Category Archives: Appetizer

Pig Candy – Wyoming

Fries dipped into a milkshake. Chocolate covered pretzels. Prosciutto wrapped melon. Sweet and salty pairings may seem incongruous (see our recent Fluffernutter post) but they are actually delicious. Now comes Pig Candy (a.k.a. candied bacon) made famous

Pig Candy (aka candied bacon)

 

by Café Genevieve in Jackson Hole. You could order this online for princely sum, or try our recipe. Just leave out the cayenne pepper if you don’t want the heat. You can also make this on the grill if you prefer.

The National Elk Refuge near Jackson Hole is a conservation area run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Its mission is to provide, preserve, restore, and manage the winter habitat for the Jackson Elk Herd. The refuge is also habitat for endangered species, birds, fish, and other big game animals.

Pig Candy

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 8 slices thick cut bacon
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

With a fork, combine brown sugar and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Lay bacon on slotted broiler pan with foil underneath to catch drippings. Spread half the brown sugar mixture in an even layer on the bacon, making sure there are no clumps of sugar. Place pan in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and brush on half of the maple syrup. Turn the bacon over and spread on the remaining brown sugar mixture, followed by the rest of the maple syrup. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crisp and browned. Let cool completely before serving.

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Buffalo Cauliflower with Maytag Blue Cheese Dip – Iowa

Maytag Blue cheese is one of Iowa’s most famous products. First produced in 1941, this family run dairy (the same one associated with the appliances) is in its fourth generation of making cheese and

Buffalo Cauliflower with Maytag Blue Cheese Dip - Iowa

uses a small batch method. If you like the flavor of blue cheese, Maytag will knock your socks off. It’s that good.

We love a good blue cheese dip but man cannot live on dip alone so we bring you Buffalo Cauliflower. This alternative to Buffalo wings is much lower in fat but has plenty of flavor and is mighty spicy. You’ve been warned.

Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, Iowa, offers daily tours focusing on the history and packaging (note: this is not a production tour), Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 and Saturday 9:00 to 4:00.

Buffalo Cauliflower with Maytag Blue Cheese Dip

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For cauliflower:

  • 4 cups cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For dip:

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled Maytag blue cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine milk, water, flour, and spices (garlic salt through pepper). Toss cauliflower into mixture and mix until it is completely coated. Place cauliflower on baking sheet covered with parchment paper, shaking off the excess batter. Cauliflower should be on a single layer and the pieces should not be touching. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until cauliflower just begins to brown.

In the meantime, in a large, microwave safe bowl, add butter to the hot sauce. Microwave for one minute or until butter melts. Stir until butter is incorporated. At the 20 minute mark, remove cauliflower and toss it in the hot sauce mixture. Return cauliflower to baking sheet and bake another 20 minutes.

In the meantime, make the blue cheese dip by combining all ingredients including salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower will be done when it is browned. Serve immediately with blue cheese dip.

Walla Walla Onion and Mango Salsa – Washington

The next time you cut a sweet onion and don’t cry, thank a soldier named Peter Pieri. Pieri is credited with bringing sweet onion seeds from the island of Corsica to Washington in the 1880s. Sweet onions

Walla Walla Onion and Mango Salsa - Washington

have a very low amount of pyruvic acid which is the compound that makes you cry and gives onions their pungent bite. Walla Walla sweet onions are Washington’s official state vegetable thanks to a persistent group of schoolkids who lobbied the state legislature.

Sweet onion season is fleeting, just like summer. This recipe, slightly adapted from the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee, pairs the allium with summer fruit stand-outs mango and kiwi to make a terrific fruit salsa that will be a hit at your next patio gathering.

Towering over 14,000 feet, Mount Rainier makes its presence known, just 64 miles southeast of Seattle. With over 27 major glaciers and countless smaller ones, this peak supplies six rivers and is also an active volcano.

Walla Walla Onion and Mango Salsa

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Walla Walla onion, diced
  • 2 mangos, peeled and diced
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Juice from 1 lime

 Instructions

 In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

Crab Salad – Maryland

When you think of Maryland, you probably think of the Chesapeake Bay and if you think of the Chesapeake Bay, you probably think of blue crabs. The bay is an estuary (where saltwater and freshwater

Crab Salad - Maryland

mix) and the perfect environment for blue crab. In fact, the Chesapeake Bay produces 50 percent of the blue crab harvest in the United States.

