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Italian Christmas Eve Appetizers
Whipped Baccala
Whipped Baccala
RECIPES
Whipped Baccala
Baked Stuffed Shrimp
Bagna Cauda
Clams Oregano Dip
Crisp Sardine Twists
Whipped Baccala
(Makes about 1-1/2 cups)

Whipped baccala can be made several days in advance and refrigerated.

Ingredients:

8 ounces boneless salt cod/baccala
4 cups water
2 small potatoes, unpeeled
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
Black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
About 12 slices Italian bread, cut in 1/2-inch slices and toasted
Vegetables, such as celery or carrots, for dipping

Directions:

Place the baccala in a dish of cold water.  Cover and refrigerate.
Change the water frequently for 2 days.  Drain well.

Cook the potatoes until tender; allow to cool and then peel.
Cut the potatoes into pieces; put into the bowl of a food processor.
Cut the baccala into small pieces and add to the food processor.
Add the garlic; pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped.
Season with pepper.  Add the cream, olive oil, and parsley.
Process until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Transfer the mixture to a small
bowl.  Arrange bread slices and vegetables around the baccala mixture.
Baked Stuffed Shrimp
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh bread crumbs *
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
About 1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled
1 large lemon, cut into wedges

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Grease a large baking sheet.
In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.
Add just enough of the olive oil to moisten the crumbs.

Place the shrimp in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Shape each shrimp
into a U or a circle.  Spoon a little of the bred crumb mixture onto each shrimp.
Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the crumbs are brown and the shrimp are cooked
through.  Transfer shrimp to a serving platter and garnish with lemon wedges.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

* For fresh bread crumbs, remove the crust from a piece of Italian bread.
Cut the bread into cubes and place in a food processor.  Process until coarse.
Spread the crumbs onto a plate and allow to dry at room temperature for 1 to 2
hours.
Bagna Cauda
(Serves 6 to 8)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup olive oil
8-10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
12 anchovy fillets
1/4 cup unsalted butter

About 8 cups of cut-up vegetables for dipping
Slices of Italian bread

Directions:

In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, garlic, and anchovies.  Cook over
low heat.  Mash the anchovies with a spoon until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in butter.  Pour the mixture into a warm chafing dish
or fondue pot.  Serve warm with vegetables and bread for dipping.
Clams Oregano Dip

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
1 green pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 onion, chopped
3 (6-1/2 ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup flavored bread crumbs
Paprika and Parmesan cheese for dusting

Italian bread slices or crackers

Directions:

Sauté pepper, garlic, oregano, parsley and onion in butter over low heat, 8-10
minutes.  Heat clams with their juices and lemon juice for 10 minutes. 
Combine the 2 mixtures.  Add the bread crumbs.  Mix well.  Place in a baking
dish.  Sprinkle the top with paprika and Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375
degrees F. for 15-20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Allow to cool 10 minutes.   
Serve with toasted bread slices or crackers.
Crisp Sardine Twists
(Makes about 48)

Ingredients:

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
1 (3-3/4 ounce) can sardines packed in olive oil, drained
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and minced
1 tablespoon green onion, minced
1 egg white

Directions:

Thaw sheet of puff pastry.  Place sardines in a small bowl and flake with a fork.
Stir in capers, onion, and egg white.

On a lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry into a 20 x 12-inch rectangle.
Starting at the 12-inch end, spread half of pastry with sardine mixture.
Fold remaining half of pastry over the filling to make a 10  x 12-inch rectangle.
Gently press layers together.  Cut pastry lengthwise in half to create two
5 x 12-inch rectangles.  Then cut each rectangle crosswise into 1/2-inch strips.
Place strips about 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets, twisting each strip
twice.  Bake at 400 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes, until pastry is puffed and
lightly browned.  These can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated, and
baked right before serving.
 
 
 
 
 
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