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Category Archives: Appetizers

Pommes Dauphine (Potato Puffs)

Pommes Dauphine

I first tried Pommes Dauphine at Vincent A Restaurant in Minneapolis.  I was there for a work outing and didn’t think much of the appetizer when it was ordered because it just sounded like fried potatoes but as soon as I took one bite I couldn’t believe how light and fluffy and delicious and wonderful and so on and so forth they were.

I made potato skins this weekend for Sunday Football Funday appetizers and needed to use up the insides of 5 pounds of potatoes so thought this would be a great time to try and make these suckers at home.  It turns out they really aren’t as difficult as I thought they would be.

I’m pretty sure Oscar went one for one on these with his dad.  He honestly ate so many of these he went into a food coma and is on his second 2 hour nap of the day.  We’re teaching him really young what Sundays are all about in this house.  Football, eat, nap, repeat!

Oscar and Dad Pommes Dauphine (2)Oscar Pommes

Ingredients:
Potato Mix:

  • 1 pound potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg yolk

Pate Choux Dough:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 oz flour
  • 4 large eggs + 1 large egg white

Directions:

  1. Add butter to warm mashed potatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add egg yolk and mix to combine.  Set aside.
  2. Boil water, butter, and salt over medium high heat in a heavy stockpot.
  3. Once boiling, remove from heat and add flour.  Stir to combine.  Return stockpot to burner over medium heat.  Stir vigorously until dough leaves the sides of the pot.
  4. Transfer dough to a kitchen aid bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Turn mixer to first speed and gradually add eggs fully incorporating before each new addition.  Scrape down bowl as needed.
  6. Add potato mixture and mix on first speed until fully incorporated.
  7. Fry batter by spoonfuls in neutral oil (peanut or canola) at 375F for 3-5 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
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Posted by on September 20, 2015 in Appetizers, Sides

 

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Pesto Tomatoes

Pesto Tomatoes

These little bite-size appetizers pack a big flavor punch.  It’s a good thing to make when you have endless amounts of summer basil that you just aren’t sure what to do with.

Ingredients:
For Pesto:

  • 2/3 cups pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil

For Tomatoes:

  • 24 cocktail tomatoes
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted

Directions:
For Pesto:

  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry heavy skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes.
  2. Put garlic through a press and add to food processor. Add basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, toasted pine nuts, salt, pepper, and basil leaves. Turn food processor on low until everything is finely ground.
  3. Slowly drizzle in extra-virgin olive oil.

For Tomatoes:

  1. Mix together panko breadcrumbs with butter to moisten then add 1 cup of Parmesan to breadcrumbs.
  2. With a sharp pairing knife.  Cut a circle around the top of each tomato being careful not to slice through the bottom of the tomato.
  3. Using your finger, carefully hollow out each tomato.
  4. Place 1 tsp. of pesto in each tomato then stuff Parmesan/breadcrumb mixture into tomatoes until they are overflowing.
  5. Place stuffed tomatoes in mini muffin tins.
  6. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes or until browned.
 
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Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Appetizers, Summer, Uncategorized

 

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Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls

Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls


Yield: 24 spring rolls
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 (3.5oz) package shitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 12oz medium shrimp, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut oil for stir-frying
  • 4 cups peanut oil for deep-frying spring rolls
  • 1/2 package wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Stir together oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt.
  2. Finely chop garlic, green onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms.
  3. Heat 2 Tbsp. peanut oil on medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  4. Add garlic and green onions and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  5. Add celery, carrots, and mushrooms.  Stir-fry for 6 minutes.
  6. Add shrimp and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  7. Transfer to bowl and allow mixture to cool before filling wontons.
  8. Lay the wonton to look like a diamond in front of you.
  9. Place 2 tsp. filling mixture and spread out to form a line in the bottom third of wonton wrapper.
  10. Fold in sides of wrapper.
  11. Fold bottom side up over filling and begin to roll tightly.
  12. Brush egg wash over very tip of wonton wrapper and finish rolling to completely seal.
  13. Heat 4 cups peanut oil to medium-high heat and fry rolled spring rolls for 3-4 minutes until browned on all sides.
  14. Serve immediately.

Step-by-Step Instruction:  “How to Fold a Spring Roll”

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2013 in Appetizers, Uncategorized

 

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Zucchini Fritters with Lemony Mayo

 

Zucchini Fritters with Lemony Mayo

3 years ago I planted my first garden.  I learned very quickly that two people do NOT need 5 flourishing zucchini plants!  We had so much zucchini that I bet I made these fritters 50 times.  Needless to say, I was “frittered-out” by the end of that summer.

