Appetizers

Buffalo Chicken Dip

There are many variations of this recipe.  This is about the best one that I've seen. You can modify the amount of hot sauce you want to put in here. I usually start with about 1/4 cup. The original recipe called for 3/4 cup (WHAT?!)...but you can always ADD if you want to increase your heat index...it's harder to take it away...




Ingredients


2 (10 oz) cans chunked chicken, drained
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 to 1/2 cup pepper sauce (like Frank's Red Hot®)
1 cup ranch dressing
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
1 box of crackers (I like whole wheat) Also, you can cut french bread into cubes.

Directions

Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium-low heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended. Mix in half of the shredded cheese and transfer the dip to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers/bread. 





Zingy-Asian Wing Sauce (borrowed from Nane on Food.com with a few of my touches)

Serves 4-6 people and works on a 3lb bag of wings. I recommend doubling the recipe as a bit extra for dipping is good.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons cornstarch

4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar   (rice vinegar, sans wine works too)

1/2 cup corn syrup

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup chili-garlic sauce ( sweet chili sauce works too)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon lemon juice  (I used lime cause I didn't have lemon)

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced (I use garlic powder)




Directions:

Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

1 Dissolve corn starch in rice wine vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

2 In a small sauce pan combine remaining ingredients.

3 Add corn starch and rice wine vinegar mixture and stir well.

4 Heat mixture on low/medium heat, stirring often until sauce reaches a boil and thickens.

5 Remove from heat, allow it to cool then cover it and chill it until ready to use.

I fry my wings first to get them crispy. Then I coat them with the sauce (any sauce). I then toss them on the grill to finish them and when I remove them from the grill I put them in a big bowl and toss them with more sauce and serve hot.......This sauce is a really sticky, thick sauce (that's what she said), but it is delicious. Not too hot and not too sweet.


Bruschetta

1 small diced red onion
2 large diced tomatos (juices and seeds removed)
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
5-6 fresh basil leaves chopped (can substitute dried, but not as good)
cracked black pepper to taste
salt to taste
pinch of sugar



1 baguette or similar french bread loaf
1/2 cup of olive oil or butter
1 clove minced garlic


Cut bread into diagonal slices about 1/2 inch thick each. In a bowl combine the 1/2 cup olive oil and clove of garlic. Brush the bread with the oil mixture. In oven or on a grill, toast the slices, oil side down until it gets a nice brown color, but do not burn it. Remove bread and set aside.

Next, chop the tomato into small chunks, discarding the juice and seeds as you go. Chop the onion into small bits. Add onion to the tomatos. Chop the basil and add to the tomato mixture. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Mix together well. Taste and season as needed.

Spoon tomato mixture onto each individual bread slice. Top with grated paremesan or romano cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

You can make the tomato mixture ahead of time and add to the bread later when ready to serve.



Sue's Bacon-wrapped Shrimp kebobs

1 lb UNCOOKED jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
1/2 lb bacon cut into about 1.5 inch portions
2 small lemons (one for juicing and the other cut into wedges)
1/2 lime (for juice)
1/4 white wine
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Caribbean Jerk Seasoning


Wash shrimp well. In a shallow dish, whisk together olive oil, white wine, juice of one lemon (about 3 tbsp) and the juice of the lime. Marinate for 1-2 hours or however long you have.

Remove shrimp from marinade and wrap each shrimp with the bacon (this takes some figuring out) but wrap it so that when you place it on the skewer, the bacon is not hanging off. Fit about 5 shrimp on each skewer.
Brush each side with marinade and sprinkle with the Jerk seasoning. (each side)

Place your skewers on a hot grill and cook on each side 4-5 minutes. Cooking time depends on the bacon. You want the bacon to kind of crisp up around the shrimp. Also, the shrimp will plump up and become pink in color.

Remove from grill and serve with remaining lemon cut into wedges and cocktail sauce. I like to make my own. You don't even need a recipe for it. Squirt some ketchup into a small bowl (maybe 3/4 cup) add about 2 tsp of horseradish and a squeeze of the lemon. Mix, and voila! You have your own cocktail sauce. More or less horseradish will adjust how spicy the sauce is.

Depending on how many shrimp came in your bag, you should get at least 6 skewers.

Yes, you can use cooked shrimp if that is all you have, but I would slightly pre-fry the bacon before you wrap them.



Sue's Little Weiners

2 packages of Hillshire Farms Lil Smokies (WEINERS)
1 lb package of bacon, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1 lb of brown sugar
toothpicks
foil baking pan (much easier to clean)

Drain and rinse your Little Weiners. Cut bacon into about 1-1.5 inch pieces. Wrap each Little Weiner with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Toss each one into your baking dish. If you use glass, make sure you spray the shit out of it with Pam.

After wrapping and securing all of your Little Weiners with the toothpicks and placing them in the pan, cover with all of the brown sugar. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes. Give them a good stir once or twice during cooking. The bacon should crisp up, the brown sugar will get all bubbly and your Little Weiners will be drenched in greasy, sugary goodness.

Remove from oven and serve immedietely. Caution, they are VERY hot.
They are also Adicktive. oops, Addictive. This recipe will serve a nice size group. No matter where I take these Little Weiners, everyone wants the recipe.


Crab stuffed mushrooms

1 package of button mushrooms, regular or portobello (about a dozen)
1 stick of butter, divided
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can of crab meat, drained
1 stalk of celery, minced
1/2 onion, minced
2 tbsp green or red pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup white wine, divided
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

monterey jack cheese, slices or shredded

In large pan over medium heat, pour in olive oil and add 1/2 stick of butter. Add garlic and saute the garlic for about 10 seconds (do not burn)
Add onion, celery and green pepper and saute for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender and well blended. Add in white wine and crab meat and continue to saute and stir often. Add in bread crumbs. Cook an additional 5 minutes to blend flavors. Add salt and pepper to taste. The stuffing should not be too watery, if it is add more bread crumbs. Remove from heat and set aside.

Clean the dirt off the mushrooms and remove the stems. Carefully core out the centers of each mushroom being careful not to break through the skin. (I usually use the dull side of a small knife) In a glass baking dish, melt the remaining butter and wine and add the mushrooms with the open side up. Stuff each mushroom with the crab mixture. Place in 350 degree oven and bake, covered, for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and place just enough cheese on the mushrooms to cover the stuffing. Return to oven for another 5-6 minutes just until the cheese begins to melt.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.