Category Archives: APPETIZERS

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.

Basil Pesto

pesto 1
3/4 cup olive oil
3 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves or 4 if you love garlic
the juice of one lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2/3 cups grated pecorino cheese

Combine all ingredients but cheese in a food processor and pulse until creamy. Transfer to bowl and mix in the cheese. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Pesto is great on top of any fish, chicken or just plain pasta
pesto 2

FYI: The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level. Orientin and vicenin are two water-soluble flavonoids that have been of particular interest in basil, and in studies on human white blood cells; these components of basil protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.

Mofongo (smashed green plantains balls)

Green Plantains at my moms house in Puerto Rico

3 green plantains
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 smashed garlic cloves
1/2 cup cooked bacon cut into small pieces or 1/2 cup small pieces of chicharrones
1 cups vegetable oil

Peel and cut the plantains 1″ long. Place them in a bowl with salt water for 15 minutes. In a pan heat vegetable oil over medium low and cook the plantains until start to turn brown on each side, like 7 minutes per side. Place them on paper towel. In a pan heat olive oil to cook garlic. Smashed plantains with garlic oil, bacon, and salt. With a big spoon take some of the mix and make a ball. Cover each ball with foil paper until time to serve. If the mofongo is cold before serving, use the oven at 375 degree for 5 minutes to warm them again. Serves 4 Coqui!

*this is a traditional and very popular side dish from Puerto Rico

Mussels in White Wine Tomato Broth

2 pounds mussels
1 cup of white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion cut into very small pieces
5 ripe roma tomatoes cut into small pieces or a can of diced tomatoes
1 small diced carrot (optional)
1/4 cup parley
6 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (spicy)
salt and pepper

*fresh baguette sliced into 1/2″ pieces

In a pot boil chicken broth and wine and cook the mussels over medium high for 5 minutes. Set aside. In a big pan heat the oil and cook onion and garlic until start to turn brown. Add tomatoes, carrot, parley, tomato paste, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour mix into pot and mix the mussels. Cook for 5 minutes and serve on soup bowls with fresh crispy bread on the side.

*This recipe is easy to make and always wows the crowd, very chic!

FYI- Mussels are a rich source of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as the B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, iron, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and zinc. They outshine most other foods when it comes to their vitamin B12, selenium and manganese content. A 3-oz. portion of moist-heat cooked blue mussels provides 20.4 mcg, or micrograms, of vitamin B12, meeting 340 percent of the recommended daily value for this nutrient, according to Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system, the formation of red blood cells and proper growth and development. The same amount meets 108 percent of the DV for selenium and 288 percent for manganese. Selenium is important for immune system function and supports the thyroid gland, while manganese is involved in bone health and energy metabolism.

Empanadillas de Carne – Beef Turnovers

IMG_0243_11 pounds ground beef
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 large russet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onions, chopped
salt and pepper
1 generous tablespoon tomato paste
3 garlic cloves minced
Zest of 1/2 orange (about 1 teaspoon)
1/4 cup raisins
6 Spanish Olives Stuffed with Minced Pimientos, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 boxes Pillsbury pie dough, or Goya, or any empanadilla disks

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a preheated 8-inch pan over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up, and then add the ground beef with some salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

While the beef cooks, boil potatoes with some salt until done.

When the beef is dark brown remove it from the pan, drain fat and set aside. In the same pan over medium high add olive oil, onions with some salt, and cook until onion start to turn brown. Add garlic, tomato paste, oregano and cook for 3 minutes. Stir olives, raising, and orange zest and stir. Return beef into a pan adding a splash of water, if needed and cook until warm. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When the potatoes are done cooking, drain, peel cut into tint pieces and place in bowl. Stir in the Parmesan and melted butter.
On a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin, roll out discos until ½” larger in diameter. Spoon about 1 tbsp. meat mixture into middle, and 1 tbsp. potatoes. Fold in half to form a half moon; moisten edges with water and pinch with a fork to seal closed, or fold and pinch.
Fill a deep saucepan with oil to a depth of 2½”. Heat oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook Empanadas in batches until crisp and golden brown, flipping once, 4 – 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.