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Appetizers and Soups

Appetizers and soups are a great way to introduce a meal. Appetizers can also be used as hor'deurves for a cocktail party or casual get-together. Soups are a beautiful thing! Soups warm the body and the spirit. Making your own soups is quite easy and much more satisfying than the canned variety. Here are some gourmet recipes for you to enjoy.
  1. Cold Soups (10)
  2. Fall Soup Recipes (16)
  3. Potato Appetizers Recipes (2)

Sweet Corn Vidalia Onion Rings with Crabmeat Dip
Vidalia onions have a nice sweetness to them and make fantastic onion rings! This delicious recipe adds fresh and creamed corn to the batter for a wonderfully tasty combination. Crabmeat and cream cheese dip is the perfect accompaniment!

Grilled Clams and Chorizo
This a wonderfully tasty Latin dish that is quick and fun to make! Shellfish cooks very quickly on the grill and you know the clams are done as soon as the shells open. Easy! Delicious fresh clams and spicy chorizo sausage are added here to a nice smoked paprika and butter sauce. Clams are used in this recipe, but you could also use mussels or shrimp.

Simple Seafood Stew with Grilled Bread and Smoky Red Pepper Mayonnaise
This is an outstanding seafood stew that is quite simple to make. This tasty stew has a spicy twist with fresh jalapenos and Sriracha sauce. The recipe calls for a firm white fish but, for an even hardier dish, feel free to add clams, mussels, or shrimp.

Blueberry Zucchini Bread
This a wonderfully tasty quick bread that is moist and not too sweet. It makes a wonderful appetizer or accompaniment to coffee. It also makes a very delicious dessert with ice cream or whipped cream.

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Bread Pudding With Fresh Goat Cheese
Caramelized Vidalia onions are the star ingredient in this savory bread pudding - sweet Vidalia onions, creamy goat cheese, and fresh herbs.

Minted English Pea Soup
Fresh mint leaves are the perfect complement to spring peas. This soup is easy to make but has a very light and fresh taste. For 1 quart of fresh peas you will need about 4 pounds of peas in the shell or, if frozen, 2 10-ounce bags.

Seared Scallops, Tomato-Chile Jam, Fresh Peas, and Bacon
This dish is a beautiful symphony of flavors, the perfect way to start any elegant dinner. Scallops are perfectly seared creating a nice crunch on the outside while preserving that fresh ocean taste inside. The scallops are dressed with a home made tomato and chili jam, some fresh peas and bacon for a stunning flavor combination that will wow your guests.

Bacon-Wrapped Parmesan-Stuffed Dates
Only 3 simple ingredients create this very delicious hors d'oeuvres. Sticky, rich dates are stuffed with quality Parmesan cheese, wrapped with smokey bacon and baked to perfection.

Southern Pickled Shrimp
A staple of Southern cuisine, pickled shrimp is wonderfully easy to prepare but is packed with deliciousness! This shrimp has a very nice tangy, zingy flavor and makes a great appetizer. Just pass around with some toothpicks to pop them in your mouth!

Prime Mini Burgers with Cheddar Cheese and Remoulade
They sound fancy and celebrities love to snack on them, but in reality it's quite simple to prepare these miniature burgers. The key to great taste is to buy the best ground beef you can find.

Oysters Rockefeller Deconstructed
This a beautiful reinvention of a classic dish! Fresh oysters are gently poached in butter and topped with crispy bacon and hint of grated licorice root. Delicious!

Edamame Guacamole
Edamame (steamed soybeans) adds a nice flavor twist to traditional guacamole as well as creating a lighter texture. Serve with some warm tortilla chips or fresh vegetable crudités.

Spicy Tuna Tartare In Sesame Miso Cones
This is a signature appetizer of Chef Wolfgang Puck - one he always serves at the Academy Awards' Governors Ball. Sushi grade tuna is mixed with wasabi, pickled ginger, and a spicy chili mayonnaise then served in a baked miso cone.

Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes With Crème Fraîche And Osetra Caviar
Sometimes the simplest things are the most delicious! This is especially true with good caviar. Perfectly cooked potatoes and a dollop of crème fraîche pair beautifully with the salty magic bite of the caviar.

Sake Steamed Mussels
This delicious seafood appetizer is wonderfully simple to make but is packed with flavor - fresh mussels are cooked in sake with fresh ginger, garlic, and basil. If you don't have sake, a dry white wine will work just fine.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Truffles
Mac and cheese for grown ups! Three kinds of cheese - white cheddar, Gruyère, and Parmesan with brioche bread crumbs and black truffles. If you don't want to splurge on the truffles, just add a touch of truffle oil. It'll still be delicious.

Simple Fish Bouillabaisse
This is a very simple recipe for enjoying a wonderful warm and hearty stew created long ago in the port city of Marseille, France. Delicious and flaky white fish (such as cod or monkfish) is simmered with a rich fish broth, garlic and fennel, tomatoes and white wine.

Baked Zucchini Fries
French fried potatoes are delicious and will always be a favorite, but give these baked zucchini fries a try for something different. Healthier, yes, but absolutely scrumptious flavor will have everyone scrambling for the last fry. The tomato coulis is an upscale version of ketchup with pureed tomatoes, honey and fresh basil - goes wonderful with the zucchini fries!

Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Oysters with Rémoulade
This deliciously savory appetizer is of British origin, where fresh oysters are wrapped in bacon and then broiled. Here we deep fry them for an unbelievably tasty treat. The smokiness of the bacon pairs very well with the rémoulade, which also makes a great dipping sauce for other seafood.

Bourbon Street Buffalo Wings
Buffalo, New York is the birthplace of the simple but ingenious fiery snack - Buffalo Wings. Drew Cerza, the Wing King, is the founder of the National Buffalo Wing Festival. Drew has 3 rules for the perfect Buffalo Wing: 1. No breading. Breading is a big no-no. 2. Deep fry. You can cook chicken an hundred different ways, but deep frying is the...

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Tomato Passatina
Spaghetti with tomato sauce is a classic Italian-American dish that everyone loves. This version is more authentic Italian and is based on a meal cooked often by the fishermen of northeastern Italy. The wonderful flavor comes from shrimp cooked with the shell on and a little white wine. The shrimp are later ground up with a food mill to form a...

Double-Cheese Focaccia Bread with Tomato Sauce
You won't believe this scrumptious cheesy bread is gluten-free. Created by wunder-baker Peter Reinhart, this delicious focaccia is made with almond and sunflower seed flours and lots of yummy cheese! Served with the perfect accompaniment - a simple tomato sauce.

Spicy Tomato Gazpacho with Fresh Horseradish

Crab Toasts with Sriracha Mayonnaise
This is a wonderful appetizer using delicious crab meat and the Asian hot sauce, Sriracha. Sriracha is made from sun-dried chiles and garlic and is a very versatile condiment to have in the kitchen. The most popular brand in the U.S. is Rooster Sauce from Huy Fong Foods.

Pea, Pesto & Arugula Soup
Here is a beautiful soup recipe that uses the very first produce of the spring season - English peas, basil and arugula. Fantastic color and a complex, fresh flavor make this a terrific soup. Great served warm or cold.

Black Pepper Cheese Shortbread
If you love cheese straws, you'll love these delicious little crackers. Packed with white cheddar and garnished with pecans, they are the perfect starter to a fine meal or to serve as an appetizer at your next party.

Gingery Pork Pot Stickers
Made with ground pork, fresh ginger, tamari and sesame oil, these pot stickers are deeply flavorful and just as delicious as those from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

Ham Croquettes with Parsley Sauce
Croquettes are a traditional Southern finger food of the past that is once again coming to prominence. A doughy mixture of meat, poultry, or seafood is combined with eggs and spices, rolled in bread crumbs, then deep fried for a mouthwatering treat served with a mustard, tomato, or cream sauce.

Momma Rochelle’s Stuffed Quail Gumbo
French meets Cajun in this beautiful rendition of a Southern classic. Bacon and andouille sausage are sauteed together with rice and vegetables for the perfect Cajun stuffing. The duck or chicken stock should be very rich to have a good depth of flavor.

Butternut Squash Soup with Fontina Cheese Crostini
This velvety soup is perfect for a fall dinner or celebrating Thanksgiving. Butternut squash, carrots, garlic and fresh sage meld into a complex flavored soup that will delight your guests. Serve with crostini topped with Fontina cheese and more fresh sage for the perfect accompaniment.

Apple Pie Soup
This velvety smooth apple soup fills your kitchen with the delicious aroma of fall spices: cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Garnish with chopped, toasted walnuts, grated sharp cheddar cheese, or a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Chipotle Pulled Pork Tacos with Queso Fresco
Here is a delicious recipe for pulled pork tacos. Slow-roasted pork is shredded and mixed with chipotles, dried chiles, garlic and topped with queso fresco and a spicy red cabbage slaw. Great flavor and great eye appeal.

Garlic and Black Pepper Soft Shell Crab
This is a very simple way to prepare soft shell crab but all your guests will know is how delicious it tastes.

Squash Blossom Tortillas
Squash blossoms (also known as zucchini flowers) are in season from mid-spring to mid-summer. Commonly used in Mexican cooking, their bright yellow color and unusual flavor are great in quesadillas or soup.

Smokey Cheddar and Apricot Fritters
Deep fried fritters are the perfect snack food for your next party or get together. Smoked cheddar and dried apricots make for a rich, flavorful fritter with a bite of sweetness. The Creole Remoulade is a great zesty dipping sauce to match these fritters.

Peekytoe Crab Cocktail with Sevruga Caviar and a Lemon Verbena Vinaigrette

Roasted Tomato and Smoked Bacon Bisque

Belgian Ale-Braised Mussels
Mussels have a wonderful flavor and are inexpensive compared to oysters or clams. Belgium beer adds a nice earthy flavor. Smoked ham, garlic, and fresh herbs leaves create a delicious appetizer for your guests or add bread and a green salad for a complete meal.

Asparagus Bruschetta

Fresh Baked Pretzels
Fresh baked pretzels are the perfect snack food. Here is a simple recipe for great tasting pretzels that skips the traditional method of boiling the shaped pretzels. These are best baked and eaten the same day.

Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime
Simple and fast, these delicious grilled shrimp skewers have an Asian flare and make the perfect appetizer for a cocktail party or get together with friends.

Green Olive Dip
This wonderfully satisfying olive dip comes from David Leite who discovered it while dining at the restaurant A Bolota, located on the plains of the eastern Alentejo region in Portugal. Goes lovely with a plate of crudités, crackers or bread, or even on grilled fish.

Calamari a la Plancha
This Spanish-inspired calamari dish is a little on the spicy side and loaded with flavor with the addition of fresh garlic and parsley. Don't be shy with the seasonings, this dish is meant to be bold.

Southwestern Chile Cheese Fondue
Spicy and rich, this fondue blends Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese with light cream, cream cheese, and plenty of Southwestern flavor. Serve with tortilla chips, warm flour tortillas, chunks of cooked chorizo sausage, and plenty of crunchy fresh vegetables as dippers.

Truffled Jarlsberg and Wild Mushroom Fondue
Norway’s Jarlsberg cheese is mild and buttery. Here its flavor get a boost by adding a bit of Parmesan, to be sure it stands up to the woodsy flavors of wild mushrooms. A drizzle of fragrant truffle oil is added for that something extra. Serve this rich-tasting fondue with crusty bread cubes, tiny roasted new potatoes and artichoke hearts, cubes of firm polenta, Belgian endive leaves, or assorted raw vegetables.

Brie Fondue With Crab And Champagne
Here is a wonderfully rich fondue for your next party. Simple to make yet elegant and delicious. Serve with bread cubes or sticks, tiny roasted artichoke hearts, Belgian endive leaves, steamed fingerling potatoes, or asparagus spears.

Chicken, Coconut and Cilantro Soup
Here is a wonderful Southeast Asian-style soup that combines earthy with citrusy: classic pairing of coconut and cilantro with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Thai chilies, galangal root, and, of course, chicken. Delightful.

Oaxacan Tortilla Soup with Roasted Poblanos
There is something deeply satisfying about a good tortilla soup. The aroma is intoxicating. And don't forget the garnishes, which really make this soup.

Mussels al Diablo
This wonderful mussel recipe comes from Barcelona, the Spanish tapas restaurant in Connecticut. Simple ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, white wine and a little spice turn mussels into something spectacular.

Irish Potato Cakes with Sour Cream Sauce
Potato cakes make a wonderful starter or party appetizer. They're also work well at brunch time.

Mac's Pub Irish Stew
Here is a real Irish stew straight from Ireland. Mac's Pub in County Clare is one of the most traditional eateries with a history dating back to the 18th century.

Curried Coconut Wings
Here's a delicious twist on a classic comfort food. This sweet and spicy recipe for wings uses traditional Thai ingredients for wonderful flavor: green curry, lime, palm sugar and coconut.

Guacamole with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Here is a delicious twist on guacamole. Sun-dried tomatoes replace fresh for a nice tangy flavor. Goat cheese and bacon intensifies the flavor with a wonderful earthiness. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Seafood Stew - Recipes from the 2009 Inaugural Luncheon
The tradition of the Inauguration Luncheon dates back at least a century. Approximately 200 guests including President Obama, Vice President Biden, their families, the Supreme Court, Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership will attend the event in Statuary Hall. The menu by Design Cuisine is based on favorites of President Abraham Lincoln.

Chipotle Chili
There are many, many versions of chili. I like the more traditional versions. This one uses ground beef as well as steak for a nice texture difference. It has a bit of kick. If you like it hotter, just add more chipotle or jalapenos.

Herbed Goat Cheese Dip with Crudité
Here is a very simple but flavorful dip recipe. Goat cheese, chives, mint and cream combine for a perfect party appetizer.

Apple Rutabaga Soup
Here's a beautiful comfort soup from Chef Patrick O'Connell (The Inn at Little Washington). Delicious and complex flavors with a velvety texture. Perfect for those cold winter days.

