Browsing articles in "Appetizers"
Jan 22, 2013

Colleen’s mean crab dip

From the kitchen of: Colleen L.  Makes: Enough for an 8×8 pan
Total time: 10 min to prep, 30 min to bake


The first time I experienced Colleen’s mean crab dip was during the afterparty for my husband’s 30th birthday. She was kind enough to ask me whether she can bring something. I, of course, said yes. She arrived to the party carrying this magical, decadent, cheesy, gooey crab dip. Not gonna lie, I tried to show her up with some imported slices of cheese, but they were no match for her dip. I got Colleen to email me the recipe and made it for some friends while we watched a football game. I did tweak it just a bit by adding a few spices … you know food bloggers like to change it up a bit. But, the beauty about this recipe is the fact it can be prepared the morning of or even the night before. Just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to pop it in the oven. This may not be most figure-flattering dip, but it’s not like you’ll eat it every day. At least that’s what I tell myself :) Thanks, Colleen for sharing your recipe!

1 – 8 oz. packet of cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 can of lump crab meat
couple dashes of paprika
couple dashes of onion powder
couple dashes of garlic powder

Don’t forget the pita chips!

1. Combine cheeses, mayo and onions.
Add the cream cheese, mayo, cheddar and swiss cheese, and chopped onions in a medium bowl. Blend together with a hand mixer until well combined.



2. Add spices and crab meat. At this point, add the spices and drained crab meat. Carefully mix together with a spatula to avoid breaking up the crab too much.



3. Bake and enjoy. Pour mixture in a 8×8 pan and pop in a preheated 350° oven. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly. Serve immediately with some pita chips.



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Jul 22, 2012

Roasted Red Bell Peppers with Mozzarella

From the kitchen of: Isabel  Makes: 3-4 servings
Total time: 5 min to prep, 45 min to roast plus 1-2 hours to marinate

Jared’s mom came into town for her birthday not too long ago. She loves visiting us in Richmond. But just between me and you, I think it’s because of the food Richmond has to offer! Just kidding, Barbara! Either way, we wanted to take her out to dinner to someplace we knew she would love. Richmond is a mecca for good eats. It was hard to narrow it down, but ultimately we decided to go Italian. Now, the tough part, deciding which Italian restaurant to go to. Drum roll please. We decided on Edo’s Squid! So that’s a no-brainer for a lot of Richmonders. If you haven’t been there yet, shame on you! Go call them now and reserve a table.

This recipe I’m showcasing today was inspired from the appetizer we ordered at Edo’s Squid. It was simplicity at it’s best. It was roasted red bells peppers marinaded in olive oil served with the freshest mozzarella. The sweetness and delicate flavors in the peppers paired so nicely with the mozzarella. We all loved this combination of flavors and I knew this was something that could be made ahead of time when throwing a dinner party. This dish is what I love so much about Italian/European cooking. It’s just a minimal amount of ingredients that allows the food to really shine.

2 red bell peppers
1 ball of fresh mozzarella
olive oil
garlic powder
salt + pepper

1. Roast red bell peppers.
Preheat oven to 350º. Meanwhile, rinse and pat dry the red bell peppers. Place the peppers on a medium tray with sides because juices will release from the peppers. Coat the peppers with some olive oil and season with a few pinches of salt. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes until skin is wrinkled and blistered.

2. Skin and de-seed red bell peppers. Remove the roasted peppers from the oven and immediately cover the tray with foil. The steam will help loosen the skin of the pepper. After 5 minutes, uncover the tray. On a cutting board, remove the skin and de-seed the roasted red bell peppers. Cut the peppers into quarters.

3. Marinade peppers in olive oil. Once the peppers are completely cooled, place in an air-tight container. Add more olive oil just to cover the peppers. Allow the peppers to marinate at room temperature for 1-2 hours. If done the day before, place in the fridge. To serve, cut thick slices of fresh mozzarella and place them on a serving plate with the marinaded peppers. Drizzle a little more olive oil and season lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Can be served with warm, crusty bread and kalamata olives.

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Feb 28, 2012

Recipe for: Broiled Fontina Cheese

From the kitchen of: Ina Garten
Total time:
15 min to prep, 4 min to broil   Makes: 4 servings

I was in charge of food at our good friend’s pregame drag show brunch. I’m sure you’re asking, what the hell is a drag show brunch? Ok, so let me explain. My friend is getting married in April and there’s one thing every bride-to-be should do before they get hitched. Experience the fine ladies at the drag show brunch at Godfrey’s in Richmond. Oh, yes. Godfrey’s is definitely an experience. This place is the real deal. While you sip on mimosas and eat your Eggs Benedict, drag queens perform throughout your dining experience. They are literally strutting their stuff. Just be sure to have your singles ready!

But, before we went to Godfrey’s, we did a little pregame at my house with pomegranate mimoas and some nibbles, which included this broiled Fontina cheese, which is an Ina Garten recipe. I loved this recipe because it was incredibly simple to make. You’re really not “cooking” anything. You’re just melting Fontina cheese, which is a relatively mild cheese that takes on the flavors you add to it wonderfully. It’s a tasty recipe you can quickly whip up in minutes with unexpected guests.

1/2 lb. Fontina cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
salt + pepper
crusty baguette for dipping

1. Cube Fontina cheese.
Remove the cheese from the packaging. With a sharp knife, remove any wax and toss. Cube the cheese evenly and place on a small cast-iron skillet. If you don’t have a skillet, using a heat-proof pan should be fine to use.

