Cocktail Party Canapés

Wonderful "nibblers" to enthrall your guests!

Recipe Index

Feel free to browse the entire page of recipes or use these links to jump to a specific one.

Asiago Cheese And Asparagus Pin Wheels

Avocado Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops With Maple Cream

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates

Baked Brie Cups

Baked Brie In Puff Pastry With Cranberry Sauce 

Baked Herbed Brie In Puff Pastry

Beet Dip With Fresh Vegetables 

Beet Pickled Stuffed Eggs

Bite Size Goat Cheese Walnut Cheesecakes

Blue Cheese And Pear Tartlets

Chanterelle Mushroom Pate

Charcouterie Cones

Citrus Marinated Olives

Coconut Curry Scallop, Kumquat And Asian Pear Canapés

Crab Jicama "Seviche" On Cucumber 

Crab Meat And Beet Puree On Granny Smith Apple 

Crab Truffles

Creamy Goat Cheese Deviled Eggs With Herbs (With Variations)

Curried Stuffed Eggs

Dried Apricots With Goat Cheese And Pistachios 

Deviled Cocktail Sausages With Chutney And Lime Dipping Sauce

Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon And Green Onions

Endive Spears Stuffed With Herbed Goat Cheese

Endive With Smoked Trout And Herbed Cream Cheese

Fig And Stilton Squares

Fig and Walnut Tapenade Crostini With Goat Cheese

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

Goat Cheese And Herb Dip 

Goat Cheese, Grape And Pistachio Truffles  

Ham and Horseradish Stuffed Eggs 

Herbed Olives

Irish Crab Dip (Tom's Award Winner)

Kalamata Caper Tapas

Lemon Tarragon Stuffed Eggs 

Mango Curry Shrimp In Wonton Or Phyllo Cups

Mushrooms Stuffed With Walnuts And Cheese

Mussels In Saffron: Cozze al Zafferano (Mario Batali)

New Potatoes Stuffed With Smoked Salmon And Horseradish

Olive Cheese Balls

Olives Baked in Red Wine

Oyster Puffs (Tom's 2011 National [Oyster Cook-Off Winner)

Pancetta, Leek And Asiago Cheese Tartlets

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese With Balsamic Vinegar 

Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus With Citronette

Pesto And Brie Canapes

Polenta Bites With Blue Cheese, Tomatoes And Pine Nuts 

Plum Glazed Stuffed Shitake Mushrooms

Prosciutto And Foie Gras Roulades With Fig Compote (David Waltuck)

Prosciutto And Gruyere Pinwheels

Prosciutto And Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

Prosciutto Rolls 

Prosciutto Spirals 

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp With Garlic Dipping Sauce  

Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp With Orange Marmalade

Puff  Pastry Purses With Zucchini, Brie and Prosciutto 

Roast Beef And Arugula Crostini With Olive-Red Pepper Relish  

Roast Beef And Boursin Cheese Canapés

Roast Dates With Serrano Ham 

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes With Crème Fraiche and Caviar 

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail 

Roasted Persimmons Wrapped In Pancetta 

Roasted Red Pepper And Goat Cheese Dip

Seared Sea Scallops With Crème Fraiche and Caviar

Serrano Ham And Goat Cheese Spirals

Smoked Salmon And Herbed Egg Salad Involtini (Rolls) 

Smoked Salmon Bites

Smoked Salmon Christmas Trees

Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Dill Stuffed Eggs

Smoked Salmon, Goat Cheese And Asparagus Roulade

Spinach and Feta Turnovers

Spiced Caramelized Cauliflower Florets

Spiced Salmon Gravlax With Mustard Dill Sauce

Spicy Deviled Eggs

Spicy Shrimp Satays

Stuffed Edam

Stuffed Jalapenos

Stuffed Mushrooms With Sun-Dried Tomato

Sugared Figs Stuffed With Almonds

Super Easy-Super Fast Mini Tart Canapes

Sweet Potato, Crème Fraiche and Caviar Bites

Tomato, Red Onion, And Basil Bruschetta

Walnut And Wild Mushroom Turnovers  

Walnut Kisses

Walnut Pesto and Goat Cheese Dip 

Watercress And Radish Stuffed Eggs 

White Chocolate Brie Cups

Wine-Marinated Grapes 

Makes 12 stuffed eggs

6 hard-cooked large eggs
3 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
2 ounces (about 3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Garnish: dill sprigs

Cut a paper-thin slice off both ends of eggs and halve eggs crosswise.  In a small food processor blend yolks, salmon, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste until smooth.  Add minced dill and process until mixture is just combined.  Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a large leaf or other decorative tip.  Just before serving, pipe filling into whites, mounding it, and garnish eggs. 

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Makes 16 hors d'oeuvres

8 bacon slices, halved
1/3 cup prepared scallion or chive cream cheese
16 whole pitted dates, cut open on one side

Preheat broiler.  In a large heavy skillet cook bacon in batches over moderate heat until partially cooked but still soft.  Transfer bacon with tongs to paper towels to drain.  Spoon about 1 teaspoon cream cheese into each date and wrap a bacon slice around date, securing with a wooden pick.  Dates may be prepared up to this point I day ahead and chilled, covered.  Broil dates on rack of a broiler pan about 3 inches from heat until bacon is browned, about 2 minutes on each side.  Cool dates slightly and serve warm. 

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Makes 3 cups

3 cups (about 3/4 pound) mixed black and green brine-cured olives, such as Kalamata, Picholine, and Gaeta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 to ½ tablespoons minced fresh rosemary and/or thyme leaves or 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crumbled dried
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, or to taste, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

In a container with a tight-fitting lid combine all ingredients with salt and pepper to taste and chill, shaking occasionally, at least I day and up to I week.  Serve olives at room temperature. 

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Makes about 4 cups cheese spread

1 28 ounce edam cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup lightly salted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup chopped, pitted green olives
2 tablespoons minced, peeled onion
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Cut a 1/2 inch slice off the top of the Edam cheese.  Cut 1/2 inch-deep Vs around top edge of cheese.  With a spoon carefully scoop out most of the cheese from the wax coating, leaving about 1/4 inch of the cheese intact in the shell.  Either break scooped-out cheese into small pieces and put in a food processor fitted with a steel blade; then add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.  Or grate cheese into a bowl, add remaining ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until well mixed.  Fill wax shell with about 3 cups of the cheese mixture, mounding it high.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time.  Remaining cheese mixture may be added to shell when partly emptied. 

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Serves 6 as an hors d'oeuvre

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely ground walnuts, plus 9 walnut pieces for garnish
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 ounces soft goat cheese such as Montrachet
1 large egg, beaten lightly
I tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus additional chives for garnish
1 teaspoon finely diced red bell pepper, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350F and butter eighteen 1/8 cup mini-muffin cups (about 1 3/4 inches across top and 3/4 inch deep). In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, ground walnuts, butter, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and stir until thoroughly combined.  Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the walnut mixture into each cup and press down into the bottom of the cups.  With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add the goat cheese and beat until creamy. Add the egg and beat until well combined.  Add the chives, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Divide the goat cheese mixture between the cups and smooth the tops. Set a walnut piece on top of nine of the cheesecakes.  Top the remaining cheesecakes with the diced red peppers.  Bake until puffed, about 15 minutes.  Let the cheesecakes cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold.  Garnish with chives and serve warm.

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Makes 10 hors d'oeuvres

1/2 pound thinly sliced smoked salmon
10 very thin slices of whole-wheat bread (I use the dark larger cocktail loaf)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
about 1 tablespoon drained capers
1 small white onion, halved and sliced thin lengthwise
Dill sprigs for garnish

Arrange the salmon slices, overlapping them slightly, on a cutting board and with a 3 1/4 inch metal Christmas tree cutter cut out 10 trees, using a small sharp knife if necessary to aid in the cutting. with the cutter cut out 10 trees from the bread, spread the bread with the butter, and sprinkle the butter with pepper to taste.  Top each bread tree carefully with a salmon tree and garnish the trees with caper ornaments and onion icicles.  The trees may be made up to 6 hours in advance and kept covered and chilled.  Transfer the trees to a platter and garnish the platter with garlands of the dill. 

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1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup port
1 tub mousse de foie gras*
20 walnut halves

*See my Supplier Page for D'Artagnan.

In a small saucepan, simmer 1/4 cup of dried cranberries in 1/4 cup of ruby port for 5 minutes. Cover, let cool and drain.  Spread 1 teaspoon of mousse de foie gras* on each of 20 walnut halves, top with 2 cranberries and sandwich with another walnut half.

