Category:  Appetizers / Starters

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Velvety Beet Hummus (Vegan)

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods, Holidays On June 8, 2022 0 Comments

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This is the best hummus we’ve ever made- it’s delicate, sweet and velvety. Make this Velvety Beet Hummus in five minutes. It’s a great starter for all palates!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: about 3 to 3-1/2 cups

Ingredients:
One 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons Tahini (this is sesame seed paste, available in Middle Eastern section of supermarkets)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons sunflower or safflower oil (or your choice of vegetable oil)
Juice from 1 to 1-1/2 limes
1 cup diced, cooked beets

Directions:
1. In a food processor, combine the garbanzo beans, garlic, Tahini, salt, olive oil, vegetable oil and lime juice.

2. Process to a paste.

3. Add the beets; process the mixture until smooth (you will see tiny specks of beet in the hummus).

4. Taste and, if needed, adjust salt and lime juice levels.

5. Transfer the hummus to a glass or porcelain serving bowl; garnish with olive oil and mint leaves. Serve with pita bread wedges, crackers or tortilla chips.

6. NOTE: This Velvety Beet Hummus can be made up to two days ahead, tightly sealed and refrigerated. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
Text & Photograph ©2022 Nancy DeLucia Real

Tortilla Pizza For One

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods, Pizzas, Savory Tarts & Quiches On May 12, 2022 0 Comments

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Hungry while working at home but you only have a package of tortillas and some jack cheese in the fridge? Don’t fret – make this gourmet Tortilla Pizza in an instant! For more servings, just double, triple or quadruple the recipe.

Prep time: 3 to 5 minutes (includes broiling)
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1 flour or corn tortilla (I used a six-inch corn tortilla)
1/4 to 1/3 cup mixed, shredded Jack Cheese & Mozzarella Cheese
Add a fav topping such as sliced olives, salami or prosciutto bits  (I added marinated sun-dried tomato pieces)

Directions:
1. Place the tortilla on a baking sheet (no parchment paper or it will burn underneath broiler).

2. Spread cheese over top of tortilla; top with fav topping.

3. Place the baking sheet on a rack positioned six inches from top oven broiler grill.

4. Turn on oven at “BROIL” setting.

5. Broil the tortilla pizza for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese has melted and turned light golden brown. NOTE: Stand watch to prevent charring.

6. Enjoy the Tortilla Pizza alone or make more for your friends and/or family!
Text & Photograph ©2022 Nancy DeLucia Real

CBD Hemp Salsa & Avocado Cups for Dads!

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods On June 1, 2021 0 Comments

NOTE: THIS CBD HEMP RECIPE IS FOR ADULTS 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER.

IF YOU WANT TO SERVE THIS RECIPE TO UNDERAGE INDIVIDUALS, PLEASE OMIT THE KICKBACK FULL SPECTRUM TINCTURE®.

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Here’s an appetizer that’s guaranteed to make Dad “chill” on Fathers’ Day!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Makes: 15 servings

For the Shells:
One 1.9 ounce package – fully baked Athens Phyllo Shells® (available on Instacart)

For the Salsa:
4 ripe plum tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/3 cup corn kernels
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
salt, to taste
2 pumps Kickback® Full Spectrum CBD Tincture.

For the Avocado Filling:
1 large Haas avocado (very ripe)
Juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, to taste
2 pumps Kickback® Full Spectrum CBD Tincture
1 small food storage bag (Ziploc
® brand)

Directions:
1. In a glass or porcelain bowl, stir all the salsa ingredients together.

2. Taste for seating and set aside, covered.

3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, stir all the avocado ingredients together.

