Starters

TWO HORS D’OEUVRES

INGREDIENTS

  1. Salmon Roll-ups
  • 4 thin slices of smoked salmon
  • 1 small container whipped cream cheese (or non-dairy substitute like tofu)
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish (approx)
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Toothpicks

 

PROCEDURE

Mix the cream cheese with the horseradish (to taste). Stir in the chopped chives and salt and pepper. Spread mixture on salmon slices. Roll up each slice and secure with a toothpick. Chill for an hour. Slice into pinwheels and serve with lemon slices.

2. See “Spinach Balls”

 

Spinach Balls

Who knew spinach had balls? But they are delicious, and a home made treat. They also freeze very well, so make a bunch ahead and then microwave them for a few minutes and serve.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 large onion. Finely chopped
  • 1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach. Thawed and drained.
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 ounces instant bread stuffing mix
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

 

PROCEDURE

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Mix eggs, onion, spinach, butter, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic in a medium bowl. Stir in stuffing mix and Parmesan Cheese and chill in refrigerator for one hour. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Makes 25 spinach balls. Can be frozen and re-heated.

TAMALE PIE

I picked up this trick from watching Rose Reisman when I “guested” on her TV show. I didn’t get the recipe, but I got the idea, and it’s a good one. It’s a great appetizer or even a main course. And it is totally vegetarian. Plus “manly men will like it,” says Rose.

INGREDIENTS

  • I regular-sized can black beans (or kidney beans in a pinch).
  • 1 small can corn nibblets
  • 1 tiny can hot peppers
  • or 4 cut up jalepeno peppers

or I can spicy canned tomatoes and omit ketchup (The idea here is to put some zest into the beans and corn which are rather dull).

  • 1/4 cup or more, ketchup
  • 4 soft tortillas
  • 1/2 lb. Grated cheese (Cheddar or Jack)
  • 1 small container Parmesan cheese.

 

PROCEDURE

The real trick here is to get a spring form pan that is the same size as a tortilla (or vice versa). Or cut the tortilla to fit. Pre-heat oven to 375º.

Drain the beans and then mash them partially, so there are still some whole ones. Mix in drained corn kernels and peppers and ketchup until mixture is a spreadable consistency.

Place a tortilla on the bottom of the pan.

Spread 1/3 of the bean mixture on top of the tortilla. Then 1/4 of the grated cheese. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan.

Add another tortilla. Then 1/3 the bean mixture, then the cheeses. Continue layering. Finish with the fourth tortilla and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden.

Remove from oven. Run a knife around the edge between the pie and the pan. Let sit for fifteen minutes or longer and serve in wedges.

FISH CAKES

I love fish cakes. I really do. God forgive me. But I do. I even like ‘em made with canned salmon. The best I ever had was at The Ivy in London. The restaurant added smoked haddock to the fresh and it was sublime. I have tried a similar combo with smoked and fresh salmon. This recipe calls for fresh or frozen halibut but almost any firm fish will do.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp grated fresh peeled ginger
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound skinless, halibut fillets (thawed) cut into 1 inch pieces

 

PROCEDURE

Pre-heat oven to 350º

Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Divide fish into 6 or 8 equal portions and shape into patties. Dip them in additional panko if you like, to help form a crust.

Heat 2 tbsps of vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the patties and cook two minutes on each side. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. (Don’t forget to use oven mitts for the frying pan handle)

Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and serve. Some tartar sauce and a slice of lemon add some flair.