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Makes one 5-inch cheese ball

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (I-ounce) package Liederkranz soft ripened cheese, softened
3 ounces (one-half 6 ounce package) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup finely chopped apple
1 cup finely chopped mixed dried fruit
(raisins, dates or apricots)
2-tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely chopped walnut
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
melba rounds or other crackers

In medium mixer bowl, beat cream cheese with Liederkranz stir in Gruyere and nutmeg. Toss fruits with lemon juice; stir into cheeses.  Chill to firm slightly.  Shape into ball; roll in walnuts and parsley.  Store in refrigerator.  Allow to soften to room temperature before serving.  Serve with melba rounds and/or other crackers. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Makes about 40 hors d'oeuvres

2 long narrow sweet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), scrubbed
about 1/2 cup crème Fraiche (available at specialty foods shops and many supermarkets) or sour cream
1 ounce caviar
tiny dill sprigs for garnish

Cut the sweet potatoes crosswise into 1/4 inch slices with a large sharp knife.  With a sharp 1 to 1 1/2 inch decorative cutter cut a decorative shape from each slice.  Steam the sweet potatoes in a steamer set over boiling water, covered, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are just tender, arrange them in one layer on a plate, and let them cool, their surface covered with plastic wrap.  Chill the sweet potatoes for at least 1 hour or overnight.  The sweet potatoes may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.  Arrange the sweet potatoes, patted dry, on serving plates, top each piece with 1/2 teaspoon of the crème Fraiche and 1/8 teaspoon of the caviar, and garnish the "bites" with the dill. 


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Makes About 2 1/2 Cups

3 large red bell peppers
11 ounces mild goat cheese, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Roast the bell peppers over a gas flame or under the broiler, turning, until charred all over.  Transfer
to a bowl, cover with plastic and let steam for 20 minutes.  Peel the peppers, discarding the peels,
cores, ribs and seeds. Transfer the peppers to a food processor or blender and process until finely chopped; set aside 1/2 cup. Add the goat cheese and cream cheese to the processor and puree until smooth.  With the machine on, add the cream and process just until combined.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in the reserved chopped peppers. Season with salt and pepper.  Make ahead:  The dip can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Allow to return to room temperature.  Stir in the parsley and serve.

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Serves 12 on buffet or 3 or 4 as a first course

1/2 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup firmly packed washed, cooked, squeezed, and chopped spinach
2 tablespoons Feta, crumbled
1/3 cup finely grated Gruyere
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill, or to taste
12 (about 12 ounces) 2 inch mushrooms, stems discarded
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a small skillet cook the onion in the oil and the butter, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 15to 20 minutes, or until it is colored lightly.  Add the walnuts and the garlic and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the spinach and cook the mixture, stirring, for 5 minutes.  Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes and stir in the Feta, the Gruyere, the dill, and salt and pepper to taste.  Brush the mushroom caps with the lemon juice and divide the spinach mixture among them, mounding it gently in the cavity. Bake the mushrooms in a buttered baking pan in a preheated 400F. oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the tops are browned lightly.  

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Makes 24

12 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, chilled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced pitted Nicoise olives
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon minced drained oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 anchovy fillet, minced
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 bunch watercress
1 1pint basket cherry tomatoes
12 Nicoise olives for garnish (optional)
Paprika or cayenne pepper for garnish

Cut eggs lengthwise in half.  Place yolks in bowl; mash with fork.  Mix in mayonnaise, minced olives, mustard, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovy and pepper sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Mix in parsley.  Arrange watercress and tomatoes on serving tray.  Pipe or spoon egg mixture into egg halves, mounding slightly. Place eggs atop watercress.  Garnish with Nicoise olives. Sprinkle with paprika.  Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead.)

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Makes about 40

1/4 cup finely grated Gruyere (about 3 ounces)
4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 puff pastry sheet (from one 17 1/4ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets), thawed
1 large egg, beaten lightly
2 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto

In a bowl combine Gruyere and sage.  On a lightly floured surface arrange pastry sheet with a short side facing you and cut in half crosswise.  Arrange one half of sheet with a long side facing you and brush edge of far side with some egg.  Arrange half of Prosciutto evenly on top of pastry, avoiding egg brushed edge,
and top with half of Gruyere mixture.  Starting with side nearest you, roll pastry jelly roll fashion into
a log and wrap in wax paper.  Make another log in same manner. Chill pastry logs, seam sides down, until firm, at least 3 hours, and up to 3 days. Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.  Cut logs crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick pinwheels and arrange, cut sides down, 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake pinwheels in batches in middle of oven until golden, 14 to 16 minutes.  Transfer pinwheels to a rack and cool slightly.  Serve pinwheels warm.

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Makes about 130 balls

two 6-ounce cans pitted black olives, drained (about 1 cup)
one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 stick(1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine
3/4 cup walnuts, ground fine in a food processor

In a food processor blend olives coarse and transfer to a bowl.  In food processor combine cheeses and  butter until smooth and stir into olives.  Add scallions and parsley and chill mixture, covered.  Form half-teaspoonfuls of cheese mixture into balls and coat with walnuts. 

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6 Servings

18 whole dried Calimyrna figs
18 almonds, lightly toasted
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup chopped candled orange peel (about 2 ounces)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F.  Using small sharp knife, cut small slit in bottom of each fig.  Insert 1 almond into each fig.  Place figs on heavy large baking sheet.  Bake until figs are golden brown, turning occasionally, about 12 minutes. Let figs cool.  Transfer figs to plastic container.  Add powdered sugar, orange peel, bay leaves and cinnamon.  Secure with lid and shake to coat figs. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 day and up to 3 days to allow flavors to develop. Shake container to recoat figs.  Transfer figs to dish and serve.

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Makes 24

12 baby red-skinned potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons minced red onion
1 teaspoon drained capers
1/2 teaspoon prepared white horseradish
1/2 ounce thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into 24 squares
Additional drained capers for garnish

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut potatoes in half crosswise.  Mix with oil in bowl.  Place cut side down on heavy large baking sheet.  Bake potatoes until just tender, about 25 minutes. Cool completely.  Mix 3 1/2 ounces salmon, sour cream, onion, 1 teaspoon capers and horseradish in small bowl.  Season with pepper.  (Potatoes and salmon mixture can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover separately and chill.)  Cut thin slice off rounded end of each potato so that potatoes will stand upright.  Turn potatoes over.  Using melon baller or small spoon, scoop out some of center of each potato.  Spoon 1 teaspoon filling into each.  Garnish each with smoked salmon and caper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead.  Cover and chill.)

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6 Servings

1 17.6-ounce wheel ripe Brie cheese, chilled
1/3 cup minced shallots (about 2 large)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions
2 teaspoons dry white vermouth
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 17 1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend (glaze)

Cut off top rind of cheese and discard.  Combine shallots, chives, vermouth and pepper in small bowl and mix until blended.  Press shallot mixture firmly over top of cheese. Roll out pastry on lightly floured surface 11 inch square.  Lay pastry over cheese.  Fold dough under cheese, enclosing completely.  Turn cheese over; press pastry seams together, sealing tightly. Turn cheese right side up and place on baking sheet.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)  Preheat oven to 400F.  Brush top and sides of pastry with egg glaze.  Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Let stand 30 minutes.

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1/4 pound butter
8 ounces. cream cheese
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
8 ounces cooked crab meat
1 small red onion finely minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic crushed/minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Jameson Irish Whiskey
1 teaspoon minced dill- plus extra for garnish

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, chill for two hours. Serve over thin slices of cucumber or water crackers. Garnish with chopped dill.

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Makes 12 stuffed egg halves

6 hard-cooked large eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup minced cooked ham (about 3 ounces)
1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons drained bottled horseradish, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
cayenne pepper to taste

Cut a paper-thin slice off both ends of eggs (so they sit without wobbling) and halve eggs crosswise. Force yolks through a sieve into a bowl or mash with a fork and stir in all the other ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer filling too a pastry bag fitted with a large decorative tip and pipe into whites, mounding it. The stuffed eggs may be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered.

