Showing posts with label hors d'oeuvres. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hors d'oeuvres. Show all posts

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tortilla Roll-Ups #Recipe @PegCochran

These are easy and fun appetizers that lend themselves to experimentation--don't like this ingredient--substitute that.  Or add a favorite or something completely new.

This is a mash up of several recipes found on the Internet.  We took them to a party and they were a big hit and are easy to make.  You just need to leave enough time for them to chill properly.

8 ounces sour cream 
8 ounces of cream cheese that has been left out to soften 
1 can diced green chilies, drained   
1 small can--4.5 ounces--chopped black olives 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack 
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (or more to taste) 
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt (or more to taste)
5 10-inch flour tortillas

Place sour cream and softened cream cheese in mixer and blend well.  

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Spread a layer of mixture on each tortilla and roll tightly. 

Wrap each tortilla in plastic wrap and chill overnight or for several hours.

Slice, discarding ends (or eating them before the party) and serve with salsa.

Coming September 6 and available now for pre-order!

Read the first chapter on my web site!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hot Crab Cocktail Spread

Doesn't that name--"Hot Crab Cocktail Spread"--just scream 1950s and 1960s to you?  This recipe is from my mother--carefully written in perfect penmanship on a recipe card.  It's actually very good, very easy and perfect for the pre-Thanksgiving feast or the many opportunities to entertain during the upcoming holiday season.

8 oz package cream cheese
1 tablespoon  milk
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
7.5 ounce can of crabmeat
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons slivered almonds

I could not find a 7.5 ounce can of crabmeat so I used the size that is the same size as a regular can of tuna--I think it's 6 ounces.  If you want a more "crabby" taste, I would use two cans.

Cream the cream cheese with the milk and Worcestershire sauce.  I used a food processor, but you can also use a mixer.  Flake the crabmeat and mix in along with the chopped green onions.  I threw it all in the food processor which made for easy mixing.  Place in a greased 8 inch pie plate, top with slivered almonds and bake at 350 degrees until heated through--approximately 15 minutes.

The original handwritten recipe.

Drain and flake crabmeat

Combine cream cheese, scallions, Worcestershire, milk.

Place in greased pie plate, top with slivered almonds and bake until hot and bubbling

Enjoy on crackers or slices of crusty bread

I transferred my spread from the pie plate to a mini-slow cooker I had purchased recently to keep it warm since we were bringing it as our contribution to a party. It worked out perfectly and there was nothing left at the end of the evening!

 Lots of delicious food in my Gourmet De-Lite series--Allergic to Death is the first book.

My protagonist in my Lucille series believes that feeding her family is one of the most important jobs she has.
Lots of sweet tea, lemonade and chess pie in my Sweet Nothings series!

Catch up with me on my web site or on Facebook or Twitter @pegcochran

Thursday, June 26, 2014

French Onion and Olive Flatbread: Ooh la la!

LUCY BURDETTE: Every once in a while I succumb to a new cookbook, even though I honestly have more than I could ever use. My latest weakness was the new tome from David Liebovitz, called MY PARIS KITCHEN. 

And wouldn't you know, it was my turn to bring the hors d'oeuvres to supper club.(Why is it that everyone fights to make dessert?) So I turned to the new

cookbook and voila--found an onion flatbread that looked delicious.

Except for the anchovies (which I know I should like, but I don't)...and maybe the thyme...

With tweaks, here is my olive-onion flatbread, adapted from the recipe in My Paris Kitchen.


For the dough:
3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Prepare the dough by mixing the yeast, the water, and half a cup of flour. Stir well and let this sit until the mixture bubbles (about 15 minutes.) Then add the salt and rest of the flour, knead this until it forms a smooth ball. (If you poke your finger in the dough, the print should pop right out.) Pour the olive oil into a clean bowl, add the dough, and turn it so all sides are oiled. Let this rest, covered by a clean tea towel, until doubled in size. 

While the dough is rising, prepare the topping.