If it’s hot where you are, you might welcome this no-cook crab salad recipe that does not involve an oven. We served this on endive boats for a lovely appetizer pre-concert, but you could put it on crackers or even a soft roll for a crab salad sammie.

Check out the wild horses on Assateague Island National Seashore, near Ocean City, where you can swim, hike the beach, kayak, fish or birdwatch.

Crab Salad

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 8 oz. fresh crab meat
  • Old Bay seasoning, to taste

Instructions

In a medium bowl, add celery, scallion, mustard and mayo. Mix until well combined. Gently fold in crab meat, taking care not to break up large lumps or claw meat. Add Old Bay seasoning to taste. Let chill before serving.

Smoked Salmon Dip – Alaska

 We’ve talked before about Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, a.k.a. King Salmon, a.k.a Chinook salmon, the state fish of Alaska. Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which may aid in heart health,

Smoked Salmon Dip - Alaska

 

reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of stroke.

We especially love the flavor of smoked salmon. We’ve been buying Costco’s Alaskan version for several years now (they also carry Norwegian smoked salmon). Wild caught, it contains no artificial colors or preservatives. We took a few liberties with Ina Garten’s

Smoked salmon dip Smoked Salmon Dip. Double this recipe if you’re having a party, otherwise, it’s the perfect amount for a pre-dinner nibble with some raw veggies and crackers.

Rising over 20,000 feet, Denali is North America’s tallest mountain. Sitting amid 9,400 square miles of parkland, this jewel in the national park system is bigger than the state of New Hampshire and contains only one road.

Smoked Salmon Dip

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

 In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, mix cream cheese with yogurt until smooth. Add lemon juice and horseradish. Mix again. With a wooden spoon, add salmon and mix until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled with crudité and crackers.

Mash Up Fun: Chile Relleno Eggrolls – Colorado

Everyone likes chile relleno and who doesn’t like eggrolls? Combine the two, and you’ve got a chile relleno eggroll. As ethnic foods go, it’s as mashed up as America. A traditional Tex-Mex dish, chile relleno is

Chile Relleno Eggrolls - Colorado

a usually a poblano pepper, stuffed with cheese, covered with an egg batter and then fried. The chile relleno eggroll, a Denver dish, features all of the cheesy goodness of chile relleno within the crispy confines of an eggroll wrapper. Chile Relleno EggrollsWe used sweet mini peppers as two of these fit nicely in the eggroll dough. We used Monterey Jack cheese but feel free to use cheddar, havarti or whatever is your favorite.

We thought these would be more challenging to make and were surprised by how easy they were. The trickiest part is wrapping the eggroll, but it’s a breeze if you follow our video tutorial (see our Instagram video here).

You only have a few more weeks to check out “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, closing April 2, 2017.

Chile Relleno Eggrolls

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 8 sweet mini peppers, 2 inches or less
  • 4 eggroll wrappers
  • Monterey Jack cheese, cut into sticks
  • Water in a ramakin
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Cut stem from peppers. Make a small slice vertically down each pepper (do not cut in half) and remove seeds. Stuff with a chunk of Monterey Jack cheese, enough to fill the cavity of the pepper. Lay eggroll wrapper out like a diamond. Place two peppers on the dough horizontally, leaving a half inch of eggroll dough on either side. Apply water along the bottom two edges. Fold bottom point up. Fold in edges. Apply water so that edges adhere to dough. Roll rest of eggroll up tightly like a cigar and apply water to remaining point until it adheres to the dough. Repeat with remaining peppers. Cook in vegetable oil heated to 350 degrees until golden brown, approximately 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Eat as soon as eggrolls are cool enough to handle while cheese is still gooey.

Deviled Eggs with Crab – Delaware

We here in the StateEats Kitchen love our party foods. Whether it’s flatbread, chicken wings, potato skins or even toasted ravioli, we’ve

Deviled Eggs with Crab - Delaware

always said we could eat an entire meal of just appetizers. Lucky for us, the big game is this weekend where we intend to do just that.

Deviled eggs are a standard at football parties across the country but deviled eggs with crab? Oh, that brings it up to a whole new level. This is a more decadent deviled egg with a nod to the First State’s most cherished product that brought in a dockside value of $3.76 million in 2014. We used sriracha mustard to amp up the spice but if you can’t find it, just use equal parts Dijon and sriracha sauce, or skip the sriracha altogether if you don’t want the heat.

