Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baja Shrimp Cocktail
Rachel Helfrich

1/4 cup mild salsa
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1-2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
 1 lb baby shrimp (cooked)
 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
 2 avocados, chopped
 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
 lime wedge


1. In a large bowl, stir together salsa, lime juice and hot pepper sauce.

2. Add shrimp, tomato, onion and cilantro. Toss gently to coat.

3. Cover and chill for 2 to 4 hours.

4. Just before serving, add avocados and toss to coat. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.

Cranberries and Brie
Nicole Burt
2 T brown sugar
2 T butter
2 T cooking sherry
1/3 C dried fruit-cranberries
    In a small saucepan melt butter and sugar, add sherry stirring until sugar is dissolved and bubbly, add fruit.  Serve over top of warmed brie (bake in oven 350 until soft).

Mushroom Croustades
Christine Gilbert

24 each white bread slices -- thin
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons shallots -- minced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms -- finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons chives -- minced
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese -- fresh grated
2 teaspoons parsley -- minced
2 tablespoons butter

This is one of thoes recipes that has been closely guarded by caterers and proudly demonstrated by cooking instructors for years. It is a must in your collection. The tartlets can be made in quantity and frozen.

CROUSTADES: Preheat oven to 400F. Cut a 3-inch round from each bread slice. Brush insides of 2 miniature muffins tins generously with butter. Gently fit bread rounds into each mold to form a cup. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

FILLING: In a heavy skillet, sauté shallots in butter for 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and simmer, uncovered, until all liquid has evaporated; about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir flour into mushrooms. Pour cream over and return to heat. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and cook another minute or so while mixture becomes very thick. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate.

At this point, you may spoon the mushroom mixture into the toast shells and freeze in their tins. Once frozen, remove to plastic bags for easier freezer storage.

TOPPING: Thaw croustades completely before baking. Preheat oven to 350F. Sprinkle each one with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Dot with specks of butter and arrange on an ungreased baking. Bake 10 minutes; then, if you wish, pop under broiler for a quick browning. Serve immediately.

Thai Lettuce Wraps
Sarah d'Evegnee

Our kids love these, but we have to warm-up before we have these because it's like running a culinary lettuce-wrapping marathon.  Our kids have been known to eat these for an HOUR at a time.  We finally have to make them stop eating before it gets dark outside.  It's scary!

4-5 Chicken Breasts
1 cup Asian Dressing (We like the Ken's lite soy and ginger kind)
2 T garlic
1/8 cup soy sauce
2 T lime juice
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 cucumber, peeled and cut in quartered, round slices
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut in half and then separated into "cups" (Somtimes we also use reed leaf lettuce or butter lettuce)
Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 cup Asian Dressing 

Marinate chicken breasts in a marinade made from Asian dressing, garlic, soy sauce, and lime juice.  (I like to marinate them all day, but 3-4 hours will do the trick.)  Grill chicken 7-9 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the middle.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes.  Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Set out lettuce cups, carrot, cucumber, and water chestunuts next to grilled chicken pieces.  (I usually put everything in sections on a platter and then put the peanut sauce and dressing in serving dishes on the platter).  Add desired amount of veggies and chicken to a lettuce cup and then add about one teaspoon of peanut sauce and 1/2 teaspoon Asian Dressing.  Then fold lettuce like a burrito and enjoy the lip-smacking Thai goodness!

Thai Peanut Sauce:
4 T peanut butter
4 T warm water
2 T soy sauce
1  1/2 T brown sugar
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 1/2 t lime juice

Mix all ingredients together with a fork until well blended.  (Sometimes it helps to stick it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften the peanut butter)

Bacon Wrapped Dates

pitless dates

Line up 1/2 strips of bacon on a cookie sheet.
Sprinkle paprika on them.
Bake, then wrap a bacon strip around a pitless date and secure with a toothpick.
Serve with a spicy dip sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Livers

Italian dressing
chicken livers or breasts
water chestnuts (optional)
pineapple chunks (optional)

Place chicken breast pieces (personally not fond of chicken livers) in a ziplock bag. Add some Italian dressing and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, precook as many pieces of bacon as you would need in the microwave, oven or grill until partially done.

Wrap each chicken piece with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. I usually add a water chestnut or pineapple chunk before I wrap it.
Place on a foil wrapped pan in the oven at 425 for around 15-20 minutes or until bacon is done the way you like it.

Fruit and Cheese Sticks

cheese, cubed

Place a piece of cheese and a grape on a toothpick.

Fried Mozzarella Sticks
My friend Jonna @

16 oz Package of Mozzarella Cheese
or you can also use Mozzarella sticks
2 Eggs Beaten
1/4 Cup Water
1 1/2 Cup Italian Panko or Plain Panko Crumbs
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings
2/3 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Corn Starch

Cut the mozzarella into either triangles or sticks. Beat the eggs with water and set aside. Mix the bread crumbs, garlic salt, and Italian seasonings and set aside. Blend the flour with corn starch and set aside. Heat your vegetable oil for deep frying to 360 degrees. Dip cheese in flour then in egg wash and then coat with bread crumbs. Place carefully in hot oil and fry until golden, this takes just a few seconds so watch carefully. When golden remove from hot oil and drain. Serve with marinara sauce.

Cocoa Roasted Almonds
Jann Johnson

1/3 C sugar
1/3 C cocoa
pinch of salt

Place sugar, cocoa and salt in large ziplock bag and shake to mix.

2 C whole raw almonds
1 egg white
1 tsp water

In small bowl, beat egg white and water until frothy. Add nuts and stir until nuts are well coated. Drain off excess egg white mixture and place nuts in the ziplock with cocoa mixture. Shake until nuts are well coated. Spoon nuts into a sieve or colander and gently shake off excess cocoa mixture. Place nuts on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 325F for 25 minutes.

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