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Tasty tidings

Local cooks share popular recipes for holiday party appetizers

Local cooks share popular recipes for holiday party appetizers

November 30, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

With the holiday season comes the holiday parties.

Whether it's for family or friends, cooks always seem to be on the lookout for a good appetizer recipe.

Holly Person fixes marinated cheese for the holidays, a recipe she got from friend Peggy Zabetakis of Hagerstown. Zabetakis recalls getting the recipe from a magazine.

"I have never served that to anyone who didn't want the recipe," says Person, of Martinsburg, W.Va. The parsley and pimento make it look Christmasy, she says.

Sue Jones, who lives near Hedgesville, W.Va., also got her appetizer recipe, for Bacon Tomato Cups, from a friend years ago.

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"They've got a bite. They're very tasty, savory," she says.

The recipe for what Hagerstown resident Wilma Spangler calls the "Official Crab Dip of the Woodland Garden Club" came from a club member years ago, but Spangler couldn't remember who.

Marilyn Shearer of Hagerstown found her Sausage Tartlets recipe in an Ohio women's association cookbook that was given to her.

"Everybody likes them," she says.

Recipes by these cooks and others, are printed below.




Bacon Tomato Cups



2 refrigerated cans regular flaky biscuits (Pillsbury)

1 cup mayonnaise

10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chili peppers, drained

1/2 cup chopped onion (Jones uses white or Vidalia)

1/2 cup grated Swiss or American cheese

3 ounces cooked bacon, crumbled

Separate biscuits. Cut each biscuit into quarters.

Mix mayonnaise, diced tomatoes, onion, cheese and crumbled bacon in a bowl.

Grease minimuffin pans. Flatten a biscuit piece on the bottom and up the sides of each muffin cup. Place 1 teaspoon of mixture into each biscuit shell.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Can be frozen.

Makes 80 pieces.

- Courtesy ofSue Jones of Berkeley County, W.Va.




Official Crab Dip of the Woodland Garden Club



8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1 tablespoon Chablis

1/2 teaspoon juice of a sweet onion

1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard (Spangler uses Dijon mustard)

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound lump back-fin crabmeat

Fresh parsley for garnish

Combine everything but the crabmeat and parsley.

Add crabmeat.

Spoon into lightly greased 1-quart glass baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley, if desired. Serve with crackers, toast cuts or pastry cups.

Serves about 20 people.

- Courtesy of Wilma Spangler of Hagerstown




Sausage Tartlets



Favorite pie crust, enough for 2-crust pie (Shearer uses Pillsbury or Betty Crocker pie crust mix)

1 pound mild loose sausage

3 tablespoons butter

3/4 pound mushrooms, minced

1 onion, minced

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Prepare crust. Press pieces of the crust into greased minimuffin pans. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool.

Cook sausage, drain and set aside.

Saut mushrooms and onions in butter.

Beat egg slightly in large bowl. Add milk, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in sausage, mushrooms and onion. Fill tart shells with mixture and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Serve warm.

Makes 5 dozen.

- Courtesy of Marilyn Shearer of Hagerstown; original recipe from "Mud Pies and Silver Spoons," a cookbook distributed by Dayton (Ohio) Philharmonic Women's Association.




Marinated Cheese



1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons minced green onion

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2-ounce jar diced pimento, drained

8-ounce block of sharp cheddar cheese

8-ounce package, cream cheese, chilled

Fresh parsley sprigs for garnish

Combine first nine ingredients in a jar, cover tightly and shake vigorously. Set marinade mixture aside.

Cut block of cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Set aside.

Repeat procedure with cream cheese.

Arrange cheese slices alternately in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edges. Pour marinade over cheese slices. Cover and marinate in refrigerator at least eight hours.

Transfer cheese slices to a serving platter in the same alternating fashion, reserving marinade. Spoon marinade over cheese slices. Serve with assorted crackers.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

- Courtesy of Holly Person of Martinsburg, W.Va., and Peggy Zabetakis of Hagerstown; adapted from a Southern Living recipe.




Wonton Shrimp Appetizers with Cilantro Cream Sauce



1 package wonton wrappers

Sesame oil

1 pound steamed shrimp, finely chopped

1/3 cup fresh green onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 avocado, finely diced

1/3 small can sliced water chestnuts

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Dash of cayenne pepper to taste

Dash of garlic powder

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Juice of 1/2 lime, freshly squeezed

Combine all ingredients except wonton wrappers and sesame oil in a bowl. Set aside.

Cilantro Cream Sauce



3 tablespoons salted butter

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon sifted flour

1 teaspoon finely minced ginger

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh green onion

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dash of black pepper

Several dashes of cayenne pepper to taste

Melt butter and garlic powder together in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in sifted flour and minced ginger. Whisk until smooth and creamy. Add 1/2 cup cream and remaining ingredients and stir until thickened a bit. Add remaining cream and stir to a creamy consistency.

Put sesame oil in bottom of saut pan and fry one wonton wrapper at a time over medium-high heat until just golden. Drain excess oil on paper towels. Hatcher usually uses about half the wonton wrappers in a package.

Assemble as follows:

Place warm, fried wonton wrappers on plate, place desired amount of shrimp mixture on top of wontons and drizzle with cream sauce. Do not wrap. Serve with a side of wasabi and thinly sliced ginger if desired.

- Courtesy of Jenni Hatcher of Hagerstown

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