Appetizer Recipes

Shrimp & Melon Canapés with Rio Grande Dipping Sauce

Shrimp & Melon Canapés with Rio Grande Dipping Sauce
2/3 cup Rio Grande Vinaigrette (see RECIPES for vinaigrette directions).
1 pound cooked medium or large shrimp
1 large honeydew melon

Reserve 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette; marinate shrimp in remaining vinaigrette for 15-30 minutes.
Remove peel from melon.  Cut melon into ½” cubes (as many cubes as shrimp).

To Serve:
Drain marinated shrimp.
Drizzle some of reserved vinaigrette on serving plate.
Use toothpicks or decorative picks to attach each shrimp to a melon cube.  Set atop marinade on plate if desired.  Garnish plate with snipped chives or parsley if desired.

TIP:  See SERVEWARE page for where to find interesting decorative picks.

Wasabi Ginger Goat Cheese Canapés

Wasabi Ginger Goat Cheese Canapés
8 oz softened goat cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dry white wine
2 tablespoons non-fat half & half or cream
1/2 package Wasabi Ginger Dip mix
1 to 2 cucumbers, sliced ¼” thick

TIP:  use English cucumbers, they’re virtually seedless

TIP:  To remove excess water from cucumber slices:

Place cucumber in colander.
Toss cucumbers with 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt.  Coat all pieces evenly (or layer pieces and salt each layer),
Let rest 20-30 minutes.
Press gently on sliced cucumbers, draining excess liquid.
Run cold water over cucumbers to remove excess salt and let rest for 10 minutes.
Pat slices dry with paper towel.
Place cucumber slices in one layer on a sheet of paper towels and blot dry by pressing with a second paper towel.
Repeat last step until all excess surface liquid has been absorbed by paper towels.

Combine all ingredients except cucumbers in food processor.
Pulse just until well blended (should be spreadable).  If not, add cream or half & half 1 teaspoon at a time and pulse until desired consistency is reached.  TIP:  Scrap down the sides occasionally so ingredients completely combine.
Chill at least 1 hour (preferably over night).

To Serve:
Dollop or pipe prepared mix onto crackers or cucumber rounds (pictured).
Chill lightly covered for 1 hour or until ready to serve to let flavors blend.
Let rest at room temperature about ½ hour before serving.

Jamaican Orange Crab Balls

 Jamaican Orange Crab Balls

2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons of orange marmalade
2 cups of crab claw meat
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onions
3 tablespoons of finely chopped celery
1 cup crushed almonds or corn chips
1package Jamaican Orange Dip mix

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except cracker crumbs or almonds until well mixed.
Chill for at least an hour for mix to become firm enough to handle and flavors to set.
Shape mix into 1: balls.
Roll in cracker crumbs or almonds.
Cover and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

To Serve:

Arrange crab balls directly on serving plate with toothpicks or decorative picks, or place in seasonal mini cupcake wrappers and set on serving plate.

Garnish with snipped parsley if desired.

Venetian Kalamata Olive & Fig Tapenade

Venetian Kalamata Olive & Fig Tapenade

3/4 cups dried figs
1 cup Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 package Venetian Mix for Olive Tapenades

Soak figs in boiling water to cover for about 7 minutes to rehydrate.
Drain figs, reserving 1 tablespoon of soaking water.
Place all ingredients in food processor.  Process just until olives and figs are finely chopped.
Chill at least an hour to allow flavors to set (over night is even better).

To Serve:

Bring tapenade to room temperature.  Serve with crackers or baguette slices.

With Goat Cheese:  Slice 10 oz goat cheese into ¼” slices.  Lace slices in a circle on a platter.  Mound tapenade in center hole.  Garnish with walnut halves and/or thyme leaves if desired.

TIP:  This is a beautiful presentation, but goat cheese crumbles easily.  If this happens, mold pieces back together, or serve in log form with tapenade surrounding the cheese.

With Cream Cheese:  Place a block of cream cheese on a platter.  Spoon tapenade over cheese, or mix tapenade into cream cheese and sprinkle with chopped walnuts to garnish.  Serve with crackers or baguette slices.

Rio Grande Refried Black Bean Dip

Rio Grande Refried Black Bean Dip with tortilla chips and ale
1 can (15-16 oz) refried black beans
1/3 cup medium salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 package Rio Grande Dip mix

Combine ingredients in microwave safe bowl.  Mix thoroughly.
Heat in microwave until hot and bubbly (about 1to 2 minutes.
Transfer to serving dish if desired.

To Serve:

Garnish with more shredded cheese and, if desired, chopped green onions.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Ginger Sesame Asian Layered Dip

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup green onions, slivered for finely sliced
3/4 cup thinly sliced baby mushrooms
3/4 cup cooked shrimp or shredded chicken
1/3 cup chopped bean sprouts (mung bean sprouts are best & most available)
1/3 cup chow mein noodles or chopped cashew nuts

Combine mix with softened cream cheese & mayonnaise.
Spread mixture over top of flat plate to within ½” of edge.
Cover and chill for at least an hour to let flavors blend and cheese mixture to set.

To Serve:
Sprinkle remaining ingredients evenly over cream cheese mixture, ending with noodles or nuts.

Serve with baked or fried won ton wrappers or crackers.

TIP:  See the MAKE FROM SCRATCH page for Baked Wonton Wrappers recipe.

Wasabi Lemon Edamame Hummus

Wasabi Lemon Edamame Hummus with fresh raw sugar snap peas, yellow squash and mushrooms for dipping, served with white wine

1 pound cooked edamame (soy beans)
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
2 Tablespoons dry white wine

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.
If needed, add more wine or water 1 teaspoon at a time and process until desired consistency is reached.
Chill at least 1 hour, preferably over night, to allow flavors to blend.
Bring to room temperature before serving.

To Serve:
Place hummus in serving bowl.
Serve with fresh raw veggies, pita bread, pita chips or potato chips.