Appetizer Recipes

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Potato Blini with Quinoa and Smoked Salmon Recipe

Potato blini appetizers would make an attractive addition on any Thanksgiving table. The true beauty of this dish, though, is its flavor. Atop each potato blin I placed a generous portion of quinoa, a caviar look-alike, which I mixed with homemade tapenade for added flavor. I topped the mixture with a dollop of crème fraîche, a piece of smoked salmon (optional) and garnished the little bites with dill.

Unlike cutlets (Indian version of the potato bite), potato blini contain eggs and flour (no bread), so the appetizers don't fall apart when your guests pick them up. The result is an edible piece of art that is almost too pretty for your guests to eat. 


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Stuffed Mushroom Recipe Recipe

Stuffed Mushroom Recipe

11.03.10 by Jackie

Making stuffed mushrooms is a great way to put stale bread to use. I served soup the other night and we had 2 leftover rolls, so I decided to make a plate of these savory treats. To start, I sautéed a few vegetables, including zucchini, bell peppers, celery and carrots. You can use whatever you want, but it's a good idea to choose colorful ingredients. Once the vegetables were cooked, I added the bread, a little vegetable broth and fromage blanc. In case you were wondering, the fromage blanc helps keep the top moist even after the stuffed mushrooms are baked. To complete the dish, I topped the mushrooms with sharp Cheddar cheese. 

I didn't add any additional spices, because the bread was already studded with chiles. Otherwise, a little heat is a nice touch to balance the flavor. One final bit of advice: make a bunch of these. They go fast!


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Mini Keema Burgers in Pate a Choux Buns Recipe

What happens when you combine a classic American dish with recipes from France and India? The correct answer is mini pâte à choux keema burgers. These are definitely out of the ordinary, but they are fun and taste great.

Using choux paste, I made standard cream puff shells which I used as the hamburger buns. I filled them with Indian-style, spicy ground beef mixed with diced potatoes, called "keema". To reinforce the idea that this dish is supposed to be a burger, I added a slice of Gruyère and lettuce.

I was very pleased with the presentation; it really looked like an upscale hamburger. The flavors were fabulously sharp and spicy. These special treats will take you around the world with every single bite.


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Dahi Bhalla Recipe (Indian Lentil Fritters in Yogurt Sauce) Recipe

Dahi bhalla is a very common dish in Indian cuisine. Hot fried lentil fritters are soaked in cold water, gently pressed then smothered in a thick yogurt sauce. What makes the dish so special is the combination of sweet tamarind chutney that marries very well with the tanginess of the yogurt. It can be eaten as a snack or appetizer. The dish may be fried, but it’s packed with nutrition so you can enjoy it without feeling that guilty.

For added flavor, I added both chopped dates and date syrup to the tamarind chutney. This dish can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last minute, which is very convenient. Serve with cilantro and mint chutney on the side and you'll have yourself a very flavorful appetizer.


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Stuffed Dates with Pistachios Recipe

Stuffed Dates with Pistachios

10.15.10 by Jackie

Mascarpone stuffed dates with pistachios is a versatile and easy no-bake dish. It makes a great dessert, appetizer or snack. On top of that, the dessert is so easy to assemble my 6-year-old little sis-in-law can do it!

I used Deglet Noor dates because the texture is firm and thick without tasting overly sweet. This makes them perfect for appetizers. For a sweeter version, you could use Medjool dates.

To make the dish, I pitted the dates and filled them cannoli-style with mascarpone cream. Crushed pistachios add texture, flavor and color. I placed the stuffed dates on a bed of thin butter almond cookies to enhance the presentation and make them easier to handle.


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