Pat’s Pantry: Let’s ring in the New Year

By Pat Mills

It’s New Year’s Eve and you need to make a dip or appetizer for your party. Your guests will not be able to leave the snack table with so many great dishes. – Pat

Baked onion dip

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
Minced fresh parsley, optional
assorted crackers

In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, onion, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt; stir in Swiss cheese. Spoon into a 1-qt baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 325 for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley if desired. Serve with crackers. Yield: 2 cups.

Stuffed shrimp appetizers

20 uncooked large shrimp (about 1 pound)
1 egg, beaten
½ cup soft breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
dash cayenne pepper
1 can (6 oz) lump crabmeat, drained
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon paprika

Peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tails on. Butterfly each shrimp along the outside curve. Open shrimp flat and place butterflied side down in an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1-in baking pan.
In a small bowl, combine the egg, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, lemon juice and seasonings. Stir in crab. Place 1 tablespoonful of mixture over each shrimp; bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Serve warm.  Stuffed mushrooms: replace shrimp with mushrooms. Remove stems from mushrooms and stuff with 1 tablespoon of mixture. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Crispy buffalo chicken

4 oz (½ of an 8-oz package) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
½ cup finely chopped cooked chicken breast
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury place ‘n bake refrigerated crescent rounds (16 rounds total)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup panko crispy breadcrumbs
additional buffalo wing sauce and celery, if desired
Line cookie sheet with sides with waxed paper or cooking parchment paper. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and 2 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce. Stir in blue cheese and chicken until well blended. Shape mixture by tablespoonful into 16 balls; place on cookie sheet. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees. Press each dough round to 3 inches in diameter. Place 1 chicken mixture ball on center of each dough round; shape dough around ball to cover completely. In shallow dish, place melted butter. In another shallow dish, place breadcrumbs. Dip dough balls in to butter, then roll in breadcrumbs. Place 2 inches apart on large ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm with additional buffalo wing sauce and celery for dipping.

Fresh fruit dip

1 cup marshmallow creme
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
assorted fresh fruit

In a small bowl, combine the first three ingredients, whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with fruit. Yield: 2 cups.

Corn beef bagel dip

¾ cup mayonnaise
¾ cup sour cream
2 packages (2 ½ oz each) thinly sliced deli corned beef, chopped
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
1 to 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish, optional
3-4 bagels cut into bite-size pieces

In a bowl, combine mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir in the corned beef, onion, parsley, seasoned salt and horseradish if desired. Serve with bagel pieces; yield: 2 cups.


• To ripen a pineapple, cut off top, remove skin and slice. Place in pot and cover with water, sweeten to taste, boil for 5 minutes, cool and refrigerate.
• Oranges that need to be peeled for dishes should be soaked in boiling water for at least 5-7 minutes before peeling. This will make it easier to peel and remove all the white pulp.

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