1. Spinach-Pesto Ravioli (above)
- 16 spinach ravioli (frozen or fresh)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pesto sauce (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup bottled vinaigrette
Boil 16 spinach ravioli as the label directs. Drain and pat dry. Fry the ravioli in 1/2 cup olive oil until golden on both sides, one to two minutes. Drain on paper towels. Mix two tablespoons pesto sauce with 1/2 cup bottled vinaigrette. Place the ravioli on skewers and dip in the sauce.
- 3 cups chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/8 cup Brazil nuts
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Place the basil in a blender. Pour in about 1 tablespoon of the oil, and blend basil into a paste. Gradually add pine nuts, Brazil nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chili powder, and remaining oil. Continue to blend until smooth.
2. Avocado Hummus
- 2 avocados
- jalapeno pepper
- 1 7-ounce tub of favorite store-bought hummus
- Salt (to taste)
- Squeeze of lemon juice (to taste)
- Chopped cilantro (garnish)
Puree 2 avocados and 1/2 jalapeno pepper in a food processor. Stir in a 7-ounce tub of hummus, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with celery sticks.
3. Ricotta, Ham, and Scallion Tart
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 13.8-ounce tube refrigerated pizza crust dough
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 2 to 3 bunches scallions
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or tarragon
- Freshly ground pepper
- 5 ounces deli-sliced ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Place a baking sheet on the top rack of the oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Grease a 9-inch fluted tart pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Line the pan with the pizza dough, carefully pressing it against the sides; trim excess dough.
Whisk the ricotta, cream, and egg in a medium bowl. Mince enough green scallion tops to make 2 tablespoons; add to the ricotta mixture along with the parsley and dill. Season with pepper. Slice the remaining scallions into 1/2- to 1/4-inch pieces.
Heat the remaining two tablespoons butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the sliced scallions and two tablespoons water; cook until the scallions are tender and start to sizzle, about three minutes. Remove from the heat and add the ham. Spread all but a few tablespoons of the scallion mixture on the prepared crust. Pour in the ricotta mixture, then scatter the remaining scallion mixture on top.
Bake the tart on the preheated baking sheet for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is set. Rest in the pan for five minutes, then remove and slice.
4. Hot Spinach, Artichoke, and Crab Dip
- 1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts
- 1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 ounces finely grated parmesan (1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced drained pickled jalapeo chiles
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 3/4 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
Preheat oven to 375F.
Cook artichoke hearts according to package instructions, then drain well and finely chop. Cook bell pepper in 1 tablespoon butter in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in artichokes and spinach. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over moderately low heat, then add flour and cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes. Add half-and-half in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking, 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in artichoke mixture, scallions, 1/3 cup parmesan, lemon juice, jalapeos, salt, and celery salt. Gently stir in crab. Transfer to a buttered 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.
Bake dip in middle of oven until bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.
5. Creme de Menthe Bundt Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix with pudding in it (will specify on box)
- 1/3-cup oil
- 4 eggs
- 8 oz. sour cream
- 1 package instant pistachio pudding – smaller box
- 1/2 cup green crme de menthe
- 6 oz. chocolate chips
- Powdered sugar or chocolate glaze (optional)
Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips and beat 2 minutes medium speed (you can hand beat).Stir in chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes in a greased bundt pan.You can either put powdered sugar on top or use a chocolate glaze, thinned with crme de menthe.