Sometimes the snacks are just as good…

Published 11:15 am Saturday, December 14, 2013

Most of us will be invited to some sort of Christmas party and maybe we will be asked to bring an appetizer. The magazines are full of new ideas, and actually, I like appetizers as much as the real meal. It is a chance to sample a small bite and another small bite if it is good.

I have been working on some appetizers and really like some of the outcomes. We sample them with drinks in the evening and decide if they are worthy of a real party dish. I like hot appetizers, but you need to have some cold ones since it is so hard to have all of them hot.

Here I have included some of my newest appetizers, and they are easy and good and should be something you can bring, or use for your own party.



Prep: 12 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Stand: 5 minutes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

½ large white onion, very thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon salt, divided

2 soft flatbreads or naan (about 4 to 5 ounces each) I used the naan bread and it was excellent.

½ cup fresh ricotta cheese

1 large garlic clove, minced

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (about 6 slices)

¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

¾ teaspoon black sesame seeds

1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil

½ teaspoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and ½ teaspoon salt; sauté eight minutes or until onions are lightly caramelized. Transfer to a small bowl.

Brush flatbreads with remaining 1½ teaspoons oil. Stir together ricotta, garlic and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small mixing bowl, and spread onto flatbreads. Top evenly with cheeses and caramelized onion. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Place flatbreads on a large baking sheet, and bake 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and flatbreads are crisp. Let stand five minutes. Sprinkle with basil and orange zest; and cut into slices. Serves eight.

I have done this recipe twice now and it is very good and tasty.



Prep: 20 minutes

Freeze: 20 minutes

Cook: three minutes

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg

¾ teaspoon sea salt

2/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1 (11-ounce) log soft goat cheese, at room temperature

2 cups grapeseed oil or canola oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon minced chives

¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Combine flour and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk together egg, ½ teaspoon sea salt and 2 tablespoons water in a second small bowl. Combine panko and remaining ½ teaspoon sea salt in another small bowl.

Roll goat cheese into 24 balls (about 1 tablespoon each). Roll each goat cheese ball in flour mixture, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko mixture. Freeze 20 minutes or until firm.

Heat oil to 350 degrees in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry goat cheese, in batches, one to two minutes or until golden and crisp on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place on paper towels to drain.

Arrange goat cheese poppers on a platter, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with chives and red pepper. Serve immediately. Makes eight to 10 servings.



Make the corn cakes in the morning and top with salmon and dill crème fraîche just before serving.

1 (8.25 oz.) can cream-style corn

1 cup plain white cornmeal

1 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. table salt

2 large eggs

1 cup crème fraîche

2 Tbsp. finely chopped dill weed

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 (4-oz.) packages thinly sliced smoked salmon, flaked

Garnish: fresh dill

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together first seven ingredients until smooth. Spoon a heaping teaspoonful of corn mixture into each cup of a well-greased 24-cup miniature muffin pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

Stir together crème fraîche, dill and lemon juice. Top muffins with crème fraîche and salmon.