Category Archives: Appetizer


Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms


3 Italian hot sausages, casings removed

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Olive oil
  • 24 large (about 2-inch-diameter) mushrooms, stemmed
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine


  1. Sauté sausage and oregano in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is cooked through and brown, breaking into small pieces with back of fork, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage mixture to large bowl and cool. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder, then cream cheese. Season filling with salt and pepper; mix in egg yolk.
  2. Brush 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish with olive oil to coat. Brush cavity of each mushroom cap with white wine; fill with scant 1 tablespoon filling and sprinkle with some of remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange mushrooms, filling side up, in prepared dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered until mushrooms are tender and filling is brown on top, about 25 minutes.

Queso Fundido

Queso Fundido
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 10

1/2 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage (such As Jimmy Dean Or J.C. Potter) Or Chorizo
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 whole SMALL Bell Peppers (any Color Combination), Seeded And Finely Diced
1 pound Monterey Jack, Grated (OR Mozzarella, Or Other Stringy Melting Cheese), Grated
Sprinkle Of Chili Powder
3 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Tortilla Chips For Serving

Preparation Instructions:
In a large dutch oven, cook and crumble the sausage until brown. Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel. Pour off any excess fat. Add onions and bell peppers to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until the veggies are soft and golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To build the layers, place 1/3 of the cheese in a medium-sized ovenproof dutch oven. Add half the sausage. Add another third of the cheese, then as much of the veggie mixture as you’d like (you may have a little left over.) Add almost all of the remaining cheese, the rest of the sausage, then whatever cheese you have left. Sprinkle the top very lightly with chili powder.
NOTE: Depending on the size of your dutch oven or baking dish, you may have some ingredients left over. Just build up the ingredients in the dutch oven; they’ll shrink quite a bit once the cheese melts!
Cover and begin to check it about 4 to 5 minutes in. You want to bake it until the cheese is totally melted, hot, and slightly bubbling…but before the cheese starts to firm up/harden. (In other words, you still want the cheese to be extra gooey.)
Remove from the heat, top with the diced tomatoes, sprinkle on the tomatoes, and serve immediately with tortilla chips!


4 Ripe Haas Avacados (brown just give to the touch)
3 Tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 dashes Tabasco
1/2 Cup small diced red onion (1 sm onion)
1 large clove garlic minced
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 med. tomato, seeded & small diced

– Cut avocados in 1/2, score with a knife, scoop out & immediately add lemon juice
– add all other ingredients – add tomato last – and mix
– plastic wrap pressed directly on top – prevents it from getting brown

Amazing Spicy Grilled Shrimp


* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 1/4 cup sesame oil
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 2 tablespoons hot sauce
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 1 tablespoon ketchup
* 1 tablespoon Asian chile paste
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon black pepper
* 3 tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water


1. Whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, parsley, hot sauce, minced garlic, ketchup, chile sauce, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Set aside about 1/3 of this marinade to use while grilling.
2. Place the shrimp in a large, resealable plastic bag. Pour in the remaining marinade and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
4. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 2 minutes per side until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Chinese Fondue

1 qt chicken stock
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
4 large mushrooms, sliced
3 slices fresh ginger root
To Dip:
2 1/2 cups tiny button mushrooms
1 heart Chinese cabbage, shredded
1/2 small cauliflower, divided into tiny florets
1 cup snow peas
1 cup peeled shrimp
1 cup boned chicken cut into thin strips
6 ounces calves’ liver, cut into thin strips
6 ounces fillet of beef, cut into thin strips
6 ounces pork fillet, cut into thin strips
Sauces for Chinese Fondue:

Soy and garlic sauce:
Put 2/3 cup soy sauce into a pan with 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Serve warm or cold

Plum, sauce:
Mix 6 tablespoons plum jam with 2 tablespoons vinegar and 2
tablespoons chopped mango chutney. Serve code. (If the jam is
chunky, strain it). Alternatively, you can buy this sauce from
Chinese stores and some supermarkets.

Green onion sauce:
Mix 6 tablespoons olive oil with 3 finely chopped green onions,
1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, and salt and
pepper to taste.

