Appetizers are great with a glass of wine, while watching the game, to share with friends when hosting a dinner party…There are a world of possibilities and we’ll showcase some fun and easy ideas to mix up your recipe roster.
Hungry and looking for a quick snack idea? Want to make a tasty and easy starter? Goat cheese toasties are one of my favorites — it’s a variation on bruschetta that is tangy and flavorful. These are also great paired with tomato soup!
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Goat cheese crumbles
Roasted garlic (enough to smear toasted bread before covering with goat cheese and melting the cheese)
Sprinkle of paprika
Pepper to taste
Slice baguette into 1/2″ slices
Brush with olive oil (mix pepper and paprka into oil before applying to bread)
Toast bread at 350 degrees until golden brown; be careful to keep an eye on the bread–it can easily burn if left unattended!
Remove bread from the oven and smear rounds with a thin layer of roasted garlic
Cover the rounds with a generous layer of goat cheese crumbles
Place bread back into the oven until the goat cheese is toasted and slightly browned; this should take about 10 minutes
If desired, garnish with a thin strip of pimento, or sundried tomato (use the type packed in oil)
Note: Roasted garlic is easy to do and this recipe assumes that you have some on hand. Simply take several heads of garlic and slice off the top third–or pre-peeled cloves–drizzle with oil, place in covered, oven safe baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the garlic is easily mashed. I keep roasted garlic on hand for use in recipes; it gives a much richer taste than fresh garlic in recipes and keeps well if kept in a sealed container
If you are like me, you are challenged to find quick, tasty and kid-friendly options for family gatherings. When I am designated as the “apps person” here are some quick go-to items that I’ve made over the years–with happy faces all-around!
Reuben Rolls or Rachel Rolls There are several variations that my family likes, including: a traditional “reuben in a skin”, a version using cole slaw instead of sauerkraut and a “Rachel Roll”. Prepping for a big gathering? Try a mix n’ match platter!
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Package of egg roll skins
1lb thin-sliced deli meat (corned beef or turkey, as desired)
1 package of coleslaw mix (from the salad green section), or a jar of sauerkraut
1/2 lb thin sliced Swiss cheese (make sure that it is thinly sliced so that it melts!)
Egg wash (for sealing the rolls)
Thousand Island dressing
For the Reuben Rolls, use corned beef and sauerkraut; for Rachel Rolls, use turkey, cole slaw and Swiss cheese Variations:
Sriracha — add a touch to the dressing if you want to make you dip zesty
Like a touch of umami? Add thinly sliced grilled onions!
Want a bit of deli homage? Try including thinly sliced cornichons; I suggest these as they are firm and small–thinly slicing them will allow you to roll the wrap around them.
Deli meat is salty, so you likely won’t want to add that–but if you like pepper, use to taste.
If you want to use coleslaw, but want a bit more tang: mix it in a bowl with 2 TBSP of red wine vinegar before mixing with meat.
Separate egg rolls skins on a tray to make prep easier
Set up a deep fry pan with enough oil to cover egg rolls
Finely chop meat (and cornichons, if used)
Mix meat and slaw, or sauerkraut; make sure that you drain any excess liquid–the filling should be moist, but not wet
Place ~1TBSP of filling in center of wrap; wet edges of wrap with egg wash and tuck in sides, then fold over one end and roll up like a carpet until you have a good seal. It’s very important to make sure that the wrap is sealed: if not, your rolls will fall apart when fried! If the wraps are not staying closed, try wetting the edges again, or use toothpicks to keep the wrap in one piece
Preheat the oil to about 375 degrees; try dropping a small piece of bread into the oil–when it turns golden brown and floats almost immediately, it’s ready
Drop in the egg rolls a few at a time–you want to ensure that the oil does not cool off from dropping too many into the pot at one time! Let the egg rolls sit for about 30 seconds before you touch them; after that, gently move them to ensure even cooking on all sides
Once the egg rolls are evenly browned, remove and place on paper towels to drain any excess oil
Serve with thousand island dressing (adding variants, or substituting as desired–Sriracha, ranch dressing, etc.)