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Video: Whip up these quick, delicious appetizers

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    >>> this morning on "today's holiday kitchen" easy appetizers filled with flavor. bernard, executive chef and coauthor of, i love the title of the book "flying pans." woo! bernard good to see you.

    >> good to be here.

    >> good to be anywhere. where were you when you saw this fantastic mushroom recipe?

    >> i was traveling in italy and actually it was about maybe like two or three years ago and everybody is cooking portobello mushrooms and a lady stuffed it with chicken sausage. i said what if we do something different and we are doing vegetarian. so what we want to do is we are marinating those portobelines and put sherry vinegar , some thyme, and --

    >> what was that you just did?

    >> maple syrup.

    >> ahh!

    >> you need the caramelization. so put it together and put it into this little baking dish and you cook it for about i would say five to eight minutes in the oven. check this out. they're really shrinking. some shrink, some do not.

    >> tell them about the shrinkage!

    >> we want to do the caramelization, so we have our red onions over here, red bell peppers , some brown sugar .

    >> more sweetness.

    >> a little bit more, and then a bit of balsamic vinegar . cook this for a few minutes, until it's nice and caramelized. it's really good.

    >> fantastic.

    >> a bit of apple juice .

    >> a little more sweetness.

    >> and that's it. so it's really cool because it seems sweet but it's not that sweet because you still have the pepper. when you're done this is pretty much what we have. because of the caramel of the acids, the onions really become bright red so this is what we do now. super easy. you make this in advance, everything is ready. you want to take some of this red onions here, transfer it into your little mushroom caps. so fill it up really nicely, and then actually you can just fix it from here. a little bit of mango and bleu cheese . maytag bleu, nice and sharp. i bake it in the oven. bake it again but you want to make those in advance before your friends arrive, refrigerate and then stick it in the oven for about five to seven minutes and you're done. this i discovered when i was traveling with my family, i was about that tall and i was in a place where they were roasting stuff and all of the flavors and i went hmm this sounds good. my mom is the one who got the recipe and then i put it into the book. so check this out. you cut this into strips.

    >> yes.

    >> and then what you want to do is you just skewer it. usually when we skewer we have a tendency to go up and down, up and down, up and down. for this one you don't need to. you go from the back and right in like this. look at this.

    >> what's the marinade?

    >> the marinade, so you have garlic, onion, lemons, chili, cumin, paprika and ginger and a bit of cilantro, marinate for two or three houshrs if you want to. if you don't care about the chicken, what you do is just put a little bit of eggplant and it's perfect. so you cook this for about three, four minutes.

    >> ladies, hello.

    >> happy holidays. sorry, hi! a couple of kisses.

    >> he doesn't greet me like that. what else do we have?

    >> we have some little cherry tomatoes stuffed with crab meat and chocolate truffles over there. all of the recipes are from my book "flying pans."

    >> we have it on our website.

    >> amazing cookbook i must say. thank you.

    >> happy holidays, everybody! . .

TODAY recipes
updated 12/19/2011 11:01:35 AM ET 2011-12-19T16:01:35

Recipe: Baked cremini mushrooms with caramelized onions, mango and blue cheese

Ingredients
  • For mushrooms
  • 16 cremini mushrooms, 2" cap
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For caramelized onions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced roasted red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For assembly
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, sliced into 16 pieces
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese
Preparation

For mushrooms:
Preheat oven to 400°. Remove stems from mushrooms. Clean mushrooms with dry cloth or brush. In mixing bowl toss mushrooms with remaining ingredients. Place mushrooms upside down on baking sheets. Cook 3 minutes. Set aside. Cool.

For caramelized onions:
Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer. Cook until liquid is absorbed.

For assembly:
Divide caramelized onions equally among mushroom caps. Top each with one thin mango slice and blue cheese. Bake in oven 3 to 4 minutes, until blue cheese is softened, but not melted.


Serving Size

Serves 8

Recipe: Marrakech chicken skewers with fennel date relish

Ingredients
  • For chicken
  • 12 6-inch bamboo skewers
  • 4 6-ounce chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced white onion
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal chili paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ** Canola oil spray
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 pineapple
  • For fennel date relish
  • 1 large bulb fennel, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted, 1/4 inch diced
  • 1/4 cup peeled, finely diced pineapple
  • 1/4 cup chopped smoked almonds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced mint
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preparation

For skewers:
Soak bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour prior to use. Cut each chicken breast into 3 equally sized strips. In a large mixing bowl, combine ginger, 1 tablespoon cilantro, paprika, cumin, garlic, olive oil, onion, lemon juice, chili paste and salt. Add chicken. Combine well. Cover. Refrigerate 2 hours. Cut pineapple into one 2-inch thick wheel. Lay on cutting board. Slice ¼ inch from one side to create base. Stand on serving platter. Thread each chicken strip onto each bamboo skewer. Place grill pan over medium high heat. Spray with canola oil. Sear chicken 2 minutes on each side or until done. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and remaining cilantro. Insert skewers into pineapple. Serve with fennel date relish.

Fennel date relish:
Thinly slice fennel crosswise using sharp knife or vegetable slicer. Add to mixing bowl. Combine with remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl.

Serving Size

Serves 12

Recipe: Florida stone crab stuffed cherry tomatoes

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry
  • Dash Tabasco
  • 1 cup stone crab meat
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoon s finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup finely diced apple
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 30 vine ripened large cherry tomatoes
Preparation

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, curry and Tabasco. Fold in crabmeat, celery, chives, and apple. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover. Set aside. Chill.

With paring knife, cut tomato 1/4 inch from top (reserve tops). With small melon baller, carefully scoop out pulp and seeds. Sprinkle tomato shells lightly with salt. Drain on paper towel 15 minutes. Stuff tomato shells with crab filling. Make sure to mound filling on top. Cover tomato with reserved top. (It's a hat for the tomato).

Serving Size

Makes 30 pieces

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