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Video: Memorial Day hors d'oeuvres

TODAY recipes
updated 5/22/2009 12:51:26 PM ET 2009-05-22T16:51:26

Recipe: Fresh crab and avocado dip with crispy tortillas

  • 4 firm but ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh crabmeat
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 red jalapeno, finely chopped
  • Canola oil, for deep frying
  • 12 fresh corn tortillas, cut into 8 wedges each
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Mash the avocados, sour cream, 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, and the chives in a large bowl. Season the avocado mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a clear glass serving bowl, forming an even layer and smoothing the top.

Squeeze the crabmeat gently to remove any excess liquid. Gently mix the crabmeat, mayonnaise, sliced basil, jalapeno, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice in another bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the crab mixture over the avocado mixture, forming a second even layer and smoothing the top. Cover and refrigerate the dip until ready to serve.

Heat 3 inches of oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the tortilla wedges and fry for about 3 minutes, stirring often so that they cook evenly on both sides or until they are crisp and golden brown.

Using a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, transfer the corn chips to paper towels to drain any excess oil. While the chips are still hot, sprinkle them lightly with salt.

Garnish the dip with basil leaves and serve with the tortilla chips.

Recipe: Roasted eggplant dip with crispy pita bread

  • For dip:
  • 2 eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
  • 4 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 head garlic, separated into cloves
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For pita chips:
  • 3 pita breads, split horizontally in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For dip:
Preheat the oven to 400°F and preheat a grill pan over high heat. Prick the eggplants all over with a fork and rub them with 2 teaspoons of oil. Place the eggplants on the hot grill pan and cook for 8 minutes, or until charred all over.

Meanwhile, place the garlic cloves on a sheet of foil and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Fold in the edges of the foil to form a packet.

Place the grilled eggplants and the pouch of garlic on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until the garlic is tender and golden, and the eggplants are very tender. Remove the eggplants and garlic from the oven and set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375F.

Remove and discard the skin from the eggplants and garlic. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Chop the eggplant pulp and garlic to form a coarse puree and place in a large bowl. Stir in the tahini, parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For pita chips:
Cut each pita half into wedges and arrange the wedges evenly over 2 large baking sheets. Brush the pita wedges with the olive oil and sprinkle with the parsley, and with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until the pita wedges are crisp and golden.

Let the chips cool and serve with the eggplant dip.

Recipe: Goat cheese bruschetta

  • 12 4-inch-long baguette slices (each about 1/3-inch-thick)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces ripe red heirloom tomatoes, coarsely diced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (preferably aged)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a heavy baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil over the bread slices and season with salt and pepper.

Toast in the oven until they are slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

Toss the tomatoes, shallots, vinegar, basil, garlic, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread the goat cheese over the toasted bread and top with tomato mixture. Drizzle the accumulated juices from the tomato mixture over the toasts and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings


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