Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Entertaining Appetizers

So many appetizers, so little time.  Today I'm offering a variety of apps, from a meat to nutella, which don't always mix, but I make what I like to eat.

Quick Liver Pate

Ingredients:

1 pound braunschweiger* liver sausage
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
In a bowl, mix together the sausage, cream cheese.
Add garlic, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce until well blended.
Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.


*Braunschweiger (BROWN-shwi-ger) Named for the German town of Braunschweig, this smoked liver sausage enriched with eggs and milk is the most famous of the liverwursts. It's soft enough to be spreadable and is usually served at room temperature.


Chocolate-Hazelnut Ravioli

Ingredients:

16 wonton wrappers
1 egg, beaten to blend
1 cup of Nutella*
Vegetable oil, for frying
16 fresh mint leaves
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Granulated sugar, for dredging

Directions:
Lay wonton wrapper flat, brush edges of wrapper lightly with egg.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of Nutella into the center of the wrapper.
Fold the wrapper diagonally in half, pressing the edges of the wrapper to seal.
Place on a baking sheet covered in plastic wrap.
Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Add enough oil to a heavy large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches.

Carefully add ravioli to the hot oil and cook until they are golden brown. Work in small quantities.
Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined surface to drain.
If serving same day, place in preheated oven to keep warm.

I made the day before. I only fried the raviolis, allowed them to cool, then covered and put them in the refrigerator overnight.
Before serving, place them on a baking sheet and rewarm in a preheated 375 degrees F oven just until they are heated through, about 7 minutes.

To garnish, spray one side of mint lightly with nonstick spray, then dredge in sugar, coat lightly and place on each ravioli.
*Nutella is a delicious chocolate-hazelnut spread







Crab Salad in Crisp Wonton Cups

For the Wonton Cups:
Cooking spray
18 wonton wrappers
2 teaspoons oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.

Brush wonton wrappers with oil and gently press each wrapper into the muffin tin and arrange so it forms a cup shape. It's ok if the wrapper sticks outside of the cup.
Sprinkle with salt and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until brown and crisp.

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Whisk together the zest, lime juice, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.

Add the oil and whisk until well combined.

For the salad:
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Place crabmeat, celery, onion and cilantro in a bowl and mix.
Add dressing and toss to combine. Fill each cup with the crab salad and serve.