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Party Foods

Cajun Party Meatballs

1 lb ground pork
3 lb ground lean beef
1 small can evaporated milk
1 cup dry bread crumbs
4 eggs, well beaten
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dry mustard
3 tbs minced parsley

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, bread crumbs, milk and Worcestershire sauce.

Add meat and remaining ingredients. Mix real well. Wet hands and shape mixture into meatballs. Bake at 350F in oven until brown. Place meatballs in a chafing dish or electric skillet on low heat. Pour sauce over the meatballs.
Makes about 120 meatballs.

Sweet-And-Sour Spareribs

2 pounds pork spareribs, well trimmed, cut into single ribs (about 8 to 9 ribs)
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 (1-inch-diameter 1/2-inch-thick) slices peeled fresh ginger, smashed
2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)* or dry Sherry
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce*
1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar*
or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place spareribs in pot large enough to hold ribs in single layer. Add enough cold water to cover ribs. Bring to boil, spooning off any foam that rises to surface. Boil 1 minute. Transfer ribs to colander; rinse under cold water. Drain.

Wash and dry same pot. Add 3/4 cup water, sugar, ginger, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice wine, dark soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, and salt to pot. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Add spareribs to pot, turning to coat with sauce mixture (sauce will not cover ribs). Arrange spareribs in single layer in pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until ribs are very tender, turning ribs occasionally and adding a few tablespoons water as needed to maintain liquid level, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium heat.

Transfer ribs to platter. Boil sauce in pot until reduced to generous 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over spareribs and serve.

Cinnamon Pork

2 whole 1 lb. pork tenderloins
Pork Tenderloin Marinade:
2 cloves garlic
2 green onions
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons red food coloring, optional*

*Note: Adding red food coloring to the marinade gives the mixture that distinctive Chinese red color. It bleeds slightly into the meat for an unusual, red-ringed look.

Fine-chop the garlic and green onions. Combine the honey, brown sugar, and wine in a large bowl. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Stir in the cinnamon and then the soy sauce.

Place the tenderloins in the bowl, coating them well with the marinade. Cover the bowl and marinate the meat for at least 2 hours, turning occasionally. (May be left in the refrigerator overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the meat from the marinade and place them on a broiler pan. Reserve the marinade for basting. Bake until cooked through, about 45 to 60 minutes, basting often. Cool.

Cut the roasted tenderloins into 1/4" slices and transfer to a serving platter.

Thai-Style Grilled Peanut Chicken

1/2 cup peanut butter, (creamy or crunchy)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
2 to 2 1/2 pounds cut up chicken

Blend peanut butter with honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger until smooth. Stir in curry powder and garlic; mix well. Place chicken in a large plastic bag or a bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over chicken and mix well. Close bag or cover bowl and chill at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Remove chicken from marinade and broil or grill over medium heat 4 to 6-inches from heat. Turn chicken and brush with marinade occasionally while cooking.
(Do not brush with any more marinade less than 10 minutes before chicken is done.)

Cook until chicken is no longer pink in thickest part (cut to test), 15 to 30 minutes depending on size and piece.

Spicy Pecan Nibbles

3 cups pecan halves
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, or to taste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 300°. In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, chili powder, curry powder and salt. Add pecans and mix until thoroughly coated. Spread pecans onto a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and lightly toasted. Serve warm. (The Spicy Pecans may be reheated in the oven or microwave.) Makes 3 cups.

Sesame-Maple Popcorn

12 cups popped popcorn (@ 1/3 cup kernels)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cup real maple syrup
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter

In a small, dry skillet, lightly toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring often, until just golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Boil the maple syrup, water and butter together in a small saucepan until it reaches the soft ball stage on a candy thermometer, about 236 degrees. (At that temperature, a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water will form a ball that you can flatten with your fingers.)

In a large, lightly oiled bowl, drizzle the syrup mixture over the popcorn evenly, mixing as you go, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Toss, cool slightly, and break apart.

