All posts filed under: Appetizers

Cranberry Glazed Meatballs

Hello everyone! I am happy to announce that #AppyHolidays is back on the blog! This is the third year I am doing this blog series where I post a holiday recipe once a week for the month of December. So this year, there will be FIVE holiday appetizer recipes for you to make and enjoy with your friends and family. However this year is special as I am partnering with a wonderful not-for-profit organization called We Heart Local BC. We share similar philosophies of cooking with local and seasonal ingredients wherever possible. Head over to their website to check out some awesome blog posts about local farmers in British Columbia as well as lots of tasty recipes. Retro Recipes with a Modern Twist For my #AppyHolidays series this year, I took my inspiration from the retro holiday appetizers that my parents and grandparents used to make when I was a kid. In this case, I experienced these retro appetizer recipes growing up in the early/mid 1990s, but these recipes most likely originated between the 1960s …

Squid Ink Arancini

Happy Halloween, everyone! I know I am a day early, but I had to post this haunting recipe so that you can make it to celebrate to spookiest day of the year! This year, I came up with terrifying (yet delicious) Squid Ink Arancini– and they’re perfect for serving at any Halloween party you may be hosting or attending! A Spooky Twist on an Italian Classic Arancini are simply deep fried rice balls. They are made of risotto (often leftovers from a previous meal) and are typically deep fried and served with marinara or another similar tomato sauce. They are a classic Italian appetizer recipe as they are a small 2-3 bites in size, but they can sometimes be large enough to be served as a main dish as well. Of course, since rice is a blank canvas, there are so many flavours that you can add to the risotto itself! Mushroom, squash, or even my Spring Veggie Risotto are all delicious and classic risotto flavours. However, in this recipe, I opted to keep it …

Vegetable Spring Rolls

Happy Chinese New Year! To celebrate the Year of the Pig, I am serving up lots of delicious Chinese dishes this evening and throughout the week. But on the first day of the new year, I decided to share my most crowd-pleasing Chinese recipe: Vegetable Spring Rolls! These Vegetable Spring Rolls are a crowd-pleaser for many reasons. They are warm, crispy and full of delightful vegetables and noodles. Plus, they can be enjoyed by everyone—vegetarians included! For the filling, I combine shredded carrots, cabbage, woodear mushrooms, scallions, rice noodles, and a few key Chinese sauces and oils. Then, I wrap the filling in store-bought spring roll wraps before they are plunged into a pot of oil and are deep fried until crispy. I have another recipe for Baked Spring Rolls that works great too, but I like to deep-fry these when celebrating as special as Chinese New Year. Crisp and golden fried spring rolls with plum sauce for dipping. Oh yeah, and that filling is 100% vegetarian! Once they come out of the fryer, I …

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

For my final recipe of 2018, I am putting a twist on a classic recipe: Shrimp Cocktail. This elegant recipe concludes my #AppyHolidays series on my blog and it just so happens to be perfect for New Years Eve! Small (Shrimpy) Changes Make A Big Difference For the most part, the ingredients for classic shrimp cocktail and this Roasted Shrimp Cocktail are the same, however, the preparation method is slightly different. Typically, shrimp for a classic shrimp cocktail are often boiled in water until they are cooked, then are chilled and served on a platter with cocktail sauce. In this recipe, the shrimp are still served chilled, but they have tons more flavour as I roast the shrimp in the oven! This additional step (and a bit of garlic, salt and pepper) adds so much flavour and ensures that the shrimp say nice and succulent and juicy. Sustainable Seafood As with any recipe, the quality of the ingredients can really make or break the dish. In this Roasted Shrimp Cocktail recipe, I really wanted to focus …

