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Our Favorite Holiday Appetizers

One can never have enough favorite appetizer recipes. Here are a few of ours – enjoy!

Bruschetta with Roasted Tomato, Pesto and Mascarpone

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Makes 24

2 pints cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 baguette, cut on the diagonal into 3/8” thick slices

8 oz marscarpone or whipped cream cheese

½ cup basil pesto

 

Preheat oven to 425. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until they collapse and are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

 

Preheat the broiler. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place 6 inches under the broiler and brown on both sides (3 to 4 minutes total).

Spread a liberal amount of mascarpone on each slice of toasted bread, top the mascarpone with a thin layer of pesto, spoon a dollop of the roasted tomatoes in the middle of each slice, making sure not to completely cover up the pesto.

 

Apple, Pear & Walnut Brie Bites

Makes 10 -12

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1 8 oz  wheel of brie, some rind removed, cut into 1 ½” pieces

1 package puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator

½ cup Apple Cranberry Chutney

1 egg plus 2 tablespoons water, slightly beaten

 

Preheat oven to 375. Cut the puff pastry into 4-5” squares. Place one piece of brie in the center of each piece of pastry and top with 1 tablespoon of chutney. Gently gather the edges of the pastry up around the brie and twist at the top. Brush with egg wash and place on parchment on a baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with crackers and apples slices.

Warm Rosemary Olives

Makes 2 Cups

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12 oz kalamata olives

Zest of 1 lemon, grated or cut into fine slivers

Zest of 1 orange, grated or cut into fine slivers

Several sprigs of fresh rosemary

½ cup extra virgin olive

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon fennel seed

 

Place olives, lemon and orange zest, rosemary sprigs, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and fennel seed in a saucepan and heat until the herbs sizzle. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature for about 5 hours. Before serving, remove the browned herbs and replenish with fresh, serve garnished with Rosemary Sprigs.

 

  • Make ahead – this will keep for 2 weeks in refrigerator. Allow the olives to come to room temperature before serving.
  • For a bit of Spanish pizzazz, serve these olives with Almonds and a medium bodied dry sherry.

Karyn’s Broiled Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Green Olives

Serves 6 – 8

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1 # med shrimp, peeled and deveined

12 large green olives, pitted & sliced

8 oz sweet cherry tomatoes, halved

2 T garlic, minced

1 T fresh or dried thyme

1 t salt

1 t black pepper

1 T lemon juice

4T olive oil

Preheat broiled to high. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and toss to coat. Place ingredients in a baking dish (safe for the broiler) and broil for 5 minutes. Remove dish from oven, stir ingredients to expose uncooked portions of shrimp and return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

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Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

When we go out for brunch, it is very likely that we will order eggs benedict. The combination of a soft poached egg topped with a bright, creamy Hollandaise is the  quintessential “brunch” dish. Have you ever thought “why don’t I make this at home”? We think you should, especially because it’s probably easier than you think. This recipe for Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce is simple – the blender does the magic! The sauce can also be served over roasted vegetables, like asparagus, or poached fish, like salmon.

Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

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Ingredients

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

10 tablespoons unsalted butter (if using salted butter, skip the added salt)

  1. Melt the butter slowly in a small pot. Try not to let it boil – you want the moisture in the butter to remain there and not steam away.
  2. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne into your blender. Blend the egg yolk mixture at a medium to medium high speed until it lightens in color, about 20-30 seconds. The friction generated by the blender blades will heat the yolks a bit. The blending action will also introduce a little air into them, making your hollandaise a bit lighter.
  3. Once the yolks have lightened in color, turn the blender down to its lowest setting, and drizzle in the hot melted butter slowly, while the blender is going. Continue to buzz for another couple seconds after the butter is all incorporated.
  4. Turn off the blender and taste the sauce. It should be buttery, lemony and just lightly salty. If it is not salty or lemony enough, you can add a little lemon juice or salt to taste. If you want a thinner consistency, add a little warm water. Pulse briefly to incorporate the ingredients one more time.
  5. Store until needed in a warm spot, like on or next to the stovetop. Serve within an hour or so.
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DK Ruby Red Baked Salmon

Not a fan of Salmon? Then give this EASY recipe a try! Many of our friends have a new found love for this rich fish after trying this recipe. The secret is the rub – DK Texas Ruby Red Rub gives the Salmon a rich, smokey flavor that we find irresistible. Let us know what you think!

Avocado Oil & DK Texas Ruby Red Rub

DK Ruby Red Rub Baked Salmon 

4 Servings

4 4 oz Salmon Fillets

3 – 4 tablespoons DK Texas Ruby Red Rub

2 tablespoons Avocado Oil

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking dish with foil. Brush the foil with a little oil. Brush the flesh side of the salmon with oil and season each fillet with the rub.
  2. Place the fish skin side down on the foil. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 135 to 145 degrees (medium).
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Summer Ceviche

Summer Ceviche served in glasses rimmed with salt and lime
Summer Ceviche

Summer Ceviche
Makes 8 – 10 servings

1 1/2 pounds seafood, diced small, such as shrimp, scallops, yellowtail or tilapia
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 English cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 ear fresh sweet corn, kernels only
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup Sriracha
1 cup Clamato with Clam Juice or Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
2 firm avocados, sliced, for garnish

In a large bowl with a tight fitting lid, combine the seafood with the lime and orange juices. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally until the flesh becomes firm and opaque, about 3 hours.

Add the tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, corn, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, oil, and Sriracha. Season with salt, pepper and stir. Add the tomato juice and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes, allowing the flavors to marry. Season with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve in chilled bowls or glasses garnished with avocado, lime and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.