Tag Archives: appetizers

prosciutto di parma on a wooden serving board

The History of Prosciutto di Parma, Plus Buying, Storing and Pairing Tips

Soft and supple, with a pleasant saltiness and just enough fat to melt delicately on the tongue, a thin slice of Prosciutto di Parma is an exquisite experience. The artisanal product can be found in many grocery stores, but knowing a few pointers when it comes to buying, storing and serving it can make a world of difference.

prosciutto di parma on a wooden serving board

The History of Prosciutto di Parma

This storied ham has a long history as a treasured ingredient enjoyed both within Italy’s borders and around the world, with a production method that can be dated back as early as 100 BC, when it was praised by Roman statesman Marcus Porcius Cato. The traditional process used for thousands of years incorporating salt, air and time is still largely followed by producers of Prosciutto di Parma today.

As with many foods made in Italy, terroir is especially important — so much so that Prosciutto di Parma, as well as prosciutto made in regions such as San Daniele and Toscano, is registered under a European Union protected designation of origin (PDO). These strict rules are upheld by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma, a group of 140 producers, and the product is traced from breeder to final inspection.

A Peek at Prosciutto Production
According to these rules, Prosciutto di Parma must be produced within the confines of the Parma region using specific breeds of heavy pigs and cured for at least 400 days from the date of first salting (a process that can go as long as three years). As the salt draws out moisture, the meat is tenderized and flavours are intensified. Hams are then tested in five places before being stamped with a crown signifying its origin.

What to Look For At the Grocery Store

When purchasing prosciutto, there are a few ways to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you want.

Related: Advice From a Cheese Master: How to Buy, Store and Eat Cheese

Guarantees of Authenticity
Whether you’re shopping for freshly sliced or pre-packaged prosciutto, there are signs you can look for that guarantee its authenticity. Prosciutto di Parma, for example, has a fire-brand of a five-pointed Ducal Crown on the skin which is always visible when displayed in the deli counter. On pre-sliced packs, look for the Ducal Crown within a black triangle, which is the packaging equivalent to the fire-brand.

Fat and Condition of the Meat
The fat on a piece of Prosciutto di Parma should be pure white, not yellow. It’s ok to see small white crystals, which are the tyrosine, an amino acid that comes from the breakdown of naturally occurring proteins in the prosciutto.

Specify Thickness
If you’re buying at the deli counter, you can ask for different thicknesses, depending on your planned use for the prosciutto. If you’re wrapping it around another ingredient, especially to cook, you may want a slightly thicker slice. For enjoying on its own, Prosciutto di Parma is best cut in paper thin or translucent slices. Ask the person cutting the piece to show you a test slice before proceeding with your order (typically sold by weight) and ask for a taste to see which producer you like best. Also, it’s best to leave the slicing to the professionals with a meat slicer, due to the difficulty of achieving a properly thin cut with a knife at home.

Related: Top 5 Kitchen Knives Every Home Cook Should Own

How to Store your Prosciutto

Make sure that you store it correctly to preserve the quality of the product. Freshly sliced Prosciutto di Parma from the deli counter is best eaten the day of purchase for the maximum effect, but can be stored tightly wrapped in the refrigerator to avoid oxidation.

A whole piece in a vacuum pack can be stored unopened at 8°C for up to six months, but once the packaging and meat are cut, that time shrinks to one month (be sure to tightly wrap the exposed end with plastic wrap). Pre-sliced prosciutto sold in packs should be enjoyed within three days, and kept well wrapped in the refrigerator.

Finding the Perfect Pairing for Prosciutto di Parma

With its balance of soft saltiness and nutty sweetness, Prosciutto di Parma pairs well with a large variety of ingredients and applications from brunch to dinner.

prosciutto di parma wrapped around breadsticks

Cooked Dishes
Although many people think of prosciutto as the star of a charcuterie board laden with cheese, fruit and nuts, it’s also a great supporting player in main course entrees to add flavour to cooked dishes, or as a complementary flavour to meat, seafood or produce. Try adding it to your favourite pasta dish or using it with celery, carrots and onion to build a better soffrito. When Prosciutto di Parma is crisped, it can also add lovely flavour to vegetables such as Brussels sprouts or green beans.

Get the recipe for Aglio e Olio with Peas and Prosciutto.

Fruit and Vegetables
From the traditional melon and figs to more unusual options, the mildness of prosciutto pairs nicely with your favourite seasonal fruit or vegetables, such as fresh spring peas or summer corn, autumn cranberries or winter pears. Try using Prosciutto di Parma to wrap spiced plums or gooey grilled brie with pineapple for a playful twist. For cold applications, prosciutto should be brought to room temperature for the best texture.

Get the recipe for Prosciutto-Wrapped Grilled Brie with Pineapple.

With a Drink
Prosciutto di Parma’s slight sweetness pairs extremely well with a variety of beverages, especially ones like an Aperol Spritz that have good acidity and fizziness to counter the rich mouthfeel of the fatty layer. For other Italian-inspired drink pairings, try the soft bubbles of a Lambrusco, your favourite Prosecco, or a lighter Italian Pilsner or Ale (for non-drinkers, a tonic water would achieve the same palate cleansing effect).

Get the recipe for a Thyme-Infused Aperol Spritz.

halloween charcuterie board with cheese, meat and fruit

How to Make a Spooky Delicious Halloween Charcuterie Board

Cheese and charcuterie, but make it spooky! This easy Halloween-inspired charcuterie board is the perfect crowd-pleaser for your gatherings this year. There’s something for everyone, from white cheddar pumpkins to BOO brie cheese to pepperette witches fingers, and so many other wicked treats.

