Friday, January 7, 2011

New Years Eve Appetizer Recipes

New Year's party appetizers should be fancy, but not so fussy that you can't enjoy the party. Here are some delicious appetizers to serve this New Year's Eve that are appropriately classic and yet easy enough to keep you mingling, kissing and toasting the New Year.

Sundried Tomato and Red Pepper Party Meatballs

Serves 8

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg,  lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 pound lean ground beef

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking oil (alternatively, use a nonstick aluminum foil and skip the spraying step); set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, sundried tomatoes, red peppers, parsley, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, crushed red pepper, and salt; add the egg and stir well.
  4. Knead the ground beef into the breadcrumb mixture with your hands until well mixed; roll the meat into small meatballs (no more than 1-inch) and place close together on the baking sheet.
  5. Slide the meatballs into the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned all around and cooked through; flip all the meatballs once during cooking. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Prosciutto Wrapped Roasted Asparagus

Serves 8

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Thinly sliced prosciutto (1 slice per 2 asparagus spears)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.
  2. Hold the asparagus firmly in your hand and snap the ends off; discard ends. Place the asparagus on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper; slide the asparagus into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Wrap each asparagus spear with a half slice of prosciutto; arrange on a platter; chill until ready to serve.

Fillo Clams Casino

Yields 30 shells


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and drained
  • 1 can minced clams, drained
  • 1/2 cup dried Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 packages fillo shells


  1. Combine butter, shallots, ground pepper, and salt in a small bowl; form a ball shape and wrap securely with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, until firm (but not frozen or solid).
  2. Crumble bacon into a small bowl; stir together with minced clams.
  3. In another small bowl, combine bread crumbs, Romano, and parsley.
  4. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and arrange the fillo sheets on top; divide the bacon mixture evenly among the shells; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture, also dividing equally among the shells; cut the butter mixture into 30 pieces and add one to each shell.
  5. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and broil on high. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the butter is melted. Be sure to watch closely to avoid burning. Serve warm from the oven or cooled.

Pea Pod Chicken


  • 8 ounces white chicken meat
  • 8 ounces snow pea pods
  • 2 quarts boiling water
  • Gravy: 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Slice chicken and cook in boil water for 10 minutes. Add pea pods and cook for 2 minutes. Drain.
  2. For Gravy: Bring 3/4 cups water to a boil. Add remainder of ingredients. Stir constantly until thickened. Add chicken and pea pods. Cook for one minute. Serve

A Nice Chicken Fried Steak Covered In Rich, Creamy Gravy.

There is a very vocal group of people who, when push comes to shove, want nothing more than to belly up to a nice chicken fried steak covered in rich, creamy gravy.

After New Year's Eve, at least some of those people think they have to give up their favorite food, but those people are wrong! With a little creative cooking, even chicken fried steak can be healthy. Of course, there are going to be some people who don't care and just want the best chicken fried steak imaginable.

Healthy Chicken Fried Steak

At some level, calling this chicken "fried" steak is a bit of a misnomer. We're going to bake it, but it will be encrusted with Panko breadcrumbs for a nice crunch.


  • 2, 4-ounce eye-of-round steaks that have been tenderized*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups skim milk (divided)
  • 1 cup Panko
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Pepper to taste
*You can ask your butcher to tenderize the steaks. If you do it yourself, make sure to really beat the steak so that it gets tender, otherwise you will have beef chewing gum.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Trim all fat from the meat; sprinkle the salt and pepper over the steaks and let them sit until they are at room temperature. Next, mix the egg and 1 cup of milk; dip the steaks first in the egg mixture, then in the Panko; let them rest so a good crust forms.
  3. Next, heat the olive oil in a skillet until it is very hot over medium-high heat; cook the steaks 2 to 3 minutes per side then put them in the oven for 8 minutes.
  4. When the steaks are done, remove them from the skillet and let them rest. Quickly add the flour and stir in the drippings left in the pan (if the pan is dry, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil). Let the flour mixture cook for a minute, then add the milk; bring to a boil and add the black pepper. When the gravy is thick, serve.

Not-So-Healthy Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken fried steak the unhealthy way can only mean one thing: butter.

  • 2 cube steaks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon each onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper
  • 1 cup Panko
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups heavy cream

  1. Take the steaks out of the refrigerator and sprinkle them with salt and pepper; let them rest until they are at room temperature.
  2. Next, mix the eggs and milk in one bowl. Mix the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper in a second bowl and put the Panko in a third.
  3. Dip each steak into the egg/milk mixture, then into the flour, then into the egg/milk mixture a second time, and finally into the Panko; cover both sides in Panko and let the steaks rest.
  4. After about 5 minutes, slice the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and melt them over medium-high heat. Immediately after the butter is melted, add the oil; wait about 30 seconds for the oil to be very hot and then add the steaks; cook 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  5. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil/butter mix and add the flour; mix and let it cook for about 1 minute, then add the heavy cream and bring it to a boil; add black pepper to taste, reduce the heat to medium, and serve when the gravy is thick.

Healthy Tuna Casserole

Tuna noodle casserole is a dish that just screams home, comforting home. For many, a warm bowl of tuna and noodles wards off the stress of the day and the bite of the cold. Fortunately, for those who love the dish and want to get healthy in the New Year, there is a way they can keep enjoying their tuna noodle casserole. Also fortunate is the fact that those who have other resolutions can have their own decadent version to enjoy.