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3 slices prosciutto
1/4 cup mousse de foie gras or any thick, colorful vegetable puree
2 Fugi or Granny Smith apples depending on how tart you want

Arrange 3 very thin Prosciutto slices, overlapping, to form a 7-by-5-inch rectangle. Spread with 1/4 cup of mousse de foie gras (or any type of vegetable puree you like as long as it is not runny and is colorful,
e/g. asparagus mousse. Starting at one short end, roll the Prosciutto up snugly. Wrap in plastic tightly and refrigerate until very firm, about 1 hour, or overnight. Cut the log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Set each slice on a thin apple wedge.

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Makes 24 hors d'oeuvres

1/4 cup finely minced shallots
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 pound wild mushrooms (such as Chanterelle, Porcini, morels, Shitake, Portobello etc.),
cleaned well and finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons minced fresh)
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg for glaze

Preheat oven to 400. Make sure it is fully preheated. Thaw puff pastry according to directions. In a large skillet over moderate heat, cook the shallots in 1 tablespoon of the butter about 3 minutes or until softened. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until all the liquid is evaporated. Add thyme and stock and simmer until mixture is almost dry. Remove from the heat, stir in the walnuts, sour cream, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Cool it mixture. Sprinkle some flour on a work surface and open and roll out puff pastry sheet a bit to make sure if fully square. Cut 12 squares and put a rounded teaspoon of the mushroom mixture in the middle. Put a little egg glaze around edges and fold over and press edges to seal. You can use a pastry crimper for more decoration. Make sure the egg does go over the edges of the pastry or it won't rise. Paint the top with egg glaze for color. Put turnovers on a baking sheet and chill for 45 minutes. Can be covered and frozen at this time. If using frozen, make sure chill in refrigerator after thawing before baking. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until golden and puffy.

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Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Chopped edible flowers add color to the dip. You can find these as specialty food stores, organic
farm markets and green grocers.

8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (e.g., Montrachet)
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped assorted edible flowers (optional)
toasted baguette slices
Assorted raw vegetables

Blend goat cheese, oil and yogurt in processor until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in all herbs and flowers. Mix carefully so blended but not totally broken apart. Season dip to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until dip is cold and flavors blend, about 3 hours. (Can be made I day ahead. Keep chilled.) Serve dip with toasted baguette slices and raw vegetables.

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10 Servings

1 tablespoon butter
4 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
7 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
10 3/4-inch cubes Brie, rind removed (from about 1 12 ounce wedge)
10 thin slices Prosciutto
Chopped fresh parsley and red bell pepper
slices for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini slices and garlic and sauté until zucchini is tender about 7 minutes. Cool slightly. Mix in grated parmesan cheese. Unfold dough on prepared baking sheet. Roll out each pastry sheet to 16x11-inch rectangle. Cut five 5x5-inch squares from each pastry sheet. Press each pastry square into 1/3-cup muffin cup, leaving overhang. Place 1/4 cup zucchini mixture in each dividing equally. Place 1 Brie cube on each. Place 1 Prosciutto slice atop Brie. Gather the edges of puff pastry together and pinch firmly at top, forming purses. Paint with a bit of egg wash for color. Bake purses in cups until golden, about 15 minutes. If using for a first course, place 1 purse on each plate. Garnish each plate with chopped parsley and red bell pepper slices, and serve.

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2 Servings

2 large eggs
1 l0-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 l0-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough

Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease heavy large baking sheet. Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. Transfer 1 tablespoon beaten eggs to small bowl and reserve for glaze. Mix spinach, cheese, garlic and pepper into remaining eggs in large bowl. Gently stretch dough to 11-inch square. Cut dough into 4 equal squares. Spoon 1/4 of spinach filling (about 1/3 cup) into center of each dough square. Fold 1 of each square over filling to opposite corner, forming triangle. Press 4 dough edges together tightly with fork to seal. Using sharp knife, cut 3 small slits in top of each turnover to let steam escape. Brush tops of turnovers with reserved egg glaze. Bake turnovers until filling is cooked through and tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

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1 pound fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (about 4 1/2 cups) picked over
1/4 cup red-currant jelly
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons kirsch or brandy
one 2-pound wheel firm Brie (rind intact), chilled
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)
two frozen puff pastry sheets (1 package), thawed
1 large egg, beaten lightly

Make cranberry sauce:
(You can always use purchased cranberry sauce to save time--just stir in a bit of red currant or apricot jelly and a bit of Kirsch or brandy). In a large saucepan simmer sauce ingredients, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Transfer sauce to a heatproof bowl and cool. Cranberry sauce may be made 1 week ahead, chilled and covered. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Make the Brie:
Put Brie on a work surface and cut off the top about 1/3 of the way down. Spread a layer of the cranberry sauce over the top of the cut side, (sprinkle the sliced almonds over the cranberries, if desired), and put the top back on. Chill the cheese while preparing the pastry. On a lightly floured surface unfold 1 pastry sheet and roll out a bit. Place the whole brie (top facing down--be careful not to let it fall apart) on the puff pastry sheet. With some egg glaze paint around the cheese. Fold the pastry over the cheese to cover completely (It's all right to stretch it a bit if needed.) Press down the pastry firmly to seal. Turn it over and put it on a Pam sprayed baking sheet seam side down. Paint it with egg glaze. out of the second sheet, cut decorative shapes with very small cookie cutters and place on the cheese in a decorative pattern. Paint again with egg glaze. Chill for 45 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 425--make sure it's really hot. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes until puffed and golden. Cool about 10-15 minutes before cutting and serve with remaining cranberry sauce.

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Makes 12 stuffed eggs

6 hard-cooked large eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
Garnish: fresh tarragon sprigs

Cut a paper-thin slice off both ends of eggs and halve eggs crosswise. Force yolks through a sieve into a bowl (or mash with a fork) and stir in remaining ingredients salt and pepper to taste. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a large decorative tip and pipe into whites, mounding it. The stuffed eggs may be made 6 hours ahead and chilled covered. Garnish just before serving.

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Makes about 3 cups

1 1/2 cups Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
1 1/2 cup cracked brine-cured green olives
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
]/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large heavy-duty zip-lock bag. Shake bag to blend ingredients. Refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 3 days, turning bag occasionally. Transfer olives and some marinade to a bowl. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature before serving.

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6 TO 8 Servings

1 750ml bottle dry white wine (such as Fume Blanc)
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 pounds red and/or green seedless grapes, cut into small clusters
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

Pour wine into large nonaluminum bowl. Add 1/4 cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Add grapes and peel; mix gently. Chill at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. Using slotted spoon, transfer grapes to a shallow bowl. Mix some chilled club soda into the leftover wine marinade to make a refreshing drink.

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Serves 4

a 1/2-pound piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar (preferably Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale Extra Vecchio available at Dean and Deluca)

With a small knife break Parmegianno-Reggiano into bite-size chunks and transfer to a plate. Drizzle cheese evenly with 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar and let stand 15 minutes. Drizzle cheese with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar.

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6 Servings

18 thin slices Prosciutto
18 fresh basil leaves
18 extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined
18 bamboo skewers or wooden toothpicks, soaked in water 30 minutes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup olive oil

Placer1 Prosciutto slice on work surface short end parallel to edge. Place 1 basil leaf at short end of Prosciutto slice. Place 1 shrimp atop basil leaf. Roll up shrimp in Prosciutto. Thread shrimp on skewer. Repeat with remaining Prosciutto basil, shrimp and skewers. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate.) Prepare grill on medium high or preheat broiler. Combine vinegar, mustard and garlic in blender. Gradually add oil and blend well. Transfer to a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill or broil wrapped shrimp until opaque in center, about 6 minutes, turning often. Serve hot or at room temperature with sauce.

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Makes 4 1/2 cups

This is best made a couple of days ahead for flavors to blend.

6 2-inch-diameter beets
1 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill
4 large garlic cloves, minced
Assorted fresh vegetables for dipping

Cook beets in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain; cool. Peel beets and chop coarsely. (Remember beets stain.) Combine beets and onion in processor; blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Mix in sour cream, yogurt, chopped dill and garlic. Season dip to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate 2 days. Spoon dip into bowl. Place on platter surrounded with vegetables and serve.

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Makes 32   

You can make the crab mixture and beet puree ahead of time, but
don 't assemble these hors d'oeuvres until just before serving or
the apple slices will discolor.

