Cristina Cooks Baby Shower Appetizers


Appetizer #1: Prosciutto and Pecan Tea Sandwiches
Yield: Makes 32 sandwiches

  • ½ lb prosciutto
  • 3 gherkins sliced lengthwise
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • ¼ cup whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 16 slices sourdough or sliced bread of your choice
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan or pecorino (optional) Parsley leaves

Use your baby-themed cookie cutter to make shapes in slices of bread.
Layer prosciutto, pickles, pecans and mustard between bread cut-outs.

Appetizer #2: Stuffed Baby Potatoes Yield: Makes 20 potatoes

• 2 pounds (about 20) baby red potatoes • 4 slices center-cut bacon • 12 ounces ground turkey (93 percent lean) • ½ cup salsa • 1 teaspoon chili powder • ½ teaspoon oregano • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin • ¼ teaspoon salt • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • ¼ cup whole milk • ⅔ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar, divided • cooking spray

Heat oven to 400°F. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; fill with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cook until potatoes are fork-tender, 20 to 22 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate; let cool and break into small pieces. In same skillet, add turkey, salsa, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring to break meat into small crumbles, until turkey is browned, 6 to 7 minutes.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut off and discard ¼ inch from the top of each. Scoop out flesh and place in a bowl; add milk to bowl and mash. Stir in turkey mixture, bacon and ⅓ cup cheddar; spoon evenly into potato skins. Top with remaining ⅓ cup cheddar. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray. Place stuffed potatoes on pan and bake until heated through. Per potato: 77 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein. 15 to 17 minutes

Appetizer #3: Baby Zucchini Cakes
Zucchini Cakes From Kokkari Restaurant in San Francisco


  • 1½ pounds large Zucchini
  • ½ large white or yellow onion
  • Sea Salt
  • ½ pound manouri cheese, chilled.*
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1¼ cups fine dry breadcrumbs, plus more if needed
  • ½ cup olive oil mixed with ½ cup canola oil Unbleached all-purpose flour, if needed
  • Mint- Yogurt Sauce (recipe follows)

Grate the zucchini and the onion on the large holes of a box grater, or grate in a food processor using the grating disk. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the sea salt and toss well with your hands. Put the zucchini and onion in a colander lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth, set over a bowl and let drain for 30 minutes.
Gather the cheesecloth and squeeze vigorously to remove as much moisture as you can. Transfer the zucchini and onion to a bowl and break up any clumps with your fingers. Crumble the manouri into the bowl and mix with your hands to incorporate the cheese evenly. Add the Parmesan, parsley, mint, garlic, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add the ¼ cup of the breadcrumbs and knead briefly to mix well. The mixture should be firm enough to shape without sticking to your hands. Adjust with a little more egg or breadcrumbs, as needed. Divide the mixture into 12 equal mounds and roll each into a ball. Put the remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and gently roll each ball in the crumbs to coat evenly. Flatten each ball into a patty a little more than 2 inches in diameter and a scant 1 inch thick. In a large skillet, heat the oils over high heat until shimmering, When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a few bread crumbs on contact, fry a "test" zucchini cake until richly browned on both sides, 1 to 1½ minuets per side. If the cake does not hold together, it is too moist; lightly dredge the remaining cakes in flour before proceeding. Fry in batches of 4 to 6 to avoid cooling the oil. Reduce the heat if needed to prevent the cakes from browning to quickly. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to a double thickness of paper towels to drain.
Serve hot with the Mint-Yogurt sauce.

Mint-Yogurt Sauce Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Greek-style whole-milk yogurt,
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh mint ½ teaspoon dried spearmint Sea salt and freshly ground pepper Recipe
  • Put the yogurt in a small bowl and gently fold in the olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh mint with a rubber spatula. Don’t whisk the yogurt, or it will become too thin. Crumble in the dried spearmint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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