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Filtering by Category: appetizers

Keto Sausage Bites

Patricia Reitz

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These tasty sausage balls are a great grab-and-go snack for anyone, not just those watching their carb intake. They’re good served warm or at room temperature. Pile them high in a bowl and watch them disappear.

Items used to make this recipe:


Keto Sausage Bites

makes 48 bites (#50 scoop)

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound italian sausage, cooked and drained

  • 1/2 pound shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F, place oven rack in center position, and line two half sheet pans with silicone liners.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the coconut flour, butter, sour cream, eggs, baking powder, and garlic salt.

  3. Using a silicone spatula, stir in the cooked sausage and shredded cheddar cheese until evenly distributed.

  4. Use a #50 scoop to portion out 24 sausage bites per half sheet pan, bake one pan at a time for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Macro Stats: 4 sausage bites contain 20g protein, 31g fat, and 2 net carbs.

Restaurant Style Salsa

Patricia Reitz

I’m not kidding when I say I could eat chips and salsa every day of my life, without complaint. No exaggeration - it’s one of my favorite things ever. I have a number of oven roasted salsa recipes on this blog, but when I need a salsa fix fast, I can throw a few simple canned ingredients together to to make this restaurant-style version. It goes without saying, use the best canned tomatoes you can - DO NOT use bitter tasting canned tomatoes. No amount of salt or sugar will fix the bitterness. Some canned tomato brands I’m fond of - Cento, SMT, Tuttorosso, Muir Glen, and Sclafani.

Restaurant Style Salsa

makes about 1 quart

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 28-ounce can tomatoes (whole, diced, crushed… doesn’t matter)

  • 10-ounce can Ro-tel tomatoes (tomatoes with chilis)

  • 1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed

  • juice of 1 lime

  • 1 teaspoon Jane’s crazy mixed up salt (or table salt)

  • optional: 1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, pulse all ingredients together until they reach your desired consistency.

  2. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Keto Cheddar Bay Biscuits (Low-Carb and Gluten-Free)

Patricia Reitz

Always on the lookout for low-carb recipes, I stumbled upon an interesting version for the ever popular Cheddar Bay Biscuits, a national restaurant chain favorite.  I made the recipe as written and I have to say, they weren’t that great - not enough cheese, not enough garlic, and basically, not enough flavor!  So I tweaked, and tweaked, until I came up with this version which is full of cheesy-garlicky flavor.  And check out these nutritional stats: each of my biscuits contain 9 whole grams of protein and only 2 net carbs!  Compare that to the traditional version which contain only 3 grams of protein and a whopping 16 carbs.  Is my version exactly like the original?  Obviously not (although my husband says he likes mine better!), but this healthier version is surprisingly similar.  If you're looking for a low-carb, keto, or gluten-free version to try, I think you'll be very pleased with this recipe. 

Note: because my biscuits contain no gluten, they bake up a little flatter than the original, but baking them in a commercial quality pan like this one will produce fluffier biscuits.

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The ingredients (clockwise from the top) - sour cream, an egg, almond flour (aka almond meal), sharp cheddar cheese, baking powder, salt, garlic powder (or granulated garlic), dried parsley, and melted butter.

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Start by whisking the almond flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and parsley together.  The almond flour has a tendency to clump so use that whisk to break the clumps up.

That was easy.

Next toss the cheddar cheese into the almond flour mixture - this will keep all the bits of cheddar cheese separate when we add the wet ingredients. 

Here's a thought, I bet these would be good made with pepper jack cheese!  I'll have to give that a try.

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Switch to a spatula and stir in the sour cream, egg, and melted butter.  

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I don't know.... this is such a complicated recipe... JOKING!

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Divide the batter into 6 equal portions (about 3 tablespoons each) and space evenly on a silicone-lined half sheet pan (silpat is my favorite liner, but this less expensive amazon option works well too).

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This recipe will make exactly 6 biscuits if you portion the batter with a #20 scoop (and it's a great size for dishing ice cream too!).  By the way, did you know the sweeper arm of most portion scoops will have a number which indicates the size of the scoop?  The #20 here means this scoop will measure 20 portions per quart.  Likewise, a #30 will portion 30 scoops per quart, and so on.  Who says food blogs aren't educational?

Ok, back to the biscuits… bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown all over.  The cheese will be as hot as lava so allow the biscuits to cool for a couple of minutes before serving. 