Check out the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover. This small but quirky museum is named for Delaware native Eldridge Reeves Johnson, who founded the Victor Talking Machine Company.

Deviled Eggs with Crab

  • Servings: 6-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • 4 ounces lump crabmeat
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Old Bay seasoning (for topping)
  • Chive tops (for topping, optional)

Instructions

Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop out egg yolks and place in small mixing bowl. Add mayo, mustard, relish and chives. Mix well. Gently add in lump crabmeat and stir just until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture back into the egg whites. Top with Old Bay seasoning and chive tops if using.

Cheese Crisps – Arizona

We’ve talked before about Arizona’s unique state symbols. Any state that has an official march song, an official state neckwear and an official state fossil also needs an official state snack. We suggest Cheese Crisps.

Cheese Crisps - Arizona

Purportedly first invented in Tuscon at El Charro Cafe, this tasty treat is sort of an open faced quesadilla. It works best with thin flour tortillas so leave those thick tortillas for your burritos and fajitas. Use whatever cheese you like — we used a combo of cheddar and asiago — and top with mild (or spicy if you dare) chili peppers.

Check out the array of night programs at Saguaro National Park with two distinct districts, each outside of Tucson, including moonrise hikes, night walks, and star parties.

Cheese Crisps

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 2-3 teaspoons butter
  • 2 cups grated cheese (we used cheddar and asiago)
  • ¼ cup anaheim or poblano chili pepper, chopped

Instructions

Lightly butter both sides of tortillas. Place them on a wire rack and then place on top of baking sheet. Place in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until tortillas are crisp and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place one cup of grated cheese on each tortilla and then add chopped chili peppers. Change to broil setting and then return tortillas to oven until cheese is melted and bubbling on the edges.

 

 

Hazelnut, Apple and Blue Cheese on Crostini – Oregon

Oregon designated the hazelnut as its state nut in 1989. The Beaver State produces 99 percent of the US crop so this little filbert is an important part of economy. And did you know, some think the word

Hazelnut, Apple and Blue Cheese on Crostini

filbert is derived from the term “full beard” which refers to the husk covering some varieties?

Hazelnuts have a rich, delicious flavor that marries well with apples. Along with dried cranberries and blue cheese, this appetizer was a fall flavor explosion that made us very happy. Try making this on Thanksgiving day to  ward off the hunger pangs before dinner.

Crater Lake is the nation’s deepest lake at 1,945 feet. The intense blue of the water is due to its purity. Because it is strictly fed by rain and snow, many experts think it is the cleanest large body of water in the world.

Hazelnut, Apple and Blue Cheese on Crostini

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Baguette, sliced
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced finely
  • 1 cup apple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish

Instructions

Brush olive oil on sliced baguette. Broil in oven until bread is lightly toasted. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil. Add diced onion. Heat until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, add apple, cranberries, blue cheese, hazelnuts, maple syrup, and horseradish. Add onion. Mix to combine. Top baguette slices with about 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture. Broil in oven for 2-4 minutes or until blue cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread – Washington

We’ve talked before about how Walla Walla onions are Washington’s official state vegetable thanks to some lobbying

Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread - Washington

schoolkids. Available mid-June to August, these favored alliums have a very low amount of pyruvic acid which is why they are so mild.

We admit to being huge fans of caramelized onions with recipes here and here, but this Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread couldn’t be any easier. Cut it up into smaller portions as an appetizer paired with wine or beer, or serve with grilled chicken or shrimp and a salad as part of a full meal. If you can’t find Walla Walla onions, use regular white onions and add a pinch of sugar when the onions are done.

Olympic National Park is the fifth most-visited national park. With almost a million acres, Olympic contains the only temperate rainforest in the contiguous United States, but is also boasts miles of coastline and majestic mountains.

Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread - Washington

 

Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium Walla Walla onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup torn arugula
  • 2 8”x11” flatbreads
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese

Instructions

To caramelize onions – heat olive oil in sauté pan until hot. Add onion. Cook on medium-low heat until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt after 10 minutes. Cook another 10-15 minutes or until onions are a deep golden brown. Remove from heat, add arugula. Season with pepper and a pinch of sugar (if desired).

Brush a thin layer of olive oil onto each flatbread. Top flatbread with half the onion/arugula mixture. Top with half the goat cheese. Repeat with the remaining flat bread. Heat at 425 degrees for about 7-9 minutes or until goat cheese is melted and flatbread is crisp.