4. If avocado does not puree well, stir in a little more olive oil until it becomes slightly creamy.

5. Spoon the avocado cream into a corner of a small plastic food storage bag.

6. With the bag open, gently push the avocado cream as far as it can go into the corner.

7. Using scissors, cut off a 1/4-inch tip.

8. Place all the phyllo shells on a serving platter.

9. Holding bag tightly, pipe the avocado cream into half of the phyllo shells (you may have some cream left over).

10. Fill the remaining half of the phyllo shells with the salsa (you may have some salsa left over).

11. Serve immediately or cover with aluminum foil and store in refrigerator up to 30 minutes before serving.
NOTE: If you want more “chill” for Dad to relax, add 1/2 pump extra to each the salsa and to the avocado filling.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

Toasted Sesame Hummus

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods On July 28, 2020 0 Comments

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: 3 cups
Serves: 6 to 8 (leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week)

Tired of the same old hummus? This recipe is made with toasted sesame oil.

Watch everyone’s expression as they take their first bite!

Ingredients:

One 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons Tahini paste
3 tablespoons plain, Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Serrano chile, stem discarded
2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lime
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh sprigs of your favorite herbs (for garnish)

Directions:
1. Place garbanzo beans, Tahini paste, yogurt, garlic, chile, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and olive oil in a food processor.

2. Process the ingredients until they are uniform.

3. Add the lime juice and salt; process and taste.

4. If needed, adjust seasonings and add 1 more tablespoon sesame oil. Process once more.

5. Transfer the hummus to a bowl and garnish with herbs.

6. Serve hummus with corn tostadas, corn chips or your favorite crackers, toasted bread slices, etc.

Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

Marinated Eggplant

In Appetizers / Starters, Vegetables On April 29, 2020 0 Comments

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I learned the art of making marinated eggplant from my dear friend, Michelina Codipietro, from Isernia in the Southern region of Molise, Italy. Michelina took away my fears, saying that it was quite easy. This eggplant indeed marinates for 48 hours (it makes itself) and labor is minimal.

A great project for our current “lockdown” and a guarantee that you’ll never buy the readymade version again.

Prep time: 25-3o minutes (peeling & cutting eggplant)
Marinating time: 48 hours
Makes: 2 pint-size mason jars (each pint = 2 cups)

Ingredients:
3 large eggplants, peeled
2 tablespoons salt
4 quarts cold water (16 cups total)
1 quart distilled vinegar (4 cups total)
Juice from 1 lemon
2 cups organic sunflower or safflower oil (for marinating)
Scant 1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed red chili flakes
One 6 to 8-quart saucepot with cover (for marinating eggplant)

Directions for Marinating Eggplant:
1. Working crosswise, cut eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices.

2. Mound 3 slices eggplant on top of each other; cut them into 3/8-inch thick strips.

3. Transfer strips to saucepot, sprinkle with a light layer of salt.

4. Repeat with remaining eggplants, transferring the strips to saucepot & sprinkling with salt, as you go along.

5. When all eggplant strips have been transferred to saucepot, pour the water, vinegar and juice from 1 lemon over the eggplant.

6. Cover saucespot with eggplant, set on a counter and let marinate for 48 hours (2 days).

Directions for Draining & Canning Eggplant:
1. After 48 hours (2 days), working over a sink & wearing cooks’ plastic gloves, grab a handful of eggplant strips and squeeze & drain the liquid completely.

2. Transfer drained eggplant to a 12-cup glass or porcelain bowl.

3. Repeat squeezing & draining remaining eggplant, one handful at a time; transfer to bowl.

4. When all eggplant strips have been drained and set in bowl, add about 1/2 cup safflower or sunflower oil, dried, crushed chili flakes (to taste) and mix.

5. Taste the eggplant and adjust seasonings, to taste.

6. Divide the eggplant strips between two pint-size mason jars.

7. Cover with the oil.

8. Make sure you pack down the eggplant, so as not to leave air bubbles.

9. Add more oil until it rises 1/2-inch above top of eggplant.

10. Cover and seal with lids.

Storing Marinated Eggplant:
1. Place the two mason jars of eggplant in refrigerator.

2. Every time you scoop out some eggplant and serve, make sure remaining eggplant in jar is topped with safflower or sunflower oil 1/2 inch above top of eggplant. Seal and refrigerate once more.

3. Eggplant can be stored in refrigerator up to 2 months (always covered with oil).
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real