Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Make-Ahead Appetizers

I’ve posted several recipes recently for appetizers that can be made up in advance. Here are a few more:


40 large and evenly-sized button mushrooms
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix
4 T. fresh parsley, diced finely

Rinse and lightly pat dry mushrooms. Carefully remove the stems, and discard. Beat cream cheese with mixer until smooth. Add sour cream, dip mix and 2 T. of the fresh parsley. Blend well with mixer. Spoon mixture into decorating bag with star tip. Pipe inside each mushroom top. Garnish filled mushrooms with the rest of the diced parsley. Refrigerate until serving. Can be made one day in advance.


1 ½ pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 qt. fresh bean sprouts
3 large Spanish onions, chopped
2 pounds fresh carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cabbage, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
I package Lumpia wrappers, thawed in the refrigerator at least one day (these are available at Asian markets)

For filling: Brown ground beef and onion together. Drain, and set aside. Stir fry bean sprouts, carrot and cabbage together in 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in hamburger and onion mixture.

Carefully separate Lumpia wrappers. Put about 2-3 tablespoons worth of filling into each. Fold each side in a couple inches, and roll up “burrito-style.” (Usually there are instructions on the Lumpia wrappers package, for exactly how to fold them.) At this point, you can fry the egg rolls. Or, you can put them in freezer bags or containers (with waxed paper between the layers) and freeze them uncooked. About a day before serving, start thawing them in the refrigerator.

Cook them in hot oil for 2-3 minutes (until lightly browned), or baste them with oil and bake them on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve with sweet chili sauce (also available at Asian markets, as well as the international aisle of many supermarkets). My favorite is Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce.


2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 pkgs. dry onion soup mix
2 large eggs
3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic

1 ½ tsp. minced garlic
1 T. butter
½ cup honey
¾ cup catsup
3 T. soy sauce

To make meatballs, combine all of the meatball ingredients together. Shape into 1-inch meatballs. Place in a 15X10-inch jelly roll pan or shallow roasting pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Cook them in a 375 degree oven, 20-25 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels. At this point you can add the sauce and serve immediately. Or, you can put the meatballs in a freezer bag and freeze them until you’re ready to heat and serve them.

To make sauce, in medium saucepan, saute garlic in butter. Add honey, catsup and soy sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over warm meatballs and toss to coat.


1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. olive oil
1 cup fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
½ cup mozzarella cheese
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. black pepper
15 frozen baked phyllo cups
1 small can sliced black olives
½ cup Parmesan cheese (ideally freshly grated)

In a small skillet, saute tomatoes and garlic in olive oil until liquid is evaporated (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in mozzarrella cheese, basil, oregano and pepper. Divide mixture between 15 phyllo cups. Top cups with the sliced black olives and Parmesan cheese. Bake in 400 degree oven for 6-8 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve immediately. (Do-ahead tip: these appetizers can be assembled up to one day in advance and kept in refrigerator until ready to bake. You will need to add 2-3 minutes to the baking time.)

Happy munching!

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