In the not-wholly-Kosher house where I grew up, shrimp cocktail was forbidden fruit, but when we went out for a "fancy" dinner, somehow it became precious permitted fruit. Go figure. I love shrimp in all of its guises. I always have, and I always will. On the other hand, the cocktail sauce I remember -- often filled with sugar -- isn't something I indulge in as an adult. This kiwi salsa fresca, made with yellow kiwis that I happened to luck into at a local market, adds zing (as much or as little as you like), balanced by sweetness from the fruit itself. Grill the shrimp, or roast them under the broiler. The whole dish, both shrimp and salsa, takes just a few minutes to...
Instead of a huge dinner, with one large hunk of meat at the center, I prefer to set out a selection of small dishes so my holiday guests can pick and choose and nibble their way through an evening. For New Year's Eve, the "spread" can be extra-elaborate: cheese, bread, pickled things, some slices of smoked fish (and if you're a pork eating person, you'll want some prosciutto or other ham), fruit, roasted peppers, small bowls of pasta, spiced nuts. Any combination of dishes will work, but for me, regardless of whatever else is on the table, turkey meatballs are a must. These apple, Cheddar and cranberry turkey meatball appetizer bites bring together all of the traditional flavors of a New England apple pie, and...
All you need to create this versatile white bean and sun-dried tomato dip is a blender or food processor, and some ingredients from the pantry. Use this as a filling for sandwiches or roll-ups, too.
Serve these basil ricotta bruschetta for an appetizer, or dessert. Pan tossing the grapes brings out the natural sweetness, and the juices!
Crispy pan-fried tuna croquettes make a perfect appetizer, or a topping for a green salad. Make the patties slightly larger size, and serve them for lunch or a light supper.
Served on its own as a vegan tapas dish, or on top of toasts with melted cheese, this spicy eggplant caponata is a winner. Make it several days in advance, and it tastes even better. Perfect for picnics, too.
Use out-of-season cherry tomatoes, available year-round at the supermarket, to make these intensely-flavored burst tomatoes. Perfect for sauces, dips, and bruschetta or pizza.