CRANBERRY GUACAMOLE

INGREDIENTS:

2 RIPE, FRESH AVOCADOS, SEEDED AND PEELED
1/2 CUP SALSA VERDE
3 TABLESPOONS CHOPPED, FRESH CILANTRO LEAVES
1 JALAPENO, SEEDED AND DE VEINED, FINELY CHOPPED
1 TEASPOON COARSE GARLIC SALT
2/3 CUP DRIED CRANBERRIES, SOAKED IN HOT WATER, DRAINED AND SQUEEZED DRY

INSTRUCTIONS:

COARSELY MASH AVOCADOS
FOLD IN REMAINING INGREDIENTS AND SERVE

Orange-Cranberry Sweet & Spicy Mix

Ingredients:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons honey
2 cups fish-shaped Cheddar cheese flavored crackers
1 1/2 cocktail peanuts
1 1/2 cups wasabi peas
1 1/4 cups orange flavored dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees
Line 15x10x1 baking pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray
In 1 quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and honey.
Cook over medium low heat until butter is melted and mixture comes to a full rolling boil.
Reduce heat to low; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients, except dried cranberries
Pour brown sugar mixture over cracker mixture; toss to coat.
Spoon on foil-lined baking pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until mixture bubbles in pan and crackers start to brown, stirring twice.
Remove from oven and add dried cranberries.
Set aside to cool, stirring every 10 minutes to break up clusters.
When completely cooled, store in covered container.

PAN SEARED SCALLOP APPETIZER SALAD

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Bacon, Dried Cranberries and Baby Spinach

For the garnish:
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 slices bacon, minced
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons candied ginger, minced
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons chili flakes

For the Scallops:
1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

For the Salad
:
4 cups baby spinach
1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions:
For the garnish, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until browned and crisp (about 6-8 minutes).  Reserve 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon for for searing the scallops.

In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, candied ginger, warm water and chili flakes and soak for at least 20 minutes.

For the scallops, heat the olive oil and reserved bacon fat in a large pan over high heat.  Cook the scallops until browned on one side, then flip and cook for 2 more minutes.

While the scallops are cooking, make the salad by tossing the baby spinach with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and maple syrup.

To serve, place the salad in the middle of the plate and arrange seared scallops on top.  Garnish each scallop with bacon, cranberries and parsley.

Cranberry Puffs

CRANBERRY PUFFS

 

INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup fresh cranberries

1 jalapeno pepper, stem removed

¼ cup sugar

½ cup mayonnaise

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (14 oz) package wonton wrappers

3 cups canola oil for frying

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, combine the cranberries, jalapeno pepper, sugar and mayonnaise.  Process til smooth. This will be your cranberry relish for dipping.  Set aside half of this mixture, and pour the rest into a medium bowl.  Mix cream cheese into this half until well blended.

Lay a few wonton wrappers at a time out on a clean surface.  Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the cram cheese mixture onto the center of each one. Pinch the corners together to make a triangle shape.  If they don’t stick, wet them with a little water using your finger.  Set aside on apiece of waxed paper while you assemble the remaining puffs.

Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

When the oil is hot, carefully set 5-10 of the dumplings into the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan.  Fry on each side until golden brown. Remove from the hot oil using tongs and place on paper towels to drain.  Serve on a platter with the reserved cranberry relish as a dipping sauce.  The sooner you eat them, the better they taste.

NOTE:  Use the whole jalapeno(do not seed)

 

Cranberry Cheese Spreads

Here are 2 good cheese spreads, using dried cranberries.

CRANBERRY DELIGHT SPREAD

1 PACKAGE (8OZ) CREAM CHEESE

2 T. FROZEN ORANGE JUICE CONCENTRATE,  THAWED

1 T. SUGAR

ZEST OF ONE ORANGE

1/8 TSP CINNAMON

¼ C. FINELY CHOPPED DRIED CRANBERRIES

¼ C. FINELY CHOPPED PECANS

IN A SMALL MIXING BOWL BEAT CREAM CHEESE, ORANGE JUICE CONCENTRATE, SUGAR, ORANGE ZEST  AND CINNA MON ON MEDIUM SPEED UNTIL FLUFFY.

STIR IN CRANBERRIES AND PECANS.  REFRIGERATE AT LEAST

1 HOUR.

GARNISH AS DESIRED

CRANBERRY CHAMBORD SPREAD

INGREDIENTS:

8 OUNCES OF CREAM CHEESE (SOFTENED)

2-3 TABLESPOONS OF SUGAR (TO YOUR TASTE)

¾ CUP DRIED CRANBERRIES

CHAMBORD

DIRECTIONS:

FILL A SMALL BOWL WITH THE CRANBERRIES AND POUR IN JUST ENOUGH CHAMBORD TO COVER.  SET ASIDE FOR 3 HOURS OR MORE, STIRRING EVERY SO OFTEN.

DRAIN CRANBERRIES (DON’T SQUEEZE THEM OR ANYTHING, JUST DRAIN MOST OF THE LIQUID

COMBINE WITH SOFTENED CREAM CHEESE AND SUGAR AND STIR WELL UNTIL FULLY INCORPORATED.

REFRIGERATE FOR A LEAST AN HOUR PRIOR TO SERVING.

SERVE IN A SMALL CROCK OR INVERT ONTO A CHEESE TRAY WITH APPLE SLICES OR CRACKERS

Bacon-Wrapped Cocktail Wieners

Ingredients
1 12 ounce bottle chili sauce
1 14 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
1 cup maple syrup
2 packages 12-14 oz) cocktail wieners or smoked cocktail weiners
1 package (1lb) bacon, cut into thirds and large pieces cut in half lengthwise

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F.  Spray a large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together chili sauce, cranberry sauce
and 1/2 cup of the syrup until smooth.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and set aside.

Meanwhile, wrap each wiener with a piece of bacon and place seam side down on
baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining wieners.  Drizzle wieners with remaining 1/2 cup syrup.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.  Serve with warm cranberry sauce mixture for dipping sauce.

Makes 24 appetizer servings (2 cocktail wieners per serving)