All posts tagged: appetizer

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 …

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 …

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 …