Tip: When building a holiday-themed board, keep in mind the colours of the season, textures and shapes to inspire you.

halloween charcuterie board with cheese, meat and fruit

Spooky Delicious Halloween Charcuterie Board

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
1 small wheel double cream brie
3 Tbsp red pepper jelly
8 slices of your favourite cheese (we used white cheddar)
6 pepperettes
Handful pistachios, shelled
1 Tbsp honey
5 black olives, pitted
12 slices Genoa salami
1 block spicy gouda, cubed
1 large cluster of black seedless grapes
3 black mission figs, sliced in half
Handful strawberries, cut in half
2 clementines, peeled
1 cup stuffed olives
1 cup beet and sweet potato chips or crackers
6 sandwich cookies
Edible googly eyes, for decoration

ingredients for a halloween charcuterie board

Directions:
1. Grab a large circular or rectangular board and ready all of your ingredients. Wash and thoroughly dry your fruit.

2. For the BOO-Brie: Slice the brie wheel in half horizontally. With letter or shape cutters, punch out cheese on one half. Place the wheel back together and spoon jelly into the holes.

brie cheese being cut for a halloween charcuterie board

3. For the White Cheddar Pumpkins: Using your preferred sliced cheese and a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, punch out the different shapes.

Related: These Easy Sourdough Discard Crackers Come Together With Just 5 Ingredients

cheese slices being cut into pumpkins for a halloween charcuterie

4. For the Pepperette Witches fingers: Cut pepperettes in half. Dip pistachio in honey (to act as the adhesive) and place on the tip of the pepperette.

Related: These Pumpkin Pie Squares With Candied Pecans is the Fall Dessert You’ve Been Craving

pepperettes being prepped for a halloween charcuterie board

5. For the Black Olive Spiders: Cut one pitted black olive in half. Cut one half into 6 long pieces. Arrange the 6 long pieces on the board to resemble legs and place the remaining half cut side down for the spider’s body.

6. Place the different cheeses on the board, spaced apart. Fold the salami into quarters and place them standing up to create height. Arrange the pepperette fingers so all “nails” are  pointed outwards. Scatter the fruit throughout to add a hint of sweetness and pops of colour. Fill in any gaps with stuffed olives, chips, crackers and cookies. Add creepy googly eyes on cookies and grapes for a playful finishing touch.

halloween charcuterie board

Related: This Spooky S’mores Bars Recipe is the Perfect Halloween Treat

3 colourful sourdough toasties on a white countertop

Sourdough Toasties Are So Quick and Easy, Here Are 3 Ways to Enjoy Them!

Smearing a whole bunch of interesting ingredients on a toasted piece of sourdough bread is our kind of meal. Here, we make three different sourdough toasties that mix and match ingredients to bring out sweet, fresh, herby, earthy and zesty flavours. You can get as playful as you want with these, or keep them as simple as possible. The best part? They require minimal-to-no cooking and take literal minutes to put together.

It’s a real “you can’t get it wrong” recipe no matter how you make it. You can enjoy these toasties as a quick and easy meal or snack for yourself, or impress guests with them (seriously, they are so beautiful to look at!). While we like to devour them as an open-faced sandwich, you can always close them up for a heartier toastie.

Related: Bread Baking for Beginners: How to Make the Perfect Sourdough Loaf

3 colourful sourdough toasties on a white countertop

Roasted Grape, Ricotta & Lemon Zest Sourdough Toastie

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 7-9 minutes
Total Time: 10-12 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
1 cup loose red grapes
½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt, plus more for finishing
2-4 slices sourdough bread
1 tsp butter (optional)
2-4 Tbsp ricotta cheese
2 tsp chopped and toasted almonds or pecans
1 tsp lemon zest
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Pepper, to finish

ingredients for sourdough toasties, 3 ways

Directions:
1. Preheat the toaster oven or oven to 400°F.

2. Place the grapes on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle olive oil and sea salt on top. Toss to coat and roast for 7-9 minutes until bursting open. Allow to cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, toast the sourdough bread in a toaster. If preferred, brush the sourdough bread with butter and toast in a pan over medium heat until crisp.

4. Once toasted, spread ricotta over top. Be generous!

5. Load the roasted grapes over the ricotta and sprinkle with chopped nuts, lemon zest and thyme leaves. Finish it with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

Related: These Easy Sourdough Discard Crackers Come Together With Just 5 Ingredients

3 sourdough toasties being prepared on a white plate

Pesto, Feta, Beet and Honey Sourdough Toastie

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
2-4 slices sourdough bread
2-4 Tbsp pesto
1 large or 2 small beets, roasted and sliced into thin wedges
2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp honey
A small handful of fresh microgreens
Sea salt and pepper, to finish

Directions:
1. Toast the sourdough bread.

2. Smear a hearty amount of pesto onto the toasted sourdough and top with sliced beets.

3. Crumble feta over top of the sliced beets and drizzle with honey.

4. Top with microgreens and finish with sea salt and pepper.

Related: Conquer Brunch With This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata and Sourdough Bread

3 sourdough toasties in progress on a white plate

Hummus, Cheddar and Tomato Sourdough Toastie

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 2-5 minutes
Total Time: 5-8 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
2-4 slices sourdough bread
2-4 Tbsp hummus
2-6 slices cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 small cucumber, ribboned
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Toast the sourdough bread.

