Posts Tagged ‘Appetizers’

Chicory month continues with another take on stuffed endive!

From Dish Nicole:

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Endive is a curious veggie.  One would think that is a lettuce when in fact it is part of the chicory family which includes bitter leafed vegetables such as radicchio or escarole.  Endive, not just for salads, takes on various forms of deliciousness and can be prepared in a multitude of ways.  I have had Belgian endive au gratin, in salads, soups and even stir-fry’s, all delicious.  Perhaps one of the best characteristics of endive is the way the leaves, when separated, create perfect cups for stuffing.  Stuffed endive seems to be a staple passed hors d’oeuvres at events.  Recently my pals were hosting a house warming party and I decided to stuff some endive and bring it over to share.  They were mess free and tasty if I do say so myself.

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4 Belgian Endive Heads (there are about 8-10 leaves per head)

½ cup of gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

½ cup of dried cranberries chopped

½ cup chopped chives

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper


Wash and dry your endive and set aside.  Next you will want to dice up all of your other ingredients and mix in a large bowl adding the olive oil a little at a time while mixing.

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Taste and add the salt and pepper as needed.  You can prepare this mixture several hours before serving.  When you are ready to serve, separate the endive leaves and place on a platter, stuff and devour.

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While being an extremely easy recipe to make, the presentation is beautiful with all colors and textures and your friends will LOVE it!  At least mine did.


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Chicory month continues here at SLD.  Check out this tasty bite From Dish Deanna:


When I came home for Passover this past week, my mom and I got so wrapped up in cooking for the holiday, we forgot that at some point we needed to take a break and eat. In the midst of making the matzo ball soup, brisket, fish, and other yummy Passover dishes, we had to figure out something that would be tasty for us to munch on, but easy enough to make so that our main focus could be on the other dishes.

It is truly amazing what your mind can think up when you’re feeling creative. We looked in the fridge and had crabmeat and endive. That seemed workable for us. We decided to make little endive boats, filled with crabmeat, red cabbage, and a special sauce we whipped up on the spot!



1 endive: 6 small endive leaves, peeled off

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

1 teaspoon of ketchup

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ cup chopped red cabbage

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In a small bowl, mix the mayo, ketchup, and Dijon. Feel free to play around with the ingredients depending on which flavors you like best. I happen to enjoy Dijon mustard so I may have added a little more than I listed here. Next chop the red cabbage. At this time you can lay your leaves out for stuffing!

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This recipe is really all about preference. Some may prefer to toss the crabmeat in the sauce, whereas I drizzled it on top and then sprinkled some red cabbage over it to layer. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, and quadrupled depending on how many leaves you want to make! It makes for a great appetizer or even a healthy main. So one night when you’re feeling adventurous, play around with the proportions and find what you like best!


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From Dish Rachelle:
Clam chowder
I’m pretty sure that in my lifetime I’ve done some serious damage to the clam population of the Northeast. Some of my favorite dishes – and my family’s favorite dishes – center around this one simple ingredient. I grew up eating fried clam strips with tartar sauce with my Mom at Howard Johnson’s at brunch on Sundays and at fish fry places on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore. I always ordered the chalky New England clam chowder at Friendly’s when I was little (and we know what a big part Friendly’s played in my childhood). I’ve known my father to cook three dishes, and three dishes only: 1) “Cheese eggs” (aka scrambled eggs with American cheese) 2) Linguine with white clam sauce and 3) Baked clams (see the bottom of this post for a neat trick he taught me). I love Zuppa di Clams and even raw ones on the half shell with cocktail sauce. This is really just starting to sound like a survey of New Jersey restaurant menus.

I’ve made Manhattan clam chowder before (“red”) but never New England. I was very pleasantly surprised. Sorry, clams – this might become another go-to.

Ingredients (makes 2 entrée-sized portions or 4 appetizers)

18 raw whole clams, shells on
2 strips bacon, chopped
Olive oil
½ large yellow onion, chopped
splash of dry white wine
1 large baking potato, diced small
clam stock (see below)
1/3 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
Ground pepper

Start by steaming your clams open. In a large, deep saucepan, place rinsed clams (shells on) in about a half-inch of water. Cover and steam over medium-high heat, giving the pan a shake every few minutes. Cook until the water looks foamy and the shells are all wide open, about 10 minutes.
Steamed clams
With tongs, remove the clams to a bowl. Do not drain or discard the clammy water at the bottom of your saucepan, because this will become the base of your stock! Remove the clam meat from the shells and reserve for later. Place the empty shells back in the saucepan and add about a pint and a half of water, covering and bringing it up to a simmer. Let this cook while you prepare your other ingredients.
Coming out of their shells
Clam stock
Cook the chopped bacon in a soup/stew pot over medium heat. When it looks about done, add the onions and a little bit of olive oil so they don’t stick, and soften. Deglaze with the white wine and add the potatoes.
Diced potato
Return to your clam stock and taste it. It will likely be very salty. Remove shells* and pour the liquid through a cheese cloth to remove any sand or grit that has come from them, and then pour the strained liquid straight into your soup pot. Add some fresh water if necessary to cover ingredients and dilute the salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, mostly covered, about 15 minutes.

