Debi's Recipe Pages

 

 1. Your Starter For Ten

Some thoughts on appetizers and snacks ...

Firstly, I believe that a tasty appetizer makes a great snack and vice versa.

Secondly, I don't want to spend more than ten minutes preparing either. If its a starter, I'm probably making some fancy, time-consuming main course and, if its a snack, why make something that takes longer to prepare than to eat!

So, these are some of my favourite appetizers/snacks:

Smoked Salmon & Roquefort Roulade (For Two)

4 Smoked Salmon strips (approx 2" by 6")

1 1/2 tblsp Roquefort Cheese

3 tblsp Philadelphia cream cheese

1 tblsp Creme Fraiche

Method

Put the Roquefort into a bowl and mash with a fork, then mix in the Philadelphia and creme fraiche until smooth. Spread some cheese mixture onto each of the salmon strips, then roll them up. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and serve with lemon wedges, cucumber, brown bread or toast and butter.

 

Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Paté

8 oz Smoked Salmon

2 oz Philadelphia cream cheese

2 oz creme fraiche

1/2 tblsp lemon juice

Method

Put everything into a blender and pulse until its pretty smooth. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve with brown toast.

Smoked Salmon Stacks

Smoked Salmon finely chopped (use up those leftover bits)

Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Pate (recipe above)

Lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

 

 

Method

Sprinkle the chopped salmon with lemon juice and pepper. Lightly spray the inside of a ramekin with oil. Assemble layers of chopped salmon and salmon mousse in the ramekin, starting and finishing with a layer of chopped salmon. Turn out the ramekin onto a plate and serve with watercress, cucumber and brown bread or toast and butter.

Note

I stole this idea from my cousin, Alison!

 

Easy Salmon Paté

1 7oz can red salmon

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tblsp single cream

Freshly ground black pepper

Method

Drain the salmon and rempove any skin and bones. Put in a bowl with the paprika and mash well. Beat in the cream and season to taste with pepper.

 

 

Asparagus & Prosciutto

Fresh jumbo or medium sized asparagus

Prosciutto (Parma ham)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method

Snap off the bottom end of the asparagus spears. Place in a shallow dish, cover with clingfilm and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Rinse in cold water and wrap a piece of Prosciutto around the middle of each spear.

Serve with a green salad and vinaigrette dressing.

Note

Also good served hot with a cheese topping. Just place the ham-wrapped asparagus in a shallow baking dish, pour over hot cheese sauce or grated cheese and grill.

Avocado & Grapefruit Salad

1/2 an avocado per person

4 segments of pink grapefruit per person

Fresh strawberries

Real mayonnaise

Tomato ketchup

Method

Mix a teaspoon of ketchup into three tablespoons of mayonnaise to make a pink mayonnaise.

Peel the avocado, slice into a fan and arrange on a plate with grapefruit, a couple of strawberries and a dollop of pink mayo.

 

Avocado with Crab and Stilton (For Two)

1 large ripe avocado

1 small tin red crab meat

Stilton cheese

 

 

 

Method

Halve the avocado and remove the stone. Fill the pits with crab and top with crumbled Stilton. Place in a microwave and nuke until the cheese has melted. Allow to stand for a minute before serving as it'll be darned hot inside!

Note

You can just have the avocado and stilton if you don't like crab.

 

Windmill Special

Long French loaf, sliced in half lengthwise

Pear, peeled, cored and sliced

Roquefort cheese

Sun dried tomato spread or dip

Dijon mustard

Real mayonnaise

 

 

Method

Slice bread halves into eight inch sections. Spread with mustard, then mayonnaise. Cover with slices of pear and spread tomato dip over them. Top with roquefort and place under the grill until melted.

Note

This was inspired by a very unusual starter at the Windmill Restaurant in Skiathos Town, Greece. I've adapted it to suit my own taste!

You can try different types of cheese. I thought goat cheese was gorgeous and cheddar's good for people who prefer plainer food.

 

 

Crunchy Quesadillas (For Two)

2 medium sized flour tortillas

8x grated cheese (mix of cheddar, monterey jack)

1 small jalapeno, de-seeded and finely chopped

Olive oil

 

 

 

 

 

Method

Brush one side of each tortilla lightly with olive oil. With the dry sides together, make a sandwich of the two tortillas with the cheese and jalapeno as the filling. Place the tortilla sandwich in a large preheated dry frying pan and cook for a minute or two, until crisp underneath. Flip over and repeat on the other side until cheese is melted. Remove from the pan and cut into wedges. Serve with salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

Note

Traditional quesadillas are heated dry. I added oil to give the crunch.

This is a basic recipe. You can add mango chutney or cooked chicken or shrimp, mushrooms or whatever takes your fancy!

 

Mushrooms with Crab & Stilton (For Two)

2 very large flat mushrooms, cleaned and stalks removed

1 small tin red crab meat

Stilton Cheese

Butter for frying

 

 

Method

Sauté the mushrooms in a little butter. Place tops down in a baking dish or grill pan. Spread the crab meat over the mushrooms and top with slices or crumbled Stilton. Place under a grill until the cheese has melted.

Note

A variation of this is to leave off the Stilton and top with warm Hollandaise sauce. No need to grill in this case.

Melon with Orange & Ginger Syrup (For Two)

6 - 8 slices of melon

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup caster sugar

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

 

 

Method

Put the orange juice, suagr and ginger into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. reduce the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes until syrupy. Put into a clean bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Arrange melon slices on serving plate and drizzle the syrup over them.

Note

You can buy ginger purée in jars which keeps well in the fridge and is far less hassle than grating fresh ginger root.

 

Leek & Potato Soup

1/2 lb leeks, while and pale green part only, washed and chopped

1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

3/4 pint vegetable or chicken stock

Butter for frying

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 oz single cream

 

 

 

Method

Melt a knob of butter in a saucepan. Add the leeks potatoes and onion, cover and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the stock and seasonings, bring to the boil then lower the heat. Simmer, half-covered, for 20-25 minutes, Pour into a blender and puré until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, then swirl in the cream.

Pour into a lidded plastic container and refrigerate until needed. Reheat slowly in a saucepan before serving. For a special finish, add croutons, a little swirl of single cream on top and sprinkle with chopped chives.

Note

Ok, this takes more than ten minutes to make, but it can be presented very quickly once made! In fact, you can serve this soup ice cold (known as Vichysoisse). Refrigerate it at least 3 hours before serving to do so.