Savory appetizers that can make the holidays a real party | NevadaAppeal.com

Savory appetizers that can make the holidays a real party

Charlie Abowd
Special to the Appeal

The Christmas season is on us, and by the time you read these recipes we will be in the middle of parties – both at home and in offices. These two recipes are wonderful new appetizers that I have used at my home.

These recipes can be put away and used on any occasion. They are rich, savory and rather easy to assemble.

Dungeness Crab Savory Bread Pudding is especially good now and for the next few months because of the crab season. By the way, early indications suggest that it should be an abundant season.

When assembling the ingredients remember to purchase organic milk and organic eggs.

For these recipes, you will need two Pyrex loaf pans (one for each pudding). Line them with a single piece of cellophane large enough to cover the bottom and sides as well as the edges extending far enough over so that it will be easier to lift the puddings out of the pans in one piece.

My wine recommendation is Montevina barbera or Pomelo sauvignon blanc. These, I know, are available from Greg at Aloha Wine and Spirits, but also check with our other friends at Ben’s Liquor.

Recommended Stories For You

As always enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

Crab Bread

Pudding Appetizers

1 cup fresh crab meat (check for and remove bones and cartilage; squeeze out excess juice, crab meat should be moist not dry)

4 eggs

4 cups sourdough bread cubes, no crusts

1 pound cream cheese (cut one-half into half-inch cubes and whip the other half for garnish)

1 T. fresh dill, picked (stems removed) and finely chopped

1Ú4 cup red onion, thinly sliced (best way is to peel and cut a medium onion in half and slice thin enough that you can almost see through it)

1Ú2 quart heavy whipping cream

1Ú2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Pinch of salt (or to taste)

Dill sprigs for garnish

1 small jar of capers (drained and rinsed) for garnish

In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs until they are totally blended.

Put the heavy whipping cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat and scald the cream (bring it to the point of just below boiling). Once the cream is scalded slowly drizzle it into the eggs and whisk until blended together. Add the sourdough bread cubes and onions. Mix thoroughly letting the bread soak up the egg and cream mixture. Add the dill and crab meat. Carefully fold together. Add the lemon juice and salt.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan making sure the plastic is hanging over the sides so that removal will be easier. Place the loaf pan in a water bath and place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Every oven is a little different so it may take longer or less time. It takes me 60 minutes. Check after 50 minutes for temperature (160 to 165 degrees) and firmness. It should be firm to the touch.

After cooking set aside and let cool for 24 hours. Place it in the refrigerator approximately 90 minutes after baking. The next day or the day you are serving the appetizers remove from the pan and place on a cutting board. Slice it end to end about half an inch thick (like slicing a loaf of bread). Each slice should then be quartered. Place each piece on a cookie sheet and using a pastry bag with a small star tip, place a dollop of whipped cream cheese on each add a sprig of dill and carefully place two capers on the top.

Roasted Pepper and Basil Bread Pudding Appetizers

4 eggs

1Ú2 quart heavy whipping cream

4 cups sourdough bread cubes, no crusts

2 large red bell peppers, roasted, seeded and peeled

2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and picked (about 3 large bunches)

1 T. garlic, finely chopped

1Ú2 T. dried crushed red chili peppers

2 pounds Italian sausage

1Ú2 cup red wine vinegar

1Ú2 cup Mascarpone cheese (whipped)

Put roasted peppers, garlic, dry red chili peppers and basil into a food processor. Puree until fully blended leaving a little texture.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs until they are totally blended.

Put the heavy whipping cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat and scald the cream (scalding is bringing it to the point of just below boiling). Once the cream is scalded slowly drizzle it into the eggs and whisk until blended together. Add the sourdough bread cubes. Mix thoroughly, letting the bread soak up the egg and cream mixture. Add the roasted pepper mixture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan making sure the plastic is hanging over the sides so that removal will be easier. Place the loaf pan in a water bath and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Every oven is a little different so it may take longer or less time. It takes me 60 minutes. Check after 50 minutes for temperature (160 to 165 degrees) and firmness. It should be firm to the touch.

To cook the sausage it is best for this recipe to bake it in the oven. It can be baked alongside of the bread pudding. Put the sausage in an oven safe skillet and mix in the red wine vinegar. Bake for 35 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked, remove from oven and set aside.

After cooking set aside and let cool for 24 hours. Place it in the refrigerator approximately one and a half hours after baking. The next day or the day you are serving the appetizers remove from the pan and place on a cutting board. Slice it end to end about a half-inch thick (like slicing a loaf of bread). Each slice should then be quartered. Place each piece on a cookie sheet and using a pastry bag with a small star tip, place a dollop of whipped mascarpone cheese on each and place a quarter-inch slice of Italian sausage (warmed in a skillet over medium-low heat) on top.

• Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele’s. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City since 1980. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.