These fried and sauced chicken breast strips have all the spicy flavor of Buffalo wings—without the hassle of bones. Serve them with a tangy blue cheese dip and celery sticks and you'll never choose bone-in wings again!
6–8 appetizer servings
For the boneless wings:2 cups buttermilk2 tablespoons hot sauce (preferably Frank's)2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided, plus more2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1" strips3 cups all-purpose flour2 tablespoons garlic powder1 tablespoon paprika1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepperFor the hot sauce:5 tablespoons unsalted butter1/2 cup hot sauce (preferably Frank's)2 tablespoons pure maple syrupFor the blue cheese dip:1/2 cup sour cream1/4 cup buttermilk1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper1/4 teaspoon kosher salt2 tablespoons chopped chives, dividedFor frying and serving:Vegetable oil (for frying)4 celery stalks, cut crosswise into 4–5" piecesSpecial EquipmentA deep-fry thermometer
Stir buttermilk, hot sauce, and 1 Tbsp. salt in a wide, shallow bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat.
Mix flour, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, and remaining 1 Tbsp. salt in a large bowl.
Working in batches, transfer chicken to bowl with flour mixture. Toss to coat, then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or large platter. Working in batches again, dip in buttermilk mixture, allow excess to drip off, then dip again in flour mixture. Transfer back to baking sheet and chill at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, cook butter, hot sauce, and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.
Whisk sour cream, buttermilk, blue cheese, pepper, salt, and 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. chives in a small bowl. Top with remaining 1 tsp. chives.
Preheat oven to 250°F. Set a wire rack over another rimmed baking sheet.
Pour oil into a large heavy pot fitted with thermometer to a depth of 2". Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches, fry chicken, turning occasionally, until crispy and golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, 4–6 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to prepared wire rack, season with salt, and keep warm in oven.
Right before serving, transfer fried chicken to a large bowl. Pour hot sauce mixture over and gently turn with tongs until coated. Serve with blue cheese dip and celery sticks alongside.
Spicy, honey-glazed figs are balanced by creamy goat cheese and buttery puff pastry in this fun vegetarian play on pigs-in-a-blanket. If goat cheese isn't your thing, try these bites with brie, Camembert, Manchego, or Parmesan.
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar3 tablespoons honey3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper24 dried black Mission figs (medium or large), stems trimmed, halved1 large egg1 (14- or 17-ounce) box of puff pastry (preferably all-butter puff), thawed according to package directionsAll-purpose flour (for surface)6 1/2 ounces plain goat cheeseSesame seeds or poppy seeds (for topping; optional)
Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Stir vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and 1 cup water in a medium pot. Add figs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until figs are softened and liquid has almost evaporated and is a syrupy consistency, 7–10 minutes. Transfer figs to a plate; let cool.
Beat egg with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. If using a 14-ounce package with 1 sheet of pastry, roll pastry to an 18x12" rectangle on a lightly floured surface. If using a 17-ounce package with 2 sheets of pastry, roll each sheet to a 12x9" rectangle. Cut pastry along the 12" side into 12 (1-inch-wide) strips. Cut each strip crosswise into pieces about 4 1/2" long. You should have 48 (4 1/2x1") strips pastry.
Scoop a heaping 1/2 tsp. cheese and press into cut side of 1 fig half. Place fig half in the center of 1 pastry strip. Brush 1 end of pastry with egg wash and roll to enclose. Transfer seam side down to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining cheese, figs, and pastry. Brush top of each pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds, if using. Bake pastries, rotating and switching sheets top to bottom halfway through, until golden brown and puffed, 15–18 minutes.
Figs can be cooked 2 days ahead; cover and chill.
Makes 24 appetizers
1 c pitted ripe olives
4 cloves of garlic, minced 2 t balsalmic vinegar
1 t capers, drained
1 t olive oil
11⁄3 c chopped red tomato
3 thinly slice green onions
1 T fresh basil or oregano
1 T olive oil
1⁄8 t black pepper
1 French Baguette
3 T olive oil
1⁄2 parmesan cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Make the olive paste in food processor combining the first five ingredients. Blend till a smooth paste forms. Stop and scrape the sides as necessary.
2.For tomato topping, stir together next five ingredients.
3. Slice baguette into 1⁄2 inch thick slices. Use 2 T olive oil to lightly brush both sides of each slice. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 5 min or till crisp. Option: Grill bread till brown on both sides.
4. Assemble thin layer of olive paste on each slice. Top with 2 T of tomato mixture and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Return to oven for 2-3 min. till cheese starts to melt.
5. Serve warm.
Note: We love brushetta!