1 medium beet (about 1/3 pound)
1/2 pound jumbo lump crab meat
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 large Granny Smith apple

Preheat oven to 450F. Trim beet, leaving about 1 inch of stem attached, and wrap tightly in foil. In a small baking pan roast beet in middle of oven until tender, about 1 hour. Pick over crab meat to remove any bits of shell and cartilage. Slightly break up any large pieces Of crab meat and in a small bowl stir together with chives, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Crab mixture may be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Unwrap beet carefully. When beet is just cool enough to handle, slip off skin and stem and cut beet into a few pieces. While beet is still warm, using a mortar and pestle mash beet until smooth. In a small bowl stir together mashed beet, vinegar, remaining 1/2 tablespoon sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Beet puree may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Cut apple through stem end into quarters and core. Cut apple quarters crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Top each apple slice with 1/4 teaspoon beet puree and some crab mixture.

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Makes 150    

To ensure you get moist, beautiful looking apricots avoid those sold in boxes and bags that you can't see through. If you buy Turkish apricots, keep in mind that they're usually sold pitted but whole and, unlike most California apricots, will need to be halved horizontally.

150 dried apricot halves (2 lb.)
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups shelled pistachios, 1/2 or them toasted
1 pound, soft mild goat cheese, chilled
Toss apricots with juice and let stand, tossing occasionally, 20 minutes.

Chop all pistachios, preferably by hand, and season with salt (unless you used salted pistachios). Drain apricots, cut sides up, on paper towels. Top each with a small chunk of cheese and sprinkle with nuts. You can assemble these 1 day ahead and chill them, covered, but they can't be stacked and will take up a lot of refrigerator space.

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Makes 24

1 small jicama
1/4 pound lump crab meat (about 3/4 cup), picked over and flaked
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped scallion greens
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped seeded habanero or jalapeno chili (wear rubber gloves), or to taste
1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 ripe California avocado (about 9 ounces)
1 seedless cucumber (about 1/2 pound)

Peel jicama and cut in half. Finely chop half of jicama, or enough to measure 1/2 cup, and shred remaining half, or enough to measure 1/3 cup. Reserve any remaining for another use. In a small bowl stir together jicama,crab,1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, scallion, chili, tomato, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic. Season "seviche" with salt and pepper. Halve avocado, reserving half for another use. In small bowl with a fork mash remaining avocado, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic with salt to taste until smooth. Seviche and avocado mixtures may be made 4 hours ahead and chilled separately. Their surfaces covered with plastic wrap. Cut cucumber crosswise diagonally Into twenty-four 1/4-inch-thick slices. Top each cucumber slice with 1/2 teaspoon avocado mixture and I teaspoon seviche mixture.

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10 Servings

For an even simpler hors d'oeuvre, don't roast the dates. Could also use prosciutto

10 small pitted California dates
5 paper-thin slices Serrano ham* (about 1 1/2 ounces), halved lengthwise

*Can get from Ideal Cheese Shop

Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange the dates in a pie plate and bake for about 10 minutes, or until heated through. Wrap the ham around the dates and secure with a toothpick. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Makes 6 dozen rolls

6 hard-cooked large eggs, chopped
1/4 cup crème fraiche
2 tablespoons snipped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and cayenne pepper
1 pound thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into twelve 6-by-3-inch rectangles
2 medium radishes, finely julienned

In a medium bowl, mix the eggs with the crème fraiche, chives, tarragon and mustard; season with salt and cayenne. Spread the salmon slices on a work surface. Mound 1 1/2 tablespoons of the egg salad on the short ends. Top with a few radish sticks and roll into tight cylinders. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 20 minutes. Trim the ends and cut the rolls in half. Garnish with the remaining radishes and serve. MAKE AHEAD: The rolls can be refrigerated overnight.

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Makes 12 servings   

Place mother-of-pearl or bone caviar spoons in the crème fraiche and caviar bowls for
spooning the toppings onto the potatoes.

4 pounds unpeeled small fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups chilled crème fraiche or sour cream
2 ounces black caviar (about 1/4 cup--sturgeon is the most tasty)

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine potatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and rosemary in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, in single layer on prepared sheet. Shake pan slightly to prevent sticking. Roast until potatoes are brown, crisp, and cooked through, about 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on sheet. Place bowls of crème fraiche and caviar on large platter. Arrange potatoes, cut side up, around bowls and serve. MARKET TIP: Fingerling potatoes are long and thin, with a smooth texture and nutty flavor. They con be found at farmers' markets, specialty foods stores, and some supermarkets.

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Serves 8-12

1 1/2 pounds pistachios, shelled, chopped rough (about 1 cup)
24 seedless red grapes
2 packages (4 oz each) Montrachet goat cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350F. Toast nuts on baking sheet on center rack 5 min. Remove from oven; pulse in blender until finely chopped. Coat each grape with 1/2 tablespoon goat cheese; roll in nuts.

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Makes about 4 cups

14 ounces walnuts (2 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
10 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
4 small shallots, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped watercress leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Hass avocados, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Small radishes and assorted vegetable sticks, such as celery, fennel and carrots, for dipping

Preheat oven to 350F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 7 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a plate and let cool. In a food processor, working in 2 batches, pulse the walnuts until coarsely chopped. Add the second batch of nuts back to the food processor and pulse in 1/2 cup of olive oil. Do not over-process: the pesto should be slightly chunky. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl. Mix in the goat cheese, shallots, watercress and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the avocados. Drizzle the dip with olive oil and serve with radishes and assorted crisp vegetables. (The dip can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight WITHOUT the avocados. Bring to room temperature and fold in the diced avocados before serving.)

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Makes 24

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
12 slices (not paper-thin) prosciutto, halved crosswise
1/2 cup fig preserves
1/2 bunch arugula, trimmed
Freshly ground black pepper

Whisk oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice together in a small bowl and set aside. Mix goat cheese and garlic together in another small bowl and set aside. Spread a thin layer of the goat cheese mixture on each piece of prosciutto, spread a thin layer of fig preserves over cheese, and top with 1-2 arugula leaves. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and season to taste with pepper. Roll the prosciutto up around filling and arrange on a serving platter, seam side down. Garnish platter with parsley.

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Makes 24

3 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 ounces soft blue cheese (such as Saga blue), cut into 24 cubes
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
12 grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (chiffonade--roll up the leaves into a roll and then slice the rolls thinly)

Lightly butter 24 mini muffin cups (each about 1 3/4 inches in diameter with 1/2-inch-high sides). Bring broth to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook until mixture is very thick, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan. Season with salt. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons hot polenta into each muffin cup. Using the back of a spoon, pack polenta firmly into cups. Using a finger, make an indentation in the center of each polenta tart for the filling. Chill until cold and set, about 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.) Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with foil. Using the tip of a knife, lift the polenta tarts from pan. Transfer tarts, indented side up, to the prepared baking sheet. Place 1 blue cheese cube in each indentation. sprinkle green onion and pine nuts over cheese. Top each tart with 2 tomato quarters. Bake until cheese is melted and polenta is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Transfer tarts to platter; sprinkle with basil and serve.

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Makes About 34

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup minced fresh dill (from about 3 bunches)
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel
4 heads of Belgian endive (green and red, if available)
8 ounces smoked trout fillets, broken into 1-inch pieces
Fresh dill sprigs for garnish

Mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Season with freshly ground black pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.) Separate endive into leaves. Spread small amount of cheese mixture on base end of each leaf. Top with trout piece; garnish with small dill sprig. Arrange filled leaves on platter (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill.)

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Makes 12 Servings

1 large head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), cut into florets
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Coarse salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 500F. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the butter. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, pepper, sweet and hot paprika and the cinnamon. Toss the spices with the cauliflower until evenly coated. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the florets are crisp-tender and caramelized. Mound the florets on a serving platter or in a colorful glass bowl and sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve hot or warm, with toothpicks.

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Makes 24

24 mushrooms (about 2 1/2 pounds), the stems removed and chopped fine, reserving 1 cup, and the caps left whole (I use small Cremini mushrooms)
12 ounces sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, minced, reserving 4 tablespoons of the oil
1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
A pinch of crumbled dried thyme, or a teaspoon of fresh minced
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Freshly grated Parmesan for sprinkling the mushrooms

Brush the mushroom caps with some of the reserved tomato oil and arrange them, stemmed sides down, on the rack of a broiler pan. Broil the mushroom caps under a preheated broiler about 6 inches from the heat for 2 minutes, or until they are barely softened, and arrange them, stemmed sides up, in one layer on a baking sheet. In a large skillet cook the shallot and the garlic in the remaining reserved oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened, stir in the reserved mushroom stems, the tomatoes, the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick. Stir in the cream and salt and pepper to taste, divide the mixture among the mushroom caps, and sprinkle it with the Parmesan. Bake the stuffed mushrooms in the middle of a preheated 350F oven for 12 to 18 minutes, or until the filling is heated through.