2. Add herbs and seasonings. Spread the thinly sliced garlic, chopped thyme and rosemary, and olive oil over the the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Broil the Fontina. Turn on your oven’s broiler on high. After allowing it to heat up a minute or so, place the skillet under the broiler (at least five inches away from the heat). Allow the cheese to melt for about 4 minutes. The garlic slices get slightly toasted and the herbs releases its oils. Keep an eye on it, you don’t want the cheese to overcook. Serve with warm crusty bread.

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Feb 21, 2012

Recipe for: Deviled Eggs with Chives & Bacon

From the kitchen of: Isabel     Total time: 30 min     Makes: 12 deviled eggs

I know you’ve had your fair share of deviled eggs, like I certainly have. So, I’m sure you’re asking what’s so special about my recipe? Besides the chopped fresh chives, bit of sugar and crispy bacon, absolutely nothing. There’s no right or wrong way to make a deviled egg. People use ingredients that they enjoy tasting whether it’s vinegar or pickle juice, garlic or chives, yellow or Dijon mustard, you can make deviled eggs based on your individual taste. It’s all subjective. And quite frankly, I’ve never eaten a deviled egg I didn’t like.

Ok, so I’ve eaten my fair share, but I’ve never actually made deviled eggs. In my quest to make deviled eggs, I asked my Facebook readers what ingredients they use in their version of a deviled egg. I got a butt load of awesome suggestions including the addition of sugar. I narrowed it down to a few ingredients, keeping the taste slightly tangy with the vinegar, salty with the chopped bacon and fresh with the chopped chives. I think whether you try my version, your own or a family recipe, everyone should have a deviled egg recipe they enjoy eating.

Ingredients: (easily double the recipe to get 24 deviled eggs!)
6 eggs
3 heaping tablespoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon chives, finely chopped
cayenne (or paprika)
pinch of sugar
salt & pepper
2 slices of bacon, cooked & chopped
baking soda, for boiling

1. Boil and peel eggs.
Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Add a little bit of baking soda to help the peeling process. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, immediately remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand for 12 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice-water bath to stop cooking for a minute. Remove the eggs from the ice-water and gently them. Running under cold water can help the process. Refrigerate in air-tight container until ready to use. If you have a better way of boiling/peeling eggs, please let me know! All my eggs did not peel easily and was a pain in the butt!

2. Mix dressing. In a small canning car or small bowl, mix mayo, dijon mustard, chopped chives, vinegar and several dashes of salt, pepper, cayenne and a pinch of sugar. Shake or stir until well-combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. At this time, fry two slices of bacon at medium temperature. Allow to cool on a paper-lined plate.

3. Assemble deviled eggs. Slice the peeled hard-boiled eggs in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, transfer all the yolk into a mixing bowl while arranging the egg whites cut side up on a serving platter. Use a fork to break up the yolks and then add the dressing. Mix it together until you’ve reached a smooth texture. Using the spoon again, scoop the egg mixture back into the egg.

4. Add toppings. Just before serving, crumble the crispy cooked bacon on top. You can also sprinkle more cayenne and chopped chives for garnish. Serve immediately.

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Jan 19, 2012

Recipe for: Fried Panko Artichoke Hearts with a Lemon and Mayo Sauce

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: 20 min to prep, 10 min to fry
3-4 servings

I had a nice lunch date with my sisters a few weeks ago at The Mill on MacArthur in Northside. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in our side of town. I’ve been there several times and haven’t been disappointed yet. One of my sisters ordered their artichoke po’ boy and, of course, I had a bite. I immediately fell head-over-heels in love with the concept of breaded artichoke hearts. I’ve never even seen it on television or in any of my cookbooks. The breading was golden brown and super crispy. The artichoke heart was tender and had a hint of the tangy brine it was soaked in. I decide to try to recreate these at home and serve them as an appetizer with a very simple lemon and mayo sauce. There’s really nothing to it.

1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups panko
2 eggs, scrambled
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 lemon, squeezed
salt + pepper
vegetable oil for frying

1. Prepare the dipping sauce. In a small bowl, combine mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Prep artichoke hearts. Remove the liquid from the can by pouring the artichoke hearts in a colander. After most of the liquid has been drained, transfer the hearts on a plate lined with 2 paper towels. Just be careful when handling the artichoke hearts. You don’t want to break them apart. Pat them dry and allow them to continue to air dry for 15 minutes or so.

3. Coat the artichoke hearts. First, heat a large cooking pot on medium high heat with vegetable oil about 1-inch deep. While the oil is heating, coat the artichoke hearts. Gather three small bowls. Add flour to the first, 2 eggs scrambled with salt and pepper to the second and panko bread to the third. Take an artichoke heart and lightly coat it in the flour, dip it in the egg and then cover with the panko bread. Repeat this process for all the artichoke hearts and set aside.

4. Fry the artichoke hearts. When the temperature of the oil is hot enough, carefully drop about 7-8 artichokes at a time. They should sizzle and turn golden brown almost immediately. Each side probably takes 30-45 seconds so keep an eye on them. Remove the fried hearts from oil and place on a paper-lined plate. Season the hearts immediately with salt and pepper. Serve with the lemon and mayo sauce.

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