For the topping:
30 black olives (I used Kalamata but I think Nicoise would be better if you can find them and are willing to pit them)
3 Tbsp good olive oil
4 large Vidalia or other sweet onions
3 inch-long sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Peel and thinly slice the onions and put them in a large frying pan with the olive oil, over low-medium heat. Add the garlic, salt and sugar, and cook the onions until they are golden but not burnt. WARNING: this can take a looooong time. I let mine cook for almost two hours. They still weren't golden but I had to move on!

To put the flatbread together, roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper and move to a large cookie sheet. You want the dough flat, not risen like a Chicago-style pizza! Let the dough rest 15 minutes, then apply the onion topping all the way to edges. Sprinkle with olives and rosemary.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until crust is lightly browned. 

Cut into squares using a pizza cutter and serve room temperature or warm. Alongside some icy French rose??

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mushroom Turnovers

by Peg Cochran

This is a fun and elegant appetizer for a cocktail party.   I decided to make them for our friends' going-away party because I wanted to do something a little special.  They are retiring to North Carolina which is very sad except we will have someplace to spend next winter--just kidding Ann and Jim!

I stole this recipe from my mother-in-law--ssssh, don't tell her.  She is very possessive about her recipes, but I raided her recipe box when she was out of the kitchen and scribbled this down.

The turnovers are easy to make although they do take some time to roll and fill.  If you want to make them ahead of time, freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and when they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag.  No need to defrost them--just bake them a little longer.

One glitch is that I forgot to write down the oven temperature.  I baked them at 350, and they took much longer to get golden than they should have.  Next time I will try a 400 degree oven.  The pastry puffs up very nicely and the mushroom filling is delicious.

The recipe calls for making 3 inch rounds.  Mine are a little smaller because I wanted these to be more bite-sized.  Also, there is more mushroom filling than you need but you can get creative with it and perhaps use it as a filling for an omelet.


3 3-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter softened
1.5 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt


3 TBL butter
1 large onion, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
2 TBL flour
1/4 cup sour cream

Pastry:  Blend cream cheese and butter.

Add flour, salt and work until smooth.  Gather into a ball and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut into 3 inch rounds (Hint: it's easier to roll out if you divide the dough into quarters.  Keep dough you are not using in the fridge to stay chilled.)

Filling:  Heat butter and cook onion until soft.  Add chopped mushrooms and cook 3 minutes.  I chopped my mushrooms in the food processor so the pieces are very small.

Add seasonings, sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in sour cream and cook until thickened.  Let cool slightly before filling pastries.

Place approximately one tsp of filling on each round  Fold over and crimp.  Place on greased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees.


Just out--the third book in my Gourmet De-Lite series featuring Gigi Fitzgerald.

Catch up with my on my web site or Facebook or @pegcochran  Sign up for my newsletter on my web site!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Dreaded Thanksgiving Hors d'oeuvre Dilemma

Thanksgiving dinner is undoubtedly the biggest meal I cook all year. It's not that we have so many people but everyone seems to have a special dish without which it's just not Thanksgiving. I must not be the only person who feels this way because I just heard about a woman who contacted all her guests in advance to be sure no one will be disappointed at Thanksgiving dinner.

Since there's so much food, I tend to be inclined to skip hors d'oeuvres. I mean, really folks, just sit down and eat! But every year, somebody comes in search of just a little nosh before we eat. Even if we're ten minutes from eating. Even if the turkey is already on the counter, beautifully done. I guess that makes me sound like a Thanksgiving Scrooge, which I'm not – really!

So it's always a dilemma. I don't want anything that will tie up the oven. I'll be busy making gravy and juggling all those other dishes, so I really don't want to have to make anything time-consuming. No one wants anything heavy. I know you're thinking so put out a cheese platter and be done with it.  Um, yes, that's what I usually do. A quick platter that everyone ignores!

This year, as I perused recipe ideas that ran from odd (balsamic drizzled radicchio) to weird (whipped ricotta with chilies and green olives) to too plain (popcorn), I stumbled across this brilliant idea in Food and Wine. Mini mac and cheese!

It does tie up the oven for 10 minutes, but I can live with that. Best of all, it can be made a day ahead, so when chaos reigns in the kitchen, all you have to do is pop them in the oven. Unless someone eats a lot more than one or two, they won't spoil their appetite for dinner, and there are very few people who won't eat mac and cheese.

The recipe from Food and Wine by Grace Parisi had a couple of great features. She used Parmesan to line mini-muffin tins, which adds a lovely little salty crunch to the sides. And she tossed in an egg yolk to keep everything together. Very clever.

Now, to be honest, I think you could make this with your favorite mac and cheese recipe. Just cut it in half and be sure to add an egg yolk. I used an extra sharp cheddar and cream cheese, just to give it that creamy texture I like so much. When it comes out of the oven, turn a deaf ear to pleas to eat it (they smell divine!) for five minutes. They have to cool a little bit to set, otherwise you'll have a big mess.

Three-Cheese Mini Macs
by Grace Parisi in Food & Wine
tweaked by moi
Makes 24+

1/2 pound elbow macaroni 
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing  
2 tablespoons plus two tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour  
3/4 cup milk 
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 ounces soft cheese (brie or cream)
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten  
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs

Use a 24 cupcake mini-cupcake pan or two 12 cupcake mini-cupcake pans

Cook the macaroni according to package and drain.

Preheat oven to 425. Brush each well of the pan with butter. Sprinkle the wells with a total of two tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Over the sink, turn the pan to distribute, much as you would to flour a cake pan.

Melt the butter in a pot and whisk in the flour. Cook about two minutes and whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil and cook five minutes. Add the cheeses and whisk until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolk and the paprika.

Fold in the macaroni. Use a measuring spoon to add a heaping tablespoon to each well. Mix the remaining two tablespoons of Parmesan with the Panko bread crumbs and sprinkle over each well.

*At this point you can can cover and refrigerate overnight.*

Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Use a thin knife to loosen and remove.

Did you know that Daryl Wood Gerber, Lucy Burdette, Julie Hyzy and I are having a contest? You could win a fabulous basket from our favorite cookbook store, Salt & Pepper Books!

Click here to start!

And my dogs and cats are still looking for more dogs and kitties to join their MURDER, SHE BARKED street crew! Leave a comment here today to enter!

Riggins, the Bookends Literary Agency Mascot!

Sunny says it's not just for dogs.
Laura Baker Collins's Alona

JJ Murphy's Lemon & Dunkin

Happy Thanksgiving! May your blessings be many.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How to make Nuts on Horseback (a tasty holiday appetizer) from Cleo Coyle

My "Nuts on Horseback" are pictured above. Each is a little package of amazing flavors and textures (sweet and salty; soft and crispy) perfect for holiday appetizers, cocktail canapé trays, or a delicious amuse-bouche before a fall or winter dinner. So what inspired this recipe?

Cleo Coyle is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries,
which are set in New York's
 Greenwich Village.
As you know, I’m usually referred to as "that coffee nut," but I’m nuts about other things, too, including the mounted cops of New York. And, no, I am not referring to them as "nuts on horseback." One mounted police officer recently saved a great many lives when he helped stop a car bomb attack in Times Square. Him I’d call a hero on horseback.

Other cities (including Philadelphia, Boston, and San Diego) have retired all of their police horses, but New York is still employing them. The main reason is that mounted cops can go where cars can’t, such as the city's parks and pedestrian malls, including the one in Times Square. 

If you plan on visiting the city for the Thanksgiving Day parade, holiday shopping, or other seasonal activities, keep an eye out for these mounted officers. Here's a photo I took of one in Times Square... 