Makes 20-40 servings
2 c barbecue sauce
1 c orange marmelade
3⁄4 t dry mustard
1⁄8 t ground allspice
2 lb. cooked kielbasa, cut
diagonally into 1⁄2 inch slices
1 lb. little smokey sausage links
1 - 8oz. can pineapple chunks,
In a large saucepan combine first four ingredients. Cook until bubbly. Stir in meats and drained pineapple chunks. Cover and cook over medium-low heat about 20 minutes more or until meat is heated thoroughly, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
For Crockpot directions: Combine all ingredients, but the pineapple and blend gently. Cover and cook on the high-heat setting for 2 1⁄2 -3 hrs. Stir in pineapple the last 30 minutes. Serve immediately or keep warm on the low setting for up to 2 hrs.
Note: A family favorite!
1 beaten egg
1⁄2 c panko bread crumbs
2 T fresh cilantro or flat parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 t salt
1⁄8 crushed pepper flakes
1 lb. lean ground beef o
20 oz can of pineapple chunks, drained.
1 bottle of Sweet and Sour sauce or Plum Sauce
1⁄2 c finely chopped peanut, no skins
In mixing bowl combine egg, panko, cilantro or parsley, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper. Add the ground beef and peanuts; mix well. Shape into 36-40 meatballs. Place on a jelly roll pan and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or till no longer pink. Meat thermometer should read 165°. Remove from oven and drain. Thread pineapple chunk and meatball on wooden toothpick. Repeat until there are no more meatballs. Return to the jelly roll pan. Brush with the Sweet and Sour or Plum Sauce. Bake 5-8 minutes more until heated. In a saucepan heat remaining sauce till bubbly. Brush the meatball skewers with additional sauce before serving. Serve with remaining sauce in a bowl alongside meatballs for extra dipping.
Note: This can be and elegant appetizer served in elegant chaffing dishes or on heated platters for a crowd pleaser.
Makes a 2 cup serving
1 15-oz can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 thinly sliced green onions
1⁄4 c finely chopped sweet red or
2-4 cloves mince garlic
2 T olive oil, light
2 T apple cider vinegar, Braggs
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 avocado chopped
1⁄4 t black pepper
dash of salt
Tortilla chips, corn chips or
In bowl combine black-eyed peas, green onions, sweet pepper, garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, jalapeno pepper, black pepper, dash of salt. Cover and chill at least 10 hrs or over night. To serve, transfer to a serving dish. Toss chopped avocado over top. Serve with chips or crackers. Refrigerate any leftovers up to 4 days.
Note: Use a brand of apple cider vinegar that has the ‘mother’ in it. 'Mother’ is a fermentation that aids in digestion. Brands that do not use a fermenting system are damaging to your digestion. Do not use white vinegar as a substitute. I recommend using Real Salt. It does not contain aluminum. Real Salt is a brand you can find in any health food section. Taste the difference
Makes 6-7 appetizers
1 1⁄4 lbs. fresh or frozen shrimp in shells
OR Shelled and deveined
Cocktail Sauce ( See recipe below )
Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp. In a large saucepan bring 4 c of water and 1 t salt to boil. (Skip this step if using shrimp shelled and deveined.) Add shrimp. Simmer, uncovered for 2-3 min, until shrimp turns pink. Drain and rinse in cold water. Chill 4-24 hrs.
Cocktail Sauce: 1 c chili sauce, 2 T lemon juice, 1 T prepared horseradish, 2 t Worcestershire sauce, and several dashes of hot pepper sauce. Sauce can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks. Makes 11⁄2 c sauce.
To serve, arrange chilled shrimp in lettuce lined cocktail cups or glasses. Serve with lemon wedges an parsley as garnish on top. Spoon 1 T of sauce over each serving.
Note: Always impressive and delicious. Remember to wash your hands before and after preparing.
1 lb. lump crabmeat, drained
1⁄2 c shaved prosciutto, finely
1⁄2 italian style panko crumbs,
1 lg egg, lightly beaten
2 t white wine Worcestershire
1⁄2 t salt
2 T butter or Earth Balance Vegan
2T safflower oil
Red Pepper Mayonaise ( See
Recipe Below )
Combine first three ingredients in bowl and toss gently. Stir together next four ingredients in another bowl. Gently fold egg mixture into crabmeat mixture. Cover and chill atleast 1⁄2 hr. Shape mixture into 12 patties, using about 1⁄4c for each portion. Place patties on a wax paperlined baking sheet. Cover and chill at least 1 hr. Heat 1 T butter or Earth Balance and 1 T safflower oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes on each side until browned. Remove from skillet and place on paper towel lined plate to allow the fat to drain off. Keep warm.
Serve with Red Pepper Mayonaise. Recipe for sauce: 4 cloves garlic, 1⁄4c diced roasted red peppers, drained, 1⁄2 t lemon juice, 1⁄8 cayenne pepper, 1 c Mayonaise. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Cover and chill at least 9 hrs. Yield:11⁄3 cups.