2. Spread a generous amount of hummus onto the toasted bread and top with sliced cheddar cheese. Place in the oven to broil for 2-5 minutes or until the cheese starts bubbling.

3. Carefully remove the toast from the oven and top with tomato slices. Place the cucumber ribbons over the tomatoes.

4. Finish with sea salt and pepper.

Related: This Vegan Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich Tastes Just Like the Real Thing!

Sourdough toasties 3 ways on a white plate

Love Tamara and Sarah’s toasties? Try their rainbow veggie halloumi burgers next!

keto arancini in white bowl with parsley

Try This Keto Cauliflower Arancini for a Healthy Snack

Yes, you can absolutely enjoy cheesy arancini and wine with a keto twist! Unlike traditional arancini which is often deep-fried, this arancini with a garlic butter wine sauce is a feel-good alternative packed with tons of flavour, texture and of course, good cheese. You can also easily make this vegan by swapping in vegan dairy and eggs.

keto arancini in white bowl with parsley

Keto Cauliflower Arancini

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups riced cauliflower or cauliflower crumbs
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
⅔ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
2 egg yolks
⅓ cup almond flour
¼ coconut flour (optional)
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
½ stick of unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ dry white wine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

keto arancini ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add in cauliflower, oregano, sea salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Related: Keto-Friendly Snacks That Are Simple to Make (and Super Satisfying)

2. Transfer cooked cauliflower into a bowl. Add mozzarella, Parmigiano, egg yolks and almond flour and mix until smooth. Now check the consistency of your batter. If your batter seems a little loose or too sticky, add in coconut flour and adjust as needed. You want to be able to form the shape of a ball without it flattening.

keto arancini ingredients in white bowl

3. Using an ice cream scoop or a ⅓ cup, scoop the batter onto the lined baking sheet until you have 6-8 medium sized balls. In a separate plate, combine almond flour and parmigiano cheese. Roll each arancini ball in the almond-cheese mixture and return to the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter. Once melted, add garlic and saute for about a minute. Add wine and simmer until reduced, about 1 minute. Turn the heat off and stir in fresh parsley. Pour the garlic butter wine sauce over the keto arancini. Top with additional parsley, if desired.

keto arancini in white bowl with parsley

Like Valerie’s keto arancini? Try her air fryer corn “ribs” or healthy oven-fried chicken.

Vegan spinach dip in bowl with toasted pita chips next to it

This Yummy Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip is the Perfect Appetizer

You definitely won’t miss the cheese in this Can You Vegan It? spinach and artichoke dip. The traditional asiago cheese is swapped out for creamy pureed cashews and flavoured with garlic, Dijon and bell peppers. It’s a perfect crowd pleaser (and so quick to whip up!).

Vegan spinach dip in bowl with toasted pita chips next to it

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups unsalted roasted cashews
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp chickpea flour
Juice of one lime
1 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard (optional)
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
4 cups fresh spinach
¾ cup canned artichoke hearts, drained

Vegan spinach dip ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Soak cashews in 2 cups of boiled water for about 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.

2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic powder until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer the mixture into a blender.

Related: Party-Perfect Vegan Appetizers That Anyone Can Make

3. In the blender, also add in cashews, almond milk, chickpea flour, lime juice, Dijon, sea salt, pepper, spinach and artichokes. Pulse until semi-smooth.

Vegan spinach dip ingredients in blender

4. Transfer the puree into a 9-inch round baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Serve with toasted pita chips or veggies.

Vegan spinach dip in bowl with toasted pita chips next to it

Like Valerie’s vegan spinach and artichoke dip? Try her air fryer corn “ribs” (that are trending on TikTok) or her sweet chili chicken wings.

Fresh rolls with green curry dipping sauce

Celebrate Spring With All-Green Fresh Rolls and Green Curry Dipping Sauce

I fell in love with the simplicity of fresh rolls since traveling to Bali. They’re on every menu and they all taste amazing! It might just be the tropical heat that makes them taste so good, but I ate my weight in them. It was on my agenda to master making them at home and I decided that filling them with lots of crunchy green stuff would be the game plan. I love that these are all green because, let’s face it, most of my best recipes are brown so it’s nice to change things up! Even if you can’t quite get the hang of rolling them on your first go, it all tastes the same in the end. And just wait until you get that creamy green curry dipping sauce in your mouth. It’s fantastic!

Fresh rolls with green curry dipping sauce

All-Green Fresh Rolls With Green Curry Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 50-55 minutes
Servings: 10 rolls

Ingredients:

½ cup canned coconut cream
1 ¾ cups tightly packed fresh cilantro, divided
2 Tbsp green curry paste
2 large garlic cloves
2 Tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch chili flakes (optional)
10 dried rice paper sheets
5 large green leaf lettuce leaves (ribs removed), torn in half
2 avocados, sliced
½ English cucumber, ribboned with a peeler
1 ½ cups sugar snap peas
1 ½cups packed microgreens or sprouts
1 ½ cups fresh mint leaves
1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves

Directions:

1. To make the green curry sauce, in a high-powered blender, add the coconut cream, ¼ cup cilantro, green curry paste, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, sea salt and chili flakes. Blend until very smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer, cooking about 2 to 4 minutes, until slightly thicker and reduced.

2. Once all your vegetables are prepped for the fresh rolls, fill a wide shallow dish that’s slightly larger than the rice paper sheets with tepid water so you can soak the whole sheet. Soak one rice paper sheet at a time, for 10 to 20 seconds. You still want to feel the cross- hatch pattern on the surface of the rice sheets. Don’t oversoak or it will be too soft and hard to roll.