Salmon Ceviche with Mango
Simplicity itself, this healthy ceviche dish makes a great starter or light dinner.

Eggplant Caviar
This is a classic vegetarian dip. Called the "poor man's caviar" because the eggplant seeds resemble tiny fish eggs. Check your local Middle Eastern grocery for pomegranate molasses or an online shop like igourmet.com

Baked Ricotta and Spinach Tart
Here is a beautiful savory deep-dish tart that works great as an appetizer or as a light meal (just add a crisp salad).

Lobster Corn Chowder with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Garden Tarragon
This wonderful lobster soup is elegant in its presentation but is really simple to make. Creamy and delicious with great depth of flavor.

Praline Bacon
Praline Bacon is great served with blue cheese. The crispy sugar-coated bacon and black pepper contrasts very nicely with the salty and creamy blue cheese. Makes a great appetizer or party hors d'oeuvre.

Spicy Steamed Mussels with Fennel and Tomatoes
I love mussels and I love the presentation. Here is a spicy version of the classic dish mussels in white wine. The peppery tomato broth is great with some crusty bread or over a bowl of hot noodles.

Sea Scallops with Pine Nuts, Artichoke and Mint
Simple to prepare yet with well-balanced flavors, this scallop recipe will delight your dinner guests.

Creamy Lobster Risotto with Clam and Vermouth Jus
Here's a wonderfully elegant lobster risotto that makes a great starter to dinner or even works as a light lunch.

Thai Lobster Bisque with Mango and Basil
A Bisque is a rich and cream soup. Shellfish is a common ingredient. Lobster bisque is a classic dish but Executive Chef John Doherty of the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City adds his own twist in this Thai version. A really beautiful dish.

Crab Cakes with Watercress and Blood Oranges
This delicious recipe comes from Drake's Beach Café in Inverness, CA. At Drake’s Beach Café, the best crab cakes are made from the Dungeness crab cooked the day they are caught. Watercress and blood oranges add color and a refreshing counterpoint to the fresh seafood. Grapefruit and arugula are also a good combination for this dish.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
Berghoff Restaurant's (Chicago) Chef Matt Reichel says this is his favorite soup to make for his kids.

Hot and Spicy Chicken Feet
Here's something different from Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods. Hot and spicy chicken feet are a favorite treat in Asian countries.

Seared Baby Squid with Parsley and Garlic
This classic French dish is so beautifully simple: fresh squid, parsley, and garlic. Fleur de sel is called for in this special dish but any nice sea salt will do.

Peach, Plum, Nectarine and Vegetable Tempura
Tempura is both delicious and easy to make. Vegetables are the most common but fruit makes a sweet treat. Stone fruits like peaches, plums, and nectarines hold up very well to being lightly fried. Apples can also be used.

Fava Bean Bruschetta
This tapas-style appetizer is a simple and delicious start to a meal. Served at MarketBar in San Francisco.

Smoked Salmon Crab Cakes
Smoked salmon makes a wonderful addition to classic crab cakes.

Portabellas with Arugula and Parmigiano
This is a beautifully simple recipe that is full of flavor. Earthy portabella mushrooms, spicy arugula, salty anchovies, and buttery Parmigiano cheese combine for a delightful starter to any fine meal. This recipe was created by Mario Batali.

Guacamole with Lobster
This is a wonderful version of guacamole created by Chef Julian Medina. Ripe avocados, lobster, mango, onions, and jalapeño combine for a delicious dip perfect for an upscale dinner party or weekend football game.

Asparagus Spring Rolls with Sweet Red Chili Dipping Sauce Recipe
Here's a refreshing twist for using asparagus. Crunchy and delicious, these party appetizers make a colorful presentations and they're healthy.

Baby Artichokes with Parmesan, Meyer Lemon, and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sometimes simple is best. This recipe only has a few ingredients. Use the best you can find and this dish is extraordinary.

Dungeness Crab Guacamole
Fast and easy, here is a beautifully rich dip for tortilla chips. Equally great for an elegant party or a football game. Created by Chef Jose Garces of Tinto restaurant in Philadelphia.

Avocado-Tomatillo Dip
This dip is great for chips, nachos, or veggies. Created by Chef Jesse Perez of Nava restaurant in Atlanta.

Crispy Asparagus Straws with Prosciutto
This recipe is so fast and easy but your dinner guests will never know. This is a great appetizer for parties but is so delicious you'll want to make it for your own family. The prosciutto is optional but adds a wonderful savory and salty flavor.

Grilled Seafood Skewers
Here's a tasty yet simple recipe for grilled seafood from author Terra Kiros. The recipe calls for shrimp, squid, swordfish, and tuna but you can use any fish that can be cut into cubes.

