Appetizer Recipes

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Spinach Avocado Soup with Shrimp Chips Recipe

The idea for this little first course came from an attempt to introduce avocado to my 10-month old baby Aria. The cream soup consists of barley and toor lentils, avocado and spinach. It was so delicious, I thought I'd share the same dish with our dinner guests, with a few alterations, of course. I fancied up the recipe with fresh sautéed spicy crab and Vietnamese shrimp chips called bánh phồng tôm. The velvety texture of the soup against the tasty, cracker-like chips was heavenly.

I love the idea of sharing meals with my daughter, and I’ll share more of our personal favorites. I think I have a little foodie in the making!


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Smoked Duck and Fig Tartine Recipe Recipe

“Tartine” is just a fancy word for an open-faced sandwich, using a single slice of bread with several ingredients on top. Growing up, my favorite was a tartine au Nutella, which as the name implies is a slice of bread slathered with the famous hazelnut chocolate spread.

Tartines can of course be savory, and today’s recipe combines, some of my favorite and most decadent ingredients. Fresh figs and red onions from our garden, sinful brie cheese, smoked duck, homemade mayonnaise and pistachios are all irresistible in their own right, and when layered together over a toasted naan, turn any meal into an unforgettable memory. This tartine hits every note; it's sweet, smoky and extraordinarily succulent.

This may be too expensive to be worth serving at a large party. So if you plan to make these appetizers for a group, you might want to substitute another kind of meat in place of the smoked duck. 


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Radish and Goat Cheese Napoleon Recipe Recipe

This radish and goat cheese napoleon recipe was inspired by an elegant beet appetizer I had several years ago at Spago, Wolfgang Puck's restaurant. Colorful layers of sliced, pickled Cherry Belle radishes, candied walnuts, goat cheese spread and rounds of whole grain noor thin bread give the dish its visual appeal. The pungency from the radishes offsets the velvety smoothness from the goat cheese. Sprinkled with candied walnuts, arugula and a few sprouted radish shoots as garnish, a larger portion of this light salad could be served as a one-dish meal. I finished the salad with a flavor-matching vinaigrette, a scrumptious sesame and candied walnut salad dressing.

The bread used in this dish is a new product from my friends over at California Lavash. It’s made with whole grains and is studded with black and white sesame seeds. It’s a great choice if you want to make a healthy dish, but I obviously didn’t do that today! I’ll be posting a couple more recipes using the bread later this week, and if you’d like to try them out, you can enter this week’s giveaway. Good luck!

California Lavash Bread Recipe with Picture


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Chili Stuffed Mushrooms (Vegetarian Appetizer Recipe) Recipe

If you thought chili couldn't be the basis for an elegant appetizer, give this recipe a try! I had leftover vegetarian chili, so I scooped it into stemmed crimini mushrooms. I baked them for 20 minutes, sprinkled on a combination of queso manchego and Oaxaca cheese and then baked them again until the cheeses melted.

After placing them on the table, I just turned my back for a few minutes and the appetizers were all gone. Everyone asked for more, and since these little bites are pretty nutritious, I had no problem obliging!


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Creme de Betterave (Cold Beet Soup Recipe) Recipe

We just picked our last large batch of beets from the garden. I steamed the candy striped beets, red beets and golden beets and blended them with a mixture of bean and rice porridge (I used mung beans). I've started introducing new foods to my 9-month old baby Aria, and the natural sweetness from the beets works well for infants.

It's pretty nutritious and filling for adults too, so I served the same dish for the family dinner but with a twist. I added pistachio paste for extra flavor and coarsely crushed pistachios for crunch. And for the dinner presentation, I topped the thick soup with goat cheese-infused cream. Who said "baby" food can't be delicious?


There are still a few more days to enter the giveaway and maybe win a Teflon BBQ grill pan. All you need to do is enter your email address. I'll pick a winner on Monday, August 13th at 12AM. It's very easy to participate. Also make sure you're a fan of PhamFatale Facebook fan page and Teflon, or follow @phamfatalecom and @TeflonBrand and tweet about this giveaway. To make it easy, you can just copy and paste this tweet if you’d like: "The #giveaway is live! Enter to #win a BBQ grill pan from @phamfatalecom! What's your favorite meal to #grill?: http://bit.ly/MvWiVGGood luck everyone!


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