Related: Veganism Made Easy: Lauren Toyota’s Fail-Safe Tips for Eating Plant-Based (And Loving It)

3. Assemble the rolls one at a time. Lay the wet rice paper sheets on a work surface. Add a piece of the lettuce and divide the avocado, cucumber, snap peas, microgreens or sprouts and fresh herbs among the sheets in whatever order you like. Roll one side of the rice paper over the filling, tucking it in as you start rolling again and also folding the sides in. Continue rolling until completely sealed. Place on a plate or cut in half if you prefer.

4. Serve with the green curry dipping sauce. Leftover dipping sauce will get thick from refrigeration. Add a teaspoon of water at a time to thin it out until it’s a smooth, dippable consistency.

Cover of cookbook 'hot for food all day'Excerpted from hot for food all day by Lauren Toyota. Copyright © 2021 by Lauren Toyota. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

 

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This Smoked Herring and Green Plantains Appetizer is Haiti in One Bite

This vibrant appetizer — full of plenty flavourful ingredients — is “Haiti in one bite,” says Nahika Hillery.  “Smoked herring (aranso) and green plantains are staples in our cuisine. They’re versatile ingredients and found in many other popular Haitian dishes,” Nahika says. “Can’t find smoked herring? No problem. ‘Chiktay’ means to shred and you can shred any cooked fish or meat to use in this recipe (just skip the desalting) and still enjoy the bold Haitian flavours.”


Chiktay Aranso Stuffed Plantain Cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

4-6 smoked herring
½ cup olive oil
1 finely diced carrot
1 finely diced red onion
1 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 cup finely diced orange bell pepper
2 finely chopped Scotch bonnet chiles (including the seeds), plus 1 whole Scotch bonnet chile
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 whole cloves
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder or to taste
½ tsp adobo seasoning (optional based on saltiness of herring)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 sprig fresh thyme
Roughly chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp lime juice
3 cups frying oil
2 green plantains
Kosher salt
Finely diced tomato, finely diced avocado and sour cream, for garnish (optional)

Equipment:

Tostonera (plantain press), optional

chiktay stuffed plantain cups

Directions:

1. Remove the saltiness of the herring by placing it in a bowl of cold water and allowing it to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the water, then place the herring in a pot of water and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. The herring should taste no more than mildly salty; if it is still salty, boil for another 5 minutes and drain. Shred the herring with 2 forks, removing any large bones.

Tip: Salt is used to preserve smoked herring, so desalting is crucial to avoid an overly salty dish.

2. Pour the olive oil into a large skillet and set over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and red onions and cook, covered, for 2 minutes. Add the green pepper, red pepper, orange pepper and chopped Scotch bonnet chiles and cook, covered, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook an additional minute.

Related: Last-Minute Party Appetizers That Are Beyond Easy

3. Add the shredded herring. Puncture the whole Scotch bonnet chile with the 2 cloves and add it to the skillet. Add the chicken bouillon, adobo seasoning, garlic powder, thyme, some parsley and lime juice. Mix everything well. Cover and let cook down for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard the whole Scotch bonnet and thyme sprig.

4. Pour the frying oil into a large skillet and set over medium-high heat. Peel the plantains and cut each into 4 to 5 pieces. Fry the pieces until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and press each piece of plantain flat; you can use a plantain press or the bottom of a small heavy pan or a plate. Mold the plantains into cup shapes (you can use a lemon squeezer or a tostonera with a rounded shape). Carefully fry the plantain cups again for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the cups on a paper towel-lined plate or on a wire rack and sprinkle lightly with salt (optional).

Related: Top Pescatarian Dinner Ideas That Make Seafood the Star

Tip: Green plantains, not ripe ones, are best to use to create sturdy cups.

5. Fill the fried plantain cups with the smoked herring mixture. Garnish with diced tomato, avocado and sour cream if using and enjoy!

Like this recipe? Try this Guyanese roti or Peruvian cebiche.

Leftover Grits, Ham & Gruyere Cheese = The Ultimate Fried Snack From Kardea Brown

Can a bite-sized fried recipe really be the snack of your dreams? As Kardea Brown proves time and time again with her mouth-watering comfort food on Delicious Miss Brown, the answer is yes with a capital Y.  Ready in 45 minutes, these crispy balls have all the goods thanks to the combo of ham, cheese, paprika, breadcrumbs and leftover cooked grits. It’s the afternoon snack we’ve all been waiting for.

Related: Kardea Brown’s Pan Fried Collard Greens Are the Garlicky, Bacon-y Vegetable Side Dish of Your Dreams

Kardea Brown’s Cheesy Country Ham Grit Balls

Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

Canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup diced country ham
2 1/2 cups leftover cooked grits
1 cup grated smoked Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Kosher salt

Miss Kardea Brown rolls her Cheesy Country Ham Grit Balls with Spicy Mayo in breading, as seen on Delicious Miss Brown, Season 3.

Related: 32 Easy Air Fryer Recipes That Are Simply Delish

Directions:

1. Fill a large Dutch oven two-thirds full with oil and heat over medium-high heat to 360°F.

2. Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook just until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add the grits and cheese to the bowl and stir until combined. Using wet hands, scoop 1/4 cup of the grit mixture, roll it into a ball and place on a platter or large plate. Repeat until all the grit mixture is used.

