Last night we had friends over for dinner. This year I decided to cook appetizers for them. They are a fun group to cook for, as they are up for trying anything new. The big ticket item this year was the roasted shrimp I made – recipe from Ina Garten. The shrimp turned out so tender and perfectly cooked. It has become my favorite way to roast shrimp. I served it with cocktail sauce and a creamy caper dipping sauce, a recipe I found on Cooking This and That’s blog. She paired it with Ina’s shrimp, so I thought it would be a good choice. Boy, was I right! That oh, so simple, sauce went over big, big, big. No one ate the cocktail sauce.
Creamy Caper Dipping Sauce and Roasted Shrimp
For the shrimp:
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place shrimp on a sheet pan, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 7-9 minutes, until just pink and cooked through.
For the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup mayo
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients for the dipping sauce in medium bowl; mix thoroughly.
In addition to the roasted shrimp from Ina’s kitchen, I also made Ina’s garlic aioli. While Hubby’s family and I love it, it wasn’t the biggest hit at this party. The potatoes were roasted with salt, pepper, olive oil and dried minced garlic. Roasted potato wedges with a dipping sauce are one of my favorite things to eat.
I also made Gringo Meatballs – so simple, yet so tasty. I like the salsa, but the next time, I think I will use the mild salsa instead of the medium. It had a little kick to it. I love the meatballs. I use turkey meatballs – the recipe called for precooked meatballs. Turkey meatballs have a much lower fat content than regular meatballs – the difference is around 12 grams of fat per serving. Butterball makes an Italian style turkey meatball, so it is nicely seasoned. I don't have a picture of these on this post, but click on the link and I have the reicpe and pictures.
Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta was the next item on the menu. I found a recipe from Giada that looked simple and tasty. I bought bread, cheese, and the rest of the ingredients and started to work. The first slice of the knife into the bread produced something that would be harder than a crouton! The bread I had bought that morning was yes…..very stale! I understand that bread gets harder when it cooks in the oven, but it should be so hard that it breaks apart when you try to slice it. I was so disappointed. Being able to salvage the very middle of each loaf, I was still able to make the bruschetta. Light flavors though, made me long for spring and summer! The only thing I didn't do, was put the basil on top of the bruschetta. I was so upset about the bread being sooo stale. I have some of the sauce left from the bruschetta, and I am going to make it into a light pasta sauce.
Cheesy Broccoli dip made an appearance tonight as well. An easy dip, usually a crowd pleaser, didn’t disappoint. This dip can almost be a meal. Made with ground beef, cheese, broccoli, it has all the food groups – just add bread or crackers, and you are ready to go! I didn't take a picture of the dip - it doesn't photograph well, or I don't photograph it well.
Cheesy Broccoli Dip – adapted from the Taste of Home Cookbook
1 large package Velveeta
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 10 ¼ oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2-3 tbsp salsa
1 10 package frozen chopped broccoli – thawed and drained
Cube Velveeta and combine in a slow cooker with all other ingredients. Cook on medium heat until cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined. Serve with chips or crackers.
For the healthy eaters, I also served a veggie tray in my new appetizer dish, compliments of my brother-in-law and his girlfriend – they gave it to me as a Christmas gift. The veggies were served with a spinach dip that I purchased at the Soulard Spice Shop.
For dessert I made brownies – from a mix. I have yet to find a brownie recipe that recreates that yummy cake brownie from my childhood. These brownies, though, were fantastic. I am a total fan of Ghirardelli brownie mixes. They have several different types – I made double chocolate last night. Mmmmm mmmm good!
Dinner with this group is always fun and I truly enjoy getting together with them. It is a shame that we don’t get to see each other more often.
Well, off to the auto show with the family! Have a great day!!