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Eggplant Caviar - Astrid Bear
Parmesan Crackers - Astrid Bear
Tapenade - Astrid Bear
Tapas - Doug Essinger-Hileman
Blini - Doug Essinger-Hileman
Beet Appetizer from the West End Cafe in New York City - Lois
Arab Mezze - Steve Ross
Portobello Mushroom Appetizers - Rowen
Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp Appetizers - Rowen
Italian Cheese Loaf - Rowen
Piroshkis - Sarah Scott
Ian Watkins Asks Astrid Bear
             Astrid Answers
Kasha Knishes - Susan Wenger

Eggplant Caviar - Astrid Bear
No one has yet posted Eggplant Caviar, which MFK Fischer has two great recipes for, in An Alphabet for Gourmets. "Z is for Zakuski", zakuski being a Russian spread of a zillion appetizer-like dishes. Basically you cook you eggplant until completely soft (one way is baking, halved on a cookie sheet) scrape it out of the skin, and simmer with chopped tomatoes and onion, and some vinegar and spices until a thick paste that you can cool down and spread on buttered dark pumpernickel or whatever amuses you. Double yum!

Parmesan Crackers - Astrid Bear
Pile coarsely shredded Parmesan cheese in good sized heaps on a baking pan. The pre-shredded stuff from Costco works great here. Each pile will turn into one cracker. I pinch with all 5 fingers, getting maybe one tablespoon of cheese per pinch. Poke piles into recognizable circles. Put pan in 200 degrees F oven and bake for 15-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and crackers are golden brown on the edges. Cool in pan a few minutes, them transfer to a rack to finish cooling and crisping up. These are great with soup, salads, or of course just by themselves. So easy! So good!

Tapenade - Astrid Bear
The mysterious stuff I make for parties: Tapenade. People spread some on a cracker. "What's in this?" "Garlic, black olives, anchovies, capers, and olive oil." "Well, I don't like ___________ (usually anchovies), but I really like this." And good it is.
One can of pitted black olives, drained. One small tin of anchovies, ditto. One small jar of capers, ditto. Throw all into food processor with a clove or two of peeled garlic and puree, adding enough olive oil to suit your taste.

Tapas - Doug Essinger-Hileman
Tapas are Spanish "little bites." One cookbook I have that is focused exclusively on tapas says that they originated in Andalucia, and that the word means "'lid', for in times past every glass of sherry bought in a local Spanish bar would come covered by a slice of bread topped with ham, cheese or fried black pudding to keep out the flies." And a bit later, "the range of these delectable snacks has increased tremendously, but they are still ultimately designed for easy eating, so that their consumption disrupts the conversation as little as possible."
Some of my favorite tapas are banderillas (miniature skewers with a selection of pickled vegetables, prawns or anchovies), chorizo in red wine, chicken livers in sherry, and fried cheese.

Blini - Doug Essinger-Hileman
To go along with caviar, you might consider blini, which are thin buckwheat pancakes that are a Russian favorite. The note that introduces the blini recipes in Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Greene says, "The beige-colored, 'light' buckwheat flour produces a blini with a mild, deliciously subtle flavor. The brown, 'dark' buckwheat flour is much stronger, and should used only when a very intense buckwheat flavor is desired.
"Blini are customarily served with sour cream and caviar or smoked salmon."
You could easily make the blini, then roll them, some with sour cream and caviar, some with thinly-sliced smoked salmon as the stuffing.

Beet Appetizer from the West End Cafe in New York City - Lois
A Beet Napoleon...... Huh? Had no idea what would come. Well, they started, I'm sure, with a boiled or roasted beet. Just put it in the oven or pot with water, unpeeled, and cook like a potato. Cool. Then peel. Then slice horizontally, maybe a bit less than 1/4 inch slices. You might be able to get away with canned beets, if the slices are the right size. Other part is goat cheese, which I'd "stretch" with some cream cheese and/or sour cream. Theirs was deep pink, so I'd say they added some beet juice or pulverized beet.
OK, now you put it together. You cut the beet so you've got some big slices, maybe resembling small cookies. You "ice" it with goat cheese mixture. Top with beet slice, ice it again. Anyway, you build a little structure of beet layers interspersed with cheese mixture, kind of like a mini-torte cake. Chill that well, then trim around so it's nice and even.
Put it on a plate, top with little greens (they had a kind of handfull of mini-watercress), surround with walnuts and tiny tomato cubes, splash on some balsamic vinegar dressing, voilà, a ten buck appetizer.

Arab Mezze - Steve Ross
in my opinion the best appetizer/salad plate, which my wife and I often share, making a full lunch out of it, is Arab mezze: hummus, baba ganoush, "foul" (stewed red beans in garlic, I think); kibbe; "Qudsiyah" (a Jordanian/bedouin variation, combining different dips into one); maybe one or two balls of falafel. Add some olive oil, a wedge of lemon, and some "shatta" hot sauce, and--well, my mouth is already watering!
Usually served on this continent in "Lebanese" restaurants, sometimes "Greek" ones; but the best mezze I ever had was at Abu Ahmad's and Roy's, two little hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon diners in Amman, Jordan.