Coconut-Citrus-Marinated Lobster Ceviche with Mango Pico de Gallo
"This ceviche comes from the tropical region of the Yucatán, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Gently steamed lobster meat is marinated in a lush, tasty blend of coconut milk, citrus juices, chiles, and ginger. It is perfectly paired with a colorful pico de gallo made with mango, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and mint." -from the book.

Mango and Dungeness Crab with Avocado, Cucumber, Tomato, Crisp Lotus Root
This recipe was created by Los Angeles celebrity chef Joachim Splichal (Patina Restaurant) for the 59th Annual Emmy Awards Governors Ball.

Shrimp and Summer Fruit Kabobs
Here's a fast and easy way to prepare a light appetizer for a party. Fresh fruit, fresh herbs, and shrimp thrown on the grill make a delicious combination your guests will love.

Sautéed Prawns with Lemon and Tomatoes
Here is a very simple but elegant way for preparing shrimp. This recipe was created by Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade and Bocadillos, both in San Francisco.

Polenta with Tomato Basil Salsa
This dish makes a wonderful appetizer with bold, fresh flavors. If you don't care for polenta, you can serve tortilla chips with the Tomato Basil Salsa.

Grilled Scallop and Watermelon Kabobs
Here's a light and refreshing alternative to your typical outdoor grilling fare. These make a wonderful appetizer for an outdoor barbecue or hor'dourves for a cocktail party. They're also very simple and quick to make.

Shrimp Ceviche with an Avocado Twist
This recipe was created by Chef Rafael Palomino of Pacifico (Nuevo Latino Restaurant and Tapas) in New York, courtesy the Chilean Avocado Importers Association. This dish is not a true "ceviche" because the fish (in this case, shrimp) gets cooked before serving.

Aji Amarillo Avocado Tostada
This recipe was created by Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of the Border Grill Restaurant.

Potato Rajas and Avocado Tacos
This recipe was created by Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of the Border Grill.

Crab and Avocado Margaritas
Here's an easy avocado appetizer to jazz up your next party.

Monks Famous Seafood Chowder
Monks Bar and Restaurant (http://monks.ie)is a famous Irish landmark in the village of Ballyvaughan, in County Clare, located in the West of Ireland. The Seafood Chowder is their signature dish. Here's the recipe.

Baked Crab Cakes with Spicy Mango Lime Sauce
Crab cakes are a wonderful American tradition found in most areas of the country. Crab cakes are an elegant dish, yet comfort food at the same time. You will find them on the menus of five-star restaurants and at most hole-in-the wall crab shacks. This particular recipe uses fairly traditional ingredients for the crab cakes, but adds spicy...

Seared Bay Scallops with Brown Butter Emulsion
From Geoffrey Zakarian's Town/Country Cookbook. Geoffrey Zakarian has cooked at some of the world’s best restaurants over the past twenty years, including Arpège in Paris and the Dorchester in London. In New York City, he was the Chef de Cuisine at Le Cirque and Executive Chef of 44 at the Royalton and “21.” In 2001, he opened Town in midtown Manhattan and in 2005 Country near Madison Square Park.

Carpaccio of Sea Scallops with Sherry Vinegar—Honey Emulsion
Scallop appetizer recipe from Geoffrey Zakarian's Town/Country Cookbook. Geoffrey Zakarian has cooked at some of the world’s best restaurants over the past twenty years, including Arpège in Paris and the Dorchester in London. In New York City, he was the Chef de Cuisine at Le Cirque and Executive Chef of 44 at the Royalton and “21.” In 2001, he opened Town in midtown Manhattan and in 2005 Country near Madison Square Park.

Poached Lobster in Clarified Butter with Gnocchi and Green Pea Sauce
This beautiful lobster recipe comes from Master Chef Michel Leborgne, co-founder of the prestigious New England Culinary Institute in Vermont.

Vichyssoise - Chilled Potato and Leek Soup
Most consider vichyssoise to be a classic cold French soup although some believe it was invented in New York City at the Ritz Carlton. Regardless, this potato and leek soup remains a true classic with simply wonderful flavor.

Chilled Zucchini Soup with Basil and Walnuts
Here is a wonderfully simple recipe to make use of all those summer zucchini. Add some basil and walnuts and you have a delicious and refreshing soup that is great for an appetizer or a light lunch. It's low fat, healthy, and tasty. What more could you ask for?

Grilled Shrimp with Mint and Cilantro Pesto
Here is a wonderful grilled summer appetizer from Zov Karamardian's cookbook. Zov is the chef and owner of Zov's Bistro in Tustin, California.

Spicy Watermelon & Corn Salsa
Definitely not your average salsa, this wonderful watermelon and corn salsa stands apart from the tomato variety. A little spicy, a little sweet, this salsa works great as an appetizer served with corn chips. It can also be used as a condiment for tacos, burritos, or even a turkey burger!

Fresh Pea Soup with Morels
A mere handful of morels elevates an otherwise humdrum pea puree into a soup with swagger! These amazing springtime mushrooms have an unusual honeycomb surface and an earthy, woody flavor. Look for morels that are on the drier side, as a moist interior is a perfect habitat for unwanted guests. If you are unable to find fresh morels, try shiitake mushrooms; their flavor will marry well with the sweet-tasting peas. - from "Keep it Seasonal" by Annie Wayte

Pea Soup with Dungeness Crab & Chervil Cream
Recipe courtesy Chef Thierry Rautureau (The Chef in the Hat) of Rover's, one of Seattle's finest restaurants. Chef Rautureau will prepare this dish at the 7th Annual Heart's Delight Wine Tasting & Auction, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Donate at http://heartsdelight.kintera.org.

Duck and Roasted Garlic Quesadillas with Tomatillo Salsa
Here is a gourmet version of traditional quesadillas that will impress your guests. Flavorful, well-balanced, and not too spicy, these duck and roasted garlic quesadillas make wonderful appetizers for a get together with friends or a fancy cocktail party. To save time, all the components for the quesadilla can be made a day ahead of time. The final assembly and cooking only takes about 30 minutes.

Chilled Pineapple and Avocado Soup with Chipotle Cream and Pepitas
This is a wonderful soup that is both sweet and spicy. It makes a great appetizer or starter to a meal. You can also serve it for dessert by leaving out the chipotle. The pepitas (Mexican pumpkin seeds) add a nice crunch to contrast with the smooth texture of the soup. Very simple to make, you can whip up this soup in less than 15 minutes.

Herb Focaccia with Artichokes, Roasted Garlic, and Goat Cheese
Tangy and savory, this wonderful focaccia tastes complex but is simple to make. Serve as an appetizer or makes a great meal when accompanied by a bowl of tomato or mushroom soup.

Smoked Duck and Oyster Gumbo - Gourmet Soup Recipes
Gumbo is an African word that originally meant okra. Now gumbo refers to any kind of soup or stew with okra in it. Okra is used to thicken and flavor the dish. Gumbos come in all sorts using a variety of ingredients, typically what the cook can find in the pantry. This recipe contains oysters, andouille sausage, and smoked duck.

Michael Chiarello's Polenta Bites with Caramelized Mushrooms
The soft polenta I made at Tra Vigne was so good that customers were always asking me for the recipe. I was almost embarrassed to give it to them because it called for an amazing amount of cream. But what a delicious indulgence! This is the same recipe, but since you eat only a small bite when it is an appetizer, the amount of cream doesn't seem so extreme. - Michael Chiarello

Michael Chiarello's Crispy Sausage-Stuffed Olives
This appetizer packs a lot of southern Italian attitude into every bite. I love to catch my guests off-guard with a flavor they don't expect. The idea is to wake up their palates with some big tastes and textures. This dish does just that. - Michael Chiarello

Cider Glazed Roasted Root Vegetable Stew
This is a hearty stew full of flavor. Roasting the vegetables creates an extra depth of flavor. Low-fat and nutritious are added bonuses to this very delicious meal.

Turkey Cranberry Stew
Sweet and earthy, turkey cranberry stew is delightful combination of turkey, fruit, and vegetables. Healthy and low fat, but full of flavor. A simple fall recipe that makes good use of leftover turkey.

Trio of Wild Mushrooms Soup
There's more to mushrooms than just the white button variety. Mushrooms have a wide variety of flavors, aromas, and textures. This soup is a great example of showcasing the flavors of wild mushrooms. The depth and complexity of flavors found here create a very interesting soup that is both comforting and delicious.

Gingered Pumpkin Soup with Gruyere Cheese
A little sweet and a little spicy, this earthy pumpkin soup will surely keep you warm on those cool, dark days.

Farmhouse Style Corn Chowder
Corn chowder is an American classic. Sweet corn and savory bacon are combined with onions and potatoes to create a hearty chowder that is a meal in itself.

Apple and Brie Soup
This rich, velvety soup brings together the classic combination of brie and fresh apples. A delightful starter to any meal, the addition of bread makes this soup into a meal itself. A tasty recipe with only a minimum amount of effort needed.

Susanna Foo's Wok-Shaking Shrimp with Pink Peppercorns
"The shrimp are fried in their shells, which keeps them tender and juicy. In the orginal version, they're coated with a spicy mixture of sea salt, white pepper, chopped scallions, and ginger. I prefer to use pink peppercorns, which I like because of their subtle spiciness." - Susanna Foo

Beef Carpaccio with Arugula, Parmesan, and Balsamic Vinegar
This is a very simple recipe that celebrates good beef. It may be used as wonderful starter for a dinner party or as an elegant hors d’oeuvres.

