2016 Holiday Cookbook: Appetizers

Honey Coconut Chicken Wings
Honey Coconut Chicken Wings The Wichita Eagle

First Place: A Party “Shrimpsation”

2 to 3 pounds jumbo (21 to 25 per pound) cooked or uncooked shrimp

1 large, or 2 small, red onions, thinly sliced

1 yellow, red or orange bell pepper, sliced

4 bay leaves

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)

If using uncooked shrimp, bring 7 cups of water to boil in large pot; add shrimp and cook two to three minutes, or until shrimp tuns pink. Drain and lightly rinse with cold water. Peel shrimp, leaving on tails. If using frozen, cooked shrimp, thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Layer shrimp, red onion, bell pepper and bay leaves in an airtight container. Whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, garlic cloves, vinegar, Dijon mustard and red pepper, if using.

Pour over shrimp and chill at least eight, and preferably 24, hours, stirring occasionally. If desired, stir in 1/2 cup chopped basil one hour before serving.

Present in a large, clear glass bowl with a slotted spoon, or fill stemmed glasses placed on a colorful tray.

Adding some cheese, fresh vegetables and crisp crackers to the array supplies a delectable feast.

This super-easy appetizer is so popular with family and friends, I make certain there is always at least one bag of shrimp in the freezer. (Replenishing the larder when they are on sale!)

Katherine Hoffman, Wichita

Second Place: Jicama Mango Guacomole Dip

Chop up jicama, 1/2-inch diced

1 medium plum tomato, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 small onion, 1/4-inch dice

3/4 cup finely diced ripe mango

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 medium chipotle in adobo, minced (1 tablespoon)

1small jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 to 3 avocados, peeled and diced

Kosher salt, to taste

2 tablespoons lemon juice

In large bowl, gently stir the avacados with the tomato, onion, mango, jicama, cilantro, chipotle, jalepeno, lemon juice and kosher salt until well mixed but still slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla chips.

I use the chips made as a little cup, since this is pretty chunky; it makes it easier to eat. Enjoy!

Karen K. Lawless, Derby

Third Place: Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Makes 4 rolls

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 ounce cellophane noodles (part of 16-ounce package)

4 (8-inch) round rice-paper sheets

1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into long, thin matchstick strips

1 carrot, shredded

4 scallions (light green parts only), sliced into long, thin strips

1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

To make the sauce, combine the vinegar, lime juice, peanuts, sugar and salt; set aside.

Combine the noodles with boiling water in a medium bowl. Soak for 12 minutes; drain and pat dry.

Half-fill a large skillet with warm water. Soak 1 rice-paper round in the water until pliable, for about 30-45 seconds. Pat to remove excess water. Place 1/4 of the noodles on the bottom third of the rice paper; top with 1/4 each of the cucumber, carrot and scallions. Tightly roll the rice paper around the filling just to cover it. Place 1/4 of the parsley in a single row along the roll, then continue rolling up to form a neat cylinder. Place seam side down on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel.

With a serrated knife, slice each roll on the diagonal into four pieces. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Paula Richards, Wichita

Honorable Mention: Honey Coconut Chicken Wings

3/4 cup honey

1/4 cup orange juice

1 (7 ounces) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

4 pounds chicken wings, split at joint, tips removed

1 1/2 cups toasted coconut

Microwave honey for 30 seconds; add orange juice. Finely chop peppers and add to honey mixture with half of the adobo sauce. Pour over wings and marinate for at least one hour.

Line a 15-by-10-inch baking sheet with foil. Lay wings on baking sheet and sprinkle with half of the coconut. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn over, sprinkle with rest of coconut and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

I use kitchen shears to chop the peppers while still in the can, as it is less messy.

Terry Ast, Wichita

Honorable Mention: Spinach Balls

Makes 50 to 60 balls

2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen spinach, cooked and drained (squeeze dry)

2 packages Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix

1 cup (grated) Parmesan cheese

6 eggs (beaten)

1 cup butter (softened)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Freeze. Before serving, place balls on baking sheet while still frozen. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm. Put them in Crockpot to keep warm.

Lois Hofmeier, Harper

Cocktail Reubens

Makes about 20 slices

1 package (2.5 ounces) corned beef, sliced

1 cup sauerkraut, drained

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing

1 package party rye bread

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop corned beef, add sauerkraut, cheese and dressing; stir.

Arrange party rye on baking sheet. Top with Reuben mixture. Bake 10-12 minutes. Serve warm.

Reuben mixture can be made ahead of time and kept in refrigerator until ready to use.

Deborah Oller, Wichita

Smokie Links

1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce

1 jar (10 ounces) grape jelly

1 package (16 ounces) smoky links

Heat chili sauce and jelly in a saucepan over medium heat until just boiling, stirring constantly. Add smoky links and heat for at least three minutes, or you can just do them in a Crockpot.

Clara Barber Hess, Wichita

Coconut-Cumin Chicken Skewers

2 teaspoons sweetened coconut flakes

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground

2 tablespoons toasted whole cumin seeds, ground in a spice grinder

1 teaspoon sea salt

12 bite-size cubes fresh chicken, from breast or thighs

6 small blanched Cippolini onions, or use 6 green onion scallions instead

12 wooden skewers, soaked for two hours in water first to prevent burning

In a mixing bowl, combine the coconut, orange and lemon zest, honey, lemon juice, yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Stir gently, then refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

With a sharp knife, cut from the breast or thighs the 12 cubes of chicken, about 1 inch by 1 inch, meat only, no skin. In a shallow pie pan, stir together 1 teaspoon of sea salt and cumin powder. Remove the skewers from the water and place two pieces of chicken on each skewer, with or without onion between the cubes of chicken. Roll each skewer in the cumin and sea salt mixture, being sure to coat each side of the chicken.

On a hot griddle, or in a hot cast iron skillet, place about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, gently place the skewers to be cooked in the oil, being sure to rotate the skewers to cook each side of the chicken. Cook the chicken for about two minutes on each side.

Serve with the dipping sauce you made and put in the fridge.

This is in honor of my Great-Uncle Coy Yarbrough, who lived on top of Yarbrough Mountain. Hope you love them!

Melissa De Winter, Wichita

Frozen Fruit Cup

Yield: 15 8-ounce cups

1 can frozen orange juice (12 ounces) thawed

2 1/4 cups water

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

6 medium bananas

2 packages (10 ounces) frozen strawberries, thawed

(Fresh strawberries, peaches, blueberries, etc. may be used)

2 20-ounce cans pineapple chunks (do not drain)

2 cans carbonated lemon lime soda (16 ounces total)

In a 2-quart bowl, mix orange juice, water, sugar and lemon juice together until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

In a 4-quart bowl, slice bananas and combine with strawberries/fruit and pineapple chunks.

Set 15 8-ounce clear plastic cups in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Fill the cups with the fruit mixture. Pour orange juice mixture over fruit, leaving 1 1/2 inches space on top. Freeze the cups while sitting in pan.

Approximately 30 minutes before serving, remove frozen fruit cup from freezer. Defrost 20-30 minutes before serving and pour lemon lime beverage over slushy fruit when serving.

This is a recipe from my mom, Leona Kremer. My kids loved it when visiting grandma in Minnesota and always wanted to “make it like grandma.”

Jeanne Kremer-Cleary, Andover

Cheddar-Bacon Dip

1 package (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup low-fat sour cream

5 green onions, thinly sliced

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 jar (16 ounces) salsa (or you can use homemade)

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I use about 2 1/2 cups)

1 small package of bacon bits (easier than frying up and crumbling bacon)

In a bowl, beat together cream cheese and sour cream. Spread in a 13-by-9-inch dish. Combine onions and tomatoes and sprinkle over cream cheese layer.

Pour salsa over this layer. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and refrigerate. Just before serving, sprinkle with bacon.

Serve with tortilla chips.

This dip is so easy to make and so good! There is never any left and my family usually wants to know if I made 2 dishes!

Mona Engelbrecht, Wichita

Roasted Corn and Avocado Salsa


1 can fire-roasted corn, drained

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2-3 roma tomatoes, diced small

1/2 cup chopped onion or green onion

1 large avocado, diced small

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

8 ounces crumbled feta cheese


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon cumin

3/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the vinaigrette ingredients. Combine all the salsa ingredients except avocado in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over salsa and mix until combined. Add the avocado right before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

You might not need all of the vinaigrette; I usually have a little left over. You can also substitute Mexicorn for the fire-roasted corn.

Steph Hilger, Colwich

Veggie Bars

2 cans crescent rolls

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

1 package Hidden Valley salad dressing mix

Vegetables for garnish (carrots, celery, green onion, radish, red and yellow peppers, cauliflower and broccoli)

Cheddar cheese, shredded, to taste

Bottom layer: Spread out crescent rolls flat in a jelly roll pan and press seams together. Bake according to package instructions. Allow to cool.

Middle layer: Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese and salad dressing well and spread over crust.

Top layer: Chop vegetables very finely. Spread over cream cheese layer and then sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve and cut into bars.

Bet you can’t eat just one.

Betty Parsons, Wichita

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 jar (12 ounces) jalapeno pepper slices, drained

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion; include green top


1/4 cup packaged bread crumbs (Italian or regular)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Tortilla chips or crackers

Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Fold in jalapeno slices and green onions. Spoon into a lightly greased 1 1/2-quart. shallow baking dish or 10-inch pie plate. Combine bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle evenly over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

This is my version of a recipe my sister gave me. She uses sweet hot jalapenos (look for them in the pickle aisle at the supermarket) and a cracker crumb topping. Either way, this is always a hit at parties.

Peg Bowman, Wichita

Three Flavor Cheese Balls

Makes 3 cheese balls

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons grated onion

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons chopped almonds

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

1/2 cup coconut flakes

Let cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese stand at room temperature until softened. In mixer bowl, combine cheeses, onion, milk and Worcestershire. Beat with electric mixer until fluffy. Divide mixture into thirds, about 1 cup each. To one portion, beat in blue cheese; to a second portion, stir in the garlic powder. Shape each portion into a ball.

Chill 30 minutes until slightly firm. Roll the blue cheese ball in the chopped almonds. Roll the garlic cheese ball in the chopped pecans. Roll the plain cheese ball in the coconut flakes. Chill at least one hour more until cheese balls are firm. Serve with crackers.

I make these every Christmas potluck at work and now they are requested.

Karen Carter, Wichita

PB2 Quinoa Coconut Bites

Yields about 14

l cup quinoa flakes

3/4 cup PB2 powder mixed with 6 tablespoons water

l/4 cup honey

1/4 cup agave

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

l/2 cup cinnamon chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Measure quinoa into a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix PB2 powder with water and add to large bowl. Add all other ingredients. Stir.

Roll into balls of desired size (about 14) and place on a plate in the refrigerator until hard.

Serve as a munchies before the main course is served. Store leftovers (if there are any), in the fridge.

I used Rosemary Black’s Oatmeal Coconut Bites recipe as a base and adapted the ingredients to my family’s taste buds. My mother cannot eat many oats so quinoa was a great substitute. The PB2 powder saves calories while still packing in the protein. The cinnamon chips give this energy ball a metabolic boost and a satisfying taste.

Katelyn Hageman, Towanda

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