Appetizers – LaDonna Rose: Cookbooks from Alaska Mon, 28 May 2018 06:54:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Classy Parmesan Basket Thu, 25 Oct 2018 13:00:43 +0000 These Classy Parmesan Baskets make a beautiful presentation. They have a lacy, delicate look to them.


1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded or inexpensive shredded Parmesan – the kind in the bag works great.
1 drinking glass
2 ounces smoked salmon
mixed salad greens


Heat a 10” skillet over medium-high heat.

Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese into a disk shape (using less cheese around the edges so it looks lacy). When cheese is slightly golden underneath, carefully remove it using a spatula.

Quickly drape cheese disk over an upside down glass, golden side up and press to form a bowl.

Allow to cool completely. Cooled baskets can sit several hours.

This recipe produces one basket. Repeat instructions until you have the number of baskets needed.

Fill basket with mixed greens and top with smoked salmon.

Makes one basket

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms Thu, 18 Oct 2018 13:00:55 +0000 Crab stuffed mushrooms only look difficult to make. A large tray with an army of mini-sized appetizers, each little soldier with a browned bubbling cheese crust only suggests that you’ve slaved over them for days. Really, the most work you’ve done is chop up some vegetables and spoon filling into some mushroom caps, my favorite kind of appetizer!


3 slices good-quality bacon, diced
24 medium sized mushroom caps, hollowed
2 cups fresh Dungeness crab meat (about 2 crab, cooked and cleaned)
⅓ cup cream cheese, softened
¼ cup heavy cream
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1½ cups baby spinach, chopped
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
⅛ teaspoon hot chili sauce
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ cup fresh bread crumbs, crust removed and cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate.

Place mushroom caps, hollow side up, on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and heavy cream. Add garlic, shallots, spinach, 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire and chili sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in diced bacon and crab.

In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs with the olive oil, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff mushrooms by dividing crab filling evenly into each cap. Top with the crumbs, pressing lightly. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until heated through and topping is
golden. Serve immediately.

Makes 24

Feel free to substitute medium size shrimp in place of the crab.

Roasted Shrimp with Rosemary and Thyme Thu, 11 Oct 2018 13:00:52 +0000 This Roasted Shrimp with Rosemary and Thyme is the perfect recipe for shrimp. Roasting them with fresh rosemary and thyme adds so much flavor. I am positive you will love this recipe and will never serve shrimp other than this way again.


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large fresh rosemary sprigs, halved
4 fresh thyme sprigs
freshly ground black pepper
1½ pounds medium shrimp, peeled, leaving tails intact
½ teaspoon sea salt


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Pour the oil into a 9 x 13-inch rimmed baking dish. Add the rosemary, thyme and 1 teaspoon pepper and bake until the mixture is fragrant, about 10 minutes.

Add the shrimp to the dish and toss with tongs until coated. Bake the shrimp until pink and firm about 10 minutes.

Add a sprinkling of salt, toss well and serve.

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course

Mini Salmon and Herb Quiches Fri, 17 Aug 2018 13:00:09 +0000 These delicious Mini Salmon and Herb Quiches are a wonderful party dish because they can be made in advance and then simply reheated before serving.


1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 (6-to 7-ounce) can salmon, drained
2 green onions, finely chopped
¼ cup half-and-half
⅓ cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
muffin tin


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Using a 3 inch cutter, cut out 12 rounds of pastry. Press into lightly greased muffin cups. Combine salmon with the onion, half-and-half, cheddar cheese, eggs and parsley. Spoon into pastry cases. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden
and eggs are set.

Makes 12

Mini Salmon Burger BLT with Jalapeño Mayo Thu, 16 Aug 2018 13:00:26 +0000 I have a thing for salmon burgers-they’re light and flavorful, easy to make and a nice change from your traditional ground beef burgers. They can work wonders to brighten up any mundane day (they sure do for me). These Mini Salmon Burger BLTs with Jalapeño Mayo make great finger food in the summer, by a pool, with a cocktail. There’s just something about mini food items isn’t there?


