Holiday Recipes - Appetizers

Salmon Cakes
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Salmon Cakes

Ingredients for Fish Cakes

  • Skinless, Atlantic salmon fillets, roughly chopped (1 lb. for 4 – 6 servings)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 red bird’s eye chili, finely sliced
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, for frying

Ingredients for Asian Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Mixed salad leaves

Salmon Cakes - Home & Family


1. First make the dressing: Simply place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to combine.

2. Place the salmon, sesame oil, sesame seeds, egg, ginger, chili, spring onions, red onion and coriander in a food processor and blitz together, making sure you retain a little texture.

3. Divide the fish cake mixture into little patties. On a clean surface, carefully shape into four cakes about 2.5cm thick. Transfer to a plate, cover and chill for 30 minutes (or up to a day).

4. Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick sauté pan over high heat and cook about 4 - 5 at a time (don’t overcrowd the pan or they won’t brown up as they should). Cook for a minute, then reduce the heat a little, turn and cook for another 60-90 seconds (they are small so will cook quickly). Repeat until all the fish cakes are cooked and serve warm, drizzled with a little Asian dressing, and a mixed leaf salad.

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Crispy Lamb Chops with Mint Jelly
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Crispy Lamb Chops with Mint Jelly

Ingredients for Lamb Chops

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Four 2- to 3-ounce lamb chops
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, optional
  • Fresh Mint Jelly, for serving, (recipe follows)

Ingredients for Mint Jelly

  • 2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 small lemon, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 small lemon, zested and juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 ounces liquid pectin
  • 1 to 2 drops green food coloring, optional

Crispy Lamb Chops - Home & Family


1. In a shallow dish, add the olive oil, rosemary, garlic and some salt and pepper; stir to combine. Add the lamb chops and toss to coat thoroughly. Marinate, covered, in fridge for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
2. Place the flour in a shallow dish. In a second shallow dish, mix the breadcrumbs and granulated garlic until well incorporated. In a third shallow dish, add the eggs and mustard, and whisk together.
3. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil from the marinade (or use a fresh 1/2 cup oil) and heat until shimmering.
4. Dredge the lamb in the flour to coat, then in the egg mixture and, lastly, in the breadcrumbs.
5. Fry the breaded chops until golden, crisp and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
6. Serve with the fresh mint jelly.

Directions for Mint Jelly

1. Place the mint and 2 cups water in a blender, and puree until smooth; transfer to a small saucepan Boil for 1 minute. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and sugar, bring back to a boil and then add the liquid pectin. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring if using. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate until set, 4 hours.

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The Butter End's Harvest Pear Crostata
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The Butter End's Harvest Pear Crostata

Ingredients for Crust (Enough for two crostatas or one big one)

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ pound unsalted butter, frozen and shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ice water

Ingredients for Filling

  • ½ c. ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbs. confectioner sugar
  • ¼ tsp. Fresh nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 3-4 Bartlett pears (peeled, cored and sliced)
  • ¼ c. dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. white sugar
  • ¼ c. sliced almonds
  • 1 egg

Harvest Pear Crostata - Home & Family

Directions for Crust:

1. Mix together flour and salt in a large bowl.
2. Using large side of grater, shred frozen butter and toss in with the flour mixture until evenly distributed.
3. Then spoon ice water, two tablespoons at a time, around the rim of the bowl and mix in with a fork. Repeat until mixture is just ready to knead…but not wet. It should still feel a bit dry. About 10 Tbs. of water should do the trick.
4. Turn out flour mixture onto work surface, divide in half. Knead each half no more than six turns…Dough should be ragged. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate (or freeze for later use).
5. Roll out dough to just over 1/8 of an inch thick. The edges can look ragged, and it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Directions for Filling:

1. Stir ricotta and confectioner sugar together. Mix in nutmeg and cinnamon.
2. In a separate bowl combine the pear slices, brown sugar and cranberries.

