All posts tagged: appetizer

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 …

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!

Holiday Cheese Ball

It’s finally December and I am in full holiday mode! I have all of my Christmas decorations up (actually, they’ve been up since November 12th) and I have been listening to Christmas albums, baking cookies, planning a Christmas party (stay tuned for that!), and have been drinking many cups of hot chocolate 😛 I’m 100% in the Christmas spirit! If you were following me last December you will know all about #AppyHolidays and I’m so happy to announce that it is back again this year! For those of you who don’t know about #AppyHolidays, it’s essentially a fun series that I do on my blog during December. Every Wednesday of the month I will be posting a wonderful holiday appetizer that you can make for any parties you may be hosting or are attending this season. I’m also going to throw in a few surprise/bonus posts here and there so make sure you follow along! Of course, as with all my recipes, I use the most local and seasonal ingredients that are available to make …

Fried Cauliflower with Coconut-Curry Dipping Sauce

As we are nearing the end of cauliflower season, I suddenly can’t get enough of this cruciferous vegetable. I’m doing all sorts of things with cauliflower: baking it with breadcrumbs and cheese, making it into soup (tasty recipe coming soon!) and even frying it in this recipe for Fried Cauliflower with Coconut-Curry Dipping Sauce. While cauliflower is pretty healthy (a great source of Vitamin C and K), I’m taking it and making it semi-unhealthy by frying it. While it may not be super healthy for you, it is so incredibly crunchy and flavourful and pairs perfectly with a dipping sauce. It is sure to impress all of your friends and family and definitely has the potential to become a signature recipe! I had a version of this tasty appy during a recent work trip to Ottawa, Ontario at a fabulous Asian restaurant called Datsun. They have great Asian fusion vibe, tasty cocktails and a wonderful appy/small plates menu. Of all the tasty dishes that my work colleagues and I tried that night, this fried cauliflower …

Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Basil + tomatoes = the best summer combination. Even though summer is winding down, you can still celebrate these two delicious summer foods for just a while longer. For the next few weeks, the basil will still be abundant and delicious and the tomatoes will be juicy and flavourful. By the end of September, these will all be gone until next summer. Thank goodness we are able to preserve these flavours well into the winter by making some pantry staples like tomato sauce, oven-fried tomatoes, and basil pesto. On this last long weekend of summer, I really want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the basil and tomatoes I have on hand (and maybe a drink or two :P). And what better way to do this by making my Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes! I picked up some fresh, local basil and cherry tomatoes (along with some other goodies) at the Burnaby Farmers Market today specifically for this recipe.  I love the rainbow cherry tomatoes for this recipe because they are super sweet …

Savoury Cheese and Spinach Pastries

Peanut butter and jelly. Salmon and dill. Peas and mint. These are all ingredients that go perfectly together. Adding to this list of perfect food pairing is of course, spinach and cheese. Used in a variety of dishes, spinach and cheese compliment each other perfectly no matter what dish they are in together. I combine these two ingredients (with a few extra complementary ones) in this recipe for Savoury Cheese and Spinach Pastries. I am not just using any old cheese for this recipe. No, sir! This recipe makes use of a special, artisinal ingredient: quark cheese. Haven’t heard of quark cheese before? I don’t blame you. It is definitely not an everyday ingredient in North America. But in Germany, Austria and other parts of eastern Europe, they use this almost as much as North Americans use cream cheese. Once you taste it you will know why. This soft, smooth, unripened cheese tastes like a cross between Greek yogurt and cream cheese. It does not have a strong pronounced flavour, rather it has a light …