14 Apr Special of the day: Super Simple Spring Appetizers
Spring has sprung! Our well-deserved warmer weather with no wind is cause for celebration in my book. It’s the perfect excuse for a party, especially when you approach it with a footloose and fancy-free attitude.
Ease your way back into entertaining this season by setting up a soiree consisting of super simple spring appetizers such as succulent Shrimp Scampi Toasts, salty-sweet Easy Blue Cheese Spread with Sliced Pear and Candied Pecan and Orange Marmalade-Horseradish Glazed Chicken Skewers with a pleasing tangy kick.
Grab your scissors, friends. Boasting a short list of ingredients, minimal prep time and a single bowl (or pie plate or grill basket, as the case may be) to prepare, this week’s Special of the Day lineup is one to clip and save for use throughout spring and summer, to be sure.
Whip something fast and fabulous with this week’s Special of the day: Super Simple Spring Appetizers and recipes for Shrimp Scampi Toasts, Easy Blue Cheese Spread with Sliced Pear and Candied Pecan and Orange Marmalade-Horseradish Glazed Chicken Skewers. Happy cooking!
Shrimp Scampi Toasts
(makes 16-20 appetizers)
1 thin baguette, sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
2 tbsp, melted butter
1 pound Arctic Shores frozen EZ Peel shrimp, 16-20 per pound
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. green onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup melted butter
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Fresh parsley, minced, for garnish, if desired
Thaw shrimp in refrigerator overnight or under cold running water until thoroughly thawed.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Brush baguette slices with melted butter, arrange on a baking sheet and toast briefly just until edges are lightly browned. Do not overcook. They should still be soft in the middle.
Pull tails and shells off shrimp.
Set on paper towels to dry.
Arrange thawed shelled shrimp in glass pie plate (or other shallow baking dish) in single layer.
Sprinkle minced garlic and sliced green onion over shrimp.
Pour melted butter and lemon juice over shrimp evenly.
Bake in preheated oven for about 8 minutes until shrimp are pink. Do not overcook.
Top each toast round with one shrimp. Spoon sauce over shrimp to cover toast round.
Garnish with minced parsley.
Easy Blue Cheese Spread with Sliced Pear and Candied Pecans
(makes 12 appetizers)
¼ cup pecans
3 tbsp. sugar
½ cup cream cheese, softened
½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 ripe pear, sliced thinly
Heat small sauté pan over medium high heat until hot. Sprinkle sugar into pan evenly. Let sugar melt, watching and adjusting heat so it does not brown. When sugar is melted, add pecans and stir to coat. Remove from heat and transfer candied pecans to waxed paper to cool.
Mix cream cheese and blue cheese together in electric mixer until thoroughly mixed.
Top each cracker with blue cheese spread, a pear slice and a candied pecan. Enjoy!
Orange Marmalade Horseradish-Glazed Chicken Skewers
(makes 16 appetizers)
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced into 2-inch by ¼ inch thick slices
½ cup orange marmalade
1 tbsp. creamy horseradish
Heat barbecue grill to 350 degrees.
Soak 16 6-inch wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes.
Spray grill basket with nonstick spray.
Please grill basket on grill to preheat.
Whisk marmalade and horseradish together in small bowl.
On a work surface, brush each side of the chicken slices with the glaze.
Thread glazed chicken slices onto small skewers. Grill briefly, about 2 minutes, just until opaque. Turn and grill other side until opaque and cooked through.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.