Assemble the crostata:

1. Spread the ricotta filling around the dough, leaving 1 ½ inches along the edge for folding.
2. Place the pear mixture evenly on top of the ricotta.
3. Fold the edges of the dough around the edge of the pears.
4. Brush the folded portion of the crust with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on it.
5. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of pears.
6. Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Crust will be browned and almonds will be toasted when done.

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Southwest Steak Nachos
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Southwest Steak Nachos

Ingredients for Nachos

  • 1 pound skirt steak, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Colby Jack cheese
  • ½ tablespoon southwest seasoning
  • Bag of Tortilla chips

Ingredients for Salad

  • Bag of shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 15 grape tomatoes, cut in half, lengthwise

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 cup Colby Jack
  • 1 can Rotel (mild or hot, your preference), drained
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Ingredients for Avocado Ranch Dressing

  • ½ avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon dry dill
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic
  • ¼ t pepper

Southwest Skirt Steak Nachos - Home & Family

Directions for Nachos

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F
2. Place peppers on a lined baking sheet and put seasoned steak on top. Bake for 25-20.
3. Let rest for 10 minutes. Shred with a fork and put in a medium bowl along with peppers.
4. Add cheese and southwest seasoning. Mix together.
5. On a lined large baking sheet, line pan with tortilla chips and top with half of mixture, repeat. Set aside.

Directions for Salad

1. Combine in a bowl. Set aside.

Directions for Cheese Sauce

1. Before you start sauce, place nachos in oven for 10 minutes while you make your sauce.
2. Add butter and flour to sauce pan on medium-high heat and make blonde roux. Gradually add half & half, constantly whisking. Sauce will thicken. Add cheese and seasoning. Mix together.
3. Add Rotel. Keep on low heat until ready to put on nachos.

Directions for Dressing

1. Mix 1st five ingredients until smooth with a hand mixer.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix with a spoon.

Building the Nachos

1. Ladle cheese sauce over nachos and top with salad
2. Dress with ranch dressing
3. Serve immediately!

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Alysia Reiner's Chili Pepper Moscow Mule
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Alysia Reiner's Chili Pepper Moscow Mule


  • Chili pepper vodka: Organic vodka (Alysia recommends square one, prairie, or crop), Chili peppers (fresh or dried chilis, habanero, or any hotpepper). Let peppers infuse for 2-3 weeks before serving. 
  • Organic lime juice
  • Organic/natural ginger ale or beer (Zeviabrand is great! )


  • Chili rim
  • Mint leaves
  • Lime wedge
  • Ginger candy cane

Spicy Moscow Mule - Home & Family

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Baked Brie with Apple Butter
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Baked Brie with Apple Butter


  •  1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can of pillsbury crescent dough
  •  Apple butter (raspberry jam, or fig spread... )
  • 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 (13- to 16-ounce) Brie cheese round
  • Crackers for dipping & spreading

Baked Brie with Apple Butter - Home & Family


1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork.
Sprinkle the flour on the work surface.

2. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 14-inch square.

3. Spread the apple butter on the pastry in a circle about 1/2-inch larger than the cheese. Sprinkle with the cranberries and almonds. Place the cheese in the center of the pastry. Fold the pastry up over the cheese to cover.

4. Trim the excess pastry and press to seal. Brush the seam with the egg mixture. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Decorate with the pastry scraps, if desired. For the holidays you can use your cookie cutters on the scrap pastry! Brush with the egg mixture. You can also sprinkle almonds on top as well if you wish.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 45 minutes. Place on a festive serving platter & Serve with the crackers.

Bruschetta Bites
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Bruschetta Bites


  • 2 English Cucumbers
  • 2 cups diced baby cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • 3 tbsps pesto
  • ½ cup burrata cheese
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Denise and Katie Austin Cook - Home & Family


1. Place olive oil in pan. Place the sliced tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté together. Simmer tomatoes for about 8-10 minutes.