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Oh my... I wish you could smell my kitchen right now! 

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Enjoy these biscuits while they're warm and the cheese is all melty.  That’s all there is to it.

Alright, I can’t stand it… I'm totally dying here so I gotta go… Come to Mamma!!

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Mmmmmmm...  I really, really, really, really, hope you'll give this recipe a try.  Oh, and don’t miss more of my keto recipes - you can find links to them in my sidebar over there on the right. Happy Baking!

Items used to make this recipe:


Keto Cheddar Bay Biscuits (Low-Carb and Gluten-Free)

makes 6 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almond flour (almond meal)

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (see notes below to be sure your baking powder is still active)

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or granulated garlic)

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and place rack in center position.

  2. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, dried parsley, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt, being sure to break up any clumps.

  3. Add shredded cheese and toss well to coat.

  4. Add sour cream, egg, and melted butter, mixing well with a spatula until well combined.

  5. Use a #20 scoop to divide batter into 6 equal portions and place on silpat-lined half sheet pan.

  6. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown all over.

  7. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving - these are best served warm.

Note: 

  • This recipe doubles well (and all 12 can be placed on the same sheet pan).  

  • Be sure your baking powder is active by testing its effectiveness. To do this, stir 1/4 teaspoon baking powder into 1/4 cup hot tap water. If the baking powder fizzes, good. If not, discard and replace with a fresh container.

Keto stats for each biscuit:  9 grams protein, 4 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber.

Keto Turkey Meatballs

Patricia Reitz

So what's a girl to do when she wants to make traditional meatballs (check out my recipe here), but her husband wants to eat as few carbs as possible?  Substitute ground almonds for the Italian breadcrumbs that are usually called for in the recipe.  Of course ground almonds don't have the same flavor as Italian breadcrumbs so I've upped the herbs and spices too.  These meatballs can be baked or fried, you decide.

I like to start by mixing all the extra stuff together before adding the meat.  I think the ingredients are distributed more evenly that way.  Here you see water (yes water), eggs, ground parmesan cheese, almond meal (almond flour), dried parsley, garlic powder, oregano, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.

Place all the ingredients listed above in a bowl and mix well.

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You can combine the mixture easily by hand, but I pretty much use my stand mixer every time I have the chance.  

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Now add the ground turkey and mix again.

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See how evenly mixed together everything looks?

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I like to use a #50 scoop to portion out my meatballs - each are a little bigger than 1 tablespoon.  That’s my favorite meatball size, but do whatever you like.  These meatballs can be baked (I'd bake this size at 400F for 10-15 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F), but today I felt like going old school so I fried them in about 1/2-inch of olive oil.  

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Turn as needed until they're cooked through and brown all over.

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Once you have a mountain of meatballs, freeze for later or add them to your favorite tomato sauce (try one of my most popular recipes, San Marzano Tomato Sauce).  OR, try my favorite Busy Weeknight Marinara. Enjoy!


Low-Carb Turkey Meatballs (Keto, Gluten-Free)

makes 60 meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground turkey

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup almond meal

  • 1/2 cup ground parmesan cheese

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • olive oil for frying

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or by hand), combine the eggs, almond meal, parmesan, water, parsley, salt, garlic powder, pepper, crushed red pepper, and oregano until well mixed; add ground turkey and mix until evenly combined.

  2. Roll turkey mixture into 60 meatballs - I like to do this with a #50 portion scoop (like this one).

  3. Heat about 1/2-inch of olive oil in a skillet and fry meatballs, in batches, until golden brown all over and cooked through, turning as needed.

Meatballs can also be baked in a 400F oven for 10-15 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F.

Nutritional stats for 3 meatballs 120 calories, 6g fat, 0,5g carbs, 16g protein.

Frico Eggs (Keto)

Patricia Reitz

Frico (freek-o) - "what's frico" you might be asking?  Frico are thin, crispy, lacey discs of cooked cheese (in this case, parmesan).  Frico are often crumbled over a salad or served as an appetizer.  Today I'm bulking up these delicate disks by marrying them with hard-cooked eggs - the flavor marriage of the two are perfect together.  Super cool looking too, don't you think?

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Start by cutting hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise.  A thin, sharp knife works best (like this one).

Oh hey, check out my absolute favorite method for cooking eggs with shells that release perfectly every single time, even when the eggs are freshly laid.  And here's my second favorite method that works almost as well.

In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, place little mounds of grated or ground parmesan cheese.  Depending on the size of your eggs, use between 1 1/2 and 2 teaspoons for each egg half.  You can substitute other cheeses if you like, but you'll have to experiment to see which ones work well.  I've used pecorino romano - it works beautifully, but the flavor is stronger and the cheese is quite a bit saltier than parmesan.

Carefully center one egg half on each mound of cheese.  

Now we wait.  If any bits of cheese start jumping around in the pan, lower the heat.  You don't want to risk burning the cheese so take it slow and be patient - the whole process will only take a few minutes.

Remove from the heat when they look like this.  Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan.  Use a very thin, flexible nylon spatula (like this one) to protect the finish of your nonstick pan.  

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That's all there is to it - super easy.  Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Frico Eggs

makes 4 appetizers

Ingredients

  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut in half

  • 2 tablespoons ground pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, divide cheese into 4 equal mounds spaced evenly apart.

  2. Top each cheese mound with 1/2 hard-cooked egg, cut side down; allow cheese to slowly melt until golden brown (if the cheese starts to jump in the pan, lower the heat).

  3. Remove from skillet and enjoy.

Roasted Chickpeas with a Kick

Patricia Reitz

Help!  I can't stop eating these things.  I'm not even kidding - they're totally addictive!  Why have I waited so long to try them?   Feel free to increase, decrease, or omit the cayenne to suit your taste.

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Start by preheating the oven to 400F.  Rinse and drain the canned chickpeas, then dry them well with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.  Place them o a rimmed half sheet pan and give the pan a shake to spread them out a bit.  Pop in the hot oven for 15 minutes, then give the chickpeas a toss and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Time to mix up the flavorings.  Whisk together extra virgin olive oil (a good, fruity one), garlic salt, and cayenne pepper. 

This teeny-tiny whisk makes me happy. 

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After the chickpeas have been in the oven for 30 minutes, drizzle the olive oil mixture over them and toss well to coat.  Put them back in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool before crunching and munching on them.   

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I’m telling you, make extra because they’re going to disappear fast!  But in the event you should find yourself with leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature.   

Items used to make this recipe:


Roasted Chickpeas with a Kick

makes 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and dried

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.

  2. Dry rinsed chickpeas well and place on a rimmed half sheet pan.

  3. Roast in the center of preheated oven for 15 minutes; toss chickpeas and roast another 15 minutes.

  4. Combine olive oil, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper; drizzle over chickpeas and return to oven for 15 minutes.

  5. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.

Note:  To make the chickpeas extra crispy, roast them for 15 minutes longer than stated in the recipe (for a grand total of 60 minutes), but watch them carefully so they don't burn.

Amish Onion Patties

Patricia Reitz

If you like the flavor of caramelized onions, you'll go bonkers for these Amish Onion Patties - they're crunchy and completely addictive.  Serve them piping hot with cold sour cream on the side for dipping - then sit back and wait for the oohs and aahs.  

Amish Onion Patties - recipe with how-to photos - ButterYum

Measure out all the ingredients needed.

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Place the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

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Whisk them together.

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Add the milk.

Mix well until no lumps remain.

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Add the onions.

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Stir the onions until they're completely coated with the batter.

shimmering oil

Heat some peanut or canola oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet.

testing the temperature of frying oil without a thermometer - ButterYum

You'll know the oil is hot enough when bubbles appear around a wooden spoon handle when inserted in the oil.

frying onion patties - amish recipe - ButterYum

Portion patties using 1/4-cup measure.  Fry until the first side is brown.  I like 'em really brown.  

Carefully turn them over and repeat on the other side.

Amish Onion Patties - recipe - ButterYum

Remove from hot oil when done.  I find a flat whisk (like this one) is perfect for this job.

Amish Recipes - Onion Patties - ButterYum

Drain for a minute or two on paper towels, then transfer to a cooling rack so they stay nice and crispy.

Amish Onion Patties - recipe with how-to photos

Serve immediately with sour cream and chives.  Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Amish Onion Patties

makes 6 (3-inch diameter patties)

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 6 tablespoons milk

  • 1 1/4 cup finely minced onion

  • peanut or canola oil for frying

  • optional garnish: sour cream and chopped chives

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

  2. Add milk and stir until no lumps remain; stir in onions.

  3. In a 10-inch cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat about 1/2-inch of oil until the tip of a wooden spoon bubbles when placed in the oil.

  4. Fry 1/4-cup portions, 3 at a time, for several minutes until brown on first side, then carefully turn over and fry until the second side is brown.

  5. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towel for 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack to keep them crispy.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with remaining batter; serve immediately.

 

 

Cucumber Cups

Patricia Reitz

My daughter recently had the pleasure of throwing a bridal shower for her best friend and these cute little cucumber cups were one of the appetizers served.  They're so easy to make using just a few simple ingredients and they look adorable.  

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Peel the cucumbers intermittently leaving a light and dark striped design on the full length of the cucumber and cut into 1-inch coins.

cucumber cup appetizer recipe - with how-to photos

Use a melon ball tool to scoop an indentation in each cucumber coin, being careful not to go through the bottom of the cups.

Mix together the cottage cheese, scallions, fresh dill, and salt and pepper.  Be careful to taste your cottage cheese before adding the salt (some are much saltier than others). 

Fill the cucumber cups with the cottage cheese filling and garnish with a fresh dill frond.  Serve immediately. 

Items used to make this recipe:


Cucumber Cups

makes 20

Ingredients

  • 2 English cucumbers

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese

  • 2 scallions, sliced thin

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (depending on how salty your cottage cheese is)

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • fresh dill fronds for garnish

Directions

  1. Wash cucumbers and peel them intermittently, leaving some of the peel behind to make a light and dark green striped pattern down the length of each cucumber.

  2. Slice cucumbers into 1-inch rounds and use a melon baller to carefully hollow out an indentation to hold the filling.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine cottage cheese, sliced scallions, chopped fresh dill, salt, and pepper; mixing well (start with less salt, then taste and add more if needed).

  4. Fill each cucumber cup with the cottage cheese filling.

  5. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with fresh dill fronds.

adapted from My Friend's Bakery

Chicken Parmesan Bites

Patricia Reitz

Today I'm going to show you how I turn one of our favorite chicken dinners into a delicious hot appetizer.  I promise, they'll be the first thing to disappear from your table.

Prepare crumb mixture by combining equal parts finely grated parmesan or romano cheese and Italian seasoned bread crumbs.

Mmm, mmm, mmm... it's going to taste so good.

Beat some eggs too.  Just look at that amazing color.  I love buying my eggs from a local farm.

Prepare the chicken by cutting boneless breast or tenders into bite-size pieces. Here's a tip - to keep your chicken tender, cut it across the grain. 

Dip the chicken pieces into the beaten egg.

Allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl.

Immediately place the egg-dipped chicken into the cheese and bread crumb mixture.  Be sure the entire piece of chicken gets coated well. 

Heat about 1/2-inch of olive oil in a skillet and fry the chicken pieces until deep golden brown, the turn and repeat on the other side.  Mine took about 4 minutes per side.  

Olive oil isn't really the best choice for frying things, but you can get away with it when shallow frying.  The flavor of the oil will play a big role here so don't use light olive oil (it's too bland).  And don't use a luxury olive oil (save that for drizzling).  Choose a nice, fruity olive oil that falls somewhere in the middle (Kirkland, Bertolli, etc).  After you cook a few batches of these appetizers, the oil will break down and darken considerably - allow it to cool completely and discard.  It won't be a good candidate for saving to use another day. 

Crispy Chicken Parmesan Bites - recipe with photos

I'm warning you - eat a few before you serve them or you might not get any! 

Items used to make this recipe:


Chicken Parmesan Bites

makes appetizers for 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut across the grain and into bite-size pieces

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • kosher salt to taste

  • 1 large lemon, sliced into wedges

  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • several leaves of chopped fresh basil

  • 1 cup your favorite tomato sauce (try my san marzano sauce recipe)

Directions

  1. In a shallow bowl, beat egg well.

  2. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

  3. Dip chicken into beaten egg, followed by breadcrumb mixture.

  4. In a large skillet, heat oil until shimmering.

  5. Fry chicken in oil until golden brown on both sides; drain chicken on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.

  6. Place chicken pieces on a shallow pan and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella; heat under broiler just until cheese melts (keep a close eye on it).

  7. Remove from oven and place on serving platter.

  8. Sprinkle with plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice and chopped fresh basil; serve with a side of your favorite tomato sauce (try my san marzano tomato sauce recipe).