Jalapenos Stuffed with Smoked Trout, Bacon, and Avocado
Not your ordinary stuffed jalapenos. Smoky fish and spiciness combine for a party favorite.

Grilled Sardines with Mint Salsa
Sardines have gotten a bad reputation. Sardines are more than the oily, salty versions we find in cans at the supermarket. Fresh sardines are a gourmet delight. Here is a simple recipe that tastes sublime and make a great presentation for your next party.

Caviar with Blinis and Crème Fraîche
The delicate taste of caviar should be enjoyed on its own. Two traditional accompaniments, blinis and crème fraîche, will add to the experience without overwhelming the caviar.

Gazpacho is a cold, tomato soup that is refreshing on a hot day and adds variety to any meal. It's the perfect recipe to use those wonderful fresh tomatoes.

Foie Gras Mousse
This very simple recipe combines the luxurious fattiness of foie gras with the tartness of apple brandy. A divine combination that is sure to be a party favorite.

Warm Eggplant and Goat Cheese Packages
This recipe comes from Chef Jeffrey Nimer, private chef to Hollywood's elite. "Goat cheese is one of my favorite cheeses. In addition, goat cheese is so versatile that it can be combined with just about anything and still taste great. The eggplant is a staple in my home, and it too is very versatile. There is a bit of smokiness that comes out...

Bruschetta with Jamón Serrano, Fennel, Olives, and Pecorino Romano
The basis for bruschetta is simple, grilled bread with a little olive oil on top, salt and pepper, and whatever else your heart desires. This recipe has a rich, deep flavor with Serrano ham, Pecorino Romano cheese, black olive tapenade and fresh fennel. If you can't find olive tapenade, you can make your own by finely chopping together black olives, garlic, capers, olive oil and anchovies (optional). This recipe was created by Chef Shaun Doty (Mumbo Jumbo, Atlanta) for the James Beard House.

Warm Oysters with Cucumber & Caviar Butter
This is wonderful way to serve oysters. Warming the oysters brings out the flavor and the brininess pairs well with the salty caviar.

Cumin-scented Tomato Soup with Lobster and Corn Salsa
This deliciously hearty soup uses a wonderful combination of flavors with lobster, tomatoes, corn, fresh garlic, spices and a little crème fraiche to finish it.

Moroccan Charoset Truffles with Dates, Almonds and Apples
Charoset is a paste made from fruit and nuts and rolled into balls. Traditionally served during Passover Seder, the color and texture are meant to represent the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt. Charoset comes from the Hebrew word for clay.

Persian Style Chicken Soup
Here is a beautiful version of chicken soup with lime and garnished with fresh herbs and fava beans. "Fava beans are always sprouting around this time of year and strongly represent a staple food of the Egyptians, one that the Jews of the Exodus had a strong craving for during their Journey to the Promised Land."

Spicy Duck and Corn Empanadas
These delicious baked empanadas are a perfect finger food for your Cinco de Mayo party. Shredded roast duck with Mexican cheese queso fresco, chipotle chiles, and lots of spices and herbs fill these bite sized appetizers.

Heirloom Tomato–Avocado Tartare
This 'raw' recipe pops with the flavors of summer! Beautiful, juicy heirloom tomatoes, fresh avocado, cucumbers and oyster mushrooms create a delightful contrast of flavors. This makes a great appetizer with tortilla chips or crackers, or serve as a side dish at your next barbecue.

Baby Beet Tarte Tatin
Tarte Tatin is classically made with apples but baby beets make an incredible savory substitute! Wrapped in puff pastry and drizzled with a green onion vinaigrette, this dish makes the perfect spring appetizer or side dish. If you like, crumble some feta cheese over the top.

Tomato Fennel Soup with Polenta Croutons - Summer Soup Recipe
This delicious soups is velvety smooth but quite hearty. Fresh tomatoes, onion, and fennel are roasted to bring out the best flavor, seasoned, and pureed. Served with fried polenta croutons that match the soup wonderfully.

Peach Bruschetta
This is a beautiful summer treat with fresh peaches, walnuts, garlic and herbs, and some shaved Parmesan cheese. Delicious!

Squash Stuffed with Leeks
Fresh thyme and leeks roasting in the oven create a heavenly aroma for this delicious squash dish. The round acorn squash makes the perfect size for individual servings but butternut squash would work just as well.

Seared Scallops with Lemongrass Crème Fraiche
Asian cuisine fuses with French style in this lovely appetizer recipe that's simple to make. Seared scallops are placed on a bed of watercress with teriyaki sauce and an Asian-inspired crème fraiche with sour cream, rice wine vinegar and lemongrass.

Sweet Pea Guacamole
Just like traditional guacamole, only made with peas. Fresh garden peas are the best but frozen will work just fine. Serve with blue tortilla chips and plantain chips.

