Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Tehini sauce

Submitted by Carmel Parmeter, 1/10/2010
Sampled & enjoyed by the Parmeter clan Christmas 2009!

1/3 cup raw tehini (sesame paste) (usually its next to the peanut butter in the supermarket)
lemon juice
water
garlic
salt

Place the tehini in the food processor. Add lemon juice, garlic, a little water and salt. Blend. If the paste looks thick, add more water and blend again. If its too thin, add a tiny bit more paste. It should turn lighter in color and be the consistency of a thin yogurt. Taste. Correct seasoning. Eat. With anything.

Variations– Green tehini (my favorite) wash 1 bunch of parsley, chop well in food processor. Proceed with the tehini recipe on top of your chopped herb. The tehini will come out green in color and more fresh tasting.

sweet tehini (halva) – mix a little raw tehini with some honey. Spread on crackers. Yum.

Babaganoush (eggplant salad)

Submitted by Carmel Parmeter, 1/10/2010
Sampled & enjoyed by the Parmeter clan Christmas 2009!

1 large eggplant or 2 medium ones
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I find the light variations too sweet and strange, and you are putting very little of it in the salad, so I would choose regular)
a little lemon juice
salt

The idea is to char the eggplant. You can do it on a grill (if you have one that’s the easiest way, place whole on the grill and turn every once in a while for about 30 minutes) or on the stove top (just place the eggplant directly on the flames and keep turning it until it charred on all sides) or place under the broiler and turn once or twice for 25-30 minutes. The eggplant will deflate when its done. Sometimes I give it a quick char on the stove top and then place it under the broiler to finish cooking.

Let it cool.

Slice the eggplant lengthwise in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Make sure that you scrape the peel well (from the inside) for all that good charred flavor you worked so hard on. Add everything else and mix gently with the spoon, the eggplant flesh should be mushy enough.

Do not try to mash with a fork. If you start breaking the seeds too much it can get bitter.

Variations- mayo can be replaced with plain or goat yogurt, tehini or carmelized onions.

Hummus

Submitted by Carmel Parmeter, 1/10/2010
Sampled & enjoyed by the Parmeter clan Christmas 2009!

2 cans of chickpeas
1/3 cup tehini
juice of half a lemon (roughly, depends on how lemony you want it)
1-2 cloves garlic (depends on how garlicky you want it)
salt
2 tablespoon olive oil

Drain cans and cook with some water until beans are hot. Reserve a little of the cooking liquid and drain the rest.

In a food processor, mix tehini with lemon juice and a little cold water (about a quarter cup) until light and frothy. (if not light and frothy, add more liquid in small amounts until it is) Add garlic and salt. pulse until incorporated. Add the beans 1/3 the amount at a time and pulse until they become paste. If it looks too choppy, add a little of the cooking liquid. taste. correct seasoning. Add the olive oil and blend for 2 minutes, until the hummus is very creamy. Its best right away, while its still warm. It looses something in the fridge though its still good.

Burekas with spinach and cheese

Submitted by Carmel Parmeter, 1/10/2010
Sampled & enjoyed by the Parmeter clan Christmas 2009!

1 package puff pastry
1 box frozen spinach, thawed
OR
2 bunches fresh spinach, rinsed, blanched in boiling water for 5 minutes
1 small package of feta cheese (the crumbles kind is great, does not need to be fancy)
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg (for egg wash)
sesame seeds/poppy seeds/caraway seeds or any other seed for decoration

Preheat oven to 450

Thaw the puff pastry in fridge. Take out about 5-10 minutes before you will use it.

Squeeze liquids from spinach. (you can do it in small bunches in your hands or easier with a clean kitchen towel) make sure you squeeze as much liquid as you can from spinach. chop. Add cheese (as much as you want, I used a whole small tub) and black pepper. Mix well and taste to see if it needs salt.

Roll 1 sheet of pastry (to flatten out the folds) cut into 2×2 squares. Place a small amount of filling in each square, moisten the edge with a little bit of water (to seal better) and fold to make a triangle, pressing down with your fingers to seal.

Brush with egg mixed with a little water and sprinkle seeds. Bake for about about 15 minutes until dough is puffed and golden.

Variations–
Any filling is good, ground lamb is delicious – saute some onions and garlic in a little olive oil, add lamb. Spice up with some hot pepper flakes, little cumin, salt and pepper. You can add olives or raisins or both for an exotic flavor
mushroom and onion- saute onions in a little olive oil, add mushrooms and some thyme and saute until liquid evaporates (any mushroom is good, I like to mix varieties), add salt and pepper to taste.
Really, you could fill the burekas with anything. Just make sure that the filling is cooked, because the dough does not take a long time to bake.

Dale approved variation- make a filling with mushrooms and onions, or mashed potatoes and onions with some spices that they will like, or cooked ground beef with some onion/garlic/spices (my favorite when I was a child), or just spinach. Use phyllo dough instead of puff pastry. thaw, take out one sheet, lightly brush with olive oil and place another sheet on top. Continue like this with 3-4 more sheets and proceed in the same manner as before, omitting the egg wash. You don’t need it anyway.. You might want to bake at slightly lower temp (400)
(if you want seeds on top, brush top with a little olive oil, so that they will stick)

Roasted Garlic

Submitted by Suzy Parmeter, 12/30/07.

Ben & I discovered this recipe at one of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco – The Stinking Rose. We modified it to shorten the cooking time (and cut out the anchovie!). Serve with bread or crackers.

Roasted Garlic

3 bulbs of garlic (cloves seperated and peeled)
2 tbsp butter
1 c Olive Oil
1/4 tsp dried basil
salt, to taste

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add butter, basil and garlic cloves to the oil. Cook cloves over medium heat until softened, but before they are browned (approx 5-10 min). Cloves should be soft enough to be spreadable.

Serve with bread or crackers.

Makes approximately 6 servings.

Hot Pizza Dip

Awesome appetizer for parties – tasty and fairly healthy, too! Ben & my friend, Sharaun, first introduced us to this dish, and we LOVED it.

Hot Pizza Dip

8 ounces light cream cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup marinara sauce
4 ounces mushrooms, canned – drained
1 small red bell pepper – chopped
1 small tomato – chopped
3/4 ounce light Mozzarella Cheese — shredded
1 pkg turkey pepperoni (chop slices into quarters)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil — or 1 tsp dried
Italian bread or crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, with a mixer at medium speed, beat the cream cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder until smooth. Spread in a 9″ pie plate. Top with the marinara sauce, mushrooms, pepper, and tomato. Sprinkle the mozzarella, top with turkey pepperoni, and sprinkle the parmesan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Top with the basil. Serve with the bread, crackers or try a Boboli whole wheat thin crust pizza shell, baked & cut it into small strips for dipping