5 slices quality thick-cut bacon, cut in half

for the salmon patties:
2 cups wild salmon, cooked, chilled, flaked
2 cups Panko bread crumbs, plus ½ to ¾ cup for forming
½ cup green onions, minced
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 eggs
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons jalapeños, canned or fresh, minced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup sesame seeds
extra-virgin olive oil for frying

for the sauce:
2 teaspoons jalapeños, canned
or fresh, minced
½ cup mayonnaise

for the burgers:
10 slider buns or brioche rolls, toasted if desired split
crisp lettuce leaves
thinly sliced tomato
thinly sliced onion


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cook the bacon on a rack-lined baking sheet until crisp, about 15 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate.

make the patties: In a large bowl, combine salmon, 2 cups bread crumbs, onions and cilantro. Whisk together eggs, lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, jalapeño, sugar and salt. Combine with salmon mixture. Form mixture into ten patties; (⅓-cup each) packing each firmly. Press them into the remaining bread crumbs and sesame seeds. Place in freezer until just firm, about 20 minutes.

make the sauce:
In a small bowl, stir together jalapeños and mayonnaise.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add salmon patties two at a time; cook until browned on both sides, turning carefully. Transfer the cakes to a plate.

Place the burgers on the roll bottoms and top with the bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. Spread the roll tops with the sauce and place on the burgers.

Makes 10 patties

Make larger cakes using a ½ cup measuring cup (makes six) and use regular sized buns.

Smoked Salmon with Wild Berries on Grit Cakes Thu, 05 Jul 2018 13:00:14 +0000 This Smoked Salmon with Wild Berries on Grit Cakes recipe makes a terrific, simple yet sophisticated appetizer–perfect for cocktail hour. The berry spread brings out the richness of the smoked salmon, which is complemented by the slight sweetness of the grit cakes. It is one of our go-to appetizers when we want something truly satisfying.


for the grit cakes:
2¼ cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup uncooked coarse-ground
yellow corn grits
3 tablespoons shallot, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 (3-ounce) packages thinly sliced wild smoked salmon

for the garnish:
½ cup mixed berries
fresh basil sprigs

for the mixed berry spread:
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup fresh blackberries
½ cup fresh raspberries or salmonberries
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


make the grit cakes:
Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the broth, butter and salt to a boil. Gradually whisk in grits and cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until grits are thick, whisking frequently, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shallot, basil and Parmesan and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Pour cooked grits into the prepared baking dish. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the grits; refrigerate for two hours or until firm. Unmold chilled grits onto a large cutting board. Cutting the grits into 12 (2¼-inch) cakes.

make the mixed berry spread:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the berries, sugar and vanilla and cook until mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour berry mixture into a food processor and blend until liquefied. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds. In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, blend together the strained berry mixture, cream cheese and lemon zest until well combined. Chill until ready to use.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, sear each cake 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned and heated through. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Spread an even layer of the mixed berry spread onto each grit cake, then top with a slice of the smoked salmon, trimming salmon if necessary.

Garnish with a dollop of the mixed berry spread, a few berries and a sprig of basil.

Makes 12

Recipe hint
Grits are confusing to both the Southerner and non-Southerner alike, so let me break it down for you. The word “grit” is a shortened way of saying what it really means, “hominy grits.” Grits are derived from hominy. Hominy is dried corn kernels with the hull and germ removed. When this dried hominy is ground, it turns into what we know as grits.

Crab Salad on Corn Blini Mon, 25 Jun 2018 13:00:12 +0000 Cornmeal with its pleasant flavor and slightly crunchy texture, makes this little bite lip-smacking-pop-it-in-your-mouth good! I’ll bet you can’t eat just one Crab Salad on Corn Blini!


for the salad:
½ pound (1½ cups) fresh crab meat, picked over
¼ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chives, minced
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, divided
½ teaspoon sea salt, divided
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 avocado, pit removed
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 small jalapeño, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced, divided

for the corn blini:
1 teaspoon RapidRise yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (120°)
½ cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup 2% milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted


make the salad:
In a medium bowl, gently toss together the crabmeat, bell pepper, chives, Dijon, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper until mixture is well combined. Refrigerate.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the avocado, remaining mayonnaise, lime juice, half the jalapeño slices, remaining salt and pulse until the mixture is smooth.

make the corn blini:
In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour and salt. Add the milk, butter and yeast mixture, whisk until smooth. Let the mixture sit uncovered, at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat; when hot, spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Working in batches of three, spoon 1 tablespoon batter into skillet for each blini and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until crisp around the edges and golden brown.

Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep the blini warm.

Top each corn blini with crab salad; garnish with avocado purée and remaining jalapeño slices, if desired.

Makes 12-16

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Soft Spring Rolls with Smoked Salmon and Fresh Basil Mon, 07 May 2018 13:06:49 +0000 Soft Spring Rolls with Smoked Salmon and Fresh Basil are a pleasure to see and to eat and simple to make if you set up a small assembly line with all the components ready to roll up. The secret ingredient here is an extra pairs of hands, to make the job interesting and fun.


3 ounces thin dried rice noodles
4 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
12 round spring roll wrappers
2 cups thinly sliced smoked salmon
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)
2 small carrots, cut into match sticks (about 1 cup)
1 medium avocado, diced
1 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
½ cup red onion, minced
½ cup plain peanuts, coarsely chopped

for the dipping sauce:
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 green onion, minced


the spring rolls:
Submerge rice noodles in hot water 8-10 minutes, until soft and clear. Drain and cut noodles into 2-inch pieces, set aside. Toss mushrooms with soy sauce in a small bowl, set aside.

Submerge one spring roll wrapper in a shallow pan or bowl of warm water for about 30 seconds or until softened. Remove it carefully, draining the water. Place it before you flat on the work surface. Arrange the smoked salmon slices, cucumber, carrots, avocado, basil, cilantro, red onion, rice noodles, mushrooms and peanuts in a log shape in center of wrapper. Lift the wrapper edge nearest to you and roll it away from you, up and over the fillings, tucking it in under them compressing everything gently into a cylinder shape, folding ends to seal. Set the roll aside on a platter seam-side down to dry.

the dipping sauce:
Combine rice wine vinegar and green onion in a small bowl.

Serve spring rolls whole or halved crosswise, with dipping sauce.

Makes 10-12 rolls

Summertime Salmon Bruschetta Mon, 30 Apr 2018 13:00:37 +0000 These Summertime Salmon Bruschettas can be prepped hours in advance and refrigerated, but are quick enough to make and serve in 15 minutes. The smoked salmon brings rich deep flavor, making a memorable appetizer.


1 cup tomato, seeded and diced 1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced ½ cup yellow bell pepper, diced 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons capers 1 clove garlic, minced ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 1 pound smoked salmon, skin and pin bones removed 1 baguette


In a medium bowl combine tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, lemon zest (grated lemon peel), lemon juice, capers, garlic, salt and pepper; cover and refrigerate. Meanwhile, slice baguette into ¼-inch slices and toast in a 325˚F. oven for 7 to 10 minutes. Drain liquid from tomato mixture. Spoon 1-tablespoon tomato mixture on top of each toasted baguette round. Place a slice of smoked salmon on top.

Makes 2 dozen

Bacon Wrapped Dates Thu, 26 Apr 2018 13:00:14 +0000 Everything tastes better with bacon and dates are no exception! These Bacon Wrapped Dates are simple to make and can be prepared before the party, so your guests will be munching on the salty, sweet and oh-so-satisfying bite-sized, bacon-wrapped dates the second they arrive at your home.


24 dried dates, pit removed
8 slices good-quality bacon, sliced into thirds
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Wrap each date with one-third slice bacon and secure with a toothpick.

In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Dip each bacon-wrapped date into sauce, coating well. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes or until done. Serve warm.

Makes 24

Recipe hint
To help prevent the toothpicks from burning in the oven, soak them in water before skewing appetizers.