My mantra when having family and friends over has always been “Prepare it in advance.” I especially like appetizers and hors d’oeuvres that can be made ahead of time. This allows me ample time to focus on the main course when my guests arrive. Below are two of my favorite Summer menu ideas. The Salmon Mousse recipe came from my college roommate, Marlene Kamin. The Hot Spinach Dip recipe came from my neighbor, MaryAnn Green. I hope you like them.
1 cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
dash lemon juice
1 tsp. Dill weed
1 tsp. Horseradish – red or white
1 1/4 lb. of fresh cooked salmon (or use 1 lb. can of salmon plus 1 small can)
½ cup warm water
1 package Knox gelatin
Dissolve gelatin in ½ cup of warm water. Put all else into a blender and blend, then add gelatin mixture and blend well. Pour into well oiled mold, or pour into serving bowl and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve with crackers or thin sliced bread.
Hot Spinach Dip
2 Tblsp. Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 Tblsp. Canned chopped green chilies
1 10-oz. Package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
1 8-oz. Package cream cheese, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup half-and-half
1 Tblsp. Red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Saute onion in oil about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and chilies and cook 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to large bowl and mix in remaining ingredients. Spoon into shallow baking dish.
At this point you can refrigerate the dip and bake it later, or bake it immediately. Bake at 400° on top third of oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with corn chips or pita chips.