly on 4 skewers.
Place skewers on shallow baking pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick coating. Broil 4 to 6 inches from source of heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn and baste with reserved marinade and continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes or until opaque throughout. Place sesame seeds on wax paper and roll skewer over seeds to evenly coat scallops.
Makes 4 servings.
4 c. turkey cut into bite-size pieces
2-3 coarsely chopped large white onions
5-6 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 lb. of fresh small mushrooms or use a can of sliced ones (drained)
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. flour
2 c. cooking wine or sherry
4 c. chicken broth
3-4 bay leaves
1-2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary leaves or 3/4 tsp. ground rosemary
1/2 tsp. basil
Sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms in a small amount of oil. In order to cut down on cleanup, use the same pot that you will be cooking the stew in. Remove the garlic, onions and mushrooms and set aside.
Reduce the heat to low. Add oil and gently stir in the flour a little bit at at time. Make sure the flour is dissolved before you add more to prevent lumps. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Do not allow mixture to burn.
Add the wine, soup and spices.Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens.
Add turkey cubes and the mushroom, garlic and onion mixture. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve on a bed of rice.
Turkey and Potato Hash
2 large potatoes, thinly sliced (about 3 c.)
1-1/2 c. water
1 large onion, chopped
1 c. diced turkey
1/3 c. mixed red and green bell peppers, diced
1-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 scallions, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 dashes hot pepper sauce, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large, non-stick skillet, bring potatoes, water and onion to boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain and return vegetables to pan.
Add turkey, bell peppers, Worcestershire, garlic, scallions, oil and hot pepper sauce. Mix well. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for about 5 minutes, occasionally, stirring, until mixture begins to brown. With spatula, scrape up crusty bits and stir into unbrowned part of the mixture. Cook for 10 minutes longer or until mixture is well browned, stirring often and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 3 servings.