Appetizers Recipes

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Vegetarian Calzone Recipe (Pizza Pocket) Recipe

My husband Lulu worked from home today, so I improvised a little lunch for him. I made little pizza pockets filled with béchamel-coated vegetarian beef strips.  I used store-bought whole wheat pizza dough, I already had béchamel sauce made and I added leeks and onions to the filling.

I paired the calzone with tomato soup. Lulu was on a phone call when I brought him lunch but he gave me two thumbs up after finishing his tray of food!


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Stuffed Arancini Recipe (Stuffed and Fried Risotto Balls) Recipe

If you entertain as much as we do, you'll find this masala burger-stuffed arancini a great help when you're preparing a cocktail party. This appetizer is prepared in three steps: first making risotto, which I flavored with delicious saffron our friend Jasmine brought back from Iran (Thanks! I love you, Jasmine!), then preparing masala-flavored beef and Bocconcini (small mozzarella balls) and finally forming and frying the stuffed risotto balls (arancini).

I serve these with a bowl of marinara sauce: the acidity of the sauce balances the richness of the risotto balls nicely.


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Spinach Purse Salad Recipe Recipe

Spinach Purse Salad Recipe

03.28.13 by Jackie

This salad has all the elements I look for in a meal. It's sweet and savory with a lot of crunch, protein and a little bit of decadence. The butter lettuce, sugar snap peas, corn, fresh mangoes, Persian cucumbers and shredded carrots form the base of the salad. This combination with a little bit of dressing would be a great first course.

But to this I also added nuts and the pièce de résistance: crispy spinach purses that I formed with wontons. I filled the purses with spinach, a bit of mascarpone and mozzarella for creaminess and lentils for added protein. They can also be served on their own as appetizers.


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Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe Recipe

Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe

03.26.13 by Jackie

When I was working on my first cookbook, Haute Potato, I went through a list of all the basic potato recipes I've made throughout the years. There's one in particular I really like but it received a thumbs down from my mostly vegetarian taste-testers, also known as my husband Lulu and his sisters. 

The meat eaters loved the sweet potato pancakes, but the vegetarians thought they were too eggy. For the book I decided to go with the recipes that enjoyed more uniform support, so here's the recipe. And for all the herbivores out there, I haven't tested it with an egg substitute such as lecithin yet, but I will definitely do so in the near future. 

The recipe is ultra-easy. I paired the sweet potato pancakes with veal scallopini and "fines-herbes" flavored cream cheese and pineapple relish on the side. I often make these sweet potato pancakes for Thanksgiving and serve them with poultry. With a couple of big holidays around the corner, this is a recipe to keep in mind.


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Valentine's Day Appetizers: Crab Wonton Recipe Recipe

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. If, like me, you were celebrating, Chúc Mừng Năm Mới (Happy New Year! in Vietnamese)! Now Valentine's Day is up in a few days, so even though my husband Lulu is a vegetarian, I thought I'd share a recipe that seafood-loving couples can enjoy together as part of a romantic meal.

I made the wonton wrappers from scratch and filled them with a mixture of freshly cracked Dungeness crab, carrots, leeks, parsley, mascarpone cheese and olive oil. I paired the crab appetizers with an apple jelly dipping sauce that was out of this world. It truly tied the dish together.

Give this a try and let me know if your Valentine appreciated it! In my opinion, Valentine's Day should be celebrated every day and it doesn't have to be about someone with whom you're in a relationship. It should be about celebrating those you love and who mean the world to you!


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