Appetizer Recipes

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Bruleed Banana Cheese Gingersnap Treats (Croques Banane Brie Recipe) Recipe

I have Lulu to thank for inspiring me to prepare this snack. He was feeling a bit peckish, but there wasn’t a lot of food at home (the refrigerator is broken ). We had some brie leftover from my little munchkin’s birthday party, so he took a wedge of it and put it on a gingersnap cookie. Lulu was very proud of himself and offered me a bite.

The mixture of sweet and salty flavors and soft and crunchy textures was very pleasant, and it instantly took me back in time to my childhood. When I came home from school, I used to make myself brie and banana “sandwiches” with baguette or just sliced bread. It was probably my favorite snack. Given that there were some very ripe bananas in the house along with the brie and gingersnaps, it seemed only fitting that I should share a little bite of my childhood with Lulu and my little munchkin.

Of course, I’m not 7 anymore, so I decided to jazz it up a little. Caramelizing the bananas brought out additional flavors that really complemented the creaminess of the brie. And instead of white bread I used gingersnap cookies as the delivery device for the banana brie combo (thanks Lulu!). I’ve often found myself disappointed when I try to relive the memories of my favorite childhood dishes. This, happily, was not one of those times!


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Onion Bhajis (Indian Pakora Recipe) Recipe

Piaz pakora are the Indian version of onion rings. According to Wikipedia, when onions, on their own, are prepared in [pakora batter], they are known as onion bhujia or bhaji. Regardless of how you refer to them, the onions are cut into thin wedges and dipped in a pakora batter, which is a mixture of besan (chickpea) flour and spices. A quick turn in the fryer and they are ready to serve.

Lulu's aunts, Sherin and Sara, stayed with us this weekend and made these wonderful fritters. They're typically served as a snack, but they would make wonderful appetizers as well. Fried food is always a crowd pleaser!


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Vegetarian Quinoa Appetizers Recipe

Vegetarian Quinoa Appetizers

05.19.10 by Jackie

Quinoa is a grain that is perfect for a gluten free diet; however it's very bland by itself. We had a very dear friend over for lunch this weekend and she is allergic to gluten, so I was determined to figure out a satisfying way to prepare quinoa. I ended up flavoring it with parsley and a medley of vegetables and seasonings such as corn, artichokes, eggplant, button mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, French green beans, capers, bell peppers and gorgonzola. This allows the quinoa to act as a palette for the other flavors.

I served it in a large bowl for brunch, but I also set some aside for something a little more special. I placed mounds of the quinoa on gluten free crackers. The result is a fancy, tasty and unique vegetarian, gluten free appetizer that everyone can enjoy.


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Aumoniere Recipe (Beggar's Purse) Recipe

Aumonière (also known as beggar's purse) is the name of an appetizer made of a filled crêpe bound in such a way that it resembles a drawstring purse. The tie is usually made of chives. I made the filling with a combination of roasted orange bell pepper, kumquat jelly (I'll post the recipe soon), sweet marjoram, lemon thyme, onion chives, non-pareil capers, cream cheese, blue cheese, lemon and pistachio oil.

I tested out the recipe today in preparation for Mother's Day next week. The dish is ultra simple to make and can easily be assembled by a child. It’s a wonderful way to get your kids involved in the kitchen and let them prepare a special meal that they will enjoy as well.


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Cha Tom Recipe (Vietnamese Shrimp Cakes) Recipe

Chả tôm are lightly seasoned shrimp cakes. No tasteless fillers here; a sprinkling of tapioca starch, coriander, green onions, garlic and kaffir lime are the only ingredients added to supplement the flavor and texture of the shrimp. It is true Vietnamese comfort food.

These shrimp cakes make wonderful appetizers, but can also be served as an entrée. Just pair them with vermicelli (called bún chả tôm) and you'll have yourself a very traditional Vietnamese meal. You could also make mini sandwiches for a change of pace. I served them recently as appetizers for a dinner party with a plum dipping sauce. They will be delicious no matter how you choose to prepare them!


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