Showing posts tagged with "Appetizers". View All Posts

A Foolproof Flatbread to Warm Your Bones



Butternut squash and blue cheese make sweet and savory friends in this comforting dish.

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Shrimp to Get Your Hands Deliciously Dirty


Gutsy, garlicky shrimp in a white wine sauce will bring everyone to the table.

Break out a bowl for the shells and dig into Lidia Bastianich's Shrimp alla Buzara.

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Not Your Grandma's Meatballs


Deep red pomegranate seeds are appropriately festive. (Photo: Dan Whalen)

Walnuts and a sweet and sour pomegranate sauce really spice things up in this Persian-inspired dish. Read more

We're Wicked Fired Up About These Deviled Eggs



A hit of wasabi in these little gems really wakes up the party.

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Parsley-Garlic Stuffed Shrimp in Yuzu-Dashi Dip



If you asked the Japanese to name their most important cooking ingredient, they'd probably say 'dashi,' the briny stock they use as a foundation for so many dishes. And if you asked an American the same thing, the ubiquitous herb, parsley, would be right up there. So today I'm combining those two east-west workhorses to flavor a straightforward recipe that produces either an impressive appetizer or entrée…my Parsley-Garlic Stuffed Shrimp in Yuzu-Dashi Dip.

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Black Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple



I used to make my own soy syrup, but it was very delicate and had a tendency to break like an aioli. But one day my Indonesian sous chef Budi introduced me to Kechap Manis, a great sweet soy syrup from his country. I said, "Wow, Budi, you just saved me a lot of steps!" And now I use Kechap Manis all the time as a base for glazes and sauces... like my Black Pepper-Teriyaki Chicken and Pineapple Satays, a terrific grilled appetizer you can serve any time you're looking for tasty finger food. Serves 4 as an appetizer

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Farro Salad



The key to this hearty salad is the ancient Italian grain farro. You could substitute with brown rice, spelt, or even barley, but farro is pretty easy to find and it is more flavorful. Now that I know about it, I cook up a batch and add it to salads all the time.

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Warm Chicken Breast Spinach Salad with Champagne-Lychee Vinaigrette



Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 3 large naturally raised chicken breasts, julienned
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 1 pint sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup fresh lychees, halved
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup Champagne
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Organic baby spinach
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Canola oil, for cooking
  • Crusty bread, for serving

 

Directions

In a large saute pan over medium heat coated lightly with canola oil, add chicken, season and saute until cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate. Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan and add shallots and mushrooms, season and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add lychees and Dijon mustard, deglaze with Champagne and reduce by 75%. Whisk in remaining olive oil, add lemon juice and chicken, and check for flavor. Pour contents of pan over spinach in a heat-proof bowl. Toss salad, garnish with freshly ground pepper and serve with crusty bread.

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Scallion and Asparagus Salad



Serves 4 

Ingredients 

  • 1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 3/4 pound scallions
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt or more if needed
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

 

Cooking the Vegetable

Snap off the hard stubs at the bottom of the asparagus stalks—they’ll break naturally at the right point. With a vegetable peeler, shave off the skin from the bottom 3-inches or so each stalk so they cook evenly.


Trim the root end of the scallions and the wilted ends of the green leaves. Peel off the loose layers at the white end, too, so the scallions are all tight, trim, and about 6-inches long.

In a wide deep skillet bring one quart of water (or enough to cover the vegetables) to a boil and add the asparagus and scallions.

Adjust the heat to maintain a bubbling boil and poach the asparagus, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, or more, until they are tender but not falling apart and cooked through but not mushy. To check doneness, pick up a spear in the middle with tongs: it should be a little droopy, but not collapsing.

As soon as they are done, lift out the vegetables with tongs and lay them in a colander (any fat asparagus spears may take a little longer so leave them in a few minutes more). Hold the colander under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain briefly, then spread on kitchen towels and pat dry.

Making the Salad

Slice the asparagus and the scallions into 1-inch lengths and pile them loosely in a mixing bowl. Drizzle over the oil and vinegar over, sprinkle on ½ of the teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Toss well but don’t break up the vegetables.


Quarter the eggs into wedges and slice each wedge into 2 or 3 pieces; scatter these in the bowl and fold in with the vegetables. Taste and adjust the dressing. Chill the salad briefly, then arrange it on a serving platter or on salad plates.

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Tomatoes and Panzanella



They're red. They're round. They’re juicy and delicious, and you’ve just got to have them! Tomato-time is here! I know you know how to make a great tomato salad, but how about a panzanella? No, it’s not a dance. It’s a great, yet simple, Tuscan tomato-bread salad. It’s a great way to use day-old bread and save yourself a little dough!

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Deviled Eggs with Tuna and Black Olives



Do you know Oleana restaurant in Cambridge? Or Sofra in Watertown? My good friend Ana Sortun is the genius behind those excellent restaurants, and in her book Spice, she shares some of her secrets. One of my addictions are her Deviled Eggs with Tuna and Black Olives. I encourage you to serve these at your next party, be it a luncheon, a barbecue, or a fancy dinner. That is assuming you don’t eat them before your guests arrive.

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Easy Breadsticks



I love throwing dinner parties. I am always trying to think of fun and tasty snacks to have as appetizers: not too fancy or fussy, things you can pick up with your hands, and something I can make myself. I was recently at a cocktail party where breadsticks were served — store-bought — and they were okay, but I figured they can’t be too hard to make and I can add any flavors I like.

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