Pecan and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large mushroom caps
Juice of 3 large lemons
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 medium onion, diced finely
2 green onions, diced
2 small cloves of garlic, minced
Dash pepper and salt
7 ounces fresh or frozen spinach cooked, drained and chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely diced pecans
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
2 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 ounce Gruyere cheese, shredded

Toss mushrooms in lemon juice. Let stand while making stuffing.

Heat oil with butter in heavy skillet or deep pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in pecans and cook about one minute. Add green onions and garlic and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add spinach and cook briefly until excess moisture has evaporated.

Let cool. Stir in cheeses, dill, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

Prepare fire. When coals are very hot, spread sheet of foil over grill and brush with oil. Punch 12 holes into foil.

Meanwhile, stuff mushrooms. Arrange on foil and grill until filling is hot, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: If using frozen spinach, prepare according to package omitting the salt and butter. Use water only.

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Fried Ravioli

Olive oil for frying
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups Italian style bread crumbs
1 box store bought bite size cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 to 2 cups marinara sauce, store bought or homemade, heated, for dipping

Heat 2 inches of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until a deep fry thermometer registers 325.

While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls.

Working in batches, dip the ravioli in the buttermilk to coat completely, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl. Dredge the ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet while you coat the remaining ravioli. When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan cheese and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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Chile Custard Squares

10 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 (7-ounce) can Ortega® Diced Green Chiles
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups crushed tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

Combine eggs, flour and baking powder in medium bowl. Add butter, Monterey Jack cheese, cottage cheese and chiles and butter; stir well. Spoon into 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Top with tortilla chips.

Bake for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F (175°C). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cut into squares.

Makes 12 servings.

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Picnic Eggs

4 hard-cooked eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
dash of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon melted butter

Cut eggs into halves. Remove yolks and mash. Season yolks with salt, mustard, cayenne, vinegar and butter.

Refill whites with mixture and press halves together and wrap each egg in a square of waxed paper; twist ends to keep the halves in place.

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Mexican Deviled Eggs

8 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup salsa
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1 tablespoon sour cream

Slice the eggs in half lengthwise; remove yolks and set whites aside.

In a small bowl, mash yolks with cheese, mayonnaise, salsa, onions, sour cream and salt.

Evenly fill the egg whites — filling will be creamy.

Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

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Italian Stuffed Eggs

4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Garnish: Paprika

Carefully remove yolk from the whites. Place the whites cut side up on a plate.

With the back of a spoon, press the yolks through a sieve into a small bowl or mash them in a bowl with a fork. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the parsley, garlic, salt and a generous grind of pepper. Mash with a fork until blended. Using a wooden spoon, gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Mash with a fork until blended.

Using a teaspoon, carefully stuff the egg whites with the yolk mixture, mounding the tops. Garnish each stuffed egg with a sprinkling of paprika.

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Deviled Eggs (2)

5 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
5 pimiento-stuffed green olives, halved
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Cut eggs in half lengthwise; carefully remove yolks.

Mash yolks, and stir in mustard and mayonnaise; blend well.

Spoon yolk mixture evenly into egg whites. Place an olive half in the center of each; sprinkle with Cajun seasoning.

Makes 10 eggs

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Phyllo Crab Cups

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons horseradish sauce
3/4 cup chopped imitation crabmeat
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
2 packages (1.9 ounces each) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and horseradish until smooth. Stir in crab and onion. Spoon 2-3 teaspoonfuls into each tart shell; sprinkle with paprika.

Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 16-18 minutes or until tops begin to brown.

Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

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Pepper Glazed Goat Cheese Gratin

1 pound creamy fresh goat cheese — softened
6 tablespoons apricot preserves
4 Peppadew peppers — finely chopped
1 pickled jalapeño — seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced cocktail onions
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry
To serve: — pita chips and toasted baguette slices

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Spread the goat cheese in a 5-by-8-inch gratin dish in an even layer.

In a small bowl, whisk the preserves with the Peppadews, jalapeño, onions, mustard and sherry. Spread the mixture over the goat cheese and bake on the top rack of the oven for about 5 minutes, until warm. Turn on the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes, until the topping is bubbling and lightly browned at the edges.

Serve hot, with pita chips and toasted baguette slices.

Servings: 8

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