This is a substantial appetizer, but not so rich that it will leave your guests too full to enjoy dinner. The trick to lightening this up is light cream cheese instead of full-fat cream cheese, mixed with part-skim ricotta rather than using only cream cheese.
The chives, pepper, bell peppers and pimento stuffed olives add so much flavor that it isn't necessary to have all the taste come from high-fat products.
The light texture and rich flavor will have your guests thinking that it's an indulgent treat.
While there are lots of ingredients, this is actually quick and easy to make, and can be made the day before!
- 1 envelope gelatin
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 3 ounces light cream cheese
- 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 8 to 10 ounces fresh (cooked) crab or salmon, or 8-10 ounces top-quality canned crab or salmon
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 10 pimiento stuffed green olives, finely chopped
- paprika to sprinkle on top
- 1 1-pound baguette, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley sprigs
- 1 12-ounce basket cherry tomatoes
Dissolve gelatin well in boiling water. Place in food processor or blender with cream cheese and ricotta and mix until smooth. Add lemon juice, Tabasco, pepper, crab or salmon, chives, bell pepper and olives.
Mix until very smooth. Transfer to a 3 cup mold or bowl which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate until set and unmold on serving plate.
May be made to this point up to two days ahead, covered and refrigerated.
At serving time, sprinkle with paprika, surround with sliced baguette and garnish with parsley sprigs and cherry tomatoes.
Note: It's more Cajun or Creole to use crab in a dish like this, but with the cost of shelled crab, I offer salmon as an alternative.Clam Bites
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