Baked Appetizer with Scallop, Bacon and Spinach

Ingredients

1/2 pound thinly sliced, fruitwood-smoked bacon, halved crosswise (1 half slice per scallop)
1 pound large sea scallops (about 10 scallops)
all-purpose flour, for dusting
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons small capers
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound spinach leaves, well washed in several changes of cold water, drained of excess liquid
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Wrap a half slice of bacon around the circumference of each scallop, like a belt. Pierce the scallop through the side with a skewer to keep the bacon in place.
  3. Dust each bacon-wrapped scallop with flour and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the scallops to the pan and brown them, about 2 minutes.
  5. Turn the scallops over and add the shallots and capers to the pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and lemon juice uice and saute until the spinach is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season the spinach with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep it warm.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and arrange the scallops over the spinach. Spoon the shallots and capers over the scallops and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Nightly Special

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Baked Eggplant-wrapped Cheese Rolls with Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

14 oz eggplant, thinly sliced
2 oz cream cheese
1 oz goat cheese
1 cup fire roasted tomato, pureed
1/4 tsp red onion, diced
1 tsp basil, finely chopped
1/4 tsp thyme, finely chopped
1/4 tsp garlic, finely diced
1/4 tsp chili flake
1 Tbsp olive oi

Method

  1. In a mixing bowl, fold half herbs and garlic into cream cheese and goat cheese. Set cheese mixture aside.
  2. Apply olive oil to eggplant slices and grill until eggplant is soft and pliable. Let cool.
  3. Spread cheese mixture to eggplant and roll into roulades.
  4. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes.
  5. For marinara sauce, mix remaining herbs, garlic and tomato together and heat until sauce becomes thick and starts to boil.
  6. Pour sauce onto plate. Stack hot roulades into a small pyramid. Garnish and serve.

Makes 3 servings.

Source: ciao!

A Classic Hors D’oeuvre with Crabmeat

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon water, if needed
1 cup heavy (double) cream
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped jarred pimiento (sweet pepper)
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 lb lump crabmeat
1-1/4 cups fine dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lemon
12-14 thin baguette slices (optional)

Method

  1. In a small saute pan over low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the celery and onion, cover, and cook very gently until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the water if the vegetables begin to brown.
  2. Add the cream, raise the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from boiling over, until reduced and quite thick, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, pour into a heatproof bowl, and let cool.
  4. Add the mustard, pimiento, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper to the cooled cream mixture and mix well.
  5. Whisk in the egg, then add the crabmeat, breaking it up a little but leaving some lumps intact. Toss gently until evenly mixed.
  6. Pour the bread crumbs onto a plate, spreading them in an even layer. Scoop up a golf ball–sized portion of the crab mixture and gently squeeze out any excess liquid. Shape into a small patty. The mixture will be quite wet and loose.
  7. Place the crab cake on the crumbs, then scoop more crumbs over the top. Using a spatula, carefully turn the cake over onto your palm, letting the excess crumbs fall back onto the plate. Turn the cake back over onto the spatula and slide it gently onto a platter. Repeat to make the remaining crab cakes, 12-14 in all. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, or up to 3 hours.
  8. In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the foam subsides, gently slide half of the crab cakes into the pan. Cook the first sides until golden brown, 5-6 minutes.
  9. Turn and brown on the second sides, 4-5 minutes longer. Keep the first batch of cakes warm in a low oven.
  10. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and repeat to make the second batch of crab cakes.
  11. Squeeze the lemon half over all the crab cakes and, if desired, serve each on a slice of baguette.

Makes 12 to 14 warm bites.

Source: Hors D’oeuvre

An Elegant and Delicious First Course with Bread, Mushrooms and Cheese

Ingredients

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound wild mushrooms (such as porcini, cremini, shiitake) with stems removed, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
24 small (1/2-inch-thick) slices country-style bread (preferably ciabatta), toasted
1 pound fresh salted buffalo mozzarella, cut into 24 slices
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 3750.
  2. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chopped mushrooms and saute 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Pour in wine. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  5. Mix in salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange bread on a large country-style bread baking sheet. Top each piece with a slice of mozzarella. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  7. Top crostini with mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The Oprah Magazine Cookbook

French-style Starter with Escartgots

Ingredients

6 dozen canned snails
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp green Chartreuse (a French liqueur)
2 cups whipping cream
lemon juice
grated lemon zest
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Drain the snails.
  2. Sweat the finely chopped shallots and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until tender, then add the hazelnuts, followed by the snails.
  3. Add the butter and continue to cook gently for 6-7 minutes.
  4. Pour in the Chartreuse, turn up the heat, and boil until the pan is almost dry.
  5. Add the cream and simmer until the mixture has the consistency of a sauce.
  6. Season well and finish with a few drops of lemon juice and a little finely grated zest. Serve in little pots with a sprinkling of parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen