New Year’s Eve is approaching and Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar) are perfect for bite-sized appetizers. Make ’em, freeze ’em, bake ’em and serve them in a chafing dish, crock pot, or fondue pot – whatever you have on hand that will keep these babies warm. I made these on Monday and froze them to be used on Christmas Day – then all I had to do was bake them that afternoon and make the sauce. I like to use a combo of both ground beef and pork when I make the meatballs – and I know some people even add veal for a more rounded flavor. Use whatever bread you have on hand and make fresh breadcrumbs in a food processor – you will notice the difference, but use the Pulse button so you don’t end up with sawdust. I was in Stockholm last year (see here) and had the most amazing Swedish Meatballs – they were large, very large, as this was an entrée and not an appetizer and tasted absolutely amazing! As …
Roasted onions and parmesan cheese are a great flavor combo. For this canape I use Parmesan/Reggiano grated cheese. If you need a quick canape at the last-minute this one fills the bill – only five ingredients to make the base and then any toppers you want to add. In this case I chose bacon and salmon roe, but you could also do slices of cocktail onion, green or black olive slices, slivers of green apple for a tart twist, or any number of toppers, depending upon your imagination and what you have in your pantry.
One holiday down, and two to go before 2014 comes to an end – the year has certainly gone by very quickly! Lots of holiday parties in the next month, so canapes and appetizers will be at the top of my list of things to prepare. These stuffed mushrooms are quite easy to make and have a slight piquant tangy flavor to them as evidenced from the combo of goat cheese and balsamic vinegar reduction. I served them on Thanksgiving and got two thumbs up from my 5-year-old great-niece Lily – that makes this appetizer a winner as far as I am concerned!
Onion dip is readily available at any grocery store silently sitting beside the ranch dip, like an old married couple. But if you look closely to the ingredient list on the bottom of the tub, you might think twice on taking it home to serve family and friends. Why? Just check out some of the ingredients found on the label: trio calcium phosphate, guar gum, xanthan gum, vegetable gum (really needs 3 GUMS?), corn starch, distilled vinegar, sugar, caramel color, onion flavoring, dried onion flakes, dried parsley, malteddexrin, and a whole lot of other things that don’t look either nutritious nor appetizing. With homemade caramelized onion dip you know exactly what you are eating, and will enjoy pungent flavors of robust onion and garlic with a touch of lemon zest that provides a delightful freshness to this dip.
This was one of my contributions for appetizers this Christmas Eve. They went quickly – so assuming they were well received. I love shrimp and if you add some onion and garlic to it, and then fry it, I love it even more! Will be looking to add more fruits and vegetables to my diet in 2013, but for the next few days till the end of 2012 I am concentrating on foods that I really, really like! So before I change my ways for 2013 I will make these again for New Years Eve – only more, lots more.
Mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms. I add them to sauces, soups, chinese food, atop pizzas, sliced raw in salads, chicken casseroles, beef bourguignon, and on and on and on. They are minced, sliced, cubed, chopped, braised, stewed, fried, sautéed, used in place of beef (the Portobello is perfect for this) and they are even mashed if you are making Mushroom Pate. They are one of the most versatile vegetables, though technically they are really a fungus. And today I stuffed them with cream cheese, vermouth, bread crumbs and herbs in the traditional manner.
If you like bacon, you will love the combination of crisp bacon, brown sugar goodness, and crunchy water chestnuts. This is a simple and quick-to-prepare appetizer – a bit of marinating, a bit of baking, and voila you have a sure-fire delicious appetizer with very little effort. I usually marinate the water chestnuts about 2 hours, but if you are pressed for time you can narrow that down to 15 minutes and still have a winner. This appetizer has been around for decades and yet your guests will polish them off like you just invented a new hors d’oeuvre – no matter their age!
These are a whole lot of chocolate with a surprise center: cream cheese and teeny chocolate chips. Two of my favorite combos, and one of my father’s two favorite desserts (the other being Pineapple Upside Down Cake). My father passed away quite a while ago, but I was thinking of him yesterday on Father’s Day and decided late last night to whip up a batch of Black Bottom Cupcakes, his way. Most Black Bottom Cupcakes do not have frosting or icing on top, as the cream cheese rises to the top while baking and serves as the frosting. But my Dad really liked chocolate and he adored chocolate frosting in particular – so I always frosted these cupcakes to make them special for him. You can make the cupcake batter from scratch, but a cake mix off the shelf can be awfully tasty when you are rushed, or as in my case it is 11:30 at night when I started baking.