Archive for APPETIZERS

Salmon Cakes

Salmon cakes are my take on one of my favorite seafood dishes — crab cakes.  These savory patties are crisp on the outside, thanks to a quick pan-frying, and moist and flavorful on the inside. To finish it off, top with a dollop of lemon-garlic aoili and a sprinkling of green onions. Mmmm mmmm mmmm…these are soooooo good!

Salmon cake

I usually make this for a meal, but you can easily make these into appetizer-sized portions.  This recipe makes between 10-12 salmon cakes, depending on how big you make them.

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This is a quick and easy version, using canned salmon. I’ve also made this using fresh salmon.  To prepare fresh salmon, bring about 2 cups of broth (seafood or chicken) to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add boneless, skinless salmon pieces to the boiling broth.  Cook until done, about 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of the salmon pieces.  Let the salmon cool then use a fork to break the salmon apart into small chunks.  You’ll need about 1 1/2 pounds of fresh salmon for this recipe.

This is an easy recipe that your kids can help with.  There is something about forming the patties that appeal to kids, or at least it appeals to my kids.  Maybe it’s because they get to “play” with food. 😉

You can find my complete recipe at the bottom of this post.  Give it a try.  I’m sure you’ll like it. 🙂

Start out by making my super-simple lemon-garlic aioli.  Mix all of the aioli ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

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Once the aioli is prepared, start making the salmon cakes.  Place all of the ingredients for the salmon cakes into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Salmon cake

Use a spatula to fold the ingredients together.  Be gentle…the salmon breaks apart easily.  You want to still see small chunks of salmon after mixing.

Salmon cakes

The mixture will be a little “wet.”  This is perfectly okay and is key to creating tender and juicy salmon cakes after frying.

Place the remaining panko bread crumbs into a small bowl.  Form patties out of the mixture then generously coat in bread crumbs. Place the coated salmon cake on a plate or tray; finish forming/coating the rest of the mixture.

Because the mixture is quite moist, I find that refrigerating the coated salmon cakes for about 30 minutes BEFORE frying makes them easier to lift from the plate to the frying pan.

Salmon cakes

When you’re ready to fry the cakes, place a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil on a heated non-stick skillet.  I actually prefer to use a cast-iron skillet when I make this.

Pan fry over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp.

Serve with garlic aioli and ENJOY! 😀

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Salmon Cakes
 
Author:
Serves: 10-12 patties
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Savory salmon patties seasoned with cajun seasoning, topped with a delicious lemon-garlic aoili
Ingredients
Cajun Garlic Aoli
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Salmon Cakes:
  • 3 cans boneless salmon (6-oz each)
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 stalks green onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Other:
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs, for coating
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions
Make the Aoili:
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Make the Salmon Cakes:
  1. Drain the water out of the cans of salmon then place into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the ingredients for the salmon cakes to the bowl. Fold the ingredients together until combined.
  3. Form the mixture into patties, coating each one with the remaining 2 cups of bread crumbs.
  4. Heat a non- stick or cast-iron pan over medium high heat. Lightly coat the pan with vegetable oil (a couple of tablespoons will do). Pan fry the salmon cakes for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Add more oil to the pan if needed.
Serve with aioli and enjoy!

 

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Mini Chocolate Eclairs (or Cream Puffs)

Homemade eclairs are super easy to make.  They are a French dessert also known as profiteroles, cream puffs, or choux à la crème.  I just call it “delicious.” 😉

This is a great recipe to get your kids to help with.  In fact, they are so easy to make that my daughter (13 years old at the time the photo below was taken) makes them anytime she gets a craving for them.

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These tender pastry cups are so versatile; you can make them into delectable desserts like I’ve done here, or you can create amazing appetizers by filling them with your favorite dips or spreads.

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I like making these into cute, miniature puffs.  I use a small ice cream scoop to create evenly-sized pastries.

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Add these scrumptious treats to your table and your family (or guests) will be delighted and amazed.  Only YOU will know how easy they were to prepare! 😉Cream Puffs - 03

Other options for these delicious treats:

  • Dust the tops with powdered sugar to make Cream Puffs
  • Fill with ice cream for a frozen treat
  • Experiment with different pudding flavors (cheesecake pudding filling is delicious!)
  • Experiment with different extract flavors (try peppermint extract with chocolate pudding)
  • To make this a savory dish, fill with crab dip (or your favorite dip) for an easy appetizer

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

 

Mini Chocolate Eclairs
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
SHELL:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (or 1 stick)
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
FILLING:
  • 1 box (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding (plus ingredients to make the pudding, per pkg. directions)
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1½ teaspoons dark corn syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
Make the Shell:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butter, water, and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add flour all at once to boiling liquid, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and continue stirring until the flour mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, into the flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Continue stirring until the the dough is smooth and not lumpy. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow to thoroughly cool.
  4. After the dough cools, drop by rounded heaping teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet, placing dough 23 inches apart. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately split shells in half while hot to allow steam to escape and to keep shells crisp. Cool thoroughly before filling.
Make the Filling:
  1. Follow the directions on the box of pudding. Fold in Cool Whip and almond extract.
  2. Fill cream puff shells with prepared pudding mixture.
Make the Chocolate Topping:
  1. Place all ingredients into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on medium heat for 20 seconds; stir the mixture. If the chocolate chips and butter are not completely melted after stirring, microwave for 10 more seconds (and at 10-second intervals if they are still not melted), stirring afterward until the mixture is totally melted and smooth.

