Open-Faced Chicken Sandwiches

January 25, 2008
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For these elegant and so, so tasty little sandwiches, consider a smoked paprika. The extra depth in taste will wow you and your guests. SAM

PS If your favorite grocery doesn’t have smoked paprika, one of the online spice companies. My favorite is Penzy’s.

2 pounds chicken breasts, cooked, boned, and chopped (2 cups)
2 cups finely chopped pecans
4 center ribs celery with leaves, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Sea Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 cup whipping cream
24 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Mayonnaise
Smoked paprika

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, pecans, celery, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add the cream stirring until well mixed. Spread bread slices with mayonnaise and chicken mixture and cut diagonally into quarters. Sprinkle each sandwich with paprika.
Makes 8 dozen appetizer sandwiches.

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Sour Cream Dip

January 24, 2008
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I’m not really sure where commercial sour cream came from—it’s not like dairy sour cream—but it’s so lush and tangy and totally comforting you can’t go wrong with this mouth-watering dip. Serve it once, and you’ll have to make more. SAM

1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream (1 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh snipped chives
Juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon onion juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream, chives, lemon juice, onion juice, vinegar, horseradish, mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir until thoroughly blended. Chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving. Serve with crudités.
Makes 1 cup or 8 servings.


Chili Dip

January 23, 2008
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Technically, this is an appetizer, and a great one. But, trust me, you can make a meal on this! SAM

2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dried chives

In a large chef’s pan or heavy skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the beef, onion, and garlic until browned. Add the chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Pulse the beans 3 or 4 times with an immersion blender to roughly chop and add to the beef mixture. Cook until thoroughly heated. Pour into a chafing dish, top with sour cream and chives, and serve with corn chips.
Makes 20 servings.


Cheddar Balls

January 22, 2008
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Hot, spicy, tangy, creamy … this easy appetizer is made for cheese lovers! SAM

1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated, room temperature (4 cups)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 ounces brandy
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
2 or 3 dashes of hot-pepper sauce or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, brandy, paprika, hot-pepper sauce, and pepper. Chill for 3 to 4 hours. Form the cheese mixture into 1/2-inch balls and roll in nuts.
Makes 5 dozen 1/2-inch balls.


Crab Puffs

January 21, 2008
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Serve this easy and elegant appetizer on a buffet table or have your waiter carry it to your guests on a tray. SAM

4 egg whites
2 cups mayonnaise
2/3 pound crabmeat, well drained (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1 (20-inch) baguette, cut into 3/8-inch rounds and toasted

With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the mayonnaise and crabmeat. Add the paprika, hot-pepper sauce, onion flakes, and parsley. Place 1 tablespoon of crab mixture on each bread round and place on a large, ungreased baking sheet. Broil until puffed and lightly browned.
Makes 6 dozen puffs.