Every holiday I learn to cook a little smarter and plan efficiently. I always include appetizers that won’t take much effort without sacrificing the taste. A three or a four-ingredient recipe that looks good, saves time, and also is a crowd pleaser. This is one of those recipes that just looks beautiful on the platter with some cheese and crackers while adding some color and natural sweetness to your bites.
- Bocconcini (baby, balls) – 20 (You can also use small mozzarella balls)
- Olive oil – 2 Tablespoons
- Rosemary (cocktail sticks, or trimmed, branches)- 20 sprigs ( I cut the springs in three different pieces)
- Pineapple (fresh or from a tin) – ½ cup
- Chili flakes (red pepper flakes) – 1/4teaspoon
- Rosemary (chopped) – 1 Tablespoon
- Place the olive oil into a frying pan, add the rosemary and place over a low heat. Allow the oil to heat up and as soon it starts to shimmer, remove from the heat and pour the oil into a heatproof bowl.
- Drain the bocconcini balls and placing them in a separate bowl with the chili flakes. Shake gently to ensure each ball has a little chili on it, then set aside.
- Cut the pineapple into 20 small chunks. (or if using tinned just drain the pineapple)
- Place your frying pan back on the heat (no need to wash it) and add the pineapple. Cook over a high heat for 2 minutes then flip and cook on the other side for a further 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and tip the pineapple into the warm rosemary oil. Allow to cool.
- Take your cocktail stick (or branch) and push on a baby bocconcini ball. Add a chunk of pineapple and set onto a platter.
- Cover and keep chilled until your party. Just remember to remove them from the fridge at least 15 minutes before you want to eat them.
Growing up these kababs were one of the staple dishes made in our house. My mom would always ask me to help her with these as she made them in large batches. She would never let me go close to the stove but always involved me in shaping and handling food like this. There would always be a large batch of them leftover afterwards. These store in the fridge really well, I would suggest storing them in the freezer after you’ve fried them in oil.
- Canned Tuna in Water – 4 cans
- Russet or golden potatoes – 4 to 5 medium-sized
- Garlic paste – 1 Tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Cayenne powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tsp
- Ground black pepper – 2 tsp
- Salt – To taste
- Green chillies – 1 Tbsp
- Onions (thinly sliced) – 1 cup
- Cilantro – 1/4 cup
- Oil – as needed
- Firstly, peel and boil the potatoes cutting them in halves. On a separate bowl cool the potatoes and smash them.
- Drain the water out of the canned Tuna and saute it in about 4 tablespoons of oil. Add garlic paste and saute for another minute. Mix in turmeric, cumin, cayenne, coriander, ground black pepper, and cumin powder. Cook it in the oil for 10 minutes.
- On a separate bowl pour the mixture and let it cool. Add salt, egg, green chillies, onions, cilantro, and the mashed potatoes. Mix everything well so that it is homogenous.
- Make them into a round-shaped patty according to your preference ( i.e. big, small, thickness). In a deep set saucepan, deep fry the patties in medium heat oil, making sure that both sides are cooked equally.
- Serve with rice or by themselves as appetizers.
To get into the spirit of the world cup soccer game this year. I tried to make this appetizer. I learned of it from a Facebook post made by Tashfee at the time. She invited people to go over and have this appetizer if Brazil won that round. Being that we live thousands of miles apart, I couldn’t possibly go over and have a quick bite at her place. So I decided to make my own Coxinha – Brazilian street food. I am happy to say that they turned out to be quiet tasty.
- Olive oil- 1 Tbs
- Garlic cloves minced – 4
- White onion diced – 1
- Chicken cooked and shredded- 2 cups
- Paprika or cayenne pepper- 1/2 tsp
- salt- to taste
- Cream cheese- 4 oz
- Fresh parsley chopped- 3 Tbsp
- Whole milk- 2 cups
- All-purpose flour- 2 cups
- Panko breadcrumbs – 2 cups
- Oil, for frying
- In a medium pot, heat olive oil, then sauté garlic and onions until soft and brown. Add shredded chicken, salt, and paprika (or cayenne pepper). Stir to incorporate.
- Transfer mixture into a bowl, add cream cheese and parsley. Mix well.
- In the same pot, add butter, chicken broth, and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in flour until dough is formed.
- Transfer dough to a flat surface. Knead the dough while it is warm, but not hot.
- Pinch a piece of dough, about the size of a large egg, and roll into a ball. Using your hands, flatten the dough and spoon filling into the center. Wrap the dough into a pear shape and make sure there aren’t any holes.
- While heating a pot of oil to 350˚F/180˚C, dredge the dough in egg and panko, then deep-fry till golden brown and cooked through.
- Drain on a towel, or wire rack and serve immediately.