Amazing Appetizer Recipes

because it is so important to start the meal right

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Roasted Red Potatoes with Salmon Roe and Sour Cream

These are simple to prepare and they are pretty too, boasting red, orange and green colors. We are using baby red potatoes, scooping out some of the flesh for the sour cream filling (you can save the flesh for another use, such as adding it to soup for example) and then topping with chives and salmon roe. Salmon roe is a tasty seafood treat from the Pacific coast. These orange salmon eggs are salty, delicate and really good.

We like to use baby red potatoes just because they are more colorful than their brown or white-skinned counterparts. A melon baller is the simplest way to hollow them out but if you do not have such a utensil, use the smallest spoon you have. Do not remove too much. You still want the potatoes to hold their shape. Just remove a bit so you can get some sour cream in there. Then the salmon roe goes on top (or you could use the more expensive black caviar if you prefer – you only need a tiny bit on each appetizer) and finally the snipped chives to finish off the presentation.

If you want to tweak these, consider swapping the salmon roe for crumbled bacon and the chives for grated cheese. That would make a great appetizer for Superbowl or for a crowd who are more into baked potatoes than gourmet seafood treats. It just depends on the occasion and who is coming over. These little bites may be served chilled, at room temperature or warm. Do not serve them too hot though, because then the sour cream will melt and ooze out. That might be fine if you are serving them on plates but if you are choosing to offer these as finger food you will want them cooler so they are less messy to eat. If you are looking for some easy potato appetizers, give this recipe a try. Continue reading

Anchovy and Dill Canapes

These tasty little seafood canapes are ideal for any occasion. Serve them with a glass of wine when your guests arrive or have them on a platter where people can serve themselves. Everyone can identify the anchovies on there so anyone who is not a seafood fan can give them a miss. For everyone else though, these are really good, and the flavors are subtle but they blend together perfectly and you can make these canapes speedily.

Canapes which you can pop into your mouth or eat in a couple of bites are always popular at parties. These are not messy, as long as you pat the anchovies on paper towels to get rid of the oil, and take care you do not make the cream cheese mixture too thin. Although we would add a splash of milk if we wanted to make a dressing rather than a spread, that is not necessary here. A few drops of lemon juice will not water it down too much. As for the horseradish, if you want to add a little of that, you will find just a tiny bit on the tip of a knife blade should be sufficient since it’s strong.

Dill weed is a great herb to pair with seafood, which is why we are using it in this recipe – a little minced and stirred into the cream cheese, and the rest added as whole sprigs to the finished canapes, to add an elegant touch to the presentation. These canapes are best served as soon as you make them, before the cream cheese has time to soak into the crackers or bread, making them soggy. As for the base, choose from crackers (any kind) or else toast some bread on both sides and then use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds. If you do not have one, use a mug, pushing it down hard and twisting it, or else just de-crust each slice and then cut each toast slice into 4 little squares instead. Continue reading

Spanish Seafood Stuffed Egg Appetizers

Deviled eggs are great for an appetizer but this recipe is slightly different because we are using seafood as well as the egg, mashing tuna with egg yolks, tomato sauce, mayonnaise and Spanish paprika along with salt and black pepper. You can use finely chopped cooked shrimp instead of the tuna if you prefer. Use canned tuna in oil, and drain off the oil before using the tuna in the recipe. Use your judgment as to the amount of paprika used.

These eggs are often served as a pre-lunch appetizer in Spain, but you can serve them as a snack whenever you wish. Because you can make these ahead, you might want to make them in the morning if you are having some friends over in the evening. Then you can simply put them in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them. It is your choice whether or not to peel the eggs. Leaving them half-unpeeled does give them a nice, rustic look though. If you are serving them with some of the shell on, things can get messy, so serve them in eggcups with teaspoons.

This recipe makes one egg per person while some devilled egg recipes serve half a stuffed egg per person. That means this one is slightly more filling but sometimes a hearty appetizer is ideal, especially if there is going to be some time between the appetizer and the entrée. This is also a nice snack for the kids coming home from school a few hours before dinner time. It is certainly filling enough to keep them satisfied until dinnertime anyway. Feel free to use homemade or canned tomato sauce, and the same applies to the mayonnaise. You might like to use less tomato sauce and a splash of Worcestershire sauce (or lemon juice) or make your own recipe for the filling. Anything that suits the seafood flavor would be wonderful. Continue reading

Lamb Chops with Cucumber Slaw

This delicious meaty recipe is simple to prepare and everyone will love how the spiced lamb chops contrast with the tangy cucumber slaw. Swap the sugar in the recipe for Splenda or similar, and this becomes a great low-carb appetizer. You will need 8 lamb chops to make this along with some spices, cucumber, red onion and seasonings. If you have a spiralizer you can spiralizer your cucumber, else you need to grate or shred it.

The lamb chops can be marinated in the spice mixture if you like, but that is optional. You can apply the spices just before cooking if you prefer. Feel free to increase the amount of spices if you prefer a spicier flavor or reduce the amount of spices to keep the taste milder. You can even change the suggested spices for others, since pretty much anything goes here, so if you want to get creative and give your lamb chops a Moroccan or Cajun flair, go for it, because any spice combination is sure to work nicely with the cucumber and red onion slaw on the side which is cooling and sweet.

Pan-frying is easy but if you prefer to cook these on the grill that is also fine. The cooking time will be similar, but cut gently into one of the chops to check. Most people prefer their lamb golden brown on the outside but pinkish on the inside. Cooking them further, until the meat is brown inside, means the lamb will be less moist. Remember to let the lamb chops sit for a few minutes between cooking and serving, because then you can expect a juicier result. Lamb chops are often served as part of an entrée, in which case people will have more than just a couple of them, but there is no reason you cannot serve a couple of lamb chops with some homemade slaw as a wonderful, delicious appetizer. Continue reading

Seared Scallops over Rice Timbales

This is an exquisite appetizer, perfect for a sit-down meal when you want to offer a light fish course before a hearty meat-based entrée perhaps. We are using sea scallops to make this, along with homemade rice timbales, or rice cakes. Although a timbale is usually made by squeezing rice into a container and tipping it out so it holds its shape, we are instead pressing the mixture down, chilling it, then using a cookie cutter to cut the rounds.

It is best to make the rice timbales the day before you make this recipe because that way they hold together better. If you do not have time for that, then make them very small instead so you can cook them without the risk of them breaking up. We usually warm them in the pan so they brown on one side, but if yours seem to be holding firmly together in there, feel free to flip them over using a wide spatula to get them golden brown on both sides. You just want to heat them up really, so they will only take a few minutes in there. Cook them while you are finishing off the scallops and sauce.

To serve these, it is best to use warm plates, then add the rice timbales, scallops and sauce, and finally a few sprigs of fresh herbs or else some microgreens (very tiny salad leaves) to add a splash of color to the plate. Serve this appetizer immediately. Everyone is sure to be impressed with this dish. If you want to make it quicker or easier, consider serving the scallops over a little bit of plain rice rather than making the rice timbales, or else you can simply serve them with some salad leaves if you want to serve an appetizer which is still delicious but perhaps slightly lighter. It depends how much time you have to make it, along with how full you want your dinner guests to be. Continue reading

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