Appetizers

 

Crispy Caprese

Ingredients

Slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 egg
panko bread crumbs
1 or more heirloom tomatoes, perfectly ripe
basil leaves
your favorite balsamic (can be flavored balsamics, white or brown)
your favorite olive oil  (can be flavored oils)
vegetable or canola oil for frying

Instructions

If mozzarella slices are wet, blot dry with a paper towel. Place egg in a shallow bowl and beat well. Place panko in a shallow bowl. Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and put near the panko and egg.

Dip cheese in egg, then in panko. Place on cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cheese.
Take each piece of cheese and shake gently to remove excess crumbs. Re-dip in egg, and again in Panko. Place on cooling rack.

Prepare tomato by washing and slicing into pieces that are roughly the size of the cheese. Stack basil leaves on top of each other. Roll tightly. Slice thinly. Set aside. Prepare serving dish(es), oil and vinegar.

About 10 minutes before you wish to serve: Heat oil in a small sauce pan. Add a few crumbs of panko. When panko turns brown quickly, fry the cheese in small batches removing as soon as the crumbs brown and before the cheese leaks out. Place back on cooling rack.

When all of the cheese slices are cooked, place cheese on serving dish(es). Top with tomato slice. Sprinkle with basil. Pour thin ribbons of balsamic and olive oil over cheese and serve immediately.



Baked Onion Rings with Caramelized Onion Dip


1 Yellow or Sweet onion (Sweet prefered if you can find them)

1/2 c. flour
1 egg
2 Tlb. milk or more
3 c. panko bread crumbs
1/4 c. olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 just before you are ready to bake.

Peel onion. Slice crosswise into 3/4" slices. Separate rings reserving the middle pieces. Place into a gallon Ziploc bag.

Add flour to bag and shake to coat. Add egg and milk. Knead into a think paste adding more milk if necesary. Shake bag to coat onions. Batter should adhere to onion but not be thick or clumpy. Add more flour or milk until consistency is correct.

Mix panko and olive oil together in a shallow dish. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Remove the onion rings one at a time allowing excess batter to drip off. Place in panko. Press lightly to get panko to adhere. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining onion slices. Place rings on sheet so they don't touch. If necessary use a second cookie sheet lined with parchment.

You can reserve rings in advance for several hours if necessary and cook when you are ready to serve.

Bake rings for 12-15 minutes until the rings are lightly brown and the onion rings are tender.

Dip
1 Tlb. olive oil or butter or vegetable oil
1 c. mayonnaise
reserved onion centers
salt to taste

While rings are baking, place butter or oil in a large skillet. Chop onions to a small dice. When oil is hot, add onions. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Reduce heat to medium or medium low. Cook onions, stirring frequently, until they soften completely and caramlize to a golden brown. Cool slightly.

Stir onions into the mayonnaise. Taste and season for salt. Cover and refrigerate until service.



Lil' Smoky in a Blanket


This is one of my kids' favorite appetizers. And they're so easy!

Ingredients

One small package lil' smokies, any flavor
2 tubes Philsburry crescent dough

Instructions 

Preheat oven to 350.

Unroll one of the tubes of dough onto a work surface. Spread flat. Using a knife or pizza cutter cut triangles in thirds or halves. Remove lil' smokies from package and dry on a paper towel. Place one sausage on each piece of dough.

Roll dough around sausage link and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry. If you still have extras, repeat with remaining pastry dough.

At this point they will hold in the fridge until ready to bake. I recommend baking them about 20-30 minutes before you need to serve them.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until roll dough is lightly browned. Serve hot.


Indian Pakoras with Dipping Sauces


Mixed Veggie Pakoras 

Ingredients

1 c. chickpea flour*
2 Tlb. Rice flour
½ tsp. Oregano or thyme (dried)
¼ tsp. Red chili powdered
¼ tsp. Garam masala powdered (Sold at Target and Harmons, not Winco)
2/3 – ¾ c. water
optional pinch of baking soda (I didn't use this)
1 tsp. salt

Instructions
Mix batter starting with 2/3 c. water.
In separate bowl combine any dry, hard vegetables, chopped fine. I used:
Broccoli coleslaw mix ( further chopped it smaller)
diced cauliflower
shredded carrots
diced green pepper
diced jalapeno
diced onion
don't use wet vegetables such as tomato.
Pour batter over the vegetables and stir to combine. Add just enough batter to coat the vegetables
thoroughly.



(When finished with the veggies add about a Tlb. water to batter and whisk. Add in thinly sliced onions, separated. Stir. Fry.)

Heat oil. Have ready a cooling rack on a cookie sheet. Heat oven to 200 degrees.
When oil is hot scoop vegetables into oil. I used a cookie scoop or you could use two tablespoons. Fry
until slightly brown and crispy. Stir occasionally to make sure they don't stick together.
Remove onto cookie sheet and keep in warm oven.
Repeat with remaining mixed vegetables.

Use a fork to drop onion slices into the oil and cook until lightly browned and crispy. Remove to
cooling rack and keep warm until service.
Can sprinkle with garam masala before serving.

Notes: The thick batter can also be used to coat thinly sliced potatoes (I recommend steaming them a
bit in the microwave to get them started cooking), zucchini slices, summer squash slices, etc. There is
also a recipe where you slice a jalapeno part way open, remove the seeds, dip in batter allowing the
batter to get inside, and then fry the jalapeno. You can really get creative with this one.

Cilantro-Mint Chutney

(my additions/changes in parentheses)
Makes about 1/2 cup
Combine in a food processor until the mixture is very fine:
2 cups packed cilantro (about 2 bunches)--you can use tender stems as well as leaves
1/2 cup packed mint leaves
1 jalapeño, seeds left in (I used ½ of the pepper and no seeds)
3 tablespoons lime juice
Salt to taste (¾ tsp.)
1 tsp. Sugar
½” ginger
1/3 c. water

You can make this well ahead of time and refrigerate.

Tamarind Chutney

Tamarind concentrate* I guessed and put in about 2 Tlb. mixed with the water. Add more or less
depending on how you like it.
7-8 Tlb. Jaggery* powdered (I used a food processor to grate it and used 10 Tlb.)
1 tsp. Red chili flakes (optional: I left these out)
½ tsp. Red chili powder
1 tsp. Roasted cumin powder
1.5 c. water
salt to taste
1 tsp. Oil
Heat oil in skillet. Add red chili flakes. As soon as they start to turn dark, add tamarind juice. Cook on
high for 5 minutes.
Stir in jaggery powder with salt, cumin powder and red chili powder. Continue to cook on medium
until thickens (10 – 15 minutes) (I overcooked mine and had to add water to get it to be the right
consistency.
Adjust spices before it thickens.
Will keep in fridge for several days.
Makes about ½ c.

* I bought these and the chickpea flour from the Indian Market on Center Street in Orem. It's in the same strip mall as the Bosch kitchen store.


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