17 September 2009

Video and Recipes: Easy Dips and Cool Appetizers

From Denny: While the weather is still warm we can have an end of summer party or two. Here are some simple popular recipes for just such a gathering of you and your friends! Listed are BBQ Chicken Quesadillas, Fresh Crab Dip and Avocado Dip and Torilla Chips and for your vegetarian friends: Vegetable Fritters. There is a little something to please everyone! This man really knows how to cook easy, simple and divine!

* If you don't have a mandolin, just use your box grater like for making coleslaw or shredding your favorite cheese! These look divine as he has a dip for them. They don't have any flour in them and are a quick cook for a warm appetizer.

Vegetable fritters

From: Chef Curtis Stone

Makes: 12


• 1 russet potato, peeled
• 1 carrot, peeled
• 1 zucchini, ends trimmed
• 1 onion, halved and very thinly sliced
• 2 teaspoons sea salt
• 2 large eggs
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1/4 bunch fresh dill, leaves coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)


Using a mandoline or julienne peeler, cut the potato, carrot, and zucchini lengthwise into long spaghetti-like strips.

Toss the potato, carrot, zucchini, onion, and 2 teaspoons of salt in a medium bowl.

Let the vegetable mixture stand for 10 minutes, or until the salt has drawn out some of the moisture from the vegetables.

Place the vegetables in a colander to drain the excess moisture then squeeze the vegetables between your hands to exude as much moisture as possible.

Using a fork, beat the eggs and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl to blend well.

Add the vegetables and stir to coat with the egg.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Working in batches and using about 1/4 cup of the vegetable-egg mixture for each, spoon the vegetable-egg mixture into the pan forming thin patties that are about 3-inches in diameter.

Fry for 4 minutes on each side, or until the fritters are golden and crisp on the outside.

Using a metal spatula, transfer the fritters to paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Meanwhile, stir the sour cream and dill in a small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the fritters on a platter and serve with the sour cream-dill sauce.


Another fast preparation, a minute or two on each side of the tortilla to warm the chicken, melt the cheese and brown the tortilla and another awesome warm appetizer that is a big hit!

Barbeque chicken quesadillas

From: Chef Curtis Stone

Serves: 4


• Four 10-inch-diameter flour tortillas
• 2 cups (about 8 ounces) coarsely shredded roasted chicken
• 2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated Monterey Jack cheese
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
• Salt
• 1/4 cup barbeque sauce


Preheat oven to 250F.

Arrange the tortillas on a work surface. Divide the chicken, cheese, cilantro, and jalapeno among the tortillas, scattering the ingredients over half of each tortilla.

Sprinkle with salt and drizzle a tablespoon of barbecue sauce over each.

Fold the uncovered half of each tortilla over the filling to form a half moon shape.

Heat a large flat griddle pan over medium heat.

Place 2 quesadillas on the griddle.

Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden and the cheese has melted.

Transfer the quesadillas to a baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven.

Repeat with the remaining 2 quesadillas.

Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve.


This looked simply beautiful. What is better is it's simplicity, all because they are the freshest ingredients!

Fresh crab and avocado dip with crispy tortilla chips

From: Chef Curtis Stone

Serves: 6


• 4 firm but ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup fresh crabmeat
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
• 1 red jalapeno, finely chopped
• Canola oil, for deep frying
• 12 fresh corn tortillas, cut into 8 wedges each
• Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


Mash the avocados, sour cream, 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, and the chives in a large bowl.

Season the avocado mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture into a clear glass serving bowl, forming an even layer and smoothing the top.

Squeeze the crabmeat gently to remove any excess liquid.

Gently mix the crabmeat, mayonnaise, sliced basil, jalapeno, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice in another bowl.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the crab mixture over the avocado mixture, forming a second even layer and smoothing the top.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat 3 inches of oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat.

Working in batches, add the tortilla wedges and fry, stirring often so that they cook evenly on both sides, for about 3 minutes or until they are crisp and golden brown.

Using a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, transfer the corn chips to paper towels to drain any excess oil.

While the chips are still hot, sprinkle them lightly with salt.

Garnish the dip with basil leaves and serve with the tortilla chips.
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