All posts filed under: Appetizers

Toum ~ Creamy Garlic Sauce

You may not have known the proper name for this tasty sauce before reading this blog post, but I can guarantee that you have had this before if you eat a lot of Lebanese or Middle Eastern foods like shawarma or falafel. Toum is a traditional creamy (and dreamy) Lebanese garlic sauce that is often added to grilled meats or is served as a dip. In Lebanese, “toum” or “toom” translates directly to mean “garlic”. This sauce is aptly named as there is LOTS of garlic in this recipe- 30 cloves! Yeah, you read that right- 30 cloves of raw, fresh, mouth-tingling, gut-friendly garlic. Luckily, the garlic flavour is complimented by lots of clean tasting canola oil, tart lemon juice and some salt and mellows out the longer it sits in the fridge. This sauce has the same consistency as a homemade mayonnaise or aioli and is made in the exact same process of emulsifying the ingredients together very slowly to form a thick, stable, and creamy sauce. Now it took me a few tries …

BC Spot Prawns with Bagna Cauda Butter

It’s that time of year again, people! Spot Prawns are back in season and they are more sweet, succulent and juicy than I remembered ❤ Spot prawn season typically begins in early May and lasts for about six to eight weeks. Spot prawns are delicious, sweet prawns that are orange in colour and have little white spots on their bodies, mainly around their heads and tails. They are harvested just off the coast of BC during the prawning season using baited traps and are the largest variety of prawns that are harvested in BC. The cold, nutrient rich waters of the BC coast make these prawns sweet, succulent and very clean in taste compared to the typical frozen Tiger Shrimp variety. The meat is very tender and juicy, and has the texture of both a lobster tail and a shrimp combined. Sounds amazing right?! A squeeze of lemon brings out all the fresh flavours in these BC Spot Prawns! Since the season is so short, I love to eat as much spot prawns as I …

Börek

Börek, burek, boreka….no matter how you say it, this savoury pastry is everything that you are looking for. It’s salty, flaky, crunchy and smooth all at the same time and is slightly on the unusual side for most Canadians (and North Americans alike), which makes this recipe even more intriguing. Made with a few simple ingredients, but combined in a special way, this recipe is sure to captivate and satisfy you, your friends and family. Before I get into explaining how to make börek, you probably want to know what it is first. Börek is a traditional Turkish pastry that is made by layering sheets of yufka dough and wrapping the sheets around a cheese and spinach, egg, or meat-based filling. If you haven’t heard of yufka dough before, don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was until I began researching börek. Yufka dough comes in large round sheets (when I say large, I mean they’re large- as in the size of a truck tire) and is very similar to phyllo dough as is very …

Chinese New Year Dumplings

Whether you like your dumplings steamed or fried, they are a MUST for Chinese New Year. This traditional dish, eaten on Chinese New Year and Chinese New Years Eve, symbolizes wealth and prosperity for the coming year. This largely has to do with their shape, which are made to look like silver ingots (an old form of currency used under the Qin dynasty). As legend goes, the more dumplings you eat during Chinese New Year celebrations, the more wealthy and prosperous you will become in the new year. If this legend is true, I’m well on my way to being a millionaire! Dumplings have been around for hundreds of years and as such there are many different variations. Delicate dumpling wrappers can be filled with meat (typically pork, chicken or beef), seafood (typically shrimp), vegetables, fungi, or eggs and the dumplings can be boiled steamed or fried. The possibilities and combinations are truly endless! But no matter what filling you make or how they are prepared, dumplings will always taste delicious! In this recipe, I …

Homemade Sausage Rolls

It’s Wednesday and I am back again with another #AppyHolidays post! This week I am featuring the ultimate holiday appetizer on the blog: Sausage Rolls. Everyone loves these meaty appetizers, especially around the holidays. Not only do they taste delicious, they are super easy to make- even from scratch! Simply assemble some store bought puff pastry with ground chicken and turkey sausage and a few other festive ingredients and you’ll have a great holiday appetizer that will fly off the plate in seconds! Read on to see how I make them! For the sausage filling, I like to combine both sausage meat and ground meat in this recipe. After testing the recipe a few times, I’ve noticed that using plain sausage meat in the recipe yields really oily/soggy Sausage Rolls… which doesn’t let the puff pastry rise enough. By adding a bit of ground chicken, it absorbs some of the fat and makes the filling a bit lighter, but still super flavourful. In this recipe I like to use ground white meat chicken with spicy …

Citrus Marinated Olives

If you are looking to make a quick and simple holiday appetizer, look no further than this recipe for Citrus Marinated Olives. I like to serve these olives year-round, but I always bring them out for the holiday season. They are the perfect little salty and briny bite that works perfectly with antipasto platters, or just on their own! Plus, they’re super easy to make! I like to use two types of olives in this recipe: Cerignola and Kalamata. Cerignola olives are from Cerignola, Italy and are actually DOP/PDO protected, meaning that this type of olive is only from this specific area or region and nowhere else in the world. The Cerignola is my absolute favourite olive since they are not too briny and are full of rich, buttery meat. They are quite a large olive too, which make them perfect for eating. Also, not only do they come in green, they also come in red (with the help of food dye) and black which is perfect for fancy get-togethers and celebrations. You will see …

Mushroom Turnovers

It’s Wednesday and you know what that means… time for another #AppyHolidays post! This week I’m making a delicious Maltese appetizer that is guaranteed to fly off your table this holiday season: Mushroom Turnovers. This is a savoury take on the classic sweet turnover recipe, which is typically filled with fresh fruit or jam. Meaty cremini mushrooms are fried with onions and thyme and is mixed with creamy, rich sour cream. This delectable filling is then stuffed into a homemade turnover dough (that is if you can resist eating it straight from the pan!) that is made with flour, butter and ricotta cheese. The butter and ricotta cheese really make this dough light and airy yet very sturdy and able to hold the thick mushroom filling. While this recipe is quite a lot of work, the turnovers can be filled and frozen well in advance and can be cooked from frozen… which is super helpful around the holidays! Want to make this recipe yourself? See the full recipe here! Enjoy and #AppyHolidays!