As for my recipe, you will find it below. Nuts on Horseback is my own adaptation of a retro treat from Victorian England that’s still popular in the UK for Christmas dinners. You can read more about its interesting history below...

~ Cleo 

Cleo Coyle’s
Nuts on Horseback

This is a lovely appetizer for fall and winter: Simply take bite-sized pieces of butternut squash; wrap each in a small strip of maple bacon; secure with a toothpick; brush with pure maple syrup; and roast. 

How much bacon? How much maple syrup? What temperature? I answer all of those specifics in my recipe below and share some tips for making these babies without a hitch.

If you're curious about the odd recipe name, it comes from the recipe that inspired it: Devils on Horseback, in which you stuff a dried fruit (usually a prune or a date) with an almond or with mango chutney before wrapping it in bacon and cooking it. 

As culinary adaptions go (that is, new ones emerging from existing ones) Devils on Horseback was simply a twist on yet another recipe: Angels on Horseback, in which you wrap a raw oyster or scallop in bacon, securing it with a skewer before broiling it. You can read more about these two recipes by clicking here

In my own version, the "nut" comes not from an almond but from the butternut squash, a delicious winter squash. It's in season now so you should find some nice ones at your local grocery.

And if you’re wondering (as I did) why "bacon" is represented as "horseback" in these recipe names, there are two theories: One is that the bacon wraps around each filling like legs wrapped around a horse. The other comes from English history circa 1066 when Norman warriors, before riding into battle, covered themselves in thick slabs of bacon. They did this for two reasons: (1) to make themselves look grotesque—a bonus for scaring villagers during their invasions—and (2) the bacon, when very thick, also worked as well as leather armor for protection. Apparently, they cooked and ate the bacon—if they survived the battle! Read more here.

Now let’s get cooking…

Cleo Coyle's
Nuts on Horseback

Bacon-Wrapped Butternut Squash Bites

Makes about 80 appetizers


1 butternut squash (2 to 2.5 pounds)

12 pieces maple bacon

3/4 cup pure maple syrup


Step 1 – The Squash: First preheat your oven to 400° F. Peel, core, and slice up your butternut squash into bite-sized pieces. It’s important to make them small enough to cook completely through in the roasting time given. If you wish to use larger pieces, you will need to parboil them to make sure they cook through. See my note below on parboiling. 

Tip on Peeling: Use a Y-shaped peeler for the best results in peeling the squash and make sure you peel away all of the skin and whitish rind, which is bitter. Your pieces should be completely orange.

Step 2 - The Bacon: Cut each strip of maple bacon into thirds. Cut each third into two long strips for 6 pieces per strip of bacon. Wrap the squash pieces in the bacon slice and secure it with a toothpick.

Step 3A MUST: Line a half-sheet pan or baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. The maple syrup will blacken as the appetizers cook and the parchment paper or foil will provide easy cleanup and prevent your pan from being ruined.

Step 4 – Using a pastry brush, splash each piece generously with maple syrup.

Step 5 – Roast the appetizers in a well-preheated 400° F. oven for about 25 minutes. You're watching for the pieces of squash to cook through without burning the bacon. If you cut your squash slices small enough, this will work. However, if your squash slices are too large, the bacon will burn before the squash is cooked—solution: try parboiling the slices before cooking the next pan of them (see my instructions below).

PARBOILING TIP: If you want your pieces to be larger than bite-size, you can parboil the butternut squash for 3 to 4 minutes (no more!) to make sure they cook through by the time the bacon is cooked. 

(Optional) Directions for parboiling: bring a pot of water to a full, rolling boil. Avoid being splashed with hot water by using a ladle or large spoon to carefully lower your pieces into the water. Cook for three to four minutes and then use a slotted spoon to remove them, douse them in cold water, and drain well. Follow the recipe from Step 2 onward, and you'll definitely want to...

Eat with  joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

December 3rd...

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

"Top Pick"
RT Book Reviews

A Mystery Guild
Featured Alternate Selection

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
~ Publishers Weekly

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.