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Holiday Recipes

Looking for some new recipes for the holidays? Here are a few of my favorite appetizers and one delicious dessert!

Appetizers

Shrimp Bites
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
2 heads of Belgian endive
24 medium-sized shrimp, deveined and cooked

Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream and dill in a small bowl. Separate the endive leaves into 24 spears, wash them, and pat them dry. Spoon about half a teaspoon of the mayo/sour cream mixture onto the base of each endive spear and top with a shrimp. Fresh shrimp are best, but frozen (thawed) shrimp will also work. Refrigerate till serving time.

Mussels on the Half-shell
24 mussels
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
garnish: diced sweet red pepper and fresh cilantro leaves

Mix the olive oil, parsley, lime juice, hot sauce and pepper in a medium-sized bowl.

Tap the mussels and discard any that remain open. Scrub the mussels, remove the beards, and steam them in a covered saucepan in 1/4 cup of boiling water for about 4 minutes. Steaming will make the mussels open up. Discard any that remain closed.

Carefully remove the mussels from the shells, put them in the bowl with the marinade, and gently stir them till coated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Separate the shells and keep half of them.

To serve, place one marinated mussel on each shell and garnish with a cilantro leaf and a small piece of red pepper.

Scallop Ceviche
1/2 pound scallops, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1/4 cup lime juice 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes 
1/2 cup diced English cucumber 
2 tablespoons finely diced sweet red pepper
2 tablespoons finely diced sweet yellow pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Cook the scallops in a large amount of boiling water for about 1 minute, just until firm. Drain them, put them in a bowl and toss with olive oil, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Just before serving, drain off any excess oil and stir in the lime juice, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Mix in cucumber, red and yellow peppers, and mint. Serve in 8 small, individual appetizer bowls. Another serving suggesting is to use 8 porcelain Chinese soup spoons.

If your guests are already seated, arrange three shrimp bites, three mussels and a serving of creviche on a small plate.

 

Dessert

No Ordinary Trifle

1 pound fresh strawberries (or whole frozen, unsweetened)
1 or 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 pound cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (or orange juice)
3 cups whipping cream, whipped
1 sponge cake, thinly sliced (my local grocery store sells them, two round layers in a package, but you can also use lady fingers, any basic white cake or a pound cake)
6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, grated

Slice the strawberries and set aside. If using frozen berries, they’re easiest to slice when still frozen. If using fresh strawberries, sprinkle the slices with one or two teaspoons of sugar and toss before you set aside. This draws out the juices, which you need when you assemble the trifle.

Reserve a few berries (whole or sliced) for garnish.

Beat together cream cheese and the half cup of sugar. Stir in liqueur or orange juice. Fold in whipped cream.

Drain the strawberries and reserve the juice. You’ll need about one-quarter cup of juice. If necessary, add a little orange juice to make a quarter cup.

You’ll need a large trifle bowl or other clear glass bowl. Layer the ingredients in this order:

  • Place half the cake slices in the bottom of the bowl and drizzle with half the reserved strawberry juice
  • Cover cake with one-third of the cream cheese mixture.
  • The next layer consists of half the strawberries. For the best visual effect, press some of the berries against the edge of the bowl.
  • Sprinkle one-third of the grated chocolate over the berries.
  • Repeat these layers.
  • Spread the remaining one-third of the cream cheese mixture over the top.
  • Garnish: arrange several whole or sliced strawberries on top of the final cream cheese layer and sprinkle on the rest of the grated chocolate.

Refrigerate for several hours before serving. 

Merry Christmas!