3. Whisk together the flour, paprika and cayenne in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, add the eggs. Add the panko to another separate shallow bowl. Dip each grit ball into the flour mixture and shake to remove any excess before dipping into the eggs and then into the panko, spinning to coat completely.

4. Add the grit balls to the Dutch oven in batches, frying until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a sheet pan lined with a wire rack and immediately sprinkle with salt.

Looking for a Southern-style finish to your fried snack? Kardea Brown’s Caramel Apple Cake should hit the (sweet) spot.

Watch Delicious Miss Brown and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Watch the how-to recipe video here:


How to Make Bruschetta in 15 Minutes (Plus the Best Bruschetta Bar for Nights Inside)

Nothing says staying indoors quite like a delightful seasonal spread bursting with fresh ingredients. We absolutely love to use the best of the season, and one summer and early fall favourite is tomatoes. Fresh, juicy and perfectly ripe at the end of summer, we’re always looking for ways to make them a star. Our new favourite is to assemble a quick and easy bruschetta bar when spending time inside with loved ones (because we’re desperate to switch things up these days!).  With a few simple ingredients, you can showcase the bright, herbaceous flavours of this beloved app and present an impressive spread in just a few minutes.

How to Make Bruschetta (And the Best Bruschetta Bar!)

bruschetta-bar-spread

Related: From Homemade Bread to Pickles, 20 Recipes to Master While Indoors

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced or 12 cocktail tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup Vidalia onion, minced
1 clove garlic, grated
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 cup labneh or Greek yogurt
3/4 cup ricotta
3/4 cup hummus
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 Tbsp za’atar
1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Olive oil

bruschetta bar assembled

Related: Ranking Canadian Retailers Offering Grocery Delivery Right Now, by Price

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Place labneh, ricotta, hummus, walnuts, parsley, basil, parmesan and pine nuts into small bowls and place on platter.
3. Sprinkle labneh with za’atar and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle ricotta with herbs, if desired.
4. Assemble all items on a platter and serve with plates for guests to assemble their appetizers.

Looking for more easy peasy recipes? Trust us: these snack plates are the easy dinner option you need this week!

The Perogie Recipe 85 Years in the Making

Mary Didur was born in 1925 on a farm in Wakaw, SK, about 90 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. The child of Ukrainian immigrants, she grew up eating — and cooking — dishes with Eastern European flavour. At 18, Didur attended cosmetology school in Saskatoon, then found work at the local hair salon. After the war, she met her future husband, John, at a community hall dance. A modern woman, she continued to work after getting married and having two children, eventually opening her own salon, La Chez Marie. Here, this Saskatoon grandmother shares with us her famous recipe for perogies.

perogies on blue platter with side of sour cream

“The first time I made perogies, I was probably five or six years old,” says Mary. “I learned in the old-fashioned kitchen of the farmhouse where I grew up one of eight children: two girls and six boys. There was a spare table where we used to roll out the dough. I found it fun; kids like to work with dough.”

“The recipe has gone through so many changes,” Mary explains. I actually got my basic recipe from a friend and she got it from somebody else. Each time it has changed hands, it has been improved. My mother probably got her recipe from her mother, in Ukraine.”

Related: Tasty Dumplings Recipes From Around the World

“When my mother was making the dough, she used just flour, water and salt. Today, I use milk and oil and sometimes an egg, too, and that makes a difference; you get a richer dough. My mother taught me that the dough must be soft, and not pasty; we used to work with it to make it smooth with good elasticity.”

“At that time, my mother made her own cottage cheese, and we’d use it as a stuffing, mixed with potatoes and onions sautéed in butter. Now, I do a mix of cottage cheese and cheddar. Mother wouldn’t have had access to cheddar; she used what she had. We now eat them with mushroom sauce and sour cream, or bacon bits and onions. They accompany a meal, like you could have fried chicken with perogies and mushroom sauce instead of potatoes.”

“You can stuff perogies with all kinds of things. It was a tradition in our family to have poppyseed rolls at Christmastime, and one time I had leftover poppyseeds, so I tried making a perogie filling with those and some honey. They didn’t go over so well! I’d say Saskatoon berries or plums are especially delicious as a filling. Perogies are just a bit harder to make with fruit, because of all the juices.”

“We’d eat regular perogies at least once every two weeks when I was growing up. It was lively at family dinnertimes with all those people at the table. And the next day, if there were any leftover perogies, we’d fight about who could deep-fry them to eat as a snack.”

“With all those unmarried boys still living at home there were a lot of perogies to make for one sitting. When boys over the age of 15 eat them, they’ll eat at least 20 each. Today, my granddaughter is married to a man who has a 15-year-old boy, and the last time they were here, they had a competition to see who could eat the most perogies. He ate 32. Still, 20 is the average.”

“My two sons didn’t ever learn to make perogies; they just ate them. But my granddaughter, who is now in her 30s, learned in her teens. Every time she used to come over, she’d say, “Grandma, no perogies?” So one day, I told her she’d better learn to make them with me the next time she visited. And she did. She really loves them.”

Grandma Mary’s Perogies With Potato-Cheese Filling

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 ¾ hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 100 small perogies

Watch the how-to video here:


Ingredients:

Dough
4½ cups flour
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp salt

Potato-Cheese Perogie Filling
6 large red-skinned potatoes (not baking potatoes), peeled and halved
4 to 6 oz medium cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, diced, sauteed in butter
Salt and white pepper to taste
½ cup dry cottage cheese (“not the sloppy kind” says Mary)

Directions:

Dough
1. Mix together flour, oil, milk, water and salt. Knead dough until smooth. Let stand for 30 to 60 minutes.