Check your potatoes and make sure they’re done. If so, roughly chop the clam meat and add to the pot along with any liquids that emerged. Add the corn and stir. Cook, mostly covered, over low heat for another 5 minutes.
Chopped clam
Add heavy cream and if you prefer a thicker soup, the cornstarch (you can dissolve it in a little bit of warm water first to make a paste so that it’s not gritty in your mouth). Plate and season with ground pepper.

*You can toss them, or rinse and save them for another use. My Dad used to make baked clams using canned clams – easy, but without the benefit of shells for easy baking and nice presentation. No problem: when he ordered clams casino at a restaurant, he used to ask the waiter if he could keep the empty shells so that the next time he felt to urge to make baked clams he’d have them on hand.
Mutual admiration society, clam edition

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From Dish Gwen:

Recently two events came together in my life, leading me to make mushroom soup. The first was that I got a new blender, after six months of having a busted old useless one taking up valuable shelf space in my kitchen. The second was that I started growing oyster mushrooms. I’ve been making this soup for years but I don’t make it often. Now that I’ve made it for my 20 month old son and he loved it, I have a feeling it will become part of our regular household menu. Plus it takes less than a half hour to make so it’s kind of a perfect dish.

– ½ lb oyster mushrooms, chopped (you can also use shiitakes, buttons, portabellos, whatever!)
– ½ cup chopped white onion
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ teaspoon white pepper
– 2 cups whole milk
– fresh parsley, chopped


In a deep sauce pan, simmer the olive oil, garlic and onion on medium/high heat until they begin to brown, then throw in the mushrooms. Toss everything together with the salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add about ½ cup of water to loosen any brown bits or caramelized coating from the bottom of the pan, and turn off the heat. Carefully pour all of the contents into your blender, cover, and blend until you get a smooth puree (takes about 1 minute). Pour the puree back into the pot on medium/low heat, and add the milk, stirring so everything combines into a smooth, creamy mixture. Add additional salt as desired, and once it’s steamy hot serve in bowls with crusty bread. Serves 4, and this soup freezes well so got ahead and stash some away for later in a tupperware!

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From Dish Danielle:

This is a fabulously quick & snappy recipe, easy to whip up in a matter of moments. I must give attribution where it’s due, as this recipe was passed on to me from Dish Amelia, (Thanks ATC!). I’ve made these zucchini pancakes countless times for my private clients (they LOVE them!) and for myself (of course!) when in need of a low maintenance appetizer/side dish. Now that the semester has started and work is busier than ever, super speedy recipes are once again becoming my go-to’s… Enjoy!

3 6-8” zucchinis, grated, salted, and set in a colander in the sink to drain
½ c flour
1 egg
4 thinly sliced scallions (more or less to your liking)
fresh chopped dill
freshly ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
8 oz plain greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
a little more dill & scallions

Let your zucchinis drain for about 30 minutes or so. While they’re drying out, prepare the rest of your ingredients: zest your lemon and chop your fresh herbs. Squeeze the grated zucchini in your hand to get the last bit of moisture out and toss into a medium bowl. Add the flour, egg, dill, pepper, & lemon zest to the bowl and stir with a fork to mix thoroughly. It’s almost time to fry these babies.

Now, fill a cast iron up about 1’’ deep with oil. I like to use grapeseed but veggie or canola will also do. Place the pan over a medium-high flame and wait for the oil to get hot.

While waiting, mix the garlic & lemon juice into the yogurt. Toss a bit of leftover herbs in there as well and stir. The pancakes are delicious with a bit of this yogurt on top — kind of a slap-dash version of tzatziki, (heck, if you have a cucumber around toss that into the yogurt too and then you’re a little more authentic…) 😉

Scoop a small bit of mixture out and set it into the oil — if it starts frying, you’re good to start your first batch. If it doesn’t bubble/make frying sounds, increase the heat a bit and wait a few more moments. I use a medium sized spoon to scoop the mixture into the oil. These are free form, so don’t worry about them all being the same size/shape. Fry them off in batches, you want a deep golden color.

Set the finished pancakes on a paper towel to drain. Once you’re finished serve immediately!