2. Cut the cucumbers in thin sliced circles. Place a touch of pesto on each slice.

3. Top the sautéed tomatoes on the slices of cucumbers and top each one with a little burrata and basil.

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Beet and Carrot Latkes
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Beet and Carrot Latkes

Ingredients for Carrot Puree

  • 3 ounces grapeseed oil
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 quart fresh carrot juice

Ingredients for Horseradish and Caraway Creme Fraiche

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons toasted caraway seeds
  • 1 cup creme fraiche

Ingredients for Latkes

  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 2 red onions, peeled
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 red beet, roasted and peeled
  • 2 cups grapeseed oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt, for sprinkling

Beet and Carrot Latkes - Home & Family

Directions for Carrot Puree

1) Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Add the carrots and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the carrot juice and simmer until the liquid has reduced by 5/6. Put the carrot mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at room temperature.

2) Horseradish and Caraway Creme Fraiche:

3) Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl and let sit, ideally for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Serve cool.

Directions for Latkes

1) Using the grating attachment in a food processor, grate the potatoes, onions, carrot and beet separately. Coat a small saute pan with a little oil and put it over low heat. Add half of the grated onions and saute them slowly until caramelized, soft and sweet. Using a colander, squeeze all the excess liquid out of the remaining vegetables and then combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2) Add the 2 cups of oil to a medium skillet and heat it to 370 degrees F. Put 2 ounces of the latke mixture into the oil and cook until brown on 1 side, approximately 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, flip the latke and continue to cook until brown on the other side. Remove from oil to a paper towel covered tray and immediately season with salt, to taste. Continue with the remaining mixture. Arrange the latkes on a serving platter and serve immediately with the carrot puree and the horseradish and caraway creme fraiche.

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Marsala Soaked Stuffed Mushrooms
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Marsala Soaked Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients for Mushroom Marinade

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (use low-sodium)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup marsala
  • 4 springs thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 28 mushrooms (28 give or take, depends upon the size) *make sure you reserve the mushroom stems

Ingredients for Filling

  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Ingredients for Zuppa Di Clams

  • 6 - Tbsp Ex Virgin olive oil
  • 1 Med. yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 5- Garlic cloves ,sliced thin
  • 1- celery stalk thin sliced
  • 1- small carrot grated
  • 1- Large can crushed tomatoes (we use Pastene 28 oz)
  • 1- cup chicken stock
  • 2- cups dry white wine
  •   4-6 bay leaves
  • 3- dozen small vongole clams ( Manila clams)

Marsala Soaked Stuffed Mushrooms - Home & Family

DIrections for Mushroom Marinade

1) In a bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and reserve. Place the mushrooms gills side up in a glass baking dish. Pour the marinade over the mushrooms and let them sit for at least four hours.

Directions for for Filling

1) In a sauté pan add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.

2) Chop the mushroom stems and add them to the sauté pan. Sauté until they start to brown about 3-4 minutes.

3) Add in the chopped garlic and sauté for another minute more. Then add in the shallots, stirring often. After another 3 minutes turn off the heat. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

4) Add the Parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Blend the ingredients together.

5) Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle some of the marinade over the mushrooms.

6) Bake for 15 minutes, in a 400 degree oven, until they begin to soften. Then pull the mushrooms out and sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese on top. I have even used smoked gouda and they turned out well! Then put them back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until you see the cheese start to get brown.

Directions for Zuppa Di Clams

1) Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium hea

2) Sauté garlic for two minutes then add in onion, celery and red pepper flakes. Sauté until translucent in color, about 8-10 minutes.

3) Add tomatoes, oregano, carrots, sauté 4- min.

4) Then add the chicken stock and white wine bring to a boil

5) Add clams, season with salt and pepper to taste, as well as the bay leaves.

6) Add more red pepper if you like a little more heat

7) Simmer together until the clams begin to open, about 5-6 minutes.

8) Spoon over linguine or serve with crusty bread!

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Christmas Appetizers and Cocktail
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Christmas Appetizers and Cocktail

Ingredients for the BLT Tea Sandwich:

  • Bacon strips
  • 7 grain bread
  • Cocktail tomatoes
  • Boston lettuce
  • Spicy mayonnaise
  • Quail Egg

Ingredients for the Cranberry Cosmopolitan:

  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1-1/2 ounces Citron Vodka
  • 1 ounce of Cointreau
  • 1 ounce of cranberry juice
  • ½ ounce of fresh lime- juice
  • 2 fresh cranberries
  • 1 lime peel twist
  • Fresh mint for garnish

Directions for the BLT sandwich:

  1. Cut bacon into thirds. Fry in pan
  1. Place bacon from oven onto paper towels to drain excess fat.
  1. Use cookie cutter to cut circles out of the lettuce & bread. Slice tomatoes. Spread mayo on bread.
  1. Assemble starting with bread, lettuce, tomato, & bacon. Repeat. Skewer with cocktail forks.

Directions for the cosmopolitan:

  1. Place your Martini glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes to get them frosty cold!
  1. Place all of the ingredients except the lime twist in a cocktail shaker
  1. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds and strain into the chilled cocktail glass.
  1. Twist the lime peel over the drink and drop it in with the cranberries!
  1. Garnish with a small stem of fresh mint!

Suggested combinations for Crostini Toppings:

1.    Salmon w/ chive cream cheese, dill, small cucumber on top

2.    Ricotta Cheese cucumber mint, and dill

3.    Ricotta, Fried Egg, chives

4.    Ricotta, Lemon Zest, Thyme,

5.    Ricotta Cheese, Balsamic, Strawberries, fresh mint

6.    Goat Cheese Leeks

7.    Ricotta Cheese, Blueberries, olive oil

8.    Ricotta Cheese, Radishes, parsley, olive oil

9.   Cream Cheese, Pesto, Heirloom tomatoes,

10. Goat cheese, fig jelly, shaved parm

11. Ricotta Jalepeno, Cilantro, Sea Salt, Olive Oil

Click here to get your copy of Cristina Ferrare's cookbook, "Big Bowl of Love." Get additional recipes from Cristina at

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Sausage Balls Appetizers
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Sausage Balls Appetizers


  • 1 (1-pound) package ground sausage
  • 3 cups baking mix (recommended: Bisquick)
  • 4 cups grated sharp Cheddar
  • Dash to 1/8 tablespoon pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  1. Spray a baking sheet w/ cooking spray.
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with your fingers. The mixture will be very crumbly.
  1. Form into 1 inch balls by rolling it between the palms of your hands to form balls.
  1. Place the balls on the baking sheet.
  1. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. To prevent sticking, move the balls with a spatula halfway through cooking.

Renee Lawless' Sausage Balls - Home & Family

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Zingy White Beans & Tomatoes
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Zingy White Beans & Tomatoes


  • 5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 15- ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved, or
  • 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 ½- inch- thick slices rustic Italian bread, Parmesan pan- toasted (see Parmesan Pan-Toasting Method below), halved or cut in thirds to make bite- size pieces

Makes 8 To 12 Appetizer-Size Toasts


  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat the oil and the rosemary sprigs until the rosemary has fried up but not burned, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the sprigs and reserve them. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the rosemary oil (just scoop it out with a spoon and put it in a little cup).
  1. Add the garlic and white beans, turn up the heat, and sauté for 4 to 6 minutes, until the garlic is softened. Add the salt.
  1. Add the tomatoes and cook them down, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and cook another 2 minutes, until the mixture comes together.
  1. Squeeze the lemon onto the toasts and top with roughly 2 tablespoons bean- tomato mix. Drizzle uniformly with the reserved rosemary oil and top with the fried rosemary.

Parmesan Pan-Toasting Method:

  1. Spread a very thin layer of butter evenly on both sides of a bread slice. Smash freshly grated Parmesan into one side of the toast.
  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet (ideally) over medium heat. When the pan is hot, place the bread in the pan, Parmesan side down, and toast until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
  1. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan, smashing it in so it adheres, and flip the bread. Toast another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese on the bottom is melted and crisp but not burned.

Chef Jill Donenfeld Cooks - Home & Family

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From Better on Toast by Jill Donenfeld. Copyright © 2015 by Jill A. Donenfeld. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

For more information on Jill Donenfeld, go to:

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Sunny Quail Eggs on Brioche Squares with Goat Cheese and Crispy Prosciutto
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Sunny Quail Eggs on Brioche Squares with Goat Cheese and Crispy Prosciutto


  • 1x pack quail eggs (15 per pack)
  • 1x loaf of sliced brioche bread
  • 1x pack sliced prosciutto
  • Maldon smoked salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Micro cilantro
  • *Quail egg cutter available on Amazon

Sunny Quail Egg Appetizer - Home & Family


1. . Drizzle sliced bread with oil or spray with pan spray and lightly grill on a cast iron grill pan.

2. Remove crusts and cut into 2x2 squares.

3. Cut prosciutto into same 2x2 squares and crisp up in a pan, set on a paper towel lined baking sheet.

4. Using egg cutter, gingerly remove tops of eggs and discard, keep eggs in container.

5. In a lightly oiled non stick pan, fry quail eggs, just until bottom sets, remove from heat.

6. Mix goat cheese and half n half. Spread a teaspoon on the bread, top with crispy prosciutto, then egg.

7. Drizzle with a finishing oil and season lightly with smoked salt and fresh ground pepper.

8. Top with micro greens and serve on a platter with napkins.

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Grilled Lollipop Lamb Chops
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Grilled Lollipop Lamb Chops


  • six ¾ inch thick lamb chops, frenched
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 ½ teaspoons agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Grilled Lollipop Lamb Chops - Home & Family


1) Place the lamb chops on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil on both sides, and sprinkle both sides with the sea salt, pepper and herbes de Provence. Let sit at room temp for 5 minutes.

2) Heat a grill pan over high heat until until almost smoking. Add the chops, in batches if necessary, and sear for about 4 minutes. Flip, and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare and 5 minutes for medium. Transfer the chops to a serving platter.

3) Drizzle with the agave and sprinkle with the mint.

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Fabio Viviani's Holiday Appetizers
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Fabio Viviani's Holiday Appetizers

Cheese And Pepperoncini Dip

• ½ lb grated Cheddar
• ½ lb grated Muenster • ¼ cup mayonnaise • 2 Tbsp Stone Ground Mustard • 2 Tbsp Hot Sauce • ⅓ cup diced Pepperoncini • Onion and Garlic Powder • Kosher Salt

  1. Mix ½ pound each grated cheddar and Muenster, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp Stone Ground Mustard, 2 Tbsp Hot Sauce, ⅓ cup diced Pepperoncini.
  2. Season with onion and Garlic Powder and Kosher Salt.

Fabio's Tomato Tart Appetizer

Ingredients for the crust:
• 2 cups plus 1 tbsp.
• Unbleached flour • 10 tbsp. butter, cold, plus more butter for the pan • 5 tbsp. water, cold
Ingredients for the filling:

• 2 medium celery stalks, chopped • 2 carrots, diced • 1 medium-size red onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 lb. very ripe tomatoes, • cut in large pieces and pressed to drain • 3 tbsp. olive oil • Salt and pepper • 1 bunch basil • Shaved Parmesan (optional)

  1. To make the crust, put the flour and butter into a food processor with the blade attachment and incorporate the butter by pulsing a few times.
  2. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time while continuing to pulse.
  3. When all the flour is absorbed, remove the dough from the food processor and work it with your hands a bit to form a ball.
  4. Cover it with a slightly moist linen towel and place it in the fridge till you need it.
  5. Butter a 10-inch round springform pan. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about ¼-inch thick.
  6. It should be large enough to completely cover the pan and hang over the sides.
  7. Using a fork, make holes all over the dough, then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  8. To make the filling, put the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and tomatoes into a Dutch oven or a lidded nonstick pan over medium heat, drizzle them with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Cook and reduce for about 1 hour, covered. Stir occasionally to make sure the tomatoes don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
  10. Take the lid off and keep cooking, still over medium heat, for another 15 minutes, pressing the tomatoes with a potato masher until they are completely crushed and the mixture has reduced completely.
  11. Transfer it to a bowl to cool down. Once it has reached room temperature, place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.
  12. To make the tart, preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  13. Pour the filling into the dough and cover it with the basil leaves.
  14. Fold the extra dough hanging over the side of the pan toward the center.
  15. ll of the tomato filling should be covered except a small part in the middle. Bake for about 1 hour or until the crust is nice and brown and flaky.
  16. Let it cool down, then run a knife around the edges of the pan to make sure that the pastry dough is detached from the sides.
  17. Removethe springform sides and serve the tart on the pan bottom at room temperature, sprinkled with flaky shaved Parmesan if you want.

Ricotta-Filled Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto

• 25 dried dates, as large a s possible
• 1 lb. ricotta cheese • 25 slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise • Extra-virgin olive oil • Pepper

  1. Cut the dates in half and use a teaspoon to place a dollop of ricotta in each half.
  2. Wrap each half-date in a half-slice of prosciutto and place them in a baking pan. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oli and dust with pepper.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes.

For More Information On Fabio, And His Newsletter "Fabio’s Kitchen Academy, " visit his website

Fabio's New Cookbook, "Fabio’s Italian Kitchen," is available on

Yakitori Chicken Meatballs
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Yakitori Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients for Meatballs

  • 1 LB ground chicken
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1/2 TBSP grated ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)

Ingredients for Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 lemon (zest)
  • 1/2 TSP chili flakes
  • 1 green onion (white part of onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 TSP corn starch
  • 1 TBSP honey

Yakitori Chicken Meatballs - Home & Family


1. In a large mixing bowl add in the ground chicken, chopped green onion, soy sauce, grated ginger, and garlic.

2. Mix together then start forming your meatballs. (A tablespoon of ground chicken forms 16-18 meatballs)

3. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so they don’t stick.

4. Bake on 350 degrees for about 5-7 minutes or until the meatballs are solid. (quickly bake so they can take shape and won’t fall apart on the grill.)

5. While meatballs are in the oven start making your sauce. In a small saucepan on medium heat add in the sake, soy sauce, mirin, lemon zest, chili flakes, green onion, garlic, corn starch, and honey.

6. Cook until thick and smooth. Once the sauce is done remove from heat and let it sit while you grill the meatballs.

7. Once the meatballs are done in the oven start sliding them onto a skewer. 3 meatballs per skewer. You can either grill on a stove griddle or on a grill.

8. Place the skewers on the grill and brush them with sauce while they are cooking .

9. Save some sauce for dipping as well. Once they are done, top with more green onions.

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Alex Thomopoulos' Roasted Garlic Sage Pesto Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Fried Pumpkin Seeds
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Alex Thomopoulos' Roasted Garlic Sage Pesto Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Fried Pumpkin Seeds


  • 1 large sugar or pie pumpkin, cut in half and seeds removed and reserved (plus 4 small ones if you are making the pumpkin bowls)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water (or 2 cups water)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less to your liking)
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sage Pesto
  • 1 head garlic (or you may sub 1 clove raw garlic)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • ½ cup fresh sage
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup parmesan
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Fried Pumpkin Seeds
  • Reserved pumpkin seeds from above
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Lots of salt to your tasting


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees°F.
  2. Cut your pumpkin in half and reserve the pumpkin seeds for later. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and rub the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with foil. Roast the pumpkin on a baking sheet for 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool five minutes.
  3. Grab the pumpkin and add it to a food processor (or mash extremely well) and puree with 1 cup of the chicken broth. Puree until completely smooth.
  4. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the ¼ cup of olive oil and shallots. Saute the shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and cook another 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree, remaining chicken, coconut milk, water, cayenne, nutmeg, maple syrup, and crushed red pepper. Bring the soup to a low simmer and simmer 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the soup cooks, make the pesto. Add the garlic, parsley, sage, and pistachios to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and then stream in the olive oil. Add the cheese and pulse a few more times until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. To roast pumpkin seeds, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry and toasted. Larger seeds may take longer. In a large bowl, stir together chili powder, brown sugar, and pepper. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour seeds into the pan and sprinkle with spiced sugar until it starts to caramelize. Remove from the heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  7. To assemble the soup, ladle the soup into bowls (or your roasted pumpkins) and top each bowl with a dollop of pesto, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, and if desired, drizzle with coconut milk.
  8. To make the roasted pumpkin soup bowls, remove the tops of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or just until soft to touch but not falling in.

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Roasted Fingerling Potato Crisps with Shallots and Rosemary
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Roasted Fingerling Potato Crisps with Shallots and Rosemary

Ingredients for the potatoes:

  • 1lb fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, sliced 1/4 inch thick and broken into individual rings
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the green olive spread:

  • 2/3 cup whole milk; more if needed
  • 12 large oil packed anchovy fillets
  • 1 small clove garlic, smashed
  • 16 fresh cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups pitted brined green olives, rinsed if particularly salty, coarsely chopped

Ingredients for the Creamy Pine Nut and Tahini Sauce

  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tbs. tahini, well stirred
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, more to taste
  • 1 tbs. olive oil, more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne (optional)
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro for garnish

Ingredients for the Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Dip 

  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 small sage leaves
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 15.5 oz. can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne, more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

Directions for the potatoes:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the potato slices with the oil, shallots, rosemary, 1 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and then spread the slices flat on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake the potatoes, turning after 10 minutes, until they brown and start to crisp, 25 to 30 minutes; the shallots should be tender and browned.
  5. Serve immediately.

Directions for the green olive spread:

  1. In a blender, puree the milk, anchovies, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, and a pinch of pepper.
  2. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the feed hole in the blender cap.
  3. Scoop the spread into a serving bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.
  4. Just before serving, stir in the olives. The spread will thicken a bit more when the olives are added. If it thickens too much, thin it with a bit of milk.

Directions for the Creamy Pine Nut and Tahini Sauce:

  1. Puree the pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until they form a paste. Add the tahini and lemon juice and puree again.
  2. With the machine running, mix in cold water 1 tbs. at a time until the sauce is thinned to the consistency of sour cream (in all, you'll need 1/3 to 1/2 cup water).
  3. Add 1 tbs. olive oil (or more) for a slightly more spreadable consistency. Season with salt and pepper and another 1 to 2 tbs. lemon juice if you like.
  4. If you'd like some heat, add cayenne to taste. This sauce thickens as it sits; add cold water as needed to thin it.
  5. Garnish with parsley and cilantro and serve at room temperature.

Directions for the Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Dip:

  1. In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the oil and garlic until the garlic is slightly golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sage leaves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the roasted red peppers and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a food processor, combine the red pepper mixture, the beans, lemon juice and cayenne, and pulse until smooth.
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cayenne, if you like, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

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Click here to get your copy of Cristina Ferrare's cookbook, "Big Bowl of Love." Get additional recipes from Cristina at

Get more great recipes and crafts by visiting us on Pinterest at and follow "Home & Family" on Twitter @homeandfamilytv and Facebook. Plus, check out our YouTube channel for backstage videos.