Monday, April 13, 2009

Red Caviar Dip

1 8-oz package of cream cheese, room temperature

5 T. Sour cream

2 T. Chives, fresh, chopped

2 oz. Red Caviar, drained

French baguette, sliced

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and chives.

GENTLY fold in the caviar until combined. Transfer to serving bowl. Chill in the refrigerator (covered w/saran wrap) before serving.

Simple, elegant, and a crowd-pleaser!

Note: This is a recipe from the New York Times International Cookbook and is a recipe from Norway, which I adapted.



Baked Brie with Preserves

This is a very easy recipe to make and takes only minutes.

Take a round of brie and trim off the excess covering.

Place the brie on a microwave-proof dish. Top the brie with your favorite preserves. I like the dark berries, such as black raspberry.

Microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until the cheese has become soft. Keep a close watch on the cheese so that it doesn't over 'melt.'

Serve with a French baguette, sliced.

Serves 8.

Note: You can also wrap the brie and preserve in a puff pastry, seam-side down onto a lightly greased baking pan, and brushed with an egg wash (bring to room temperature). Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Basil Cheese Spread

6 fresh basil leaves
3 medium cloves garlic
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

In food processor, process basil and garlic until finely chopped. Add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, walnuts, and olive oil; process until smooth.

Transfer spread mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serve with assorted crackers.

Rosemary Cheese w/Fig Preserves

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (3 oz.) log goat cheese, softened
1. T chopped fresh rosemary
2. tsp honey
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper (or a dash of cayenne)
3/4 c. fig preserves

Process first 5 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 1-1/2 c. mold lined with plastic wrap. Cover and chill 2 hours. Invert cheese mixture onto a serving dish; discard plastic wrap. Spoon fig preserves over cheese.

Serve w/ baguette or crackers.

Hot Crab Dip

3 T. unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, minced
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. Old Bay
1 ¼ tsp. dry mustard
¾ c. half and half
8 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. sharp white Cheddar, grated
3 T. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
10 oz. lump crabmeat
½ c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ c. breadcrumbs
½ tsp. paprika

Preheat oven to 400 with the rack in the center. Melt 2 T. butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft, 2 minutes. Add T. of water and simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in the cayenne, Old Bay, and dry mustard until well combined. Pour the half and half into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the cream cheese, a few pieces at a time. When the cream cheese is fully incorporated, whisk in the Cheddar a bit at a time. Stir the mixture for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add lemon juice and Worcestershire and stir. Add the crabmeat and half of the parsley and stir.

Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Dot the top with remaining butter. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the bread pieces are golden and dip is hot. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve with baguette or crackers.

Garlic Cheese Fondue

14 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
6 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
2 T. flour
1 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground white pepper
1 cup. white wine
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 french-bread baguette, crust left on,bread cut into 1 inch cubes

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat.

Add the wine and garlic to the fondue pot and turn heat on to simmer. Slowly add small amounts of the cheese mixture and stir until melted. Keeping adding the cheese until all is combined and smooth. Add another tablespoon or so of wine, if necessary.

Serve with the cubed bread.

Cheese Fondue with Champagne

4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-1/4 cups dry champagne (brut)
1 large shallot, chopped
7 ounces coarsely grated gruyere cheese
5 ounces coarsely grated emmenthaler cheese
3 ounces diced rindless brie cheese or camembert cheese
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch white pepper
1 french-bread baguette, crust left on,bread cut into 1 inch cubes

Stir cornstarch and lemon juice in small bowl until cornstarch dissolves; set aside.

Combine Champagne and shallot in fondue pot, simmer over medium heat 2 minutes. Turn off heat.

Add all cheeses and stir to combine. Stir in cornstarch mixture.

Return fondue pot to medium heat and stir until cheeses are melted and smooth and fondue thickens and boils, about 10 minutes. Season fondue with nutmeg and white pepper.

Keep fondue pot on low/simmer setting.

Serve with bread cubes.

Note: I used a teflon style fondue pot.

Mediterranean Hummus

14-1/2 oz. can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T. lemon juice
1 T. Olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/4 c. Kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 c. roasted red peppers
Pita bread or crackers

In a food processor, add the first 6 ingredients and process half way. Add the olives and red peppers and process until almost smooth, but enough to keep the olives and red peppers slightly chunky.

Serve with pita bread, crackers, or raw vegetables.

Black Caviar Dip

My Mom's cousin Grace made this years ago and I've always wanted to make it. I did back in 2005 and a few times since then. I love the combination of flavors of the caviar and sour cream.

1 large round bread
2 cups sour cream (maybe a little more or less, depending on the size of the bread)
3 boiled eggs; yolks and whites chopped separately
1/8 cup chopped red onion
Black lump caviar (or red), just one small jar, drained
1 baguette

Carefully carve out the center of the bread, keeping approximately 1/2" thickness. Cut the bread, which has been removed, into cubes. Cube the baguette.