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From Dish Nicole:

We are in the home stretch of summer SLD’ers. Last weekend was Labor Day weekend and even though I do not get the summers off like my teacher friends, it still pretty much means the end of summertime activities. I have had a wonderful season of weekend getaways, weddings and beach excursions, but alas all good things must come to an end. The post Labor Day weather here in NYC has been rainy and humid which all you commuters know is not fun. I am beginning to long for cool, crisp fall weather. Today being rainy, again, I wanted to create a meal that wouldn’t send me out to the grocery store to get supplies. Luckily I have a stocked pantry and some leftover roast chicken breast in the fridge so I could easily create this light and spicy chicken, orzo and lime soup. I think that the summer citrus flavors combined with the warm soup base perfectly represent seasonal transition.

Here is what you will need:
¾ cup Orzo
6 cups of chicken broth
2 chicken breasts- cut into bite sized pieces (I used pre-cooked chicken but you can start with raw breasts)
6 cloves of garlic- thinly sliced
1 medium red onion- diced
2 jalapeno peppers- seeded and thinly sliced
The juice from 2 fresh limes
1 large tomato- seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
(Yields approximately 6 servings)

Start out by heating the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the diced garlic, jalapenos and onion until the onions soften and start to brown.

If you are using raw chicken, add the diced chicken and cook until it’s cooked through. If using precooked chicken, add the diced chicken and sauté for about 1 minute and then add the chicken broth, lime juice, cilantro and tomato. Reduce the heat to simmer. This is a good time to take a taste test and season with salt and pepper. I for one like soup a little on the salty side but this soup doesn’t really need too much, thanks to the lime juice.

For the next step, you have a couple of options: If you plan on eating the soup right away and not having any leftover, you can add the orzo right into the broth and serve once the orzo is cooked completely. If not, I suggest cooking the orzo separately and add per serving. This prevents the orzo from getting too mushy and absorbing all of the broth while waiting in the fridge to be consumed once again. So once you have made your orzo cooking decision, your kitchen should be completely fragrant with limey, garlicky soup smells and anyone in close proximity will be salivating. So serve it up piping hot with some tortilla chips and you have yourself a crowd pleaser.

The next day at the office I found myself shopping online for new leather boots. I brought in the leftovers for my coworkers to sample and it passed the test with them as well. I think I am ready for the fall.
This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.

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From Dish Danielle:

While out of town spending some chillax time at a friend’s childhood home earlier this summer, we were completely spoiled with leisure time — someone else was doing the cooking, there was time to sleep in, to read and drink coffee with our feet up, to take catnaps in the middle of the day. It was lovely, and just what the doctor ordered. Not only were we treated to a batch of delicious gin cocktails (rhubarb simple syrup anyone…!?!?), but we also had a killer meal that was perfectly summer: light, zesty, and fresh. Thanks Abby!

Abby’s summer sobas. I knew I’d be recreating this as soon as I got back to Brooklyn, and so I did for one of our first BBQ’s of the season.

*this recipe has been adapted from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi

1 package of soba noodles
1 ripe yet firm mango, peeled and sliced.
1 large eggplant, salt sweated & cut into 1” cubes
small bunch radishes, sliced thin
½ bunch of carrots, sliced thin.
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 bunch kale, cleaned and chiffonaded
1 bunch cilantro, cleaned, pruned and rough chopped
salted pistachios, rough chopped
¼-½ c sesame oil
¼c seasoned soy sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp yuzu paste
1½ lime, zested & juiced
agave nectar
sesame seeds

Start by bringing a medium pot of water to boil. While you’re waiting, take care of chopping your radishes, carrots, and onion. Place in a bowl with your chiffonaded kale and set aside. Slice your mango as you like—Abby did long thin slices and I followed suit. Once the water is boiling cook noodles according to the directions on the package—be sure not to overcook them as they cook very quickly and become mushy if left unattended.

Once the noodles are cooked, strain and run them under cold water until they’re cool. Drizzle with a dash of sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together and set aside. Now cook your eggplant. If you have a cast iron, use that. Place it over a medium-med high flame. Leave the pan dry and pan sear them one batch at a time until they’re finished. You want to hot pan to leave grill marks on the eggplant.

Set the cooked eggplant on a paper towel to cool/dry out. Now make your dressing — which some of you might notice is eerily similar to the dressing I used on my ‘Sprouts for a Crowd’ post I wrote a several months back… (It’s the same!) I never did get Abby’s exact recipe so I improvised with what I had.

In a small bowl mix the oil, soy sauce, minced garlic, yuzu paste, zest & juice of the lime, a small squeeze of agave and a pinch of salt thoroughly with a fork or small whisk. Taste & tweak of course. You’re almost done.

Now toss everything into a large bowl including the cilantro, pistachios & sesame seeds (a decent handful I’d say..) and toss thoroughly, making sure the dressing is evenly coating the entire salad.

This is absolutely a meal in and of itself. Serve on a piping hot summer evening and cool off with some cold noodles.

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