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Makes About 20

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), room temperature
1/4 cup trimmed peeled chopped raw asparagus
1/2 teaspoon minced lemon peel
6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon

Heat olive oil in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add chopped shallot and sauté until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in goat cheese, chopped asparagus and lemon peel. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Place sheet of plastic wrap on work surface. Using 1/5 of salmon, form 6x3-inch rectangle atop plastic, overlapping salmon slightly. Spoon 1/5 of filling along 1 long side of rectangle, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Using plastic as aid, roll up salmon into tight log. Repeat with remaining salmon and filling, forming 4 more logs. Refrigerate logs until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Remove plastic from logs. Cut each log crosswise into 4 pieces or smaller if you want bite size. Arrange on platter and serve.

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Makes About 60-80

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped shallot
6 ounces soft fresh Asiago cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup trimmed peeled chopped raw asparagus
1 teaspoon minced lemon peel
Frozen puff pastry sheets

Defrost the package of puff pastry sheets overnight in the refrigerator. Heat olive oil in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add chopped shallot and sauté until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in Asiago cheese, chopped asparagus and lemon peel. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some flour on work surface and roll out the puff pastry dough a little bit into a evenly squared 12x14 rectangle. Spoon 1/2 of filling and smooth it over the rectangle, leaving 1/2-inch plain border on one long side. Wet the border with a bit of water to ensure the dough sticks together. Roll up puff pastry from the non-border long side into tight log, ensuring the dough border sticks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining pasty sheet and filling. Refrigerate logs until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead or 2-3 week frozen. Defrost overnight in refrigerator if frozen.) Remove plastic from logs. Cut each log crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Put on baking sheet and bake in a preheated 450F oven for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden. Arrange on platter and serve hot or at room temperature.

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Makes 18 Canapés

1/2 pound (about 9) sea scallops, halved seasoned with salt and white pepper
5 slices thick-sliced bacon cut into strips
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup apple juice
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (B grade is possible)
1 small thyme sprig
Salt, nutmeg and cayenne pepper to taste

Prepare scallops:
Remove "foot" (small sort of square muscle that appears "stuck on" the scallop--sometimes they are already gone) and cut each in half, top to bottom. Season with salt and white pepper. Slice bacon in half crosswise, then in half lengthwise--one piece will give you four thin strips (1/2 X 3"). Wrap a bacon strip around each scallop and secure it with a toothpick. Make sure both ends of the strip are pierced through. If they are secured, they won't be as likely to come unraveled when broiled. Cover scallops and chill.
Make the sauce:
For the sauce, simmer cream, milk, juice, syrup, thyme, and seasonings in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until thick and reduced by half, 20-30 minutes. Remove thyme and keep sauce warm (or cool slightly and chill). Rewarm on very low heat to serve.
Broil scallops:
When close to serving time, preheat broiler to high with rack at highest position. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray; place scallops on pan. Broil 3 minutes, rotating pan often to prevent burning. Turn scallops; broil until bacon is browned and scallops are firm, 2-3 more minutes. (Can also be done on a gas or electric grill)
To Serve:
Arrange hot scallops on platter--do not remove toothpicks. Put the sauce in dish for dipping.

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Makes about 50
Smoked cocktail sausages are glazed with a sweet and spicy mixture, and served with a sauce made mostly with mango chutney.
For the sauce:
1 8-ounce jar mango chutney
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
3/4 cup mayonnaise
For the sausages:
50 fully cooked smoked cocktail-size sausages (Hillshire Farm is a good brand)
1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
Make the sauce:
Combine chutney, lime juice and peel in processor; blend until almost smooth. Transfer to bowl. Whisk in mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper.
Make the sausages:
Preheat oven to 425F. Place sausages in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Mix brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and hot pepper sauce in small bowl to blend. Pour over sausages and toss to coat. (Make Ahead: Sauce and sausages can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.) Bake sausages until heated through and brown in spots, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes. Transfer sausages to platter. Place toothpick in each. Place chutney dipping sauce alongside and serve.

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Makes 40

40 small shiitake mushrooms (about 1 1/4 pounds), stemmed (can also use Creminis)
12 ounces bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup Chinese plum sauce
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

Place shiitake mushrooms stem side up on large rimmed baking sheet. (To save cleaning time, cover the sheet with foil.) Mound each with about 1/2 tablespoon pork sausage. Stir plum sauce in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Whisk in oil. Brush mushrooms with all of plum sauce mixture. (Make Ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate.) Preheat oven to 400F. Bake mushrooms until sausage is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to large platter. Sprinkle with chives.

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Makes about 40 canapés
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (e.g., Coco Lopez), stirred well
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 pound bay or sea scallops
2 Asian pears
8 to 10 kumquats (normally available in the fall and winter)
40 fresh coriander leaves, washed well and spun dry
In a heavy 1-quart saucepan stir curry powder into about 1 tablespoon coconut milk until dissolved. Stir in 1 teaspoon lime juice, salt, and remaining coconut milk and simmer over moderately low heat 10 minutes, or until thickened. Remove tough muscle from side of each scallop if necessary. If using sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add scallops to coconut milk mixture and poach at a bare simmer until just cooked through but still tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool mixture. Transfer scallops with poaching liquid to a small bowl. (Make Ahead: Scallops may be poached 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.) Cut pears crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and discard seeds and core. Cut rounds into 1-inch wedges and in a small bowl toss with remaining lime juice. Macerate pears, covered and chilled, at least 15 minutes and up to 3 hours. Just before serving, cut kumquats crosswise into thin slices and arrange pear wedges, drained, on plates. Top each wedge with 1 kumquat slice, 1 coriander leaf, and 1 piece of scallop coated with poaching liquid. (For easy handling, skewer with a fancy toothpick.)

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8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary, divided
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
10 thin 7x3 1/2-inch slices Serrano ham or prosciutto (about 7 ounces)
1 cup stemmed baby spinach leaves
Stir goat cheese, 2 tablespoons hazelnut or olive oil, rosemary, and lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place sheet of plastic wrap on work surface. Place 1 slice ham in center of plastic. Spread generous 2 tablespoons goat cheese mixture evenly over ham. Place single layer of spinach leaves over cheese mixture. Top spinach with second ham slice. Repeat layering 2 more times. Starting at 1 long side and using plastic wrap as aid, roll up ham jelly-roll style. Place additional ham slice over seam to cover exposed cheese and spinach leaves (roll will be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter). Wrap tightly in plastic. Repeat with remaining ham, cheese, and spinach to form second roll. Chill until firm, at least 6 hours. (Make Ahead: Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)  Unwrap ham rolls. Slice each roll into twelve 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Arrange on a platter and serve.

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1/2 cup orange marmalade
8 teaspoons soy sauce
8 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 large garlic clove, minced
4 scallions, finely chopped
24 large shrimp—shelled, deveined
24 thin slices of prosciutto (about 8 ounces) 

In a bowl, mix the marmalade, soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, garlic and scallions. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Reserve the sauce.   Lay a slice of prosciutto on a work surface and fold it in half lengthwise. Wrap the prosciutto around the middle third of 1 of the shrimp. Repeat with the remaining shrimp and prosciutto.  Cover a large cookie sheet/jelly roll pan with foil and place the shrimp on the sheet.  Broil the shrimp until cooked, (about 8-10 minutes), turning over 1/2 way through.  The shrimp with be pink and the prosciutto crispy. Transfer to a plate and serve warm or at room temperature. Serve the rest of the sauce as a dipping sauce (MAKE AHEAD The shrimp can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours.)

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Makes 48

You can make the little wonton cups as described below.  But to make this a really snap recipe, use the Athens frozen mini Phyllo cups.

If making the Wonton Cups:
12 wonton wrappers (from one 12-ounce package), each cut into 4 squares (You’ll need a miniature muffin tin to prepare the wonton cups.)
Vegetable oil
If Using the Phyllo Cups:
Athens frozen mini Phyllo cups
For the Shrimp Salad:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
5 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons mango chutney
3/4 teaspoon Thai green curry paste*
12 ounces peeled cooked medium shrimp, coarsely chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves

*Thai green curry paste is available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets.

