Tag Archives: Appetizers

Indonesian Meatballs

Indonesian Meatball

I found this little gem of a recipe for Indonesian Meatballs while digging through my old ugly recipe box the other day.  The recipe is from my family and I vague remember them sharing this dish years ago at family gatherings.  I’ve had this recipe for Indonesian Meatballs saved for a number of years and since I had a pound of ground beef stashed in my freezer I thought I’d give it a shot.  Indonesian Meatballs are made with ground beef, minced onion, garlic, nutmeg, cloves and finished with Indonesian soy sauce and fresh chopped tomato.  These meatballs are moist, flavorful and tastes delish!  Makes 2 dozen meatballs.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • big pinch of cloves
  • 1 slice of bread soaked in 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 2 Tbs butter for frying (or more)
  • garnish with thinly sliced green onions

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbs Indonesian Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 tomato chopped into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbs butter

In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together all of the meatball ingredients (except butter).  Roll beef mixture into 24 golf ball sized balls.  If the meat is too sticky to handle add a bit of bread crumbs to the mixture.  Heat a large frying pan on a medium flame and add butter.  Add meatballs to the pan, careful not to let them touch.  You may have to brown the meatballs in batches if your pan is too small.  Once the meatballs are evenly browned, add all the meatballs back to the pan, add sauce ingredients and cover.  Cook on low for about a half an hour or 45 minutes, until the tomato has cooked down.  Add additional water if necessary.  Taste the sauce, correct your seasonings and serve.  Makes 24 little appetizers.

Indonesian Corn Fritters (Perkedel Jagung)

Indonesian Corn Fritters

I have an ugly old recipe box that I have hidden away in the back of a cupboard in my kitchen.  The box is well over twenty five years old and was originally designed to neatly hold 3 by 5 recipe cards.  Instead it is stuffed with recipes written on various sizes of paper of all shapes and color…  If you look closely, I even have a folded up paper plate with a recipe for shrimp sauce from a local restaurant jammed in the front of the box.  My recipe box with its mishmash of old scraps of paper is truly a treasure trove.  While digging through it this morning, I found an old family recipe for Indonesian Corn Fritters.   I had a bag of corn in my freezer and I knew what I was going to make…

My Ugly Old Recipe Box

It’s been years since I have prepared Perkedel Jagung or Indonesian Corn Fritters.   Indonesian Corn Fritters are little fried cakes with whole kernel corn, chopped celery leaves, minced green onions, garlic, coriander, and other spices.   You can eat them plain, drizzle them with sambal oelek or my all time favorite, sweet chili sauce.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 pound frozen whole corn kernels (defrosted)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 5 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper or to taste
  • oil for frying (I used canola)
  • cilantro for garnish

Grab a food processor.  Add all ingredients except 1/2 of the corn, oil for frying and the cilantro garnish.  Pulse ingredients until well blended.  Don’t over mix.  Add contents of processor into a medium sized bowl.  Add remainder of the corn.  Mix well.

Heat a non stick frying pan.  Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil on medium high heat.  Fry until golden brown and flip to cook other side.  Cook until done and drain on paper towels.  Add more oil as needed. Garnish with cilantro and drizzle with your favorite sauce.   Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 dozen fritters.



Elk Sliders

Elk Sliders

I got a new macro lens for my camera the other day.  Waiting for FedEx to show up at my front door with my little package was like a child waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney on Christmas.  I treated myself to the lens after finishing in second place in our football pool at work.  My $40 entrance fee netted me about $220 dollars after about 17 weeks of football.  Not only did I have a great time watching football, I ended up with a really cool lens that will keep me happy for many years to come.

After some research, I ended up with a f3.5 macro lens for my Olympus E420 DSLR camera.  Wow!  The clarity is unfreakingbelievable.  I remembered that I saw an ant on my counter the other day and I knew what I had to do…  I put a drop of honey on a plate and I waited an hour or so.  The ant appeared.  Within minutes, he had his face planted in the side of the tiny drop of honey.

Crazy huh?  I can barely see this little guy with my reading glasses on!  I even got a shot of him licking his little feet.  Amazing.  I can only imagine all the fun I am going to have using this lens.

Well, back to food…  I decided to make some Elk Sliders for Bruce and I for a easy dinner today.   I enjoy preparing meals using elk meat and living in Southern Oregon, finding exotic meats such as elk, venison and buffalo is really not that hard to find.  Either you have a friend that is a hunter or you simply visit a store that carries these types of meat.  Elk meat is similar to beef and is lower in fat in comparison.  Not to mention, it tastes great too.

