Friday, January 13, 2012

Food Friday - Appetizers

I love appetizers!  Nothing says to me "kid-free/date-night dinner" like nice appetizers.  I'm not talking about bacon-cheese-fries or breaded mozarella sticks, although those are definitely two of my favorite foods!  I mean like the dinner Igor and I enjoyed with our candle-lit christmas tree (those Germans!): stuffed mushrooms and bacon wrapped dates.  So, to begin my Food Friday series, I'll start off with these two super-easy appetizers.

Stuffed Mushrooms:
20 Mushrooms
2 Tbsp/28g butter
1/2 onion (in this case, I used 2 inches of leek)
1-2 cloves diced garlic (1 1/2 tsp)
Salt, pepper, mixed herbs (I like rosemary and thyme or Herbs de Provence)
100g/3.5 oz cream cheese
10-15 pistachios, coursely chopped

Wash and de-stem mushrooms.  Dice onion and mushrooms.  Sautee onion, garlic and mushrooms in butter until tender.  Season to taste.  Let cool, then add chopped pistachios and cream cheese.  Stuff mushrooms with cream cheese filling.

This recipe tastes great and makes me feel healthy - raw mushrooms have to be healthy, no matter what the filling!  For a less healthy alternative, take out the cream cheese, add 1/2 cup bread crumbs and broil (400F/220C) the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes until brown (oh, and brush them with 1/4 cup melted butter) - amazing! (but doesn't feel as healthy:) oh! and it works well to make the filling the day before and pop the filled mushrooms in the oven when guests arrive.

The bacon wrapped dates are just that: pit dates, wrap in 1/3 slice bacon.  Broil (400F/220C)10-15 minutes until browned -
uh-mazing!  This is also perfect to do with plums (even sweeter!)

What's your favorite appetizer?  Do you agree that bacon makes just about anything taste better?

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