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Appetizers

These Chicken Cordon Bleu appetizers will be perfect for your party!  They are baked instead of fried, so you can even rationalize that they are good for you. 🙂  Just make a lot of them—they will go fast.

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I like to use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts because they will stay more moist and have a more intense chicken flavor.  Just cut the thighs into small pieces and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

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Next you need some slices of Swiss cheese and ham, so head to the deli department of your favorite store.  Black Forest ham works great, but feel free to pick your favorite kind.  Then cut each slice into strips.  Each slice will yield three to four strips about 3/4 inch wide and 3 or 4 inches long.  The ham strips should be slightly longer than the cheese strips.

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Assembly time!  Start with a strip of ham and then place a strip of cheese on top.

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Now place a small piece of chicken on top of the cheese.  The chicken goes near the end of the strip.

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Start rolling!

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Use a toothpick to secure the ham, chicken and cheese roll.

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Now it is time for the breading.  You will need three bowls.  Place flour, salt and pepper in the first bowl.  Egg blended with a little water or milk goes in the second bowl.  Then panko bread crumbs seasoned with some fresh chopped thyme fills the third bowl.  The toothpicks not only keep the chicken rolls together, but they also make it a little less messy to coat the chicken.  First, lightly coat the chicken rolls with flour.  Don’t forget to cover the sides too!  Then dip them in the egg mixture.  A spoon is useful to get them completely coated.  Let the excess egg drip off.  Then coat the chicken rolls with Panko bread crumbs.  Again, make sure to coat the sides with crumbs too!  That will help keep the cheese from oozing out while they bake.

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Place the chicken rolls on a parchment-coated baking sheet.

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Lightly spray the rolls with cooking spray or oil from an oil mister.  Bake the chicken rolls in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the toothpicks before serving.  You can serve the Chicken Cordon Bleu appetizers plain or with a dipping sauce.  A spicy, apricot sauce works great.  Just heat some apricot jam with a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Thin the sauce with a little water or soy sauce for the desired consistency.

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This recipe was inspired by, and is similar to, one of Rachel Ray’s recipes.  Click here to check out her recipe.  It is great too!  The difference is that I prefer dark meat for the chicken, fresh rather than dried thyme, and Panko rather than regular bread crumbs.  I also like to use toothpicks to make the whole process easier.

Enjoy!

© 2017 FoodieOasis

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These crunchy wontons are the perfect, bit-sized, edible appetizer cups.  Whether you fill them with guacamole, taco meat, bean dip, seafood salad, or any other tasty concoction, these will be the hit of the party!  You can find a number of recipes for these easy, go-to favorites, but here is how I make them.

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Just start out with a package of wonton wrappers.  I prefer the round ones, but the square ones will work too.  Lightly brush both sides of the wrappers with vegetable oil or give them a quick spritz of cooking spray.

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Then sprinkle them with a pinch of kosher salt to bake in a little added flavor.

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Mini-muffin pans are perfect for baking these.  Either brush or spray each cup in the muffin tin with vegetable oil to make sure that the wontons don’t stick.  I love these miniature silicon brushes for tasks like this!

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Now press a wonton wrapper into each muffin cup.  Be sure to press the folds of the wonton wrapper against the side of the muffin cup to ensure that the center opening in the wonton cup will be as large as possible.

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Now the wonton cups are ready to bake in a 350 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes.  Check them often and rotate the muffin tin at least once during baking to make sure they don’t burn.

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Let the cups cools on a rack and then fill them with our favorite filling.

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After these have cooled, you can also freeze the wonton cups in a zip-top bag and take them out as needed.  These are great to have on hand when you need a last minute appetizer.  They thaw almost instantly and are as crispy as when you first made them.

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Enjoy!  Watch for the next post with my favorite crab and shrimp fillings for the wonton cups!

© 2016 FoodieOasis

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You may want to include these White Cheddar Pecan Wafers and Chocolate Rum Balls from our last-minute, end-of-2015 holiday party at your Super Bowl Party this year.  They are both easy and always a hit with our friends.

The idea behind our “last minute” party on December 27 was that the stress of getting ready for Christmas was behind us, and it could be more casual and a little simpler.  So I took advice from one of my favorite Food Network celebs, Ina Garten, and bought some of the food (spiral sliced ham, pre-cooked shrimp, cheese and crackers, olives, etc.) and made some of the food.  I also made sure that most of the things I wanted to cook could be done a day or two in advance, such as the chocolate rum balls and white cheddar pecan wafers.  We all had a great time, and I promised to post the recipes for the chocolate rum balls and the white cheddar pecan wafers, so here they are.  Since casual, simple and make-ahead are perfect for the upcoming Super Bowl Parties, you may want to give these a try!

Chocolate Rum Balls

Whether you want your rum with a little chocolate or your chocolate with a little rum, these are fantastic!  As someone pointed out, they are more like a super moist cake than most rum balls so they make you want to close your eyes and quietly enjoy the perfect rum-laced bite of chocolate.  And don’t forget the little crunch from the sanding sugar.  Yum!

Chocolate Rum Balls

The secret to these is to use Martha Stewart’s recipe!  These decadent little balls of pure joy consist of a buttery brownie cooled, crumbled and recombined with dark rum.  Then you roll them in sanding sugar or powdered sugar for the ultimate bite.  I follow her instructions to chill them, then I bring them back to room temperature before serving!  Click here for Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Rum Ball recipe.

White Cheddar Pecan Wafers

Now for the white cheddar pecan wafers that have a little kick.

White Cheddar Pecan Wafers

I have previously posted this recipe, but this time I made a couple of changes and updated the recipe.  I used white cheddar rather than traditional, orange cheddar, and I increased the cayenne pepper from 1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp.  Click here for the Cheddar Pecan Wafer recipe.  These are laced with finely chopped, fresh rosemary and pecans, which kicks them up a notch.  After a bite or two, you will probably be hooked.  They remind me of potato chips….I always want another one.  Enjoy!

© 2016 FoodieOasis

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