Appetizer

Wasabi Deviled Eggs

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Do not do what I did while making these! And that’s lose your mind for even 1 second because if you do, you might forget that you already know what Wasabi tastes like and that it’s really hot when consumed by itself. I ended up with a tablespoon of Wasabi in my mouth, before I remembered duh! I know what this tastes like and I do not want to eat this by the tablespoon!

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I make these instead of standard deviled eggs, because my husband is allergic to paprika.  I think you will like these. Even if you wouldn’t typically like wasabi. They are not too spicy, but give the traditional deviled egg a zesty, fancy twist.  

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The word “deviled” (in relation to food) started being used to describe spicy foods in the 19th century. Did you know there is also such a thing as an “angel egg”? I did not. Evidently, it’s when you stuff the egg with something healthier. Interesting. 

Here, I put mine out as an appetizer, with some tapenade crackers. Recipe here. 

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One minor tip; instead of hard boiling your eggs, trying steaming them. Unless you have hard boiling down to a science. (Which I don’t.) If you don’t either, I think steaming is easier. Find the instructions here. 

Happy egg eating!

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Wasabi Deviled Eggs
Yields 16
A peppy, perky, spicy twist on a traditional deviled egg.
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Ingredients
  1. 8 eggs
  2. 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  3. 3 tablespoons minced green onions
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi paste
  5. coarse salt
  6. Fresh pea shoots and pickled ginger, as needed for decor
  7. A few shakes of parsley (if you want)
Instructions
  1. Hardboil or steam your 8 eggs.
  2. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; spoon out egg yolk and place in a bowl.
  3. Mash yolks with a fork until smooth; stir in mayonnaise, green onions,vand wasabi paste. Season with salt.
  4. Arrange egg white halves cut-side-up on a serving platter.
  5. Spoon yolk mixture into whites; garnish each egg half with pickled ginger and pea shoots and a shake of parsley.
Notes
  1. Use a cookie scoop to spoon the yolk mixture into the white if you have one. Makes it very, very easy.
  2. Consider placing herbs or leaves underneath the eggs on your platter to prevent them from sliding around.
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
Kara the Cook http://karathecook.com/

Panko Chicken Nuggets

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I seriously hate chicken nuggets, but I absolutely love these. These are fast, easy, delicious, healthy, and forgiving. The five best qualities of any recipe. Also, did I mention you could prepare the time consuming parts ahead? Win. 

You can serve these chicken nuggets with literally any sides and any sauces. I happened to have multi-colored carrots and black beans on hand. So I baked the carrots and drizzled with a balsamic glaze, and I heated up the black beans with onion, garlic, & cumin.  Then I served with honey mustard & BBQ sauce.

My multi-colored carrot beauties:

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I actually used these in a centerpiece on my table the day before.

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A centerpiece with a dual purpose? Cool. (If you try this at home, just note that the rhubarb will wilt fast. So don’t buy it until the day of, and don’t put it out until the guests are arriving. It needs to stay moist and unexposed. I learned this the hard way and made a mad dash to the grocery store an hour before guests arrived because my centerpiece had wilted.)

Back to the chicken nuggets. Panko bread crumbs are extremely versatile, easy to make crispy, & like I said, very forgiving. So give these a try. 

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PS. To prepare the ingredients ahead, put each of the flour mixture/egg mixture/panko crumbs in pyrex bowls, cover and refrigerate the egg mixture. Prepare the chicken ahead of time and place in a ziploc bag. Either refrigerate or freeze, depending on your timeframe. The day of, just pull everything out the counter top and go for it!

Happy weekend:)

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Panko Chicken Nuggets
Serves 4
Quick & easy crispy panko chicken nuggets. You can also make these as chicken tenders if you want, just cut the chicken breasts in strips.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened and cut into chicken nugget size pieces
  2. 3/4 cup flour
  3. 1 tsp onion powder
  4. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  5. 3 eggs beaten with 1/3 cup water
  6. 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  7. extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Flatten the chicken breasts to make them thin and uniform in shape. If you don't have a mallet, simply put them in a sturdy freezer ziploc bag, & strike them with a pan. Seriously, it works.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into chicken tender size pieces.
  3. Combine the flour, onion powder, & garlic powder in a bowl.
  4. Make the egg & water mixture in another bowl.
  5. Pour the panko crumbs in a third bowl.
  6. Line the bowls up in a row: flour mixture, egg mixture, panko crumbs.
  7. Dredge each chicken piece with seasoned flour and pass it through the egg mixture.
  8. Place in the panko bowl and completely cover with with crumbs. Use your hand to toss the piece in the crumbs, and very gently press the crumbs down so it is fully, thoroughly coated.
  9. Fill a large frying pan with olive oil. Make sure the bottom is covered in full, with a little excess.
  10. Heat the frying pan on medium-high heat.
  11. After a few minutes, place all the nuggets in the oil.
  12. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until both sides are crispy and browned to your desired look.
Notes
  1. This is a versatile dish. I have even used it as an appetizer, just doubled the recipe. What makes this meal complete is a nice selection of sauces. My favorites are BBQ and honey mustard. I think some people would probably enjoy ranch too...
  2. You can use other types of oils, but it will affect the health-o-meter! :)
Kara the Cook http://karathecook.com/

Classic Olive Tapenade

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I love olives, and so I love tapenades. Tapenades have such a distinct flavor. They’re also very simple to make, simple as in, throw it all in the food processor and press start.

ingredients in food processor

Wa-la:

olive tapenade in the food processor

The key to a good olive tapenade is the olives. Don’t buy cans of black olives or jars of green olives if you can avoid it. Instead go to a cheese & wine shop, or to an olive bar at the grocery store, and pick out a delightful mixture of pitted olives for this. I chose pitted kalamatas, pitted green olives stuffed with garlic, and a number of other ones. 1/2lb (equivalent to 8oz) of olives cost me about $5.00.

You can serve a tapenade in so many ways. Just yesterday we had family over and I spread goat cheese on a cracker, topped with a dollop of tapenade, and sprinkled on almonds. Today I did this:

olive tapenade appetizer 

Yes, that is a mini slice of fresh mozzarella on there. A tip for cutting mozzarella, big or small – use your egg slicer. 

slicing mozarella

olive tapenade on cracker

Enjoy your fresh olive tapenade!

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Easy Olive Tapenade
Delicious, classic olive tapenade.
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients
  2. 1/2 pound pitted mixed olives (not jar or canned, buy at olive bar/speciality shop)
  3. 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 2 tablespoons capers
  6. 3 fresh basil leaves
  7. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  8. 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Process to combine until the mixture becomes a coarse paste, approximately 1 to 2 minutes total. Use as desired!
Notes
  1. If your olives come drenched in oil, you will probably not need to add the full 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil. Add 1 Tbsp to start, see if it is a good consistency, and add more if you need. Thicker tapenade is good for dalloping (less olive oil), and thinner tapenade is good for spreading (more olive oil).
  2. Careful with amendments and substitutions for this type of recipe. For example: if you decide not to use anchovies because you don't like them, then you substitute light olive oil for the extra-virgin, and decide upon bottled lemon juice instead of fresh, well, you've just threatened the integrity of the recipe. Not intending to to be harsh! But you can see how a number of subtle changes to a recipe can alter it with negative results.
Adapted from Alton Brown
Adapted from Alton Brown
Kara the Cook http://karathecook.com/