Here is a healthy tuna noodle casserole recipe and a less-healthy recipe variation.

Healthy Tuna Casserole

A healthy tuna noodle casserole lives and dies by what binds it. Rich, decadent casseroles can be made with butter and carbs and cream. Really good, and good for you, tuna noodle casseroles can be made with low fat cream of mushroom soup.

Tip: When you make this tuna dish (or another) try to use tuna in a pouch; the taste is far less metallic than what you get in a can.

  • 16 ounces whole wheat penne noodles
  • 2 cans low fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 8-ounces tuna
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons bread crumbs or crumbled crackers

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a pot of well-salted water, boil the whole wheat pasta; cook it about 2 minutes less than the package suggests; drain.
  3. Mix the noodles, cream of mushroom soup, tuna and celery in a mixing bowl and pour into a baking dish; top with bread crumbs. Bake until the casserole is bubbly, about 20 minutes.
  4. Tuna noodle casserole the not-so-healthy way
  5. Luxurious tuna noodle casserole is all about taking the basic healthy version and adding a lot of extra ingredients. Butter, cream, cheese, and Panko all give this tuna noodle casserole something decadent.

Less-Healthy Tuna Casserole Variation

  • 16-ounces egg noodles
  • 2 cans low fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a pot of well-salted water, boil the egg noodles; drain.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients, except the Panko, in a mixing bowl and pour into a baking dish; top with Panko. Bake until the casserole is bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Ginger Glazed Salmon

Take a handful of ingredients you probably have on hand and you can prepare this dinner-party worthy salmon dish in minutes.

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons grated, peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 salmon fillets
  1. Combine everything except the salmon in a large re-sealable plastic bag (make sure the bag is large enough to hold the marinade and all of the fish); add the salmon to the bag, press out any remaining air in the bag and seal it; turn the bag until all of the fish is evenly coated; place the bag in the refrigerator and marinate the fish for at least 30 minutes. Take the salmon out of the bag and set the marinade aside (don't throw the marinade away).
  2. Preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet evenly with nonstick spray; place the salmon on the baking sheet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the fish is cooked through (thicker fillets will need extra cooking time); baste the fish frequently with the marinade you set aside.
  3. Bring the remaining marinade to a boil in a small saucepan; let the sauce boil for about a minute, stirring frequently. Serve the sauce with the salmon. Serves four.

Salmon with Spiced Corn Relish

Serves 4


For Relish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For Salmon
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 4, 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets


For Relish
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large sauté pan over medium high heat; add red bell pepper, cooking until they begin to soften, about a minute; stir in the corn and green onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn begins to brown in spots, about 5 minutes; add garlic and thyme and cook just until you can smell the garlic and thyme, about a minute.
  2. Add the wine and stir until the wine evaporates; remove from heat and stir in honey, lemon juice, and remaining oil; add the coriander and parsley; season to taste and set aside.
For Salmon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray; place the fillets on the baking sheet. Combine olive oil, coriander, and paprika in a small bowl; spread the spices evenly over the salmon fillets and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, just until salmon is cooked through.
  2. Arrange salmon on a platter and serve with the relish.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

French Onion Soup Soup (Video)

Ingredients 4 large yellow or Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of sugar
2 quarts of beef broth
1/2 cup brandy (optional)
1 french baguette, sliced and toasted
swiss cheese, either emmenthal or gruyere


1. Slice 4 large onions, using a tight, thin slice.
2. In a large dutch oven, add extra virgin olive oil to coat the pan and then add the onions. Cook them over medium heat for 12 minutes, until they're tender and golden.
3. Add brandy if you like and let the alcohol burn off.
4. Next add sugar and beef broth, cover and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes.
6. Ladle the soup into a bowl.
7. Place a slice of baguette on top.
8. Cover with shredded gruyere and place slices of emmenthal over.
9. Place the bowls on a baking pan and broil until the cheese is melted.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

By: Carol Crane 
"On a cold Canadian winter night this soup just
 hits the spot. Serve with warm cornbread and
salad. Or go Mexican tonight."


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 4 large tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon white sugar
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream


  1. Roast peppers: rub oil on peppers and put them under the broiler until blackened, turn to get all sides. Put into paper bag and seal. Let rest for 15 minutes, then peel will come right off and core and seeds will fall out. Chop peppers. Reserve one chopped pepper; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil over moderate heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato, bell peppers (except reserved), thyme, paprika, and sugar. Cook over medium-low heat until all the tomato juices have evaporated, about 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in chicken stock, salt and pepper, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce (if using). Bring to boiling, lower heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Strain soup, reserving broth. Place solids in food processor or blender, and process until fairly smooth. Add puree back into broth.
  5. Melt butter and stir in the flour, cook for 1 minute. Stirring slowly, add the broth/vegetable mixture. Add reserved chopped pepper and bring to boiling. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Ladle into bowls and add 1 tablespoon of sour cream to each bowl. For a lighter soup, this is also delicious without the sour cream.

Cajun Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe

An authentic Louisiana recipe with a rich and spicy fresh tomato based roux with fresh garlic, bell peppers, celery and onions mixed with crawfish and shrimp. A little time consuming but well worth it!! Serve over steamed rice with hushpuppies and/or crackers on the side."