January 27, 2012

Dinner Club - Theme Bar Food/Finger Food

Lisa F. was our gracious host this month and she made an amazing pizza! This girl seriously doesn't think she's a good cook but look at this yummy pizza!

Chicken Pesto Pizza


1/2 cup pesto basil sauce
1 (12 inch) pre-baked pizza crust
2 cups cooked chicken breast strips
1 (6 ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Spread pesto sauce over the pizza crust. Arrange chicken pieces and artichoke hearts over the sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and lightly browned at the edges

TiNeill is responsible for this wonderful lettuce wrap recipe.  I was in love with these right away because they are so full of flavor and healthy and just all around delish.  Seriously, you gotta make these!

Asian Lettuce Wraps
Recipe by Our Best Bites
2 tsp canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 lb ground chicken*
3 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped (about 8 small mushrooms)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 C bagged coleslaw mix or thinly shredded cabbage
1 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained, rinsed, and finely minced
1/2 C thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced (about 3-4 Tbs juice)
1/2-1 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (1 tsp of Sriracha is fairly spicy in my opinion, so if you want less or no kick, just give it a little, or you can leave it out completely)
1/3 C roughly chopped cilantro
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce
*To prepare your own ground chicken, cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into large chunks and pulse in a food processor until ground.

Dipping/Drizzling Sauce
4 Tbs soy sauce
4 Tbs rice vinegar
3 Tbs water
2 tsp honey
1-2 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
Heat a very large skillet to medium-high heat on the stove top.  When hot, add vegetable  oil and then garlic and ginger.  Saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, and then add ground chicken, chopped mushrooms, and kosher salt.  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through.  (*At this point, sometimes I have some extra liquid in the pan from the chicken.  If it’s quite a bit, I tilt the pan and spoon it out so the chicken can cook and not boil.) Add cabbage/coleslaw, water chestnuts, and green onions.  Cook for about 2 minutes, until cabbage starts to wilt.  Add soy sauce, sesame oil, the zest from the lemon and the lemon juice, and hot sauce to taste.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
To prepare dipping sauce, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine.
To serve, carefully remove the individual leaves from the head of lettuce.  (The closer you get to the center, the easier it becomes!)  Place chicken mixture in the leaves and serve with sauce.
Yield: about 5 C chicken mixture.  Makes 14-16 lettuce wraps.

* I added 1/4 C of Hoisin Sauce as well as basil and mint.

 1 stick of butter melted 
 1 1/2  cup sugar
 4 eggs slightly beaten
 2 level tbls flour                     
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 1 cup buttermilk
 1/2 cup good quality coconut 
 1 uunbaked pie shell

Mix together melted butter and sugar until sugar dissolves , then add rest of ingredients.

Pour in pieshell and bake in preheated   oven at 350 degrees for one hour or until set and golden brown.  Better if refrigerated and served the next day.

Buttermilk Pie and Deviled Eggs made by Lynn. Lynn is an excellent cook and always makes the most delicious dishes. I will update as soon as I get the deviled egg recipe. 

Melissa Y made two items and they were both delicious!  First off was the chocolate dipped peanut butter filled pretzels on the left.

Recipe found here

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar (maybe more)
3/4 cup brown sugar (maybe more)
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine peanut butter and softened butter in a large bowl with a fork or whisk, or in a stand mixer. Add the sugars and mix to combine. At this point if the filling will roll easily into balls without sticking to your hands you’re ready to go. If not, add a little more of each sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll (I used about 3/4 cup of each sugar).

Use a teaspoon measure to scoop the filling. Roll each portion into a small ball, then sandwich them between two whole pretzels. When all the balls are rolled and successfully sandwiched, stick the whole tray in the freezer for about half an hour.

Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Remove the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip each half-way into the melted chocolate. Return to the tray and repeat with remaining sandwiches. When all are dipped, return the tray to the freezer to set up completely. Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.

Potato Skins: 

6 small baking potatoes
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp grill steak seasoning or seasoned salt
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 strips of bacon, cooked, crumbled

Lightly grease outside of potatoes, cut small slit in top and bake at 425 for 45 minutes or until soft.  Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. 

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out cooked potato, leaving a thin layer of potato interior. 

Brush outside and inside of skins with melted butter.  Sprinkle inside with steak seasoning and Parmesan cheese.  Place in lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake 8 minutes or until crisp and bubbly. 

Fill with cheddar cheese and bacon.  Bake 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

I made Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Recipe found here

8 ounces mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used panko)
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons melted butter

Cut the mozzarella cheese into sticks and toss with the flour.  In a separate bowl beat the eggs and water.  In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the seasonings.
Dip the mozzarella sticks in the egg mixture, then coat with the crumbs - repeat one more time.
Please the coated mozzarella sticks on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil in a single layer, cover with more foil and refrigerate for 2 hours.  (I wasn't able to refrigerate because of time constraints but you absolutely should, mine melted).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle the sticks with melted butter and bake until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Flip after 5 minutes.

Serve with marinara sauce or ranch dressing.

**For the record, there were two other neighbors (Wendy and Lisa W.) at dinner club.  I will update this when I get their recipes**

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