Love recipes that are light on the dishes? Try these appetizers for easy entertaining and finger-lickin’ fun!
1. Parmesan Chicken Fingers with Dipping Trio
“All children, except one, grow up.” J.M. Barrie didn’t know me when he wrote the opening line of his 1904 play Peter Pan. I don’t wear green tights, but I do have Tinker Bell (aka Lisa) fluttering over my shoulder, telling me what to do. She doesn’t like it when I go out with a wet head, hides her face as I dig for my Shirley Temple maraschino and cringes when I order off the kids’ menu. Methinks she’s trying to hide me at home, creating these crunchy, golden-brown chicken fingers coated in a Parmesan-panko crust. Easy and family friendly, the baked strips are serves up with a trio of delectable dipping sauces: honey mustard, creamy Parmesan and sweet ketchup. Tink really sprinkled her fairy dust on this one.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 cup butter, melted
Honey Mustard Dip
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp freshly ground Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch of kosher salt
Sweet Ketchup Dip
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1) For the chicken fingers, preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Cut each chicken breast into 4 or 5 lengthwise strips. Place eggs in a medium bowl. In another bowl, combine Parmesan, panko, oregano, salt, pepper and paprika. Dip chicken pieces in eggs, letting any excess drip off, then dredge in Parmesan-panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Place on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle chicken strips with melted butter and bake 8 minutes. Flip the strips and bake for another 8 minutes, until cooked through and crisp on the outside.
2) For the honey mustard dip, in a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise Dijon and honey until combined.
3) For the Parmesan dip, in a small bowl, whisk Parmesan, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic powder and a pinch of salt until combined.
4) For the ketchup dip, in a small bowl, combine ketchup, honey and Worcestershire sauce. All dips can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.
2. Asian Tuna Skewers with Wasabi Dip
When it comes to tuna, think outside the can because nothing tinned can top this recipe for fresh tuna, a tasty and exotic way to gussy up this deliciously mild, firm fish. Soak it in savory soy sauce, sear it to perfection, add a sliver of spicy ginger and dunk it in the piquant mayonnaise and, ta-dah, you’ve got terrific tuna.
1½ lbs fresh tuna, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1½ tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp wasabi powder
3/4 cup mayonnaise
30 toothpicks or small cocktail sticks
30 slices of pickled ginger
1) In a medium bowl, combine tuna and soy sauce. Marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.
2) For the dip, in a small bowl, combine water and wasabi powder. Stir to dissolve the powder and add mayonnaise. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
3) Once finished marinating, drain the tuna and pat dry with paper towel. Return to bowl and toss tuna with black pepper.
4) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add tuna, stirring constantly until browned on the outside but still pink inside, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. 5) Skewer 1 piece of tuna and 1 slice of ginger on each cocktail stick. Serve with wasabi dip.
3. Grilled Chicken Skewers with Fresh Peach Salsa
Spread the warm weather love with these easy and amazing Grilled Chicken Skewers topped with juicy Peach Salsa.
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Fresh Peach Salsa
3 peaches, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped
2 tbsp finely diced red bell pepper
2 tbsp finely diced red onion
Pinch kosher salt
4 cups baby arugula
1) Place chicken pieces in a shallow dish and toss with olive oil, lime juice, brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper. Let chicken marinate 30 minutes.
2) To prepare salsa, in a small bowl, toss together chopped peaches, lime juice, chopped jalapenos, red pepper, red onion and a pinch of salt to taste. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
3) Preheat a lightly oiled grill to medium-high heat and thread chicken pieces onto skewers. Discard any remaining marinade. Grill skewers for 10-15 minutes, turning after 8 minutes until juices run clear and chicken is cooked through.
4) To serve, place skewers over a bed of arugula and top skewers with peach salsa.
4. Taco Waffles
In queso you needed a family-friendly recipe for ANY meal, we’ve made Taco Waffles, corn waffles topped with tasty taco beef. That’s right, you can have this for breakfast, lunch or dinner – taco ’bout innovative and delicious!
1½ lbs lean ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1½ cups flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1½ cups whole milk
½ cup melted butter
1 tbsp honey
1½ cups fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar cheese
For the taco meat, in a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Cook 4-5 minutes until no longer pink. Drain liquid. Return to heat, add onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and oregano, cooking for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to assemble.
For the corn waffles, preheat waffle iron. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, milk, melted butter, honey and corn kernels. Stir just until moistened. Let batter rest for 5 minutes. Cook in waffle iron until golden brown and cooked through.
To assemble, sprinkle waffle with shredded cheese. Top with salsa, lettuce, taco meat mixture, more shredded cheese, avocados and tomatoes. Serve immediately after assembly.
5. Sweet and Sticky Honey Baked Chicken Wings
These delicious Sweet and Sticky Honey Chicken Wings are baked until intensely gooey and fall-off-the-bone tender – get ready for a family-friendly, finger-licking, fantastic feast!
3 lbs chicken wings, split, wing-tip removed
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp Heinz chili sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1) Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the wings in the dish and set aside.
2) In a small saucepan, combine honey, soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, chili sauce, garlic powder and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, pour honey mixture over chicken wings. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
3) Preheat oven to 375°F. 4) Remove wings from refrigerator and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in marinade for 55 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove foil cover and bake wings for an additional 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened.