Smoked Mahi Fish Dip

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Smoked Mahi Fish Dip! If you haven’t had the opportunity to taste Florida’s smoked fish dip, you must add it to your list of interesting foods. It has a creamy texture accented by a rich smoky flavor. Did you just wrinkle your nose at the word “Fish”? Hold on a sec, because we’re not talking about pungent canned tuna here. The fish that is used has white flesh, is pretty mild and actually sweet tasting, so it balances beautifully with a citrusy kick that will entice you to another mouthful. Try it in a restaurant or seafood diner first. Then come back for this recipe and make it yourself. Without reservations.

SMOKED MAHI FISH DIP

Ingredients:

2 8-ounce smoked fillets of mahi-mahi, skin removed

1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped

Instructions:

Flake smoked mahi-mahi fish into 1/2” chunks in a bowl. Set aside. In a larger bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and white pepper. Mix until smooth. Add sliced scallions, chopped dill, and capers. Gently stir. Fold in smoked mahi-mahi until incorporated. Do not over mix. Small chunks will keep the dip from turn mushy. Chill slightly. Spread the smoked fish dip over crackers or toasted baguettes.

Jumbo Shrimp Over Avocado

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Jumbo Shrimp Over Avocado! Grill marks on food are like a person’s signature tattoo. I don’t know about you, but when I see that food is slightly charred, visions of smoky goodness can cause me to drool. The creaminess of the warmed avocado filled with spicy salsa takes me down a country road to memorable experiences of Mexican favorites. The grilled shrimp is enhanced by the savory herbs, adding tangy flavors seductive to the tongue. Not only is this a quick meal or tempting appetizer, it transforms every cook into a gourmet chef. You should try it.

JUMBO SHRIMP OVER AVOCADO

Ingredients:

1 large ripe avocado, halved with pit removed

Fresh lime juice

6 frozen precooked jumbo shrimp, tail on and thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup prepared salsa

Dill sprig, for garnish

Instructions:

Preheat grill to 400°. In a small dish, combine olive oil, Italian seasoning blend, sea salt, and garlic powder. Mix well; set aside. Squeeze lime juice onto both halves of avocado. Brush each avocado, as well as both sides of the shrimp, with the seasoned olive oil. Place directly onto the grill grates. Close lid. Cook the avocados for 4 minutes, or until slightly charred. Cook the jumbo shrimp for 2 minutes. Then flip the shrimp, close the lid, and cook 2 minutes longer. Transfer all to a platter. Spoon the salsa into the avocados. Arrange 3 jumbo shrimp over each portion. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill. Serve immediately.

Blue Plate Fish Sliders

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Blue Plate Fish Sliders! Switching from beef to fish has its rewards, especially when the fish is a fresh catch only hours ago. The fact that fish has less saturated fat is a bonus for me. I’m all about reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The delicate soft texture of fish practically melts in your mouth as it flakes off from one tasty bite to the next. The mini-version of a sandwich, in a world of super-size portions, makes sliders cute and fun as well. Whether you call it an appetizer or a meal, fish sliders are here to stay.

BLUE PLATE FISH SLIDERS

Ingredients:

4 4-ounce red grouper fillets

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

Slider buns

Prepared Coleslaw

Mixed Greens

Instructions:

Heat outdoor gas grill to medium heat, approximately 350°. Rinse and pat each fillet with a paper towel. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Transfer to a platter. Oil the grill grates with a folded paper towel dipped in olive oil. Place each fillet directly on the grate. Close the grill cover. Cook 4 minutes. Using a flat spatula, slide under each fillet and carefully flip it over. Close the grill cover and cook 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a clean platter. Lightly toast slider buns, if desired. Assemble fish sliders with coleslaw, grilled fish, and mixed greens. Serve immediately.

Smoked Salmon Dill Spread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Delicious Holiday Foods: Smoked Salmon Dill Spread with Crudités! For those who appreciate a healthy choice while socializing, this one is for the books! Munch on crisp vegetable crudités. Add an assortment of baked bagel chips for a salty crunchy finish. Party On!


SMOKED SALMON DILL SPREAD


Ingredients:

8 ounces of Neufchâtel cheese 

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish 

2 tablespoons fresh Dill, chopped 

Dash of White Pepper 

1/4 pound Smoked Salmon, chopped


Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together, form into a log, and refrigerate at least one hour. Serve with your favorite raw vegetables cut into bite-size pieces to create a crudité platter.

Norwegian Jarlsberg Cheese Spread

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Delicious Holiday Foods: Norwegian Jarlsberg Cheese Spread! Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Jarlsberg cheese originated in Norway as a buttery mild cow’s milk cheese with a sweet nutty flavor. In some photos it may appear similar to Swiss cheese, full of holes, but in essence it is much smoother and richer. Don’t believe me? Order a grilled cheese sandwich made with semi-soft imported Jarlsberg cheese sometime and try not to faint when you are asked to pay a much higher price for this gooey better-than-generic extravagance. 


NORWEGIAN JARLSBERG CHEESE SPREAD 


Ingredients:

4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese

4 ounces Jarlsberg cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons red onion, chopped

1 can (4 ounce size) stuffed green olives, sliced

Sea salt, to taste

Cracked black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup chives, chopped

1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped


Instructions:

Mix together Neufchâtel cheese, Jarlsberg cheese, and mayonnaise until well blended. Stir in red onion and green olives. Add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Form into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour. Roll cheese ball in chopped chives and pecans bits before serving. Spread into crackers or bagel chips.

Neufchâtel Crab Dip

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Delicious Holiday Foods: Neufchâtel Crab Dip! Easy seafood appetizers can be prepared in no time at all. By substituting miniature phyllo dough shells for snack crackers, the results are impressively gourmet. Who doesn’t love that WOW factor?! Make this appetizer the star of your next gathering. Everyone will thank you.

NEUFCHÂTEL CRAB DIP

Ingredients:

1 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed

1/2 cup lobster meat, chunk style

1 green onion, snipped

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon lemon peel, finely shredded

1 teaspoon lemon juice

8-ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1/4 cup Jalapeño Confetti Jelly

15-count package miniature phyllo dough shells

Fresh dill sprigs

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange phyllo shells on a baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes until crisp. Remove and set aside. In a medium bowl, toss crabmeat, lobster, and green onion snips in dill weed, shredded lemon peel, and lemon juice. In a another bowl, combine Neufchâtel cheese, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Fold crabmeat mixture into mayonnaise mixture. Transfer dip to an oven-proof dish. Top with Jalapeño Confetti Jelly. Bake 20 minutes. Spoon warm crab dip into phyllo shells. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs. Serve warm.

Raspberry Pistachio Brie

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Bright Ideas: Raspberry Pistachio Brie! If you need a reason to make an appetizer, read on. It works beautifully as Brie for brunch, a romantic “date night” for two, or a festive dessert while sipping on espresso. Think about it. The cheese itself is so creamy, with a slight robust flavor. The skin can be chewy. Either you like it or you don’t. The raspberry jam has a remarkable sweetness that pairs well with the nuttiness of pistachios. Everyone wins.

RASPBERRY PISTACHIO BRIE

Ingredients:

8-ounce wheel of Brie cheese

1 tablespoon sea salt butter, softened

1/4 cup raspberry jam

1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap the Brie wheel. Lightly score the top so the skin can absorb the ingredients. Transfer the wheel to an ovenproof dish. Spread the sea salt butter over the top of the cheese. Layer with dollops of raspberry jam. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and gooey. Remove baked Brie from the oven. Serve warm with slices of lightly buttered baguette toast.

Meatball Lollipops

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Bright Ideas: Meatball Lollipops! This is such a wonderful prelude to a pizza party. It’s simple, delicious, takes minutes to prepare, and makes life easy for the host or hostess. Whether you’re making pizza from scratch or ordering it for delivery, this is a great appetizer to keep things festive. Just remember to make enough to share. You won’t regret it.

MEATBALL LOLLIPOPS

Ingredients:

10 precooked frozen Italian meatballs, thawed

15 ounces of prepared marina sauce

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/8 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon marjoram

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

10 party picks

Instructions:

Cook meatballs in a microwave-safe dish, with lid, according to package directions. Drain. Add prepared marina sauce. Cook on 40% power in microwave-safe covered dish for 10 minutes. Pierce each meatball with a party pick and transfer to a platter, or 5 per serving. Spoon marinara sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle with oregano, basil, marjoram, and garlic powder. Divide the shredded mozzarella cheese between portions. Serve immediately.

Bleu Cheese Ball

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Bright Ideas: Bleu Cheese Ball! I’ll never forget my first taste of bleu cheese. I was having dinner with my father in a charming restaurant nestled along the Mississippi River in the heart of Nauvoo, Illinois. The waiter came over and offered us a complimentary tasting of their claim to fame, bleu cheese. It was aged in the local wine cellars, he boasted, while pouring a taste of wine for the perfect pairing. One bite, one sip and I was in love. My father, on the other hand, wrinkled his nose and said the cheese tasted like old socks. Needless to say, I finished his portion.

BLEU CHEESE BALL

Ingredients:

8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened

4 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Green onion snips

Instructions:

In a mixing bowl, combine Neufchâtel cheese, bleu cheese crumbles, shredded cheddar cheese, and Worcestershire sauce. Form into a ball. Roll in green onion snips. Refrigerate for one hour. Serve with crackers, pretzel sticks, and smoked almonds.