Tag Archives: appetizer

Wedge Salad Bites

Wedge Salad Bites

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
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Wedge Salad Bites
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This is a super easy and fun one-bite appetizer. We had several parties over the holiday’s and they were slanted towards men so I had a lot of heavy, cheesy, meaty dishes. Dude food. So I needed something that wasn’t so heavy so I came up with a little deconstructed salad bite on a stick.

My intention was for each bite to have lettuce, tomato, bacon topped with blue cheese and carrots. I roasted my bacon and it was too crispy to put on the stick so I crumbled it and used it as a topper along with the carrots.

Ingredients:
Iceberg Lettuce
Cherry tomatoes
Bacon
Carrot shreds
Blue Cheese Dressing
Blue Cheese crumbles

Directions:
1. Roast or cook your bacon. Cut your lettuce into little wedges big enough for one bite. Assemble, dress and serve

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bites

  • Difficulty: easy
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Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bites
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Jill had a party the other night and asked me to make some cocktail appetizers. I made some blue cheese filled dates topped with spicy pecans, pimento cheese atop of cheddar biscuit and then jalapeno popper bites. Now I failed to take a picture of them so I used a pic of my pimento cheese recipe as a stunt double to give you an idea of how they look. So instead of seeing the red pepper you would see bacon. When making stuff for parties I always forget to photograph my food and when I remember I feel stupid snapping photos when people are around.

So apparently these were a hit and Jill has been on me to post the recipe as people were asking about it. If you have seen those grilled jalapeno poppers that are filled with cream and cheddar cheese with bacon wrapped around the stuffed jalapeno this is basically the same thing but made as a one bite appetizer served on a Ritz cracker.

Ingredients:
Ritz Crackers
Candied Jalapenos http://woodys-smokehouse.com/product/sweet-fire/
3 Jalapenos diced (seeds and ribs removed)
1 package of cream cheese
2 cups of fresh shredded cheddar cheese
6 strips of roasted bacon
2 shots of Worcestershire Sauce
3-6 slugs of Tabasco

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Layout your bacon on a wire rack and roast until crispy which will be about 40-50 minutes. Cool and then dice up.

2. In a mixer add your cheeses, diced jalapenos, Worcestershire and Tabasco with a half of the bacon bits.

3. Roll the cheese mixture into balls. The size should fit onto a Ritz cracker with room around the edges. Now roll a strip of the ball in the bacon so that it shows on the outside. My pic doesn’t show it because that is Pimento Cheese. Top with a candied Jalapeno. If you don’t fine them in your store/market I posted a link above to a place where I get mine. It’s a roadside joint in Madisonville, Texas called Woody’s Smokehouse.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Date

Blue Cheese Stuffed Date

  • Servings: 10-36
  • Difficulty: easy
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Blue Cheese Stuffed Date
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My wife went to a party the other day and needed to take some one bite appetizer food. So I made three for her to take 1. Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates 2. Pimento Cheese topped biscuit crackers 3. Jalapeno Popper Cheese balls topped with candied jalapenos.

She said the biggest hits were these dates and the jalapeno poppers. Admittedly, I am not a fan of the date but also don’t hate them either. I went to party a few years ago and had an app that was blue cheese date wrapped in a bacon and served warm. I stuffed several and tried it various ways and think adding the pecan really turned out well and it also didn’t require bacon. First time I think I have said that line.

Sweet from the date, a punch of creamy blue cheese, crunch and heat from the pecan. Super one biter.

Ingredients:
A package of pitted dates
Blue Cheese that you have tried
Cream Cheese
Worcestershire Sauce
Trader Joe’s Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Directions:
1. The reason I don’t have measurements is because I don’t know how many you are making. I made 36 so I used 1/2 lbs of good blue cheese, 2-3 oz of cream cheese and a splash of Worcestershire. The mixing is better if the cheese are at room temperature.

2. Take a date and cut one side and open it like a taco. Stuff some of the cheese mixture in it and top with a candied pecan. Before you start making these in mass you need to taste it. If you are happy with it, commence the stuffing. This is the time to nail your blue cheese to cream cheese ratio. I was about a 2 to 1 ratio since making them for guests but if I knew the people I would have gone 3:1 because I really like blue cheese. The only reason I add the cream cheese it to make it more creamy and to make bind better. Lastly if you don’t have sweet and spicy pecans you can buy them or make them by melting some butter and brown sugar and adding Cayenne pepper. Put them on a sheet tray and cook in the oven to harden. 200 degrees.
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Jalapeno Bottle Caps with Ranch

Jalapeno Bottle Caps with Ranch

  • Servings: na
  • Difficulty: easy
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Jalapeno Bottle Caps with Ranch
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Fried pickles and jalapenos elbowed their way into the scene to offer another option to accompany your favorite burger or dog. I took a group of colleagues to the Katy Trail Ice House while they were in town for a meeting. I ordered a bunch of appetizers and the jalapeno’s were a hit. Surprising that many of them have never had them before. I guess they don’t realize that in the south fried- anything is possible.

The other night Jill wanted a cheeseburger so i figured I would try making these to surprise her. Super easy all you need is a batter, jar of pickled jalapenos and some oil. You get the tang of the pickling, heat from the jalapeno and complemented with the creamy ranch dressing. If you don’t appreciate the heat you can substitute the jalapenos with pickles.

