Category Archives: APPETIZERS

Sonia's Sweet Potatoes Puffs

You can make these puffs few days before, save them at room temperature, and just warm them in the oven at 325 degrees until warm and crisp. Yummy!

3 sweet potatoes cooked and smashed
1 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup all-purpose flour or 1/4 of whole wheat
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
5 large egg whites at room temperature

*For a holiday flavor you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon or anise seeds to the mix. I add both, why not…….

In a bowl mix together cheese, flour, pepper, nutmeg, and salt until combined well. Beat whites in another bowl with an electric mixer until they just hold stiff peaks. Fold into sweet potatoes. Mix potatoes and egg whites mix with rest of ingredients gently but thoroughly.
Pour canola oil into a fryer and heat until very hot. Grab mix with a big stirring spoon about 8 teaspoons of batter and drop into hot oil 1 spoon at a time. Fry, turning occasionally, until balls of batter are puffed, crisp, and golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain briefly. Make 3 more batches in same manner, returning oil to 360°F between batches. Serve hot.

*Thanksgiving will never be the same without this addition!


Warm Artichoke Dip

8oz can artichoke hearts/bottoms in water only (discard water)
1 cup lite mayo
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
3 fresh garlic cloves cut very small
baguette of your favorite bread

Preheat oven 350degrees. In a square or round ceramic baking dish mix all the ingredients. Bake for 20 minutes and serve with fresh bread on the side

FYI;  artichoke is a good source of folate, dietary fiber, and vitamins C and K. Artichokes are also packed with antioxidants; they’re number 7 on the USDA’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list.



Puerto Rican Style Waffle Cones with Chicken in a Yogurt Sauce

4 chicken breast halves
1 chicken stock cube
24oz plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1/2 cup diced fresh mint
1 cucumber peeled and cut into small pieces
1 medium celery cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
waffle ice cream cones
salt and pepper

1/2 to 1 tablespoon of honey for a sweet and sour touch!

In a tall pan boil water, cook chicken with cube and plenty salt. Lower heat to medium and boil chicken for 15 minutes. Cool chicken and shred. In a bowl mix chicken with rest of ingredients and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Serve the mix with cone on the side so people can fix the cones as needed. Making the cones ahead of time can make them saggy. Serves 8 to 10

*This recipe is a very popular appetizer in Puerto Rico. The original recipe is well kept but my version is equally good, and fun!

FYI- Yogurt is a very good source of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin-vitamin B2 and iodine. Yogurt also emerged from our analysis as a good source of vitamin B12, pantothenic acid-vitamin B5, zinc, potassium, protein and molybdenum. These 10 nutrients alone would make yogurt a health-supportive food. But some of the most interesting health information about yogurt comes from a different context—its potential inclusion of live bacteria.

Sorullitos de Maiz

1 cup of water
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 cups corn meal
2 eggs
2 tablespoon butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded hard cheddar or gouda cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat a pan over medium and mix water, butter, cheese and vanilla until melted (do not over cook). Add corn meal and stir until is mix well and turn heat off. In a big bowl mix eggs and milk. Fold and stir corn mixture well. Form the sorullitos by picking up the mix with a soup spoon and forming cylinder shape sorullos. Deep fry until golden and serve with sauce

2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup lite mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
for spicy add 1 teaspoon tabasco sauce

Ceviche with Mango

1 lb fresh sea bass, tilapia or mahi-mahi cut into 1/4 inch cubes
8 limes for juicing
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 small mango cut into small cubes
1 jalapeño, seeded, and diced (spicy)
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 small tomato finely diced
1 big bunch of cilantro, chopped
finely ground sea salt and black pepper

Place the fish in a bowl with the juice of 3 limes; season with salt and pepper. Marinade for at 3 hours. In a separate bowl stir the jalapeño, mango and onion with the juices of 3 limes. Allow it to sit for one hour. Using a fine-mesh strainer, drain the excess liquid from both bowls. Combine the vegetables, mango and fish. Add the chopped cilantro, garlic and fold.
Adjust the seasonings and stir in the juice of the last two limes. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Artichoke Basil Dip

1 1/2 cups or 12oz artichoke hearts
1 cup fresh basil
1 avocado
juice of two lemons
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

In a blender mix all ingredients and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until time to serve. Makes two cups
Great as a dip or on top of grilled chicken or fish


Mandarin Orange Shrimp Appetizer – Recipe

1 pound shrimp, Small for crackers or big for cocktail
1 10.5 oz can drained mandarin orange pieces ( I usually put the can in the refrigerator)
3 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh grind ginger or 1/2 tablespoon powder ginger
2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro cut into small pieces
1/2 red onion cut into small pieces
4 tablespoon sliced almonds
sea salt and pepper to taste

Boil the shrimp in sea salt water until pink, remove tail. In a serving bowl mix the rest of ingredients but almonds. Add shrimp, mix and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Top with almonds and serve it with plain big crackers o baguette pieces or just plain in small cocktail plates.

*This recipe is great for summer parties, very refreshing

Parmesan/Garlic Chicken Breast Strips

This recipe is one of my favorite for kids
8 pieces chicken breast strips
1/2 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano (better consistency than grated)
1/2 cup garlic and herbs bread crumbs
3 garlic cloves, crushed very well
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons sunflower oil

In a bowl mix cheese, bread crumbs with some fresh pepper. In a cup heat butter and mix with garlic, pour into mix and stir until blended. In a pan big enough to fit all chicken heat sunflower oil. Dry chicken with paper towel, season with salt and pepper and press hard each side into the mix. Cook over medium heat until golden brown, around 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve warm

Sonia's Mom Tuna Antipasto Recipe

4 cans of white abacore tuna.
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 white or yellow onion cut into small pieces
2 garlic cloves crushed
3 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
salt and pepper
tabasco sauce to taste (optional)

In a medium pan add olive oil, onions, cabbage and garlic. Saute until tender. Add salt, pepper and vinegar. Slow cook for 5 minutes. Add drained tuna, catsup and remove from heat (hot sauce optional). Mix well with a big spoon. Pour into a bowl, cover and put it in the refrigerator until cold. Remove excess oil and serve with crackers.

* It can be serve warm over pasta, COQUI!

Sonia's Curry Chicken Salad Appetizer

4 chicken breast halves
1 chicken stock cube
12oz plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 apple cut into pieces
1 celery cut into pieces
2 tablespoon currants
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons curry
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper

You can add any of these ingredients for additional taste;
cucumber, raisins, walnuts, bacon, or grapes

In a tall pan boil water, cook chicken with cube and plenty salt. Lower heat to medium and boil chicken for 15 minutes. Remove chicken and cool, cut into small cube pieces. In a bowl mix chicken with rest of ingredients and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Serve with lettuce wraps, crackers or bread.

FYI- Curry is a mixture of several spices, predominantly turmeric. Curry powder, which is extensively used in Indian cuisine, for instance in curry chicken or curry shrimp, is largely made of turmeric combined with other spices such as coriander and fenugreek. Different countries and different regions within a country will have other herbs as part of their curry, but the predominant herb is turmeric. Many Indian cuisine cookbooks have curry recipe dishes.
Curry powder contains many powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Curcumin is one of the main substances in turmeric that gives the curry mix its yellow color.