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Sardine Kelaguen

Yes…kelaguen…with sardines.  Don’t knock it ’till you try it. 🙂

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This is one of my favorite foods.  If you know what kelaguen is and you’ve never tried sardine kelaguen, you’ve got to try it now.  If kelaguen is new to you, the basic recipe for this island favorite is quite simple.  Chop up your favorite meat or seafood, then season ti with lemon or lime juice, salt, onions, and hot chili peppers.  Optional ingredients are freshly grated (or store-bought unsweetened) coconut.  All ingredients (except for the meat and/or seafood) is added to taste, meaning if you like your kelaguen more on the tangy side, add more lemon or lime juice.  Like it salty?  Add more salt.  Like it mouth-on-fire-hot?  Add lots of hot chili peppers.  See, it’s simple.

Click here to view my recipes for different types of kelaguen.

As for sardine kelaguen, you use canned sardines.  The photo below show “fish steaks” — this is fine too; the “steaks” are small, bite-sized herring that works just fine in this recipe. While you most certainly can use sardines packed in water, I really prefer sardines packed in soybean oil, and it’s what I recommend for this recipe.

sardines in oil

I have a family of four, but only three of us like this (my extremely picky daughter won’t get near this with a 10-foot pole).  That’s okay, though — that just leaves more for the rest of us. 😉

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Remove the sardines from the can, pouring off the excess oil.  Split the sardines in half, lengthwise, then remove and discard the bones (I also remove the stomach but leave it in if you like that kind of stuff).  Place the cleaned sardines into a bowl.

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I like lots of onions — sliced green onions or diced white or yellow onions — it doesn’t matter; add your favorite kind.  I added both. 🙂

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Add lemon juice, salt, and hot pepper, to taste. IMG_1508

Mix well, serve and enjoy! IMG_1510

I love this with hot, steamed white rice, or served as a dip with tortilla chips.  You can also make tortilla wraps (I recommend soft corn tortillas) or one of my favorites, stuffed in taco shells with lettuce leaves or mix salad greens.

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Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

 

Sardine Kelaguen
 
Author:
Cuisine: Chamorro
 
Sardines with lemon juice, salt, onions, and hot chili peppers. Serve as an appetizer with tortilla chips. These make incredible fish tacos!
Ingredients
  • 6 cans sardines packed in oil
  • The juice of 2 lemons (more or less, to taste)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • *You can also use sliced green onions; add as much as you like
Optional:
  • Crushed or sliced hot chili peppers, to taste
  • Grated coconut, as much as you like
Instructions
  1. Remove the sardines from the cans; remove and discard the bones. Place in a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients; stir to combine.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

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Daigo’ Kimchi with Rokkyo & Pickled Garlic

This is a very simple salad or side dish made with pickled daikon radish, pearl onions, and garlic.  This is not a dish you want to eat before venturing out into public…your pores will exude an odor that is guaranteed to chase away even the scariest of vampires.

Daigo’ (pickled daikon radish), Rokkyo’ (pickled pearl onions) and pickled garlic are popular snacks on Guam.  Visit your local village store and you’re likely to see large jars filled with these pickled delights for sale.

imageTo make an easy kimchi, mix together Kimchee Base and white vinegar, adding it to the bowl of mixed vegetables.

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Let the mixture marinate for about 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop.  Serve and ENJOY! 🙂

 

Daigo' Kimchi with Rokkyo & Pickled Garlic
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package sliced pickled daikon radish
  • 1 small package (about 2 cups) pickled pearl onions
  • 1 small package (about 1 cup) pickled garlic
  • ¼ cup Kimchee Base
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • Hot pepper, optional
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Let the mixture marinate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

 

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Cheeseburger Biscuits

DSC_0011Cheese…seasoned ground beef…bacon…all baked in a fluffy biscuit (did I mention there was BACON?). 🙂

These little pillows of delight are delicious as a snack, appetizer, or served with your favorite soup or meal.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.

 

Cheeseburger Biscuits
 
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Fluffy biscuits loaded with cheese, seasoned ground beef and BACON!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons beef flavored Dashida
  • 10 slices bacon
  • 4 cups Bisquick mix
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (YES, mayo)
  • 1 cup Sprite (YES, sprite)
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground beef with the Dashida seasoning; set aside to cool.
  2. Cook the bacon until crisp. Crumble the bacon into small bits; set aside. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cooked ground beef, bacon bits, Bisquick mix, baking powder, and cheese.
  4. Fold in the reserved bacon fat, mayo, and sprite. Mix GENTLY, just until all ingredients are incorporated (do not overwork the dough).
  5. Using a large ice cream scoop (I used one that holds ¼ cup), scoop out balls of dough, placing them on a baking sheet 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Note: The cooked biscuit will feel slightly soft when the baking time is finished; do not be tempted to cook them longer, however. You are most likely feeling how soft the biscuits are because of the melted cheese.
  7. Immediately remove the biscuits to a wire cooling rack.
  8. Serve warm.
Enjoy as a snack or with your favorite soup or meal.

 

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