Layer in the bread the sour cream, and then the caviar. Place the egg whites in a ring at the outer edge of the bread, followed by the yolks, and red onion.

Serve with the cubed bread.

10-12 Servings.

Black Bean Dip

1 15.5 oz. can Black Beans
1 Large Roma tomato, diced
1 t. Lemon juice
Dash hot sauce
2 T. Red onion, chopped
1 Small clove garlic, chopped
1/4 t. Cumin
1 t. Cilantro, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all in a food processor and process until almost smooth, leaving it a little chunky.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Serves 4-5

Olive Tapenade

This is a recipe I make all the time and it makes a large batch.

1 C. Kalamata Olives
1/2 C. Green Spanish olives*

1 C. Black olives
1 Clove garlic, chopped
1-1/2 T. Capers, drained
1 T. Freshly chopped parsley
1-1/2 T. Olive oil
1 T. Fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Kalamata olives, remove the seeds.

Combine the ingredients and process in a food processor until finely chopped.

Take a loaf of french bread and slice thin. Brush each slice with olive oil and toast in the oven till lightly brown. You can make ahead. Allow the toast slices to cool completely before placing in a zip lock bag.

*I used the Mezzetta Martini Olives, which were marinated in Dry Vermouth.

Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches

2 12.5-oz. cans chicken meat, white breast, drained
2-3 T. Mayonnaise
1 t. mustard
2 t. bluecheese dressing
Chopped green onion
2 T. red onion, chopped
1 t. fresh tarragon, chopped
2 t. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Salt and pepper to taste
Baby greens
Whole wheat bread slices

Combine all ingredients. Prepare sandwiches topping with the baby greens; cut into 4's on the diagonal. Makes approx. 10 sandwiches or 40 finger sandwiches. Serves 8-10.

Note: The measurements for the mayonnaise, mustard, and bluecheese dressing are approximates since I made a large batch. Add slowly until you get the consistancy you'd like.


4 Haas avocados
1 Roma tomato, diced
2 T. red onion, chopped
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 T + 1/2 t. fresh lime juice
1/2 t. hot pepper sauce
1/2 t. salt

Cut the avocados in 1/2 and pull apart. Remove the seed in the center and scoop out the avocado meat. Place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and combine with a fork until almost smooth, but still slightly chuncky. Taste and adjust as necessary: I made this recipe using three avocados (2 medium, 1 small), so I adjusted the amount of herbs and onions to my taste).

Chill in the refrigerator, covered with saran wrap. Place the saran wrap directly onto the guacamole.

Serve with tortilla chips and/or vegetables (sliced cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc).
Makes about 2 cups.

Scotch Eggs

I found several recipes for Scotch Eggs. This is my version.

12 eggs, boiled, peeled, cooled/chilled
1-1/2 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage meat
1 t. sage
1 T. minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
Ground black pepper to taste
1/2 c. flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. breadcrumbs

In a bowl, combine the sausage meat with the sage, onions, garlic, cayenne pepper and black pepper.

Divide the sausage into 4 equal portions, which you’ll divide each into three portions. Make each portion into a patty and wrap around the egg, pinching to close the ends. The thickness should be around 1/8th to 1/4-inch thickness. You can flour your hands so the meat doesn’t stick.

Put the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in separate plates. Dip each egg into the flour, then egg, and then in the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and add some non-stick spray. Place in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375° and continue to bake another 20 minutes (turning every 10 minutes to brown on all sides).

To serve: Cut in half and serve either hot or cold.

Note to self: 9/05: The next time I make this, double the recipe! These went very quickly at a recent rotation meal.

White Bean Dip

Since Hummus is an easy dip to make, I decided to make a dip with cannellini beans.

1 19 oz. can Cannellini beans, drained
1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped green onion
Approx. 1-1/2 T. fresh herbs: sage, chives, tarragon, parsley (or other herbs of your choice).

In a food processor, puree the first 6 ingredients. Add the chopped green onions and herbs and process until just blended.

Serve with pita bread.

Bluecheese Spread

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
1 tspn lemon juice
1/2 tspn Worcestershire sauce
Dash ground red pepper
1/3rd cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all except for the nuts. Spread in a small oval baking dish and sprinkle with the nuts.

Bake 25-30 minutes until thoroughly heated. Serve with crackers.


I made this back in 2003 for a dinner party. Everyone loved it! You can adjust the amount of chilies for your taste.

2 cans of tomatoes with green chilies drained, retain the liquid
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
½ small onion, diced
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 medium hot green chilies, chopped
1 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice

Combine all in a blender and process until the desired consistency. Add in some of the liquid from the canned tomatoes for a saucier salsa.

Serve with chips.