If Making the Wonton Cups:
Preheat oven to 325F. Place wonton squares on work surface; brush lightly with oil. Press each into miniature muffin cup, oiled side down. Bake until wonton cups are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool completely in tins. (Make Ahead: Can be made 3 days ahead. Remove cups from tins and store airtight at room temperature.)
If Using Phyllo Cups:
Crisp in the oven as per the package directions
Make The Shrimp Salad:
Whisk mayonnaise, chopped fresh cilantro, lime juice, chutney, and curry paste in medium bowl to blend. Stir in shrimp. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Make Ahead: Salad can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Place wonton or Phyllo cups on serving platter. Spoon 1 teaspoon shrimp salad into each cup. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

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Makes 20

4 ounces soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream, approximately
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large head endive, or 2 small heads
Sweet paprika, optional

In a medium bowl, cream the goat cheese with the back of a kitchen spoon. Add the cream, rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, and pepper and mix until smooth and creamy. Add more cream if the cheese is particularly thick. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before assembling.
Core the endive and separate into spears. Spoon the filling into 20 endive spears, filling each spear about halfway. Assemble on a plate and sprinkle with the paprika, if using. Cover and refrigerate.

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Mussels in Saffron: Cozze al Zafferano (Mario Batali)
Serves 8-12

2 pounds small Prince Edward Island mussels, bearded and scrubbed
1 onion, finely chopped
3 sprigs parsley
1 cup white wine
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
Black pepper
1 teaspoon saffron threads, chopped and dissolved in 1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a large sauté pan, combine the mussels, onion, parsley, wine, thyme, bay leaf, black pepper, to taste, saffron, and olive oil and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue cooking, shaking the pan occasionally, until the mussels have all opened. Remove from heat and take the mussels from the pan with tongs, setting them aside in a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid. Once the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove one half of each shell and discard. Place the half-shelled mussels in the refrigerator to chill, and reserve the juices from the bowl. Strain this liquid, as well as the liquid from the sauté pan, and combine in the sauté pan. Reduce by 2/3 over high heat, then remove from heat, and set aside to cool. Once it is cooled, arrange the chilled mussels on a tray and drizzle over the chilled mussels and serve. (For easy handling, pierce each mussel with a fancy toothpick.)

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Serves 12

Don't be intimidated--This is really easy, but just takes some time to cure the salmon

For the fish:
1 piece of 4 pounds salmon filet with the skin (cleaned, scaled, bones removed)
3 cup coarse salt
6 cup sugar
2 bulbs of fresh fennel (white part only), chopped
2 tablespoon dried Juniper berries, smashed a bit
5 tablespoon dried black pepper corns
3 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoon ground anise seed*
1 cup fresh dill (finely chopped)
2 oranges cut in thick slices
4 lemons cut in thick slices

For Mustard Dill Sauce:
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

*Ground anise seed can be found at the Great American Spice Company.

Make the Gravlax:
Mix all ingredients, (except the salmon). It should be well mixed. On a tray, place a layer of the mixture (1 inch thick); place the salmon (skin side down) on it. Cover the top and the sides of the salmon with a heavy layer of the rest of the mixture. Wrap the whole tray tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for minimum 3 to 4 days before carving. This will depend on the thickness of the filet. (The Gravlax will exude juice, so if you can get a tray with a higher side it would be good or you will have juice in your refrigerator that you will have to clean.)
Carve the Gravlax:
Once the Gravlax is cured, remove all the curing mixture residue before carving.  Carving should be done by placing the fish, skin side down, on a carving board and slice it very thin on the diagonal, detaching each slice from the skin. (Make sure your slicing knife is very sharp.  A knife with a long thin blade is ideal.)
Make the Sauce:
Make the mustard dill sauce the day you are serving the Gravlax, by combining all ingredients together. If your Gravlax came out more or less sweet than you wanted, you can adjust for it by using more or less sugar/mustard in the dressing. If the sauce seems too heavy then adjust with a little oil or water. The Gravlax can be served either on bread with mustard sauce or with the sauce on the side.

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Makes 24

(Make Ahead: The stuffed jalapenos can be refrigerated up to 1 day. Let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.)

12 small to medium jalapeno chilies (preferably with stems attached)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 thin slices Black Forest ham, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 scallions, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon salt

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350F degrees. Cut each jalapeno lengthwise through the stem (you should end up with 2 complete halves) and remove ribs and seeds. Combine cream cheese cheddar, ham, lime juice, chili powder, scallions, and salt in a bowl. Fill each jalapeno half with cheese mixture. Place jalapenos on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until filling is hot, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm.

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Makes 6 Servings
1 cup unpitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil

Up to 3 days before, mix all ingredients and put in the refrigerator.  When ready to use, preheat oven to 325°F. Bake uncovered in a small baking dish until olives are heated through, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve olives warm.

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6 hard-cooked large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon bottled Major Grey's chutney, large pieces minced
1 scallion, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Tabasco to taste

Garnish: thinly sliced scallion green

Cut a paper-thin slice off both ends of eggs and halve eggs crosswise. Force yolks through a sieve into a bowl (or mash with a fork) and stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a large ribbon or other decorative tip and pipe into whites, mounding it. The stuffed eggs may be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Just before serving, garnish eggs.

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Makes about 3 dozen

1/2 pound dried figs, stems discarded
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon port
1 1/4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 pound paper thin sliced prosciutto (best is Prosciutto de Parma)
1/4 pound foie gras mousse, at room temperature*

*Available at Dartagnan or high end grocery stores like Wegman's

In a small saucepan, combine the figs, wine, port, balsamic vinegar and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the figs are tender, 15 minutes. Let cool, then puree in a food processor. Transfer 1/2 cup of the fig compote to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip (or see parenthetical note below). Reserve the remaining compote to serve with cheese or cured meat. Cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Overlap the prosciutto slices on the plastic to form a 9-by-12-inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the foie gras mousse over the prosciutto in a very thin layer. Pipe the fig compote along one 9-inch edge of the rectangle (could just spoon a rounded row of it at the end as well). Beginning there, roll up the prosciutto tightly, using the plastic wrap to guide you. Wrap the prosciutto roll in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. To assemble the roulades, slice the prosciutto roll on the diagonal 1/8 inch thick and set the slices on a serving platter. Garnish platter with some curly parsley. (The unsliced prosciutto roll can be refrigerated overnight.)

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1 pakage(8 ounce) jumbo lump crabmeat
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh Parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
2 1/2 ounce Boursin Cheese (about1/2 cup)
2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients (except breadcrumbs) in small bowl (mixture will be runny). Form into 1-inch clusters. Roll in breadcrumbs, forming truffles. (Add a bit more breadcrumbs if you cannot get into a ball for rolling.) Spray baking sheet lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Place truffles on sheet; bake 15 min.

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Makes 30

1/3 cup red currant jelly
2 (2.1 ounce) boxes frozen mini phyllo cups
1 (8-ounce) wheel firm Brie, rind trimmed, cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped smokehouse almonds

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350F. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jelly into each phyllo cup. Place 1 piece of Brie in each cup and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon almonds. Place phyllo cups on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until cheese is melted and jelly is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly and serve warm. (The filled cups win keep up to 2 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer. If frozen, defrost for 20 minutes before baking.)

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Makes 12

12 slices dark pumpernickel or rye cocktail bread
1/2 cup garlic-flavored Boursin cheese, at room temperature
1/4 pound very thinly sliced rare deli roast beef
1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or tarragon

Spread each piece of bread with some Boursin cheese and top with 1 piece roast beef (sort of mounded). Top with 2 pepper strips and sprinkle with dill or tarragon. (The canapés can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Serve.

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Potato can be used to replace half of the yolks to cut fat and cholesterol.  You can also use all the eggs and delete the potato for a richer canapé.

1 8- to 9-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons minced smoked salmon (about 1 ounce)
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
Cook potato in pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Cool potato. Meanwhile, place eggs in medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to boil. Cover; remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Drain. Rinse eggs with cold water until cool. Peel off shells. Halve eggs lengthwise. Reserve 3 egg yolks for another use. Combine remaining 3 yolks, potato, oil, lemon juice and mustard in medium bowl. Mash with fork until well blended. Stir in 2 tablespoons salmon and 1 1/2 tablespoons green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide potato-and-yolk mixture among hard-boiled egg white halves, mounding slightly. MAKE AHEAD: Eggs can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Garnish eggs with 2 tablespoons salmon and 1 1/2 tablespoons green onions.

