IT’S fast approaching the festive weeks before Christmas, and with that comes many limes and parties. Appetiser or finger foods top the list for being satisfying and delicious when serving guests. Most recipes can be made ahead in part or in full, all it takes from the host/cook is a certain degree of preparedness. You can have a full appetiser party or they can be incorporated as the starter to a dinner party. Either way they are always welcome especially if they are served up warm.
For the dough
4 cups flour
2 tsp paprika
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup water
Combine flour with paprika and salt.
Cut in shortening until it’s the size of small peas.
Add water and brig the mixture together.
Refrigerate until ready for use.
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh herbs
2 pimento peppers
1 onion, chopped
1 lb chicken or beef, ground
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup sliced green olives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 hot pepper, chopped
1 beaten egg
Heat oil in frying pan, add herbs, garlic, pepper and onion, sauté until tender about 4 minutes, add meat and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
If your meat seems lumpy, then put it into your food processor bowl and process for 30 seconds, just until fine.
Remove, add raisins and olives, season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Roll each piece of dough into a 4 inch circle.
Place about one tablespoon of filling in the centre of the lower half.
Fold over and seal using a little water if necessary.
Place on a greased baking sheet, brush with beaten egg.
Repeat until all dough and filling are used up.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden
Makes 20, serve with spicy tomato salsa.
Caribbean fish balls with pink sauce
1 lb boneless fresh fish
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs lime juice
½ cup cornstarch
Vegetable oil to fry
Place the fish, 1/4 cup cornstarch, basil, chives, cayenne salt, pepper and limejuice into a food processor, process to a paste.
Place the rest of the cornstarch into a plate, then heat some oil in a frying pan or wok.
Form the paste into small balls about one inch in diameter, and dredge in cornstarch, fry until golden and drain on paper towels.
Makes 15 to 20.
For the dip combine ½ cup each of low fat mayonnaise, and unflavoured yoghurt, add 2 tablespoons horseradish sauce, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/4 cup finely chopped chadon beni or cilantro,
Add 2 tbs ketchup.
Mix and taste and adjust seasonings.
Makes about one cup.
Crispy fried shrimp with siraccha mayo
24 large shrimp, deveined, shelled with tails intact
2 tsp salt
½ cup all purpose flour
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp curry powder
1 tbs baking powder
½ tsp salt
1½ cups club soda
Coconut oil to fry
Combine one cup mayo with one tbs Siraccha hot sauce.
Place shrimp in a bowl, cover with water, add salt and leave for 10 minutes.
Wash shrimp and drain well, pat dry with paper towels.
Place flour, curry powder, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
Add club soda and stir well.
Pour oil into a wok or deep pan, heat.
Dredge shrimp in flour, hold the shrimp at the tail and dip shrimp into batter, do not cover tails.
Drop into hot oil and fry until golden on all sides.
Drain on paper towels.
Serve hot with Siraccha mayonnaise.
Arepa coins with creamy crab
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups hot water
½ cup butter
2 tsp salt
½ cup grated cheese
½ cup chopped chives
Vegetable oil to fry
Combine butter with cornmeal and rub into flour, add cheese, chives and salt, add water and knead to a soft dough. Roll to ½ inch thickness and stamp out 1½ inch diameter pieces. Preheat oil in frying pan and shallow fry until golden and cooked, about 5 minutes, drain and serve topped with topping of your choice, eg. salsa, spicy shrimp, creamy crab Makes 32
1 cup crab meat, picked over
1/3 cup mayonnaise
½ tsp pepper sauce
1 tsp fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, chives and parsley).
Combine all the ingredients, spoon onto arepa coins and serve immediately.
For a lighter side: Use low-fat mayonnaise