2. With rolling pin, roll out really thin. Cut dough into squares. (I prefer to make smaller perogies, so they’re 2 x 2 inches/5 x 5 cm.) Spoon about 1 tbsp (15 mL) of potato-cheese filling onto each square. Fold dough into triangle and pinch edge closed to seal in filling.

3. Add to pot of boiling water. Once floating, cook for 1 to 1½ minutes.

Potato-Cheese Perogie Filling

1. Boil potatoes as you would for mashed potatoes. Drain.

2. While potatoes are hot, stir in cheddar. Cover until cheese is melted, about 1 minute.

3. Stir in sautéed onion; using potato masher, mash until smooth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Using clean cloth, squeeze out all moisture from cottage cheese. Stir into potato mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Published September 21, 2015, Updated February 1, 2020

This Jalapeño Popper Dip Will Be Your New Favourite Super Bowl Appetizer

Everything you love in a jalapeño popper is whirred into a cheesy, party-perfect dip. Spicy jalapeños, crispy bacon, cream cheese and a crunchy topping come together for a delicious, ultra-indulgent dip. Serve this up with veggies and tortilla chips at your next party for a crowd-pleasing riff on the new-classic appetizer.

Related: Score a Touchdown with These Vegetarian Finger Foods

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:
6 strips bacon
2 (250 g) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Sliced veggies or tortilla chips for serving

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 10 min. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve 2 Tbsp bacon grease in a medium heat-safe bowl. Once bacon is cool, chop or crumble into pieces.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in mayonnaise until fully combined. To cream cheese and mayonnaise, add Cheddar, jalapenos, green onions and bacon pieces and mix to combine. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly into a 9-inch round ovenproof dish.
4. Stir panko into reserved bacon grease and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling at the sides. Serve warm with tortilla chips or veggies for dipping.

Make-Ahead: You can make this dip ahead of time (without the panko topping, and prior to baking) and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Warm refrigerated bacon renderings in the microwave until liquefied and stir in panko. Sprinkle cream cheese mixture with panko mixture and bake, adding 5 minutes to the cooking time (40 to 45 minutes instead of 35 to 40 minutes).

Nothing gets a crowd going like a good app, so here are 35 last-minute party appetizers that are beyond easy.

cheeseball bites

Cheese Ball Bites Are the Ultimate Make-Ahead Party Appetizer

Your favourite party-perfect appetizer made mini! A simply adorable starter for the holiday season, these mini cheese balls are easy to put together and can be rolled in a variety of delicious ingredients. Serve with fresh bread for spreading, and you’re set for festive entertaining. No time? Make your gathering even easier by preparing and rolling the cheese ball bites (without coatings) up to two days ahead (wrap and refrigerate). When guests arrive, roll in your desired coatings, then dive right in.

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 24

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Ingredients:

Cheese Ball Bites
1-½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 brick (250g) cream cheese, softened
2 green onions, minced
1 tsp paprika
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper

Coating
3 Tbsp chopped, toasted walnuts
3 Tbsp chopped dried cranberries
3 Tbsp chopped crispy fried onions
3 Tbsp minced chives
3 Tbsp (3 strips) cooked, crumbled bacon
3 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds

Serving
Sliced fresh baguette
Crostini
Crackers

Directions:

Cheese Ball Bites
In a large bowl, stir together cheddar cheese, cream cheese, green onions, paprika and cayenne pepper. Form mixture into 24, 1 Tbsp balls (tip: dampen hands with a little water if mixture is sticking).

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Coating
Roll 4 balls into walnuts, pressing lightly to adhere, and place on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining balls and coatings (4 balls per 3 Tbsp of topping).

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Serving
Serve finished cheese ball bites with fresh baguette, crostini or crackers.

You can also try these 25-minute everything bagel smoked sausage rolls, along with our best last-minute party appetizers that are beyond easy.

seafood tower

How to Make a Stunning Seafood Tower

The holidays are a time of year when we indulge — and there’s just something ultra festive about a vibrant, chilled seafood tower. Typically looked at in awe while dining at a contemporary seafood restaurant, you might be surprised to realize that making a tower chock-full of delicious ocean bounty is quite easy to do at home. All it takes is a little preparation and final assembly right before your holiday party guests arrive. Just follow these simple tips and everyone will be impressed!

seafood tower

Buy Good Quality, Sustainable Seafood

When you’re serving friends and family a big smattering of seafood, you want it be as fresh and delicious as possible. While some grocers offer fresh shellfish at their seafood counters, you’re better off going to a local fishmonger.

Prepare Seafood Same-Day, if Possible

Shellfish like mussels, clams and oysters, can be purchased a day or two ahead, and live safely in your refrigerator until you’re ready to prep them. The latter two can be cooked and chilled hours before eating, but set aside a few minutes to shuck the oysters right before assembling the tower.

Chill Tower Tiers Before Serving

Got a fridge full to the brim with holiday dishes and bottles of wine? Well, one of the handy things about our Canadian winters is the fact that our back deck or balcony can double as a large freezer (or fridge if you’re closer to the west coast). Giving the tower layers an hour or so to get cool will help keep the ice from melting too quickly while you’re assembling.

seafood tower

Have the Right Tools Handy

While you can remove all of the lobster meat beforehand, guests like a little hands-on activity at a party, so make sure to have the necessary seafood picks and seafood crackers (nut crackers work well in lieu) for people to use. Napkins too!

Don’t Have a Tower?

Although the tiered presentation definitely adds a “wow” factor to the table, using a couple large serving trays and laying out the myriad of shellfish over ice, studded with lemon wedges and ramekins of sauce is pretty appetizing, too.

seafood tower

How to Make a Seafood Tower

Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Tower
Crushed ice (enough for each tower level, approximately 10 cups)
1 lb fresh mussels (steamed and chilled)
1 lb fresh manila clams (steamed and chilled)
12 freshly shucked oysters
24 large cooked prawns
1-2 lbs cooked lobster (claws, arms and tail separated)
⅔ cup seafood sauce
1 lemon (halved and cut into thin wedges)

Spicy Lemon Aioli
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sambal oelek
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
¼ tsp ground black pepper

seafood tower

Directions:

1. Evenly distribute crushed ice onto each of the 3 tower tiers.

2. On the bottom tier, lay out all of the clams, ½ of the mussels and ½ of the oysters.

3. On the outside of the second tier, alternate 1 oyster with 4 prawns. Work your way around the tier. Take lobster claws, arms and tail and place around the centre of the tier.

Seafood Tower

4. Fill any empty space on the second tier with remaining mussels.

5. On the top tier, place ramekins of sauce and fill remaining space with lemon wedges.

Related: Tasty Lobster Recipes Anyone Can Make

6. Place all ingredients for the spicy lemon aioli in a small bowl and stir to combine. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve with seafood.

spicy lemon aioli

Published December 19, 2016, Updated December 1, 2019

baked-brie-rolls

Baked Brie Becomes a Show-Stopping Appetizer with Pull-Apart Bread Rolls

Store-bought pizza dough makes this show-stopping appetizer come together in a matter of minutes. A wheel of Brie is already a crowd-pleaser, but it is transformed into a truly sensational holiday dish when baked with fresh buns and served warm from the oven. Serve in the cast iron pan at the table so guests can tear off pieces of bread and dig in to the gooey, melty cheese.

BakedBrie3

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients:
600g pizza dough
170g Brie wheel
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
Pinch each salt and pepper
Jam (cranberry, fig or lingonberry)
Fresh figs and rosemary sprig (to garnish)

BakeBrie1

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide dough into 75g pieces. Roll each into a tight ball; set aside.
2. Using sharp knife, remove top rind of Brie. Place Brie, cut side-up, in centre of cast iron pan. Arrange pizza dough rolls around cheese.
3. In small bowl, combine melted butter, rosemary, salt and pepper. Brush butter mixture over pizza rolls.

BakedBrie2
4. Bake in 400°F oven until top of pizza rolls start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375°F; bake until pizza rolls are golden, hard on the outside and sound hollow when tapped, about 15 minutes.
5. Spoon a little jam over Brie; top with fresh figs and garnish with rosemary sprig.

Looking for more inspiration?  Try Our Cheesiest Appetizers Ever.

antipasto-cups-on-cutting-board

Salami Antipasto Cups are Your New Favourite Make-Ahead Appetizers

Parties, parties and more parties rule this time of year. From ugly sweater get-togethers to cookie swaps to annual potlucks, your calendar seems to fill up quickly in this season of celebration. With party-going comes the need for fun and flavourful appetizers you can toss together with ease, no matter the occasion.

These cute little salami antipasto cups are a perfect holiday party date. Each savoury cup is packed with delicious and fresh flavours that are guaranteed to make you a favoured guest. The best part? You can use virtually any and all kinds of salami, fresh herbs, cheese and veggies you have on hand for a delicious array of flavour combinations. Plus, you can make these bites in advance, and use a muffin tin to safely transport to your party.

stuffed-salami-antipasto-cups

Salami Antipasto Cups Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 24 cups

Ingredients:
24 slices round salami
½ cup  mozzarella cheese, torn or cubed
½ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
⅓ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
10 basil leaves, torn
2 Tbsp roasted red peppers, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

salami-cup-ingredients

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375F. Line 24 mini muffin tins with salami. Fill each cup with a 1-inch loose tinfoil ball. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until crispy. Let cool completely.

2. Toss together remaining ingredients. Spoon into cooled cups.

Looking for more tasty ideas? Try these Holiday Party Appetizers Your Guests Will Love.

Apple and brie roses holiday appetizer

Make These Beautiful Brie and Apple Cinnamon Rose Appetizers

These pretty little appetizers are as easy on the eyes as they are to eat. Tender apple and creamy Brie all wrapped up in a delectable crispy, buttery puff pastry cup with a cinnamon sugar swirl. These are sure to be a hit with your guests – and will make it onto your roster of simple and delicious appetizers for the holidays!

Brie and Apple Cinnamon Roses

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Makes: 16

Ingredients:
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 sheets (two 450 g packages) frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
1 egg, beaten
1 Granny Smith apple, very thinly sliced
400 g Brie cheese, thinly sliced

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray two muffin tins with cooking spray (you’ll need 16 cups total).
2. Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
3. On a lightly floured surface, unroll one sheet of puff pastry (keep the other chilled). Cut into four 2½-inch wide strips. Egg wash ½-inch of one long end and one short end of each strip.
4. Place apple slices along the opposite long edge from the egg wash, extending slightly over the edge. Top with slices of Brie cheese. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar.
5. Starting at unwashed short side, roll dough, upwards. Press lightly to seal edge. Pinch bottom to seal and place into prepared tin. Egg wash the exposed pastry lightly. Repeat with remaining strips, sheets of pastry and ingredients.
6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until pastry is golden. Carefully remove pastries from tins immediately and place on wire cooking rack to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Love this recipe? Check out 10 more puff pastry holiday appetizer recipes.