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Makes 20 Servings

42 thin slices pancetta (about 1 1/4 pounds) or 21 slices bacon, halved crosswise
7 persimmons, peeled, each persimmon cut into 6 wedges (persimmons should be soft)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Balsamic vinegar, preferably aged at least 10 years

Preheat the oven to 450F. Lay the pancetta on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 3 minutes, or until softened. Transfer the pancetta to a large plate. Wipe off the baking sheets. Season the persimmons with salt and pepper and wrap each wedge with a slice of pancetta. Secure with toothpicks. Arrange the persimmons on the baking sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 4 minutes, or until the pancetta is crisp. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with the vinegar and serve.

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1 teaspoon vegetable oil
12 large sea scallops, cut horizontally into 2 rounds
1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1/2 ounce black caviar (preferably sturgeon)
4 fresh chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Cook scallops until golden on bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn over; sauté until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Cool to room temperature. Top each scallop with 1/2 teaspoon crème fraîche or sour cream. Top with caviar. Garnish with chives and serve.

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Makes 20-30

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup shallots (about 2 large), peeled, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest, minced (1 lemon)
1 tablespoon lime zest, minced (1 lime)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Serrano peppers, seeded, chopped (add more if you like it extremely spicy)
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound large (21-30 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined

Put the fist 12 ingredients into the food processor and blend until all ground together to make a paste. Drizzle in the oil with the processor running to form an emulsion. Marinate the shrimp into the paste for about 1-2 hours. You can then either thread the shrimp on skewers and grill or just grill the shrimp and have tooth picks for easy eating. Serve warm with the remaining curry paste for dipping.

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Makes 18

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Manchego cheese
1 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon capers, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
18 slices (1/4 inch) baguette (not a fat baguette--one that could be bite size in slices)

Heat broiler. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except baguette slices; mix well. Spread mixture on baguette slices and place on baking sheet. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat about 1 minute or until cheese is melted and edges of bread are lightly browned. Watch closely. Serve immediately.

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Makes 6 to8 Servings

This recipe can be either grilled or broiled.  If you use toothpicks, make sure you soak them in water beforehand

2 pounds medium asparagus
1/2 pound very thinly sliced pancetta
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped thyme

Tightly wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of pancetta and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes. Light a grill, preheat a grill pan, or turn on the broiler. In a small bowl, stir the orange zest and juice with the mustard and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus over moderate heat, turning often, until they are just tender and the pancetta is crisp, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve.

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Makes 12

Goat cheese makes these eggs slightly tangy and creamy. Garnish them with mixed fresh herbs

6 hard-boiled eggs split & separated
2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled (could also use Feta)
6 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced shallots (or grated onion)
teaspoons minced fresh herbs: tarragon, chervil, dill, basil chives, (could also combine any of the basic herbs with chives)
Salt and pepper taste (Goat cheeses can be pretty salty, so taste first)

Place the egg yolk in a medium bowl and mash with a pastry blender or fork, add cheese, and mash again.  Stir in mayonnaise and then remaining ingredients.  Spoon or pipe mixture into the whites.  Flavor will improve if you refrigerate them for a few hours before eating. Garnish plate with the herbs used in the eggs. You can also make the following variations:

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs: Eliminate salt from basic recipe. Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped cold-smoked salmon.

Cilantro-Lime Deviled Eggs: Eliminate herbs from basic recipe. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon grated lime peel.

Deviled Eggs with Prosciutto and Grainy Mustard: Add 2 tablespoons minced prosciutto and 1/8 teaspoon grainy mustard to basic recipe.

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Makes 4 Servings

Use small heirloom tomatoes in assorted colors for a pretty presentation.  You can also grill this bruschetta

2 cups assorted cherry, grape, and teardrop tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for brushing
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large loaf focaccia, halved horizontally (reserve half for another use)
1 garlic clove, peeled, halved

Combine halved tomatoes, finely chopped onion, 3 tablespoons olive oil, chopped fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar in medium bowl; season tomato topping with salt and pepper. (Make Ahead: Topping can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally.) Preheat broiler or grill. Place focaccia half, cut side up, on baking sheet; brush bread with olive oil. Toast bread in broiler until top is golden brown, watching closely to avoid burning, about 2 minutes. If using a grill, place bread cut side down and watch closely.  Immediately rub cut side of bread all over with halved garlic, then cut focaccia crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Top toasted focaccia with tomato mixture and serve.

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Makes 4 dozen

One 14-ounce package all-butter puff pastry, thawed if frozen but still cold
1/2 cup fig preserves
3/4 cup crumbled Stilton cheese (4 ounces)

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 16-by-11 1/2-inch rectangle. Trim to form a 10 1/2-by-15-inch rectangle. Transfer the pastry to a large rimmed baking sheet and cut into 1 3/4-inch squares; you should have about 48. Freeze the squares until firm, about 30 minutes. (Make Ahead: The unbaked frozen pastry squares can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.) Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange 12 squares on the sheet and cover with more parchment paper. Top the squares with another baking sheet, bottom side down. If you have another pair of baking sheets, repeat with 12 more squares. Bake the squares for about 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden. Transfer the squares to a rack to cool. Repeat to bake the remaining squares. Return as many cooled squares as will fit to a baking sheet.  Top each square with 1/2 teaspoon of the fig preserves. Sprinkle with the Stilton and bake for about 5 minutes, until the Stilton is melted. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Makes about 3 cups

This sweet and spicy salsa tastes even better after at least 1 hour in the refrigerator and can be made up to 1 day in advance

1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped coarse, (about 3 1/2 cups
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped coarse
2 jalapeno chilies, seeds and ribs removed, chilies chopped coarse (Use 1 if you want it medium spicy)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped coarse
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Plantain, blue corn chips, or scoop tortilla chips

Working in 2 batches, pulse pineapple, bell pepper, jalapenos, garlic, onion, and cilantro in food processor or blender until coarsely chopped to salsa-like consistency. Stir in lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chips.

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Makes 12

6 hard-cooked large eggs
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup packed watercress sprigs, chopped fine
3 tablespoons minced radish (about 3 large)
3 tablespoons minced celery (about 1 rib)
Garnish: finely chopped radish

Cut a paper-thin slice off both ends of eggs and halve eggs crosswise. Force yolks through a sieve into a bowl (or mash with a fork) and stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a large decorative tip and pipe into whites, mounding it. The stuffed eggs may be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Just before serving, garnish eggs.

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    Makes 5

    4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
    1 ripe pear - peeled, cored, and chopped
    2 tablespoons light cream
    ground black pepper to taste
    1 (2.1 ounce) package mini phyllo tart shells

    Prebake phyllo shells according to package directions. Set aside to cool. Mix together blue cheese, pear, and cream. Season to taste with pepper. Spoon mixture into cooled shells. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

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    Makes 24

    Eggs can be marinated, chilled, in an airtight container up to 3 days. Eggs can be filled 2 hours ahead and chilled, loosely covered.

    3 cups water
    1 cup distilled white vinegar
    1 beet peeled and sliced
    1 shallot sliced
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
    12 hard-boiled large eggs, peeled
    1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted and cooled
    1/3 cup mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon grainy mustard
    1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    Bring water, vinegar, beet, shallot, sugar, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, then simmer, covered, until beet is tender, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, uncovered. Put beet mixture in a container with eggs and marinate, chilled, gently stirring once or twice, at least 2 hours. Finely grind caraway seeds in grinder. (discard beet mixture). Cut in half lengthwise and remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and half of caraway. Season with salt and pepper, then divide among egg whites. Sprinkle with remaining caraway.

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    Makes About 50

    1/2 cup pine nuts (about 3 ounces)
    8 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and finely chopped
    2 small garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
    Freshly ground pepper
    1 pound ripe Brie, rind removed, at room temperature
    1 long baguette, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick about 50 slices

    Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until golden. Transfer the nuts to a work surface and coarsely chop them. In a small bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes with the garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, parsley, basil and pepper. In a medium bowl, vigorously beat the Brie. Spread 1 rounded teaspoon of Brie on each baguette slice. Top each with 1/2 teaspoon of the pesto, sprinkle with the pine nuts and serve.