Note: This is such an elegant recipe and so savory. If you prefer less spice use plain panko bread crumbs. Progresso makes the best Panko I have used in my recipes. This is an excellent appetizer or even a main dish for Channukah, Christmas Eve, and New Years Eve Celebrations. It is beautiful on a candlelight table with crystal and china!
1 - 10oz bag frozen spinach, thawed
2- 61⁄2 oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained,rinsed and chopped
12 oz or cream cheese, softened
1 c shredded parmesan cheese
1⁄2 c mayonaise
3-5 lg cloves of garlic, pressed and
11⁄2 c plain Panko, Progresso
2 T butter or margarine.
Preheat oven to 375°. Drain spinach by pressing liquid between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Combine spinach and next ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Spoon into a lightly greased 11" x 7" baking dish. Combine breadcrumbs and butter; sprinkle over spinach mixture. Bake uncovered at 375° for 25 minutes.
Serve with toasted baguette slices, bread sticks, gourmet crackers, tortilla chips or alone as a side dish.
Note: This is THE MOST SCRUMPTIOUS spinach artichoke dip I have ever had! You can opt out of using the bread crumb topping and just top with melted butter if you prefer. You can also use buttered crackers like Ritz or Townhouse instead of bread crumbs. This makes an eye appealing side dish at any gathering and is a real crowd pleaser. Be prepared to give this recipe away!
Makes 2 1⁄2 cups
1⁄4 c butter
1⁄4 c all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1⁄4 t black pepper
1⁄4 t dry mustard
1⁄4 t Worcestershire sauce
1 1⁄2 c 2 % milk
2 c shredded cheddar cheese, mild
Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in flour and the next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring consistently 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat and add cheese, stirring till melted. Transfer to fondue pot or slow cooker to keep warm.
Cut up bread cubes of all varieties of bread and even apples are a delicious compliment to this fondue.
Note: Fondue is a Christmas Eve tradition in our home. We love fondue and it is so versatile for holiday flair! We use Fondue as a complimentary dish to our meals. It is a wonderful appetizer or dessert any time!
8 oz. pkg. Brie cheese
5 cloves garlic minced
1⁄2 c sun-dried tomatoes, minced
2 T olive oil
1⁄2 c minced fresh parsley
Carefully remove and discard the rind from the top of cheese and set aside. Combine the rest of ingredients in in a microwave safe dish and heat for 2-3 until the garlic has softened. Spread over top of cheese and microwave on HIGH for 45 seconds or until cheese melts. Serve with crunchy baguette rounds or your favorite gourmet assorted crackers.
This is a fabulous and impressive appetizer, especially served during winter holiday.
Note: This is very versatile appetizer!
Makes 42 meatballs
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 t parsley flakes
2 T soy sauce
1⁄2 t garlic salt
2 T chopped onion
1 c uncooked quick-cooking oats
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1⁄2 c catsup
Preheat oven 350°. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Roll into 2 in balls or use melon scooper for portioning and round out in the palms of your hands. Arrange on shallow baking sheet and bake at 350° for 25 minutes, then drain on paper towels. Spoon Cranberry Sauce ( see Recipe below ) over meatballs and bake 15 minutes more.
Sauce Recipe: 16 oz can jellied cranberry sauce, 12 oz bottle of chili sauce, 1⁄2 c brown sugar, packed, 1 T lemon juice. Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl. Makes 3 cups. You can place in a crockpot to keep warm if not serving in a heated chaffing dish. Stir occasionally to keep from sauce burning.
Garnish: chopped parsley
Note: The jellied cranberry sauce is great alternative to grape jelly. It adds the taste for holiday flair. Serve in decorative dishes or chaffing dishes to keep warm. Place Christmas decorations around your serving pieces to add to the presentation of your food items. Remember, Presentation is EVERYTHING!
3 small containers of grape tomatoes, chopped
1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped
15-20 fresh basil, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2-3 T balsamic vinegar
1 t EVOO
1t garlic powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and gently toss until combined. When adding tomatoes, allow any juice that seeped out when cutting to remain on the cutting board; do not add this to the bowl.
Although you can enjoy immediately, it's best to cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
Serve on fresh grilled or toasted bread, or even toast together in oven for warm bruschetta. Personally, we enjoy it best when spreading some hummus on the toasted bread before adding the mixture on top. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.
Variations: substitute with 3 T freshly chopped chives for a more mild onion flavor. Add some toasted nuts, like pine nuts, if you'd like.
Storage: store in a nan air-tight container in the fridge for up to one day (can last for two days, but tomatoes will get soft and soggy).