My friend Jane is usually one of my “consultants” for party foods that are tasty, popular with the masses, yet simple to prepare. So as the holidays approach, here are three recipes that she and I have used throughout the years. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
BROILED CRAB MELTAWAYS
Take 6 English muffins and slice them into halves and then into fourths and spread them out on 2 cookie sheets. Then mix together 1 stick of margarine, a 6 ounce jar of Old English sharp cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons mayo, ½ teaspoon garlic salt and a ½ teaspoon of seasoning salt with an electric hand mixer. Add a half pound (or more) of crab meat. I use a wooden spoon to mix in the crabmeat so that it doesn’t break down too much. Spread the cheese mixture onto the English muffins. And then, drum roll please, you FREEZE them until ready to use. The perfect make-ahead party food. Broil until golden brown and bubbly which only takes a few minutes. Figure on serving 2 – 3 pieces per guest, depending on how many other appetizers you are serving.
SAUCY CROCKPOT MEATBALLS
Combine 1 package of Stove Top stuffing (I normally use chicken flavor) with 1.5 pounds of ground beef, 1 lightly beaten egg and a ½ cup of water. Shape into small meatballs. You don’t have to precook them before placing into the crockpot, but most times I do just to get some of the fat off. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and cook for about 12 – 15 minutes. Then throw the meatballs into your crock pot with 4 cups of spaghetti sauce. Cook on High for about 2 – 3 hours, or on Low for 4 – 6 hours. Add peppers and mushrooms if you like, basil, oregano, bay leaves, crushed tomatoes, you be the judge. Typically I triple this recipe, but it serves 8 people as is. Serve with pasta or sub rolls.
Over medium low heat, blend 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons of flour until smooth. Add 1 can Cream of Shrimp soup, 1 can Cream of Celery soup, ½ cup chicken broth, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon each of salt, pepper and onion powder, ¼ teaspoon tarragon, ¼ cup sauterne or dry white wine. Heat through until almost bubbly, then add 1 pound of shelled and deveined shrimp. Continue cooking until the shrimp turn pink. This recipe makes 4 – 6 servings and should be served over rice. You can always make your rice look more festive by adding sautéed onion, peppers and/or jarred pimentos to it.