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    Makes 15 Mini Tarts of Each Type

    Brie And Fig Mini Tarts
    1/2 (8-ounce) Brie round, rind removed
    1 (1.9-oz.) package frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells
    2 tablespoons fig preserves
    1 tablespoon minced candied ginger
    Freshly ground pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 375F. Cut Brie into 15 pieces. Place 1 piece into each phyllo shell, and top each with a rounded 1/4 teaspoonful fig preserves. Place on a baking sheet, and bake 6 minutes. Sprinkle with candied ginger and pepper to taste.

    Goat Cheese-and-Olive Mini Tarts
    Preheat oven to 375F. Place 1 tsp. softened goat cheese into each of 15 frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells. Top each with 1/2 teaspoon olive tapenade. Place on a baking sheet, and bake 6 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves and freshly ground pepper to taste.

    Cheddar-Chutney Mini Tarts
    Preheat oven to 375F. Stir together 2 ounces softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese. Divide cream cheese mixture among 15 frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells; top each with 1/2 teaspoon mango chutney. Place on a baking sheet, and bake 6 minutes.

    Monte Cristo Mini-Tarts
    Preheat oven to 375F. Divide 2 ounces shaved ham among 15 frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, and top each with 1/4 teaspoon strawberry jam. Place on a baking sheet, and bake 6 minutes

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    Makes 24 (can also make 48 mini puffs)

    24 shucked Maryland oysters
    1 bunch scallions trimmed sliced thin
    8 ounces diced pimiento
    I teaspoon hot sauce
    2 sheets frozen puff pastry-thawed
    4 ounces melted butter
    4 tablespoons sweet paprika

    Preheat oven to 450F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil. In medium bowl, combine Maryland oysters, scallions and hot sauce. cut each sheet of puff pastry into 12 squares (or 24 squares for mini puffs). Place one Maryland oyster with scallion and pimiento into each square. Fold over to create triangle, seal edges with fork. Brush with butter and dust with paprika. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and puffed (bake about 10 minutes for mini puffs).

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    Makes 1 mini loaf

    16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, room temperature, divided
    4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    24 ounces fresh chanterelles, cleaned, coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)
    2 garlic clove, minced
    1/2 cup imported dry Marsala
    2 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoon tomato paste
    2 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lemon peel
    6 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
    Toasted baguette slices

    Line a mini loaf pan with plastic wrap. Melt 1 stick butter with oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until mushrooms are tender and beginning to color, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, then Marsala, lemon juice, tomato paste, and lemon peel. Simmer until Marsala has evaporated, about 1 minute. Cool.  Transfer mushroom mixture to processor; add parsley and the other stick  of butter. Process until mushrooms are finely chopped. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Transfer to mini loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to develop.   Turn the mold over on a plate and remove the plastic wrap. Serve pate with toasted baguette slices. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated.

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    Makes 24 tartlets

    Make these really easy and use a refrigerator pie crust!

    2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
    2 cups chopped leeks (white parts only; about 3 large)
    1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta,* chopped (If you can't get pancetta, use bacon)
    2/3 cup half and half
    2 large egg yolks
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 ounces grated Asiago cheese (could also used crumbled soft fresh goat cheese or grated Fontina)

    *Pancetta (bacon cured in salt) is available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores and some grocery stores (e.g., Wegman's)

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut pie crust into 2 inch rounds with a cookie cutter and fit into mini muffin pans. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté 10 minutes; cool. Heat oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; sauté until crisp, about 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Whisk half and half and next 3 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Mix in the cheese, then leeks and pancetta. Spoon filling into shells. Bake until filling is set and crust edges are golden, about 20 minutes (check at 15). Cool in pans 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and chill in pans. Rewarm uncovered in 350F oven 10 minutes.) Using small knife, cut around tartlets to loosen. Turn out tartlets and arrange on platter; top each with parsley leaf.

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    Makes 20 servings

    1 cup chopped stemmed dried Calimyrna figs
    1/3 cup water
    1/3 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
    1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    2 5.5-ounce logs soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), each cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
    1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
    20 toasted walnut halves
    Toasted baguette slices
    Thyme sprigs for garnish

    Combine chopped figs and 1/3 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, chopped walnuts and chopped thyme. Season tapenade to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)   Spread the toasted baguette slices with goat cheese and then spoon tapanade on top evenly.  Garnish with a walnut half.  Arrange on a platter and garnish with thyme sprigs.

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    Makes 24
    Because smoked salmon is one of our favorite ingredients it plays a big role here. Best of all there is no cooking involved

    6 large radishes or 24 assorted crackers
    1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
    4 ounces smoked salmon or lox cut into bite size pieces
    3 teaspoon drained capers
    3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

    Cut each radish into 4 slices crosswise and arrange on serving platter. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon yogurt over each slice. Top with salmon and remaining yogurt. Sprinkle 1/2 of the radishes with capers the other half with onion.

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    Makes 15 canapés

    1 package (1.9 ounces) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
    1-1/2 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
    2 ounces Brie cheese, chopped
    1/3 cup orange marmalade

    Fill each tart shell with chocolate, then cheese. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Top with marmalade. Bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes or until cheese is melted.

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    Makes 6 to 8 Servings

    For the shrimp:
    2 pounds (12 to 15-count) shrimp
    1 tablespoon good olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    For the sauce:
    1/2 cup chili sauce (recommended: Heinz)
    1/2 cup ketchup
    3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
    2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

    Preheat the oven to 400F. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in 1 layer. Roast for 8 to10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool. For the sauce, combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.

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    Makes 24 Canapés

    24 large (1 1/2 to 2 inch wide) mushrooms
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large garlic clove, minced
    1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    1/2 cup finely chopped prosciutto (3 ounces)
    1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
    3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
    3/4 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Put a rack in the middle oven and preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish large enough to hold mushroom caps in one layer. to remove stems from mushrooms, hold each mushroom stem side up in palm of one hand and use other hand to push stem gently sideways until it pops out. If any stem remains in cap, gently scoop it out with a small spoon. trim off and discard bottoms of stems and finely chop stems. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10 to 12 inch heavy skillet over moderate heat. add mushroom stems, garlic, and onion and cook, stirring, until stems are very tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, add prosciutto, bread crumbs parsley, 1/2 cup parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine well. Divide filling among mushroom caps, mounding it slightly, and arrange in one layer in greased baking dish. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Bake until mushroom caps are tender about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the caps.

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    Makes 30 Canapés

    30 cherry tomatoes (about 1-1/4 pints)
    1/2 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut up
    2 ounces cream cheese, softened
    2 tablespoons homemade or purchased basil pesto1
    lemon juice
    Snipped fresh basil for garnish (optional)

    Cut a thin slice from the top of each tomato. (If desired, cut a thin slice from bottoms of tomatoes so they stand upright.) With a small spoon or small melon baller carefully hollow out the tomatoes. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Invert tomatoes on the towels. Let stand 30 minutes to drain. Meanwhile, for filling, in a food processor bowl combine avocado, cream cheese, pesto, and lemon juice. Cover; process until smooth. Spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or open star tip. Place tomatoes, open sides up, on a serving platter. Pipe filling into the tomato cups. Serve immediately or cover loosely and refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving. Sprinkle with snipped basil before serving.

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    Makes 24 Cones

    24 slices of soppressata or hard salami, thinly sliced
    1 small head of radicchio, shredded
    5 pepperoncini, stemmed, seeded and chopped
    8 ounces fresh goat cheese
    2 tsp red wine vinegar
    2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
    3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
    Kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper

    In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until they are just beginning to brown, tossing occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the radicchio, pepperoncini, goat cheese, vinegar, oil and pine nuts and fold together until thoroughly mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the salad to rest for 10 – 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Arrange the slices on a work surface and divide the salad equally among them. Roll the sausage to form 24 cones and serve or refrigerate for serving

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    Makes 16 Canapes

    3 tablespoons chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
    3 tablespoons slivered pitted black olives (such as Kalamata)
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
    1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
    5 ounces fresh goat cheese
    16 1/4-inch-thick diagonal baguette slices, toasted
    1 ounce baby arugula
    16 very thin slices rare roast beef

    Mix red peppers, olives, thyme, and vinegar in small bowl for relish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Reserve 2 tablespoons goat cheese for garnish. Spread remaining goat cheese on toasted baguette slices. Divide arugula among toasts. Fold roast beef slices to fit toasts; place atop arugula. Sprinkle beef slices lightly with salt and pepper. Top each with 1/3 teaspoon reserved goat cheese and small dollop of relish. Arrange crostini on platter and serve.

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What kind of "nibblers" entice you? Let us know

Updated April 15, 2014