Peach-and-Proscuitto-toast-on-plate

These Fresh, Easy Appetizers Will Save Your Summer

Summer entertaining doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, it can be as easy as toast … especially when you can lean on the abundance of beautiful fresh stone fruit that is soon to be in season. We’d love to show how to turn your fruit bowl into an easy summer appetizer, with a baguette and some simple toppings.

Peach-and-Proscuitto-toast

Peach & Prosciutto Crostini Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
1 demi baguette, cut diagonally into 12 slices
12 slices prosciutto or speck
1 ripe peach, cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup basil, torn
Good quality olive oil to garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then drape 1 piece of prosciutto over each toast. Top each with 2 peach wedges. Garnish toasts with pistachios and basil, then finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Plum & Ricotta Crostini Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
1 demi baguette, cut diagonally into 12 slices
3/4 cup ricotta
1 ripe plum, cut into thin slices
2 Tbsp balsamic glaze
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 Tbsp tarragon, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then smear 1 Tbsp ricotta over each toast. Top each with 3 plum slices. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, then garnish with pine nuts and tarragon.

Cherry & Goat Cheese Crostini Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

Ingredients:
1 demi baguette, cut diagonally into 12 slices
1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper to garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool slightly, then divide cherries between toasts. Top with goat cheese and almonds. Drizzle with honey, then garnish with thyme and a crack of freshly ground black pepper.

Fruit-Toasts-spread

Looking for more recipes? Try these Sensational Summer Appetizers Your Guests Will Love.

Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe copy

Jalapeño Popper Dip is Your Favourite New Make-Ahead Appetizer

Everything you love in a jalapeño popper is whirred into a cheesy, party-perfect dip. Spicy jalapeños, crispy bacon, cream cheese and a crunchy topping come together for a delicious, ultra-indulgent dip. Serve this up with veggies and tortilla chips at your next party for a crowd-pleasing riff on the new-classic appetizer.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients: 
6 strips bacon
2 (250 g) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Sliced veggies or tortilla chips for serving

Dip prechop

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 10 min. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve 2 Tbsp bacon grease in a medium heat-safe bowl. Once bacon is cool, chop or crumble into pieces.
3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in mayonnaise until fully combined. To cream cheese and mayonnaise, add Cheddar, jalapenos, green onions and bacon pieces and mix to combine. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly into a 9-inch round ovenproof dish.

Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe

4. Stir panko into reserved bacon grease and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling at the sides. Serve warm with tortilla chips or veggies for dipping.

Make-Ahead: You can make this dip ahead of time (without the panko topping, and prior to baking) and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Warm refrigerated bacon renderings in the microwave until liquefied and stir in panko. Sprinkle cream cheese mixture with panko mixture and bake, adding 5 minutes to the cooking time (40 to 45 minutes instead of 35 to 40 minutes).

Nothing gets a crowd going like a good dip, so here are over 25 party-perfect options to dive into.

Bacon-Wrapped Cheesy Jalapeño Ghouls

The thrill of stuffed jalapeños is that you never know how spicy a pepper will be — a true trick or treat! A fun twist on Halloween mummies, these crowd-pleasing ghoulish appetizers are stuffed with a creamy filling of sharp Parmesan cheese, yogurt, mustard and thyme. The ghouls are then wrapped in smoky bacon, and gain vision with diced black olives.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 8

bacon-wrapped-jalapeno-ghouls1

Ingredients:

For Filling:
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp grainy mustard
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme

For Assembly:
4 large jalapeños, cut lengthwise, seeds and veins removed
4 strips bacon, cut lengthwise into thin strips
2 pitted black olives, cut into small dice (for “eyes”)
Food colouring gel or melted dark chocolate (for “eyes”)

bacon-wrapped-jalapeno-ghouls2

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a large baking sheet with foil and add jalapeños, cut side-up.
2. In a small bowl, combine filling ingredients. Divide evenly between jalapeños and smooth out top.
3. Wrap thin strips of bacon around jalapeños, leaving a small gap near the stem for the eyes. Up to this point (precooked), you can cover and refrigerate the mummies for up to 1 day.
4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until bacon is crispy and cheese is bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes.
5. Place two pieces of diced olive on each jalapeno (the “eyes”) in the small gap near the stem. Serve warm.

8-Minute Garlic and Parmesan Pan-Fried Shrimp

This dish embodies the spirit and heart of Italian cuisine; fresh, simple ingredients with a few key flavours like garlic and oregano. Pan-frying the shrimp with lots of Parmesan gives this dish wonderful contrasting texture.

Perfect for a light summer lunch, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with chunk of toasted ciabatta bread slightly dipped in a good quality olive oil.

panfried-garlic-shrimp2

Garlic and Parmesan Pan-Fried Shrimp

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 dozen shrimp, deveined, head removed and tail on
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
Handful finely chopped basil leaves
Zest of one lemon + juice
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided

Directions:
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, lemon zest and chopped basil to combine.
2. Add shrimp and 1/2 Parmesan, and toss well with hands to coat.
3. Heat pan on maximum heat, add shrimp and cook each side until pink, about 3 to 4 minutes total.
4. Remove from heat and squeeze lemon juice on top; cover with the rest of the Parmesan and serve immediately with slices of toasted ciabatta or baguette.