Category Archives: Appetizers

A Taste of Asia – December 8 Class



Hello fans and fellow cooks!  As requested we will explore some Asian dishes this week in class.  A few light bites that are both savory and sweet await you.  We will enjoy the following:


Hot and Sour Soup

Golden Shrimp Balls

Flower Dumplings

Salmon Money Bags

Spinach & Ginger Dumplings

Peking Duck Pancakes

Barbecue Pork, Chinese Style

Family Fried Rice

Fresh Mango Pudding

Sweet Coconut Bars



Manchego with Honey Brown Butter Sauce

Tammy pours the warm honey brown butter over this creamy Spanish Manchego wedge. Yum!

1 Stick Butter

3 Tablespoon Honey

1/2 pound Manchego Cheese Wedge

Sea Salt

Melt Butter in small saute pan and cook until it is golden brown.  Drizzle in the honey and stir to incorporate.  Let cook together until rich and brown.  Place cheese on a platter big enough for the cheese wedge to swim in the sauce.  Sprinkle with salt and serve warm with crackers or thinly sliced baguette.  We also slice up some red Asian pears – it was delicious!  You could also serve this as a cheese dessert.

Asian Pears were a delicious addition to this recipe

Serves 6

You won’t believe how fast this disappears!

Nov 11 Class – Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Squares

(from Epicurious)

Makes 42 squares


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup whole milk

¼ cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted


2 Tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons olive oil

3 large onions, thinly sliced (about 2 pounds)

1 Tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups crumbled blue cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to blend.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Whisk the milk, olive oil, and melted butter in a large liquid measuring cup to blend.  Slowly pour the milk mixture in the well in dry ingredients, stirring until just blended and smooth.  Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10 x 13-inch rectangle.  Transfer the dough to a rimmed baking sheet.  Re-form the dough into 10 x 13 –inch rectangle (dough will shrink when moved).  Pierce the dough all over with a fork.  Let the dough rest while preparing the topping.


Melt butter with oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the onions.  Cook until the onions are soft and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.  Add rosemary, sugar, and salt.  Season onions to taste, with pepper.  Reduce heat to medium.  Continue to cook until the onions are soft and dark brown, stirring frequently – about 20 minutes; cool.

Spread the onion mixture evenly over the dough.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling, about 20 minutes.  Let cool and cut into squares.

These are crisp, rich and satisfying.

Nov 11 Class – Chicken Curry Puffs


(from All Recipes)

Makes about 9 servings

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 cup coconut milk (or more as needed)

2 red onions, finely chopped

1 stalk lemon grass

1 red chili pepper, roughly chopped

1 large russet potato peeled and diced into bite sized pieces

3/4 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

1 teaspoon salt

a 17.25 ounce package puff pastry

Heat vegetable oil in saucepan over medium-low heat.  Stir in coriander, turmeric, cumin and curry powder. Cook a few seconds until fragrant.  Pour in coconut milk, onions, lemon grass and red chili pepper; cook until the vegetables are tender about 7 minutes.  Stir in the potato and continue cooking until tender about 10-12 minutes.  Stir in the chicken, then season with salt.  Cook and stir until chicken and potato has absorbed most of the liquid.  Spread on a plate to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Unfold puff pastry sheets and cut each sheet into nine squares.  Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling into the center of each square.  Gather all 4 corners of the pasty and pinch together at the top, forming a small pouch.  Place each bundle on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 22-27 minutes.  Cool on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before removing to cool on a rack or serving plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


A savory bite to stave off hunger pains and they are great as leftovers, reheated.

Nov 11 Class – Maddy’s Sausage Rolls

Delicious and Decadent



(from A Compilation of Various Family Recipes)

Makes about 20 sausage rolls

One “tube” of pork breakfast sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)

One package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry

1 Onion – finely chopped

½ cup unflavored breadcrumbs

1 ½ Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

½ teaspoon thyme, dried, crushed

¼ teaspoon each of ground sage, nutmeg, pepper and cloves


¼ cup Dijon mustard

1 egg, lightly beaten


Coleman’s hot mustard powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly butter or grease a baking sheet.

Put the sausage and dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Pour in half of the beaten egg and mix well.  Unfold the puff pastry sheets (roll out slightly if necessary) and cut into 1- inch wide strips.  Spread a bit of the Dijon mustard on each strip.  Place a one inch mound of sausage mixture in the middle of each strip of pastry.  Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg and roll up the pastry into cylinders.  Place the seam on the bottom of the roll.

Brush the pastry rolls with a bit of the egg mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake the rolls for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake about 10-15 minutes more until the sausage rolls are golden brown.

Mix a desired amount of Coleman’s hot mustard powder with water in a small dish or cup and mix until smooth.  Serve with a tiny spreader alongside the sausage rolls for those who like it a bit hot!

These keep and re-warm well if they are leftover.  At our house they are generally eaten up while warm or snuck in before breakfast, straight out of the refrigerator.



Nov 11 Class – Parmesan and Fresh Sage Wafers


(from Simple Appetizers – Ryland, Peters & Small)

Makes 14 wafers

1 cup grated parmesan

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

Coarsely ground black pepper

Sea Salt flakes, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Mix together the Parmesan and sage and season with salt and black pepper.

Drop tablespoons of the mixture at 2-inch intervals on a non-stick baking sheets.  Pat down the mounds with your fingers.  Bake in the pre-heated oven for 5-6 minutes until the mixture is completely melted and the edges are turning golden brown.  Keep an eye on them as they brown fast.

Remove the wafers from the oven and set aside for a few moments to firm up.  They will be soft when they first come out of the oven, but will harden as they cool.

With a spatula, carefully remove the wafers and arrange them on a wire rack to cool completely.  Once cooled, sprinkle with the salt flakes.  They can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days.


What an unanticipated marriage these were...and so simple to make.




Nov 11 Class – Prosciutto wrapped Parmesan Pecan Dates

These luscious dates - are a great carrier for a savory filling. Tammy and Randall do a superb job slicing and stuffing.


(from Prosciutto Recipes)

Makes 24

24 Pecan Halves

24 Large pitted dates

2 ounces fresh Parmigianno Reggiano Cheese

4 ounces Prosciutto, sliced thin

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the pecan halves on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the pecans are lightly toasted and very fragrant.  Cool.

Raise the temperature in the oven to 425 degrees.

Make a slit along the top of each date.

Cut the parmesan cheese into thin slivers.

Stuff a parmesan sliver and a pecan into each date.

Quarter each slice of prosciutto into 4 long slices.  Wrap each date with a strip of the prosciutto.

Place the dates on a baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes until the prosciutto is crisp and the Parmesan softens.

Transfer dates to a plate and finish them with a fresh grind of black pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.