Portobello Mushroom Appetizers - Rowen
6 oz. chopped portobello mushrooms sauted in butter with a touch of garlic, 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard and 1/4 c. chopped green onions added, then 1 tablespoon of mixture put into squares of Pillsbury Crescent rolls (1 tube cut into 24 pieces, i.e. 4 squares into 6 pieces each) which are stuffed into mini-muffin tins like little tartlets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, remove and add a dollop of Brie, return for 2 or 3 minutes to oven to melt and brown. Makes 24. No leftovers.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp Appetizers - Rowen
36 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled
1/2 cup dry white wine (vermouth)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced (smashed)
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper (you can use two or three drops of Tabasco as an alternative)
Combine above in ziplock bag; seal, pressing air out so all shrimp are coated; let stand at room temp 1 hr. or in refrigerator for several hours.

Thin prosciutto slices, cut in strips (4 strips - about 1"x8" - per slice)
36 stuffed green olives, rinsed to remove excess saltiness
Toothpicks (soak in water for 10 minutes so they won't burn when broiled) Parsley
Lemon wedges (optional)
Put each olive on a toothpick.
Drain shrimp, reserving some marinade.
Wrap a strip of prosciutto around each shrimp, then stab with an olive toothpick and place in a single layer in an ovenproof dish.
Cover and refrigerator - up to 4 hrs.- until ready to broil and serve.
When ready to serve broil about 6" from heat until prosciutto begins to be crispy, about 6 minutes. Watch closely to avoid burning.
Serve on a tray with parsley garnish and (optional) lemon wedges.
Makes 36 appetizers.

Italian Cheese Loaf - Rowen
16 oz. cream cheese, softened (Light Cream Cheese is OK and better for you.)
2 cups grated cheese mix (any combo of asiago, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, fontina, romano)
2 T. garlic, minced
1T. each: fresh parsley, basil, oregano, all minced (or 1/2 T. if using dried herbs)
1/2 tsp. each salt and white pepper (Note: I did not use this much salt!)
3/4 cup pesto (If there is some way to drain some of the excess oil it might be a good idea - the oil makes it hard to serve)
3/4 cup roasted, peeled red bell peppers, finely chopped (if you are roasting it yourself this is about one large pepper. You can also buy these in a jar, but if they are in oil rinse them before using)
3/4 cup chopped black olives, drained (1 can)
2-3 slices of mozzarella
2-3 slices of provolone
cookie sheet
loaf pan (about 5x7)
plastic wrap
crackers, Italian bread, or bagel chips
Combine the cream cheese, grated cheeses, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper in Cuisinart and mix very well. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap and using your loaf pan as a size guide spread the mixture about 1/2 " thick so you will be able to cut four loaf pan size pieces after the mixture is chilled solid.
Refrigerate for about an hour (or less if you put in the freezer).
Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap.
Use the mozzarella slices to make a seamless layer in the bottom.
When the mixture is chilled cut a section to fit over the mozzarella.
Spread the pesto over this.
Cut another section of the cheese-herb mixture and lay it over the pesto.
Add the chopped peppers
Another layer of cheese-herb mixture
A layer of black olives
Final layer of cheese-herb mixture
Top with a layer of the provolone slices.
Cover with plastic wrap and compress it from the top a bit so it will stick together.
Chill or freeze till ready to use.
To serve cut with a warm, non-serrated knife into vertical slices, so that all the layers show. (I cut the loaf into thirds the long way first, so each piece was 1/3 of a slice and would fit on a cracker).
(It is messy to cut and serve)
Serve on crackers for an appetizer, or with bread for a more substantial course.

Piroshkis - Sarah Scott
You could make small piroshkis -- the easy way is to flatten a biscuit, spoon in a filling, and bake. Can be served hot or cold. I use either of two fillings: 1) meat, cooked cabbage and thick gravy, or 2) meat and a little cheese (think ricotta-ish). Only a little salt and pepper for spice, but surprisingly good.

Ian Watkins Asks Astrid Bear
Is it true that a proper smorgasbord is herring, herring, herring, herring, salmon and herring? Washed down with Akvavit!

Astrid Answers
Shingles of knackebrod thickly spread with butter go in there too, as well as wonderful stinky cheese.

Kasha Knishes - Susan Wenger
Here's a nice appetizer from Brighton Beach, the Russian section of Brooklyn NY:
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/3 cup matzah meal
2 tbsp. potato starch
1 egg
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup of cooked kasha (cooking directions are on the box)
1 small onion, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl combine the potatoes, matzah meal, potato starch, egg, pepper and salt and knead together. If it is too thin, add more matzoh meal until it has a firm consistency. (If it's too dry, add a little water or another egg). Divide the dough into 6 balls and flatten them. Mix the kasha and raw onion together.
Spread a tablespoon of kasha/onion onto each circle, fold over, and press edges to seal.
Generously butter or oil a baking sheet. Arrange the knishes in a single layer on the greased sheet, and bake for 15 minutes on each side. Serves 6.