It took me until yesterday to have a craving for them.  I forgot how light, fluffy, and full of flavor they are.  The lemony mayo adds just the right amount of creaminess and zing to make all the flavors pop.  So go crazy, make some fritters, and see if you can have more restraint than I did!

Yield: 30 bite-sized fritters
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced with seeds
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped fine, reserve bacon fat for frying
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup mayo
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:

  1. Toss zucchini, jalapeno, and bacon in a large bowl to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in milk, cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Pour over zucchini mixture and toss to coat.
  3. Add flour and baking powder to zucchini mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Heat bacon fat over medium heat.  Drop spoonfuls of zucchini mixture into bacon fat making sure to not overcrowd.  Cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Flip fritters and flatten with the back of a spatula.  Cook another 2 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Whisk together mayo and lemon juice and serve with warm fritters.
 
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Posted by on September 2, 2013 in Appetizers, Summer, Uncategorized

 

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Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers

How cute are these little guys?!  Everyone is well aware these days of what a caprese salad is, but there is just something so good about a tiny version of anything.  Once you get past the “cuteness-factor” these are also a bomb of goodness in your mouth.  Enjoy!

Yield: 50 skewers     Active Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 25 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 50 bocconcini
  • 50 fresh basil leaves, cut in half lengthwise if large
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring balsamic vinegar up to a boil in a saucepan then lower heat to medium and simmer until it’s the consistency of very thin maple syrup, about 10 minutes. Pour into a bowl and let cool.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half. Thread a mini mozzarella cheese ball, basil leaf (fold in half if large) and a tomato half onto a tooth pick. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, then drizzle cooled balsamic reduction on top.
 
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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Appetizers, Uncategorized

 

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Buffalo Chicken Wonton Cups

Buffalo Chicken Wonton Cups

These little guys are all over Pinterest and I just had to try them for myself to see what the fuss is about.  Since they make such a big batch, I decided to make them for a bachelorette party I was throwing.  They did not fail me!  I honestly think I could have polished off all these by myself.

They are easy, quick, and a perfect bite-size snack.  This recipe will definitely be coming out next football season.  Another plus is that you can prepare a bunch of them and throw them in the freezer until you need them.

Yield: 54 mini wonton cups     Prep Time: 30 minutes     Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 12 wonton wrappers
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Celery, very thinly sliced.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray miniature muffin tin very lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, Ranch dressing, hot sauce and 3/4 cheddar cheese (save remaining 1/4 cup for topping). You can soften the mixture slightly in the microwave if needed to make it come together. Stir in shredded chicken.
  3. Cut each wonton wrapper into 4 squares. Place 2 wonton squares in each muffin slot so they are overlapping and come up the sides of the tin to form a cup.  Place 2 tsp. of filling, and top with both shredded and blue cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly then remove from pan.  Top with celery slivers.
 
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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Appetizers, Uncategorized

 

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Homemade Flatbread

Homemade Flatbread

Yield: 2 Servings     Prep Time: 10 minutes     Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Make ahead: Dough can be refrigerated 2-3 days

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup warm water (110-115F)
  • 1 (1/4oz) packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Activated Yeast
Directions
:

  1. Pour warm water (110-115F) into a small bowl and stir in the yeast and sugar until dissolved.  Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes until a layer of foam develops on the surface like this:

    If this doesn’t happen, it’s best to start over as the yeast has not been activated.  This can happen for a number of reasons.  The temperature of the water could be too cold which will not activate the yeast.  If it’s too hot, the yeast will be killed, and sometimes the yeast can be old.  It’s best to store yeast in the refrigerator for this reason.

  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast water and 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix well.
  3. Lightly flour a clean working surface and form the dough into a ball. Turn the dough out onto the working surface and knead until it becomes smooth and elastic.  Only add more flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking to the working surface.
  4. Place the dough back into the mixing bowl. Rub remaining teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil over the dough to keep it moist while rising. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place, about 75˚F for 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  5. If you would like to make individual flatbreads, cut the dough in half.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface working it into a circular crust about 5 inches in diameter for 2 flatbreads, or 10 inches in diameter for one flatbread.
  6. Wipe the inside of a heavy skillet with a paper towel moistened with olive oil. Preheat the pan over high heat for 5 minutes until smoking. Place the rolled out dough in the skillet. The crust will bubble within 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium.
  7. Turn the flatbread onto a working surface, grilled side up, add toppings, and return to skillet.  Flatbread is done when cheese is melted and bottom has formed a brown crust.

Recipes:

 

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