Asian Pear & Radicchio Crostini

I’m back with another #AppyHolidays recipe for you all! And this one is perfect for when you have those pesky last minute guests that are coming to visit! We all know how that goes during the holidays… These Asian Pear & Radicchio Crostini are fast and use seasonal ingredients. Really, you can make Crostini with really anything you have, but you always need a good bread to host all the other toppings! I use a locally made French Baguette from Portofino Bakery to make these crostini. The bread has a great thin crust on the outside and a soft and spongy center. A quick toast under the broiler with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, and voila! You have a delicious crostini base to top with any ingredients you like! In this case, I used a generous smear of Herb Boursin Cheese, a few leaves of bitter radicchio and a few slices of very thinly sliced Asian pear. I really like the combination of the crunch and saltiness of the bread, mixed with the …

Maple Pork Belly Bites

These Maple Pork Belly Bites make the perfect appetizer for the holiday season. They are sweet, savoury, spicy and are packed with tons of flavour. Plus the bite-sized portions really help you control this rich cut of meat! Pork belly comes from– you guessed it– the belly of the pig. The cut of meat is what is also used to make bacon. It is heavily marbled with meat and fat, meaning that it will be juicy, tender and flavourful once cooked. I prefer to roast or braise the pork belly for a few hours in the oven so that the fat renders off slowly. Plus, this makes the meat super tender! This cut of meat typically comes with a thick cap of fat and pork skin. This gets nice and crispy when roasted under the broiler. It is important to lightly score the fat with a sharp knife so that the pork cooks evenly. I buy my Pork Belly from Fairway Market in Victoria. Fairway is an Asian grocery store that has just about any …

Fried Goat Cheese with Honey

There are many ways to make your friends and family feel special during the holidays. But serving up these Fried Goat Cheese Balls with Honey has got to be the best way! Plus, these Fried Goat Cheese Balls with Honey are breaded in gluten-free breadcrumbs so everyone can enjoy this appetizer this holiday season! This is my second recipe in my #AppyHolidays series. Follow along this month for delicious party-worthy appetizers that you can serve to your friends and family this season! A new #AppyHolidays recipe is posted every Tuesday of the month! Fried Cheese = Love Many of you have probably seen fried goat cheese before that is served on top of a fresh green salad. This is one of my favourite salad recipes and I really enjoy eating this in the spring. When served over salad, the goat cheese is typically in disc form, but in this recipe, I rolled the goat cheese into little balls before breading and frying them. On their own, these goat cheese balls are salty and savoury but …

Artichoke & Asiago Turnovers

I am kicking off my #AppyHolidays series on my blog with this recipe for Artichoke & Asiago Turnovers. This festive appetizer is a play on Artichoke and Asiago Dip—and effectively removes the risk of double-dipping! My inspiration for this recipe came from seeing lots of pre-made Artichoke and Asiago Dips at my local grocery store. While these dips are tasty and convenient, they can be full of lots of additives and preservatives that we don’t need. For this reason, I decided to make my own homemade recipe for this classic dip and just for fun, I decided to put the filling inside of some puff pastry. Asiago is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that is pungent and flavourful and comes in multiple varieties. Asiago varies tremendously in flavour depending on the length of time it has been aged. For instance, the fresh variety is much less pungent than an asiago that has been aged for 2+ years. I admit that the flavour is strong and it may take some getting used to for some, but …

4 Easy French Recipes for Bastille Day

Get out your berets everyone, it’s Bastille Day! This French holiday, also known as “Le 14 Juillet” or “La Fête National” celebrates the beginnings of The French Revolution many years ago. The French typically celebrate this holiday by travelling, being outside (picnic anyone?) and of course, having a fantastic meal. I mean hey, you can’t start a revolution on an empty stomach! So here are four fabulously French recipes that are prefect to celebrate the day! Tartines Tartines are a classic French open-faced sandwich that are typically eaten at breakfast or lunch. I personally love to eat tartines no matter what time of day since they are so versatile in terms of flavour combinations! If there is one tartine that most of us have already been exposed to, its likely been Avocado Toast. While it may not be 100% French, the concept of an open faced sandwich is. Now, I have nothing against avocados on toast (maybe also topped off with an egg), but I feel that a proper tartine needs to be French-ified. A …

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 …