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    Posts Tagged ‘appetizer’

    Artichoke/Pepper Dip

    I happened upon a taste testing at my local supermarket just prior to the holidays. They were offering samples of various dips and spreads for that special holiday party. One of the dips was an artichoke jalapeno being served on sea salt pita chips. I enjoyed the taste and purchased both the dip and the pita chips, it was a delight. Being one that holds no interest in all the chemicals now found in prepared items I set to recreate the dip. I hope you will enjoy my version.

    Artichoke Pepper Dip

    You will need:
    One 14 ounce can artichoke hearts
    One cup sour cream
    One cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s)
    One Jalapeno Pepper
    One Serrano Pepper
    Sea Salt
    Cracked pepper
    Pita Bread
    Vegetable oil

    Drain liquid fro canned artichoke hearts, place half of the product in a food processor. Split both peppers open and clean out seeds and ribs rough chop and place in food processor along with artichoke and puree . Chop remaining artichoke into 1/4 inch dice, combined with pureed mixture. Place mayonnaise and sour cream in a bowl, add cracked pepper to taste and the puree mixture stir together until artichoke dice is well coated.

    Sea Salt Pita Chips

    Since pita by itself would be too thick to use as is you must split each in half thickness wise. I haven’t found an easy way to do this step so be patient. I used a serrated knife holding the pita bread on a flat surface start to cut through it while rotating the bread. Don’t worry too much some of the final pieces will be thicker in places than others. Brush both sides of the pita with oil and cut into 8 wedges. Place on a cookie sheet and sprinkle sea salt over each wedge on both sides. Bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes then turn each over and finish baking until they are a golden brown. Let chips cool before serving.

    NB: If you do not have the time or the inclination to make your own pita chips there are several commercial brands that I have used with this wonderful dip.

    Scallop Appetizer

    Pan seared diver scallop with pancetta crisp and sweet corn coulis.

    You will need:
    Fresh sweet corn or if not available frozen sweet corn.
    Heavy cream.
    Walla Walla or other sweet onion finely diced.
    Oil oil.
    Unsalted butter.
    Kosher salt/fresh ground pepper.
    One diver scallop per person.
    Thinly sliced pancetta (one per scallop) NB: Pancetta is sold in roll form do not unroll simply have your purveyor slice thinly.

    Put a little olive oil and butter in a sauté pan, heat until butter melts. Sauté onion until translucent add sweet corn and cook until corn just starts to caramelize. Add small amounts of heavy cream until corn starts to thicken. Process mixture in a food processor until smooth and creamy, set aside and keep warm.
    Cook pancetta slices until crisp. Be careful it tends to burn easily. Set aside.
    Put a little olive oil and butter in a sauté pan large enough to hold all the scallops. Heat until butter melts. Dry off the scallops, season with salt and pepper, put scallops in hot pan. Sauté scallops until done. This step depends on the size of your scallops. You should get a good sear on one side (make sure you get some color here) flip scallop to finish. Press down in the center of the scallop when you get a little resistance the scallop is done.
    To plate pour some of the sweet corn coulis on an appetizer plate, if you have scallop shells use those. Place one scallop in the middle of the coulis and top with a pancetta disk. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.

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