I love appetizers. Tapas. Small plates. Hors d’oeuvres. Starters. Whatever you call them, I love them. I like to make them; I like to order them at restaurants; I like to buy them from the freezer cases at Trader Joe’s and Costco and anywhere else I happen to be. Friday night at our house is appetizer night.
So here’s what Hazel and I are thinking: We’ll post an appetizer recipe a day between now and New Year’s Day (well, except for the days we post dessert recipes). Some will be incredibly easy, some more complicated. We’ll also discuss some of the commercial products available–the good, the okay, the bad. We’d like also like to know what you’ve tried and what you think of it.
Costco always carries an array of frozen appetizers at this time of year. I’ve tried the mini quiches, which I thought were pretty dull, and the spanikopita, which I found disappointing. On the other hand, I think the Bacon Bleu Pinwheels are delicious. Of course, I like blue cheese, bacon and puff pastry (yeah, that’s right–health food), so naturally I think the pinwheels are good.
What do you think? What have you sampled and loved? Or hated?
And, to kick off app season, here’s my version of the hot spinach-artichoke dip you find in some restaurants.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 15-ounce can of artichokes
1 cup of cooked spinach
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, divided
1 cup mayonnaise
1 eight-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 small can diced green chilies (3.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Drain the artichokes. If you use frozen chopped spinach, and I usually do, thaw it and squeeze as much moisture as possible out it. Put the cream cheese and mayonnaise in the food processor and process until smooth. Add the artichokes and process until chunky. Stir in the onions, chilies and one-half cup Parmesan.
Spread the dip in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan over the top. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the dip is hot and bubbly. Serve with tortillas chips or crackers.