RECIPE: Can you recommend an easy but tasty appetizer recipe?

claudia_2010September 24, 2010


I am basically a non-cook, however I am having a work related dinner and I do know how to make one impressive asian fish dish that comes out great every time. However, I was wondering if any of you "real" cooks can tell me what might be an appropriate and tasty appetizer to make and serve before the fish/vegetable dish I am making.

Thank you in advance for any advice!

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This one is as simple as can be, tastes good and looks good on the plate.

A can of chunk pineapple --or buy the rings and cut them.
Marachino cherries

Precook bacon until it's crispy but still pliable--or to make it even easier buy the precooked bacon.

Thread one end on a wooden skewer then put on a chunk of pineapple on. Weave the bacon back over the pineapple and add a marachino cherry, weave the bacon back. Continue doing this until the bacon slice is done. You'll have fruit with bacon woven through it.

Before serving heat in the oven or microwave until just warm and serve.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 4:06PM
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If you are serving an Asian main course then maybe one of these two recipes will work for you. Won ton Soup could be good choice too but making your own won tons may be a bit more work than you were thinking.

Chinese Spring Rolls - Rachel Ray Via Woodie

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper chopped fine
2 stalks celery from the heart chopped fine
6 water chestnuts chopped fine
1/2 small onion chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh bean sprouts a handful -- chopped
2 (6-ounce) cans lump crab meat drained
12 ounce Cooked chicken
2 tablespoon dark soy such as Tamari
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves eyeball it
4 (13 by 17-inch) sheets defrosted phyllo dough

3 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add oil to a preheated skillet over medium to medium high heat. Saute pepper, celery, water chestnuts, onion 2 to 3 minutes. Veggies should still have a little crunch. Transfer to a bowl.Add bean spouts, crab, soy and thyme. Combine well with a spoon.

Paint half of a sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter and fold sheet in half. Pile a few spoonfuls of filling 2 inches from the bottom of sheet and leaving 2 inches at either side of sheet. Fold bottom flap up and side edges in, then roll up and over until you reach the top of the sheet. Your pastry will look like a spring roll. Touch the edges and sides of your roll with melted butter and place roll seam side down on a pastry sheet.

Repeat with the remaining sheets of phyllo dough. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden all over.

Chinese Potsticker Dumplings

NOTE: This reads harder than it is!
Make these in advance and freeze . Cook starting at step 3 from frozen. These are so delicious!

2 garlic cloves
2 green onion
a small piece of ginger (about 1 1/2" long)
1 pound lean ground pork, chicken, or turkey
1/3 of a head of small Napa cabbage
2T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
about 40 round dumpling wrappers(aka gyoza wrappers or dumpling skins)
3T vegetable oil, divided use

Garlic: Peel. Crush through garlic press into a large bowl
Green onions: Cut off and discard the root ends. Peel off and discard any withered outer layers. Cut crosswise into 1/4" pieces. Add to the bowl with the garlic.
Ginger: Grate the cut side of the ginger through the finest holes of a grater until you have a generous teaspoon. Add the grated ginger to the bowl.
Cabbage: Remove and discard any wilted outer leaves. Slice crosswise very thinly. You should have 3 cups.
1. Make filling: To the bowl containing the above, add the meat, cabbage, soy sauce, sesame oil and 1 1/2 t of salt. Mix well.

2. Form Dumplings: Set out a try or a couple of large plates for finished dumplings. Set out a cup of water. Set out dumpling wrappers and cover with a damp towel to keep moist while forming dumplings. Remove one wrapper and lay it in the palm of one hand. Dip the index finger of the other hand in the cup of water. Use finger to moisten the wrapper edges evenly. With a small spoon, scoop 1 T of filling into the center of the wrapper. Fold up sides to meet edges, enclosing filling. Press the edges together to ensure a complete seal. Pleat sealed edges of dumping in 5 or 6 places to pull the dumpling into a crescent shape--pinch pleats firmly to seal. Set dumpling upright on a tray or plate (sealed edges pointing upward). Gently press each dumpling downward to flatten its bottom, making it stable. Cover with a damp towel. Continue making until all filling is used up.
3. Fry-steam and serve: Set a large (10") skillet (with a lid at hand) over medium heat. Measure 1 T of oil. When hot lay 1/3 of the dumpling (not packed tightly) in the pan. Fry until golden brown-about 3 minutes. Dribble in 1/2 c water into skillet around the edge (will splatter a little). Cover and cook until most of the liquid evaporates-about 6 minutes. Uncover and fry 2 to 3 minutes longer to evaporate all the water and crisp the bottoms again. Use a spatula or tongs to remove dumplings to a serving platter, laying them on their side, so you see the browned bottom. Keep dumplings warm in a 150F oven while cooking the test. Wipe out skillet and set back on heat. Add oil and continue as above.
Makes about 40 dumplings, enough to serve 4-6 as a light meal or 8-10 as an appetizer

Pot Sticker Dipping Sauce:
1/4 c soy
1 1/2 t sesame oil
1 T vinegar
1/2 t chile paste (available in Asian markets)
Mix all together. You may like it better after adding a T or so of water, a t of sugar or a little grated ginger.
Makes about 1/3 c sauce ~enough for about 4 people

Won Ton Soup

NOTE: Make the wontons in advance and freeze. There is no need to add the pork slices to the soup. This is a great starter to a Chinese meal.

Won Tons

1 pound boneless pork, finely ground or 1/2 pound ground pork and 1/2 pound finely chopped raw shrimp
1/2 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
2 whole green onions, finely chopped
1 TBSP soy sauce (low sodium)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp dry sherry
1 egg
1 package won ton wrappers

Combine all but the egg an wrappers until well mixed.

Beat the egg in a bowl.

Place a wrapper on the counter with a point facing you(cover the rest). Mound 1 tsp of the filling in the corner facing you. Fold that corner over filling and roll up to just below the two side corners. Moisten the two side corners with egg. Bring side corners together below filling, overlapping slightly and pinch to seal.

Place on a baking sheet and cover while you do the remaining skins.

AT this point you can use, refrigerate for 8 hours or freeze.

For the soup.

Won Ton Soup

For each serving:

1 cup chicken broth
1 green onion sliced on the angle
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Napa cabbage or bok choy
4-6 won tons

Heat the broth in a large pan. When simmering add green onion and cabbage and cook 3 minutes (don't boil)

Meanwhile drop won tons into large bowl of boiling water. Allow to float to the surface and then boil for 4-6 minutes until meat is cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop into hot broth.

OPTIONAL: Garnish each bowl with 1 or 2 BBQ pork slices and season with a few drops of soy sauce or sesame oil.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Check out the recipes on the kt Gathering place, there are several appetizers and many recipes

Here is a link that might be useful: Our Recipes

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 4:04AM
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For me, easy appetizers would be: shrimp (steam or roast them or buy them already cooked) with cocktail sauce; dips from Whole Foods (place in nice small bowl on tray and surround with broccoli florets and baby carrots); Costco sells scallops wrapped in bacon that you just pop in the oven - they are sooo delicious!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 7:00PM
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You can try some olive garden breadsticks.

Here is a link that might be useful: olive garden breadsticks

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 7:36PM
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