My easy to prepare Elk Sliders are made with ground elk meat mixed with low sodium soy sauce and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, garnished with green leaf lettuce, and a tasty relish made from tomatoes, red onions, and parsley on a buttered grilled bun.  Serve the sliders with french fries, chips or a couple slices of your favorite pickles.  Makes 6 sliders.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 pound ground elk meat (you can substitute good quality beef)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 6 mini hamburger buns or rolls
  • softened butter for the buns
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/8 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 6 small lettuce leaves

Begin by lightly mixing the elk meat, 1/4 cup Gorgonzola, low sodium soy sauce and pepper in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Form into 6 small patties.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before cooking.  Fire up your barbecue or indoor grill pan.  Place patties on medium high heat and cook approximately 3-4  minutes each side or until desired doneness.  Meanwhile, butter the rolls and grill until golden.  In a small bowl mix together the tomato, onion, parsley and pinch of salt.  Before removing the burgers from the grill toss on the remaining Gorgonzola cheese and let melt.  Place patties on buns and garnish with lettuce and the tomato onion mixture.  Serve.

Chicken Endive Spears

Chicken Endive Spears

I just love easy appetizers.  These Chicken Endive Spears are crazy simple to make and with all store bought ingredients.  I made a platter of these to share at a birthday party earlier today.  All you need is some store bought chicken salad (from the deli section of your favorite store), fresh endive spears, minced green onion and a jar of your favorite caviar.

Begin by washing and trimming the endive spears.  Scoop on the chicken salad.  Garnish with minced green onion and caviar.  That’s it.  See? I told you that was easy!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs…  No holiday party at my home would be complete without them.  I guess it’s because both my sister and I just love them.  Whenever my sister sees them out on the counter in the midst of all the appetizers, she says “Oooh! deviled eggs!”.  On the other hand, my husband Bruce says “Eeyooo!, deviled eggs!…”  I gotta laugh at Bruce for the poor man does not know what he is missing.  I look at it this way.  Fine with me!  More deviled eggs for my sister and I.

I purchase my eggs from a family who has a farm a few miles from my home.  Their chickens are what many purists would consider “free range organic”.  In other words, the chickens run around their back yard, eat what they want, and are not given a bunch of antibiotics or other medications to help make them stay healthy.  The only worries these chickens have are what kitchen scraps they are going to get that evening or watching out for the little grey foxes that live in the nearby apricot orchard.

My deviled eggs are easy to make, taste great and fit nicely at any occasion.  They are creamy with a green onion, mustard, relish and a hint of Madras curry powder.  Makes 2 dozen deviled egg appetizers.  Enjoy! Tessa


  • 1 dozen hard cooked eggs
  • 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbls. minced green onion
  • 1 Tbls. yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbls. sweet relish
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. hot madras curry powder
  • a big pinch of white pepper
  • a pinch of sugar
  • paprika for garnish

Begin by making your hard cooked eggs.  Let cool.  Peel eggs slowly under cold running water.  Slice each egg in half lengthwise.  Remove the yolks and place in a medium sized bowl.  Place egg whites on a plate.  Use a fork to smash the egg yolks into very fine pieces.  Add remainder of ingredients with the exception of the paprika.  Use a hand mixer and whip together the yolk mixture until light and fluffy.

Take egg yolk mixture and either spoon it into the the egg whites or do as I do and pipe it into the eggs.  If you like the piping effect and you don’t have a pastry bag and tip, simply put the egg yolk mixture in a plastic bag and snip a corner off the bag.  Then pipe…  It’s easy.  When you are done, garnish with a light sprinkling of paprika and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Makes 24 deviled egg appetizers.

Indonesian Wontons (Pangsit Goreng)

Pangsit Goreng or Indonesian Wontons are one of my favorite Indonesian appetizers.  There are so many variations of this appetizer for some are made with chicken, shrimp, pork or beef.  The recipe that I am sharing with you is a version of a recipe that has been in my family for years and is a combination of both pork and beef.  I was taught to dip them in a sweet and sour sauce with sambal oeleck but I prefer to dip them in Thai sweet chili sauce.  Be sure to serve these crunchy and savory little Indonesian Wontons at your next get together or dinner party.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 bunch of green onions (finely chopped)
  • 6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves (finely chopped)
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 1/2 Tbls. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 6 dozen wonton wrappers
  • water
  • canola oil for frying

Let’s begin.  Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and mix together the first 10 ingredients until well incorporated.  Using a small scoop (1/2- 3/4 ounce) put filling in wonton wrappers.  Fold and seal into what ever shape that you like.  The easiest shape is the simple triangle.  Put your filling in the middle of the wonton wrapper, slightly moisten the edges with water, fold once and seal.  (See below for example) Fry in canola oil until golden and drain well.   Serve with a hot sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce.  Makes about 6 dozen.  Recipe can be cut in half or even doubled.

Little triangles…

Pacific Northwest Dungeness Crab Cakes

Crab cakes…  I don’t know many people who would pass on these.  Fresh caught dungeness crab from the Pacific Ocean.  Prepared with panko bread crumbs, savory herbs, and then pan fried until a gorgeous golden brown. These Pacific Northwest dungeness crab cakes are hands down an all time favorite in our home.  They are fairly simple to make and taste fabulous.  The fresh zested lemon and a dip of sriracha sauce make these crab cakes bright with flavor.  The crunch