1 20-oz can Garbanzo beans, drained (retain the liquid)
Juice of 1 Lemon
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. or more of olive oil
Salt to taste
A few dashes of sesame oil
Pita bread

Combine all in a food processor and process until smooth. Use some of the liquid from the beans to get to a smooth consistency. You can add a little more olive oil also with the liquid..

Serve with pita chips: Cut pita rounds into pieces; spray or use a brush to coat the pieces with olive oil; lightly sprinkle with salt and seasonings (I use herbs de Provence).

Bake in oven at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Chicken Wings, Asian Style

There are many wing recipes. This is mine.

4 T soy sauce
6 T dry sherry
1.5 T sugar
2 minced garlic cloves
3 t. ginger
2 1/2 t. sesame seeds
3 T sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
A few dashes of hot sauce, depending on how hot you like it
3 pounds wings, trimmed and separated

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, ensuring the sugar has dissolved. Add the wings and coat well. Place in a 9x13 glass container. Marinade overnight (or at least 3 hours) turning on occasion to coat the wings.

Bring to room temperature 1 hour before broiling. Place the wings on broiling rack and broil until browned and cooked through, (about 20 minutes) basting wings with marinade about every 10 minutes.

Serves 10-12

Note: I like to line the baking pans with tin foil for easy cleanup.

Chicken Liver Crostini

(Crostini di Fegatini)

Upon my recent return from Italy, I was interested in making a crostini pate. I found this recipe on Although not exactly like what I had in Tuscany, this is a delicious recipe. My version includes half and half cream instead of all broth. This adds a nice creaminess texture to this pâté.


7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove, minced 1

12 ounces chicken livers (I used 1.27 Lbs livers)
1/3 cup dry white wine (added a little more)
1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
( I used just over 1/2 can broth and just over 1/2 cup half and half cream)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage (I used dried; added some thyme)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel (added a little more)
1 French-bread baguette, sliced into 1/3-inch-thick rounds

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, anchovies and garlic. Sauté until onion is tender but not brown, mashing anchovies with fork, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken livers and sauté until brown, about 4 minutes. Add wine and cook until most of liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and sage. Simmer until chicken livers are cooked through and liquid is reduced by half, breaking up livers with fork, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly.

Transfer mixture to processor. Using on/off turns, process just until livers are coarsely pureed. Mix in lemon peel. Season pâté to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange bread slices on 2 baking sheets. Lightly brush bread with remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. (Pâté and toasts can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill pâté. Cool toasts; store airtight at room temperature.) Spread pâté over toasts. Arrange toasts on platter.

Servings: 12-14

Tzatziki Dip

4 Cups plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, coarsely grated (without the seeds)
3-4 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
2 T. Olive Oil
1/2 t. dried dillweed
Salt and Pepper to taste
Additional Oive oil for garnish

1. Place a piece of cheesecloth in a colander and pour in the yogurt. Place the grated cucumber in another colander and allow both to drain for 3-4 hours. Pat dry the cucumber with a paper towel.
2. Mix all ingredients, except additional oil, and chill. When ready to serve, pour a little olive oil on top. Serve with pita bread

10-12 Servings.

Mykonos Cheese Dip

1 large clove of garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/2 lb. Feta cheese, crumbled (keep the liquid)
1 cup sour cream
1 small bunch fresh chives, chopped
1 Tablespoon of drained capers
Pepper to taste
A few dashes of hot pepper sauce
Pita bread of crackers to serve

Blend the first 3 ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients. Chill.
It's better if prepared the night before so that the flavor of the garlic comes out.

6-8 Servings.

Chicken Liver Pate

1/8 lb. butter
1 lb. cleaned chicken livers
4 large cloves of garlic
Pinch of thyme
Ground pepper
1/2 small onion, chopped
Splash of Brandy

1. Cook onions in butter until clear. Add the liver, crushed garlic, and thyme. Cook livers only until pink in the middle.
2. Place in blender, small amounts at a time, and process until smooth. Add more melted butter if too mealy.
3. Place in a bowl and cover with melted butter. Refrigerate overnight.
4. Serve lump or large slice on a bed of lettuce. Garnish with pickles and/or sliced tomatoes, and toast.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Imitation Crab Salad Recipe

1lb, 6 oz. Imitation crabmeat, shredded
3 Green onions, chopped
½ Cup celery, chopped
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 c. Mayonnaise
½ t. Dill weed
1-2 t. Horseradish, creamy style
Salt and pepper to taste

Shred the chunks of crabmeat into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Adjust, as you like: More mayonnaise for a creamier texture or more lemon juice for a zestier taste. You could add a dash or two of hot sauce for some kick; or even a dash of old bay seasoning.

Serve with crackers or on pumpernickel bread (or on a bed of lettuce as a salad).

I made this today for the rotation dinner group I belong to and it went in minutes. I could easily have made it using another pound of crabmeat! I adapted this recipe I found on Recipezaar.