Appetizers Recipes

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Edamame and Artichoke Appetizers Recipe

I've just touched down in France! We landed a few hours ago and I'm ready to go to sleep, but before heading to my old childhood bedroom, I wanted to share with you a savory appetizer recipe that was inspired by a North African dessert called chebakia. I grew up in a suburb of Paris and I often enjoyed North African treats after school. This takes me back!

I used store-bought puff pastry and folded it in the same manner as the Moroccan sesame-spiced cookie (chebakia is folded in the shape of a flower, fried and drizzled with honey), then used an edamame and artichoke filling. It might look all fancy but it's very easy and delicious. 


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Olive Phyllo Cup Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Delicious food doesn't have to be heavy or rich in calories. Selecting ingredients wisely is the key to making these flavorful phyllo cup appetizers. Instead of using calorie-packed mascarpone cheese, I strained plain yogurt and combined the thick mixture with green and kalamata olives, roasted red bell peppers, garlic, lemon, curly parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. I also added tuna and an anchovy filet for extra brininess (you could omit them for a veggie version). The warm pan-seared Nabulsi cheese helped tie together the Mediterranean flavors of these fancy bites.

My philosophy is if you have to sacrifice flavor by using low-fat products, then don't eat it. I'd rather eat in small portions or not eat at all. Of course, eating the way we eat in our home means having to stay active all day. Juggling between my everyday tasks and my wonderful 21-month-old daughter gives me plenty of occasions to spend these calories. 

baby
21-month-old Aria going grocery shopping


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Crispy Fried Lavash Tacos Recipe

Crispy Fried Lavash Tacos

08.28.13 by Jackie

Crispy fried tacos are traditionally made with deep-fried tortillas, but since I received a humongous package from our friends at California Lavash, I prepared the tacos with lavash flatbread and they turned out beautifully. I also used the same oil for the tacos for deep fried catfish sticks. I filled the tacos with brown rice, roasted red pepper and eggplant spread, fried fish, red oak leaves, Mexican crema and curly parsley. 

These do take a little of time to prepare but the result is well worth the labor. As appetizers, they're especially great if you're preparing them for a small crowd. I'm sure your guests will love these mix-and-mingle party bites. 


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Lavash Spanakopita (Palak Paneer Purses) Recipe

This is an Indian take on the classic Greek fare  with a healthy twist. I prepared the savory "pastry" with spinach-flavored lavash bread and used palak paneer as the filling.

Many Indian dishes are served family-style and this is a great way to turn palak paneer into individual servings. We had many guests over the weekend and I served these fusion-style appetizers with raita sauce on the side.  

Quick note: I'm going to be in Houston this weekend for my first interview with Cleverley Stone on her show on CBS Sports & Entertainment Radio this Saturday, August 31st at 10 am. Then I will be heading to Barnes & Noble at 2 pm for a cooking demo, followed by a book signing. If you live in Houston or in the area, stop by and sample some of the food from my second cookbook, Banh Mi.

Barnes & Noble Fairway Market Place, 5656 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, Texas  at 2pm on Saturday, August 31st, 2013.  (No need for the ZIP code, since people won’t be mailing anything to you there.)


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Fig and Goat Cheese Phyllo Cup Recipe Recipe

This is a very easy appetizer recipe. All you need is phyllo dough, fresh figs, dried figs, goat cheese and a bit of sugar. I "bruléed" the fresh figs to add another dimension of flavor and served them in the cute phyllo cups. 

It feels like the end of the summer already; figs are already peaking and I'm anxious to cook with what's ready to ripen on our trees. I'm so excited and I can't wait!


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