Easy Holiday Appetizers

Warm Lobster Dip and Shrimp Cocktail

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This creamy lobster dip is synonymous with classic comfort food.  Although warm, delicious and wonderful for the winter months, this recipe is a year-round classic.   We adapted the original recipe from Malcolm Bedell’s Maine Lobster Dip to further simplify the lobster ingredient and preparation time.

There are many times we have a small group of family or friends over for dinner and seek something different (yet uncomplicated) in the way of serving appetizers.  The portions are perfect for a party of four to six, however, you can easily modify to suit your number of guests.  Our family (literally) could not stop eating the lobster dip.  The Sriracha sauce, which is a type of hot sauce or chili sauce, gives the dip a little spiciness and hot kick to it, but not overbearing in any way.   We served the warm dip with a perfect pairing of sweet bread from Luna’s Bakery in Pennsylvania and it couldn’t taste any better than that.  At the bakery, they hand you the sweet bread right out of the oven warmer.  This bread is so soft and carries this baked fresh aroma from the time you leave the bakery to the time you get home.

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The warm lobster dip and the presentation of the shrimp cocktail is the right amount for you and your guests.   We paired these appetizers with a wonderful Kistler chardonnay wine, however, choose your favorite chardonnay.

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Warm Lobster Dip

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Ingredients (4-6 Servings)

½ to ¾ pounds of pre-cooked frozen lobster meat, thawed out in advance (keeping it simple)

  • We used Riverside Lobster International’s Frozen Lobster Meat from our local seafood store. This was our variation from the original recipe.  The lobster came frozen in a two-pound bag.  We used less than half the bag.
  • You can also choose to use fresh lobster, which is more work – (2) 1.5 pound live Maine lobsters.1 See footnote later in recipe for this option.

16 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 shallots, minced (we used about a ¼ cup – you can use a little less)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Warm sweet bread or other favorite bread or crackers for dipping.

(All ingredients used are shown, except lobster meat)
(All ingredients used are shown, except lobster meat)

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, shallots, garlic, horseradish, Worcestershire, cayenne, Sriracha, salt and pepper.   We used a beater to combine first set of ingredients.   Add the thawed lobster meat (simplified version), and mix well with a spoon to combine.  Transfer to a baking dish and put in the refrigerator covered to chill for at least two hours.

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To cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook, uncovered, about 25 minutes or until lobster dip is hot and bubbly.  Remove from oven.  Serve warm with sweet bread, other bread or crackers.

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1If you choose to use the live Maine lobsters instead of frozen lobster meat, then in a large stock pot, bring an inch of salted tap water to a boil.  Add lobster and steam, covered, until shells are deep red, about 10 minutes.  If pot boils over, leave lid off a crack to allow some steam to escape.  Let cool, then crack shells and pick lobster meat, including tails, claws and knuckles.  Tear or chop lobster meat into small pieces and set aside.  Substitute this for the frozen lobster meat.

Easy Shrimp Cocktail

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Ingredients (4 Servings and So Simple)
16 cooked, peeled and cleaned shrimp (we purchased from our local seafood store)
Green leaf lettuce
Cocktail sauce (we purchased pre-made)

Directions
We used four glass dessert cups for our shrimp appetizers.  Martini glasses are also a perfect choice for presentation.  Be creative and use a different decorative bowl or glass, so long as it can hold the shrimp on the sides and the cocktail sauce in the center.  Simply line the inside of the glass containers with the green lettuce.  Next put four shrimp around each side of the glass, with the tails hanging off the exterior of the glass.  If you want more shrimp per serving, just add to the ingredients.  Next put a few dollops (scoop or two) of cocktail sauce inside the center of the glass for dipping.  It’s that easy.

Happy Holidays

Linens featured in this article are from Beautiful Linens at https://www.BeautifulLinens.com

Tessitura Pardi Cerere Coloniale Misto Linen Red Italian Table Runner
http://beautifullinens.com/?s=Tessitura+Pardi+Cerere+Coloniale+Misto+Linen+Red+Italian+Table+Runner

Tessitura Pardi Imperial Red Rustica Linen Large Italian Kitchen Tea Towel
http://beautifullinens.com/product/tessitura-pardi-imperial-red-rustica-linen-large-italian-kitchen-tea-towel/

Linens Of The World™ Monaco  Red Linen Cocktail Napkins (10” x 10”)
http://beautifullinens.com/product/linens-of-the-world-monaco-red-linen-cocktail-napkins-set-of-4-10-x-10-sq/

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