Ingredients:
Fry Seasoning https://whiskeynwry.com/?s=Fry+Seasoning
1 cup of Self Rising flour
1 cup of beer
1 jar of pickled jalapenos
Oil for frying
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing (packet made with buttermilk)

Directions:
1. Heat your vegetable oil up to medium to medium high heat.

2. Drain your pickled jalapenos and pat them dry with a paper towel.

3. For the beer batter I poured the flour into a bowl and seasoned it with my fry seasoning. Slowly mix in the beer until it has the consistency is between queso and pudding. I poured all my jalapenos into the dredge and dropped them into the oil by hand (one at a time). Use your spider to move them around and turn them over. When done remove and place them on a paper towel and/or wire rack.
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Tomato Bacon Goat Cheese Tart

Tomato Bacon Goat Cheese Tart

  • Servings: 4-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tomato Bacon Goat Cheese Tart
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This summer I have been loving tomatoes so I went to store thinking I was going to make a roasted tomato pasta with pancetta, basil and goat cheese. I just love that combo of the tangy goat cheese, sweet tomatoes and salty crunchy bacon/pancetta. I have been working this combo on sandwiches, salads and pastas all summer. So at the grocery store the pancetta just looked too fatty so I opted for bacon and trimmed it up a bit. When picking up some frozen fruit, I spotted the puff pastry and thought I would turn the meal in to a tart instead of pasta.

It turned out amazing and it has so many other possibilities You could cut them into appetizer portions which would be great for a party or finger food. You could make them into pockets or hand pies and obviously change up the ingredients. But why would you consider such insanity? Try it this week. You will not be disappointed.


Ingredients

Goat Cheese (one small package)
Handful of heirloom and cherry tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Three strips of trimmed butcher cut bacon
1 shallot
2 cloves of garlic
Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp of brown sugar
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. In a medium low heated cast iron skillet add your trimmed and diced bacon and the shallot. Cook this low and slow until the bacon is crispy. Right before you remove it add your minced garlic and brown sugar and turn off the heat and let it cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Remove and set aside on a paper towel.
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2. While your bacon is slow cooking. Preheat your oven to 350-400 degrees. Slice your tomatoes and pat them dry. Sprinkle and drizzle salt, olive oil and balsalmic vinegar and roast them for about 20 minutes. Set them aside and pat some of the juice off of them. This will turn into a jam like mixture but you don’t want it too wet because the pastry will be too soft.

3. After your puff pastry has thawed for 20 minutes or so start the assembly process. I brushed some of the bacon fat on the edges of the pastry. Then I crumbled the goat cheese and spread the bacon mixture.
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Now add your tomato “jam” evenly and then top with some more goat cheese that you might have left, basil and sprinkle some salt and pepper.
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4. Bake for about 13 minutes or until the pastry is done. Slice, eat and enjoy.
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Spicy Tuna Salad Avocado Romaine Boats

Spicy Tuna Salad Avocado Romaine Boats
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Today for lunch I was wanting something simple, flavorful and low carb. I had an avocado and some romaine on hand but they were on the back end of their freshness. Whipped up these little tuna boats and topped with a tiny bit of Sriracha chips for some crunch.
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Ingredients:
2 Cans of Tuna (low sodium in water without nets)
Dukes Mayo
Shredded Carrots
Shredded Red Cabbage
Handful of diced jalapenos
1 avocado
2 dashes of Tabasco per boat
Sriracha chips crumbs
1 head of Romaine
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
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Directions:
1. Pretty simple… Press the water from your cans of tuna. Put in a bowl and mix it in with Duke Mayo (use the amount you like in your tuna salad).

2. Mix in the shredded / diced carrots, jalapenos, purple cabbage. Kosher Salt and Pepper… taste and adjust accordingly.IMG_9214

3. Slice your avocado and cut the bottom of your Romaine lettuce. Put some avocado in the base of your lettuce leafs. Top with your Tuna Salad. I hit each boat with 2-3 glugs of Tabasco sauce and then topped with some crumbled Sriracha Chips for color and crunch.
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Raspberry Puff Pastry Nibbles

Raspberry Puff Pastry Nibbles

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
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Raspberry Puff Pastry Nibbles
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We had a party for a friend the other night and put together a lot of dude food and dips..ham and swiss sliders, pull pork sandwiches, chicken and waffle balls and jalapeno popper dip etc.. When building the menu I realized I needed to come up with something that was somewhat sweet and less heavy. I saw these puff pastry cup appetizers and thought it would be great filled with some brie and goat cheese and raspberry jam.

They turned out with a great balance of tang and sweet all transported in a delicate puff pastry. They would be great for New Year’s, Superbowl or a typical cocktail party.

Ingredients:
1 package of puff pastry cups
Frozen Raspberries
Goat Cheese
Brie
Raspberry jam

Directions
1. Cook your puff pastry cups according to the package. About 15 mins at 400 degrees. When you remove them push in the centers with a handle of a wooden spoon.

2. Think pencil eraser size and add Brie then red raspberry jam and then goat cheese and top with a thawed raspberry. IMG_0844