Latkes - Potato Pancakes
Latkes are fried potato pancakes traditional eaten during Hanukkah. Made from grated potato, flour and egg, they are sometimes flavored with onion or garlic and served with applesauce or sour cream. True comfort food, here is a recipe for latkes that hits the spot.

Parsnip Soup with Porcini Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots
This wonderful creamy winter soup is full of flavor with loads of spices and fresh herbs. It works great for Sunday dinner or as an elegant starter for dinner with friends.


Lobster & Cheese Fondue
This beautifully simple fondue is the perfect accompaniment to freshly steamed lobster. Swiss and Gruyere cheese are melted and mixed with white wine and spices for a creamy and rich dip for your chunks of luscious lobster meat.

Top 10 Super Bowl Recipes
Looking for something delicious to serve at your Super Bowl party? Try some of these fantastic appetizers to wow your guests. Definitely different than the norm, these foods are as impressive as they are tasty!

Vegetarian Chili Verde
Here is a beautifully light dish that is very healthy and delicious. There are no beans in this chili verde but instead a wonderful assortment of chilies, potatoes, tomatillos, and onion - along with a variety of spices. Great flavor!

Green Pea, Lettuce, and Fennel Soup
Here is a beautiful and delicious soup to serve using vegetables fresh from the garden. Fennel and shallots are lightly sautéed in butter then pureed with lettuce and peas for a complex starter to an elegant meal or as a light lunch.

Classic Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Stew)
Boeuf Bourguignon is a wonderful comfort food that is a favorite in France. If you can't make it into a nice French restaurant anytime soon, this recipe is a very good substitute. It will take you a bit of time, as the beef is slow cooked until it's very tender, but it's definitely worth the wait! With bacon, carrots, onions, fresh garlic, mushrooms, herbs, Cognac, and wine - this stew is definitely a meal in itself.

Grilled Asparagus and Leeks with Romesco Sauce
This is a beautiful recipe for asparagus prepared in an Italian style. Delicate baby leeks pair wonderfully with the slight bitter sweetness of the asparagus. Both are grilled which adds even more flavor. The sauce is heavenly by itself with grilled vegetables, dried peppers, almonds and olive oil.

Simple Pad Thai
Pad Thai is a classic Asian dish that is a favorite to many. While we might easily order it at a restaurant, it seems on the surface to be daunting to prepare at home. Here's a simple version that's quick but still has lots of flavor and that authentic pad thai flavor.

Butternut Squash Bread Soup
Imagine a smooth, velvety butternut squash soup combined with the classic French Onion Soup! Baked in the oven with hunks of bread and lots of gooey cheese, this is one hearty soup very fitting for a meal all by itself.

Shrimp and Cheese Grits with Spicy Garlic Sauce
This Low Country favorite from down South is big on flavor! Cheesy grits cooked right are the perfect background for the shrimp. No sausage is used in this one, but feel free to throw some in if you like. A delicious sauce of mushrooms, garlic, and hot sauce add just the right amount of kick to this dish.

Watermelon Gazpacho - A Light and Cool Summer Treat
This wonderful chilled soup is the perfect way to celebrate the bounty of summer. This gazpacho has all the makings of a traditional gazpacho - fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, basil, lime juice, and chilies (in this case, Serrano). But we add a heaping dose of fresh seedless watermelon and some freshly minced ginger and we take it to a whole another level.

Curry Noodles with Chicken
This is a wonderful recipe for a Thai comfort food favorite - Curry Noodles with Chicken. All of the ingredients can be found at the supermarket but it will definitely have a very authentic flavor. The list of ingredients is a bit extensive but the cooking process is quite simple and doesn't take long to complete.

Moqueca de Camarão - Brazilian Shrimp Stew
Moqueca, a delicious comfort food, is a traditional Brazilian fish stew except here we've substituted white fish with small shrimp. This is a great use of smaller shrimp which is typically much cheaper than their larger cousins.

Stuffed Onion with Fonduta, Amaretti, and Sage
This is an incredibly elegant dish perfect for a nice dinner party. Lots of ingredients and somewhat time consuming, the results are very impressive and incredibly delicious! The roasted onions are stuffed with a mixture of pancetta, veal, herbs, rum and cream among other treats.

New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp - Grilled Shrimp Recipes
Here's a wonderfully flavorful recipe for grilled shrimp that is easy to prepare. The shrimp are cooked on the grill with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Then you toss them in a zesty bbq sauce.

Fresh Sweet Corn Gazpacho
Cold gazpacho soup is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day. This corn gazpacho recipe uses fresh summer tomatoes and sweet corn at the peak of ripeness. Here we serve it with slices of avocado and a pinch of cayenne.

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