Basic Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard
Salt and pepper

Place eggs in a saucepan with water to cover plus 1 inch. On medium-high heat, bring the eggs to a low boil. After 15 minutes from the time they start to boil, remove the pan from the stove and run cold water directly on the eggs for a few minutes. Peel under cold running water, also.

Halve the eggs lengthwise. Remove the yolks, place them in a small bowl, and mash them with a fork. Add mayonnaise and mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Spoon the mixture into the egg-white halves. Garnish each with a sprinkle of paprika, a parsley sprig, or as desired and voila! The Deviled Eggs Recipe come to life. Makes 24 appetizers.

Note: A bed of decorative lettuce leaves or alfalfa sprouts will keep the eggs from sliding around a platter or shallow bowl.

Beer Batter Onion Rings

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 12-ounce beer (1 1/2 cups)
3-4 large onions (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
Oil for deep frying
Salt to taste

Mix the flour, salt, pepper, oil and eggs together in a medium-large size bowl. Pour in the beer and whisk until thoroughly combined and lump-free.

Slice the onions about 3/8" thick and separate the rings.

Dip the rings in the batter, shaking off any excess, and fry in batches in hot oil (375°) until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Turn and continue frying for another 1-2 minutes, until both sides are golden brown.

Remove and drain on paper towels. Salt, if desired.

Blue Cheese Dip

1 cup blue cheese, crumbled, plus a little for garnish
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, cream together the blue and cream cheeses. (This recipe can also be prepared in a food processor.)

Add the sour cream and mix until well-incorporated.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle a little crumbled blue cheese on top. Refrigerate for several hours to let the flavors meld, then set it out about 30 minutes before serving. Serve slightly chilled.

Makes 3 cups.

Nacho Chip Dip

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. onion
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz.) can pork and beans (mash up beans)
1/2 c. coarsely grated cheese d
1/4 c. chopped ripe black olives
Nacho chips

Put beef and 1/4 cup of onion on to brown. Stir in tomato sauce, chili powder, and salt and bring to simmer. Stir in mashed beans and simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Put all above in crock pot and sprinkle with cheese, olives and remaining 1/4 cup onion. Serve with nacho chips.

Green Onion Dip

1 large cottage cheese
1 bunch green onions (chopped)
1 tbs butter
Salt and pepper

In blender put 1/2 of cottage cheese and butter. Blend till smooth then add in green onions and remaining cottage cheese. Blend well. Salt and pepper to taste. Dip will look slightly lumpy. Serve with bread sticks or melba toast.

Pesto Dip

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup (2 oz) Kraft grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
2 garlic cloves, quartered
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup Miracle Whip Light reduced calorie salad dressing
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

In food processor work bowl or blender container, place oil, basil, parsley, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, rind and pepper. Cover; process 30 seconds or until smooth.

Combine remaining ingredients; stir into basil mixture. Chill several hours or overnight.

Serve at room temperature with fresh vegetable dippers.

Makes 2 Cups

Smooth and Spicy Tomato Salsa

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeno, seeded and quartered
8 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 cup cilantro leaves, washed and dried
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine garlic, onion and jalapeno in a blender or food processor and process until finely chopped. Add tomatoes and blend. Add cilantro, lime juice and oil and continue blending. Transfer salsa to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Roasted salsa variation: Place the garlic, onion, jalapeno and tomatoes on a sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, then proceed as directed.

Fresh Tomato Salad

5 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
In a large bowl, combine the tomato, onion, cucumber, bell pepper, basil, parsley, garlic and vinegar. Toss and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve.

Mandarin Almond Salad

1 head romaine lettuce- rinsed, dried and chopped
2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the romaine, oranges and green onions.

Heat 2 tbsp sugar and almonds in saucepan over medium heat until sugar starts to melt and coats almonds. Stir quickly until coated almonds are slightly brown. Turn onto a plate and cool for 10 minutes.

Combine red wine vinegar, olive oil, 1 tbsp sugar, red pepper flakes and black pepper in jar with tight fitting. Shake vigorously until sugar is dissolved.

Before serving, pour salad dressing over lettuce mixture, tossing to coat well. Turn into decorative bowl; sprinkle with sugared almonds.