New Eating Adventures

Posts tagged appetizer

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Meatless Monday: Buffalo Tofu Sticks

Buffalo wing, buffalo chicken salad, buffalo shrimp, buffalo sauce is good on so many things. I have wanted to try tofu and what is better than throwing some buffalo sauce on it? This is a play on buffalo wings and has a bleu cheese dip to go with it.

Buffalo Tofu with Bleu Cheese Sauce

(Revised from The Bored Vegetarian)

Ingredients:

  • 1 container extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • non stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup bleu cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

Cut the block of tofu into about 1 inch rectangular pieces. Place on a few paper towel sheets and cover with more paper towels. Place something heavy on top for about 20 minutes to drain the tofu.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a cooling rack.

Prepare three bowls: first one with 1/2 cup flour; second one with hot sauce; and the third one with 1 cup flour, breadcrumbs, salt and paprika. Take each piece of tofu and coat it in flour, then hot sauce, and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the hot sauce and breadcrumbs a second time. Set aside and continue with remaining tofu.

Place the breaded piece of tofu on the rack. Spray all the piece with non-stick cooking spray. Bake the tofu sticks for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and bleu cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Happy Snacking!

Filed under appetizer buffalo dip spicy tofu snack

17 notes

Homemade Cheese Crackers

Who doesn’t love Cheez-Its? You are lying to yourself if you say you don’t. It is cheese, in a crunchy form… What is better than that? I made two batches with my favorite cheeses: one with sharp cheddar and one with pepper-jack.

Homemade Cheese Crackers

(Revised from Dish&Tell)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 ounces of your favorite cheese, grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4-8 tablespoons ice cold water
  • parchment paper, LOTS of it!

Method:

Combine flour, butter, cheese, salt, cayenne and paprika in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until crumbly. Stir in water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. This is similar to making a pie crust. You may need more or less water so just be aware.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap, press into a disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll to 1/8 inch thickness. (I asked for a rolling pin for Christmas, until then, my rolling pins consist of bottle of wine or vodka.)

Carefully flip dough in the parchment paper, and gently peel the top layer off. Use a pizza cutter to cut 2-inch squares.

Carefully transfer squares onto baking sheets. Poke a hole in the top to make them look like the original Chees-Itz. 

Bake for 22-25 minutes until the crackers are slightly light brown. Taste one for crispiness and cook longer if you would like. My crackers were pretty thick because I was unable to get the disc as thin as I would have liked, but they still turned out delicious and severely addictive.

Look at the difference, you can really tell which one was made with love and real ingredients!

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Soggy crackers? Crisp them back to normal in a 400 degree F oven for 4 minutes.

Filed under cheese crackers snack appetizer impressive baking

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Easy Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach artichoke dip is one of my favorite appetizers at a restaurant. Each establishment has their own version, but this recipe might be the best I’ve ever had! And did I mention it is super easy.

Easy Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

(Revised from Heather’s Dish)

Ingredients:

  • 1 box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 wheel of Laughing Cow Cheese, Light Swiss
  • 1 wheel of Laughing Cow Cheese, Garlic & Herbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Be sure to ring out all of the liquid from the spinach and artichokes so it does not water down the dip. Add spinach and artichokes to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add in all of the cheese, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, pulse until all combined. Spread into an oven-proof dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees until the top is browned and bubbly! Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, and/or veggies. People will LOVE this!

Filed under appetizer cheese chips yummy

11 notes

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels have me eating out of their hand, or I am eating them from my hand? Either way I will always get a soft pretzel at a sporting event, state fair, or anywhere else I can get them. Today I made them and left myself no restrictions.

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

(Found at Smitten Kitchen)

Makes 16 pretzels

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 5-6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • coarse or pretzel salt
  • non-stick cooking spray

Method:

Pour warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar into bowl and stir with wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.

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Add 1 cup flour to yeast and mix until combined; don’t work about lumps of flour.

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Add salt and 4 cups more flour, and mix until combined. I actually turned the dough out onto a floured board and kneaded it with my hands for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup of flour and knead for 1 more minute. Knead until dough becomes smooth.

Coat all sides of a large bowl with oil. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

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Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray; set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles.

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Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces, wrap in plastic.

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Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long snake. Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; 8 should fit on each sheet. Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, fill a large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda (careful because it will boil up) and remaining 2 tablespoon sugar. Reduce to a simmer; transfer three to four pretzels to water. Poach for 1 minute on each side. Use slotted spoon or spachula to transfer to a baking sheet. Continue until all are poached.

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Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm. Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, uncovered, for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.

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I sprinkled a few with cinnamon-sugar mixture and dipped them in a powdered sugar-water glaze.. mmmm! And of course, you can’t have a soft pretzel without plain old yellow mustard!! They may not have looked like the prettiest pretzels, but they were damn good. Don’t be intimidated and give these a try.

These pretzels are best served right away. Store them out at room temperature uncovered, otherwise they become soggy.

Filed under bread pretzel snack appetizer

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Zucchini Ricotta Fritters

With the abundance of grated zucchini that I got from the huge zucchini, I found this recipe from Food and Wine Magazine/Mario Batali.

Zucchini Ricotta Fritters

(Found at Food & Wine)

Makes 8 fritters

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grated zucchini, about 2 medium
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • olive oil, for frying
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Method:

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, garlic, scallions, ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, salt and pepper, stir well.

Add flour and stir until just incorperated.

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil over medium high heat. Working in batches, add 2 tablespoon mounds of zucchini batter to the hot oil, spreading them to form 3 inch fritters.

Fry turning once until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes.

Drain fritters on paper towels and serve right away, with lemon wedges. 

Filed under appetizer vegetables savory

8 notes

Clucks-In-A-Blanket

Everyone loves pigs-in-a-blanket… and if you don’t you might want to get that checked out. I saw the new Johnsonville Chicken Sausages at my grocery store and decided to try my version of the famous snack, here are my Clucks-In-A-Blanket with less than five ingredients.

Cut the sausages either in half or in quarters. I cut mine in quarters for a smaller appetizer portion.

Roll or press out the dough and cut into strips that are thick enough to cover your sausage pieces.

I thought I would add more cheese because why not! Just press it into the dough. I used a white cheddar but anything you like would be wonderful.

Roll each sausage in the dough. Place on a greased baking sheet with the seam side down.

Sprinkle the top with chili powder so your friends know they might have a little kick. If you are using a different flavor of sausage, sprinkle different herbs or spices depending on what is in them.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are nice and golden brown.

These chicken sausages are so amazing. The chipotle and chili powder warms the mouth and the cheese is a flavor explosion with each bite. The sausages have 50% less fat than a traditional sausage. There are a couple other flavors so try mixing up the different flavors until you find your favorite combination.

Happy Cooking!

Filed under sausage chicken appetizer cheese