Lime and pepper sauce:
Mixe the juice of 2 limes with 1 finely chopped red bell pepper,
1 finely chopped small onion, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and
pepper to taste.
To Serve: boiled rice or noodles with accompanying sauces

1. Put the stock into a saucepan with the onion, carrot,
celery, mushrooms, and ginger. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
2. Arrange the prepared mushrooms, cabbage, cauliflower, snow
peas, shrimp, chicken, liver, beef, and port decoratively on a
platter grouping them according to type.
3. Transfer the stock to the Chinese Fondue (Shabu) or fondue
pot, and keep hot over a burner.
4. To serve, provide each person with bowls of different flavored
sauces, and an accompanying bowl of rice or noodles.
The Fondue Cookbook – Serves 4-6

Tempura (Fondue)

Tempura is a traditional Japanese dish consisting of vegetables and seafood encased in a light batter, fried till crisp.
Tempura Batter:
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup ice water
1 egg
vegetable oil for deep frying (fill fondue pot 80% full)

Dipping Sauce:
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup soy sauce

**** It is very important to make your batter just before frying, so make sure the oil is hot first.
Frying Always sift your flour first and use ice water. Stir only enough to mix the batter,
for if you over-beat the batter you will develop the gluten in the flour and it won’t work properly.
Tempura batter should be lumpy.

Test to make sure the oil is hot enough before frying your foods. To do this, drop a drop of batter
into the oil, if the drop quickly floats to the surface, the oil is hot enough. If it takes its time
in floating, let the oil heat longer. Cut food for frying into bite sized pieces. Below are some
photos showing how to cut Japanese eggplant for tempura.

Mix all sauce ingredients together, set aside.
Cut vegetables and meat into bite sized pieces and arrange on serving dishes.
Heat oil in fondue pot.
Mix together batter ingredients, mixing only enough to blend. Batter should be lumpy.
To cook, dip a piece of food into the batter and fry. Serve hot.

Beer and Cheddar Fondue

(Makes 6 servings)2 Cups shredded Cheddar or Meunster Cheese
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 Clover garlic, crushed
1 8 oz. bottle beer
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 cup each broccoli, cauliflower, green pepper, mushrooms
2 apples sliced
1 loaf french bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Combine the cheese and flour. Toss well and set aside
Rub the inside of a medium saucepan wiht the garlic clove; discard the garlic. Add the beer to the saucepane. Heat
over medium heat until warm. Add the cheese mixture in small amounts, stirring each addition until melted. Stir in
the mustard.

Pour the cheese into a fondue pot and keep it warm over a burner. Serve with assorted vegetables and cubes of bread.
If the fondue becomes too thick, thin it out with warm beer. If the fondue separates, mix 1 Tbsp. cornstarch with 1/4
cup beer, warm the mixture and add it to the fondue pot.

Candied Pecans

1 Tsp Cold water
1 Each Egg white
1 Lb Large pecan halves
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1 Tsp Salt

Instructions and Notes:
Beat water & egg white until frothy. Mix well with pecans. Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix well with Pecans. Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 225 for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

Chicken Balls of Fire

1/4 Cup Bread crumbs
1/2 Tbsp Chili powder
1 Tbsp Cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp Black pepper
1 Tbsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Ground red pepper
1 Lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp margarine or butter melted
1/2 Cup Dairy Sour Cream
2 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro

Instructions and Notes:
In a plastic bag combine crumbs, chili powder, black pepper, salt, and red pepper. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. In a medium mixing bowl toss chicken pieces with melted margarine or butter. Place in bag with crumb mixture. Seal bag and shake till chicken is well coated. Place chicken pieces in a single layer on a lightly creased baking sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or till tender and no longer pink, turning pieces once. Meanwhile, for cillantro cream, in a small mixing bowl stir together sour cream and cilantro. Serve with chicken. (sometimes I mix up Fiesta Ranch Dip instead of cilantro and it is a great compliment to the spices on the Chicken!) Makes 4 servings.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

1/4 Cup Soy sauce
2 Tbsp Rice vinegar
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Whole water chestnuts, drained – 8oz.
10 Slices uncooked bacon slices, cut in half crosswise

Instructions and Notes:
Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the water chestnuts and mix well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to blend flavors. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until partially cooked. Drain on paper towels. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the water chestnuts from the marinade and wrap a piece of bacon around each one, securing the bacon with a wooden toothpick. Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, until the bacon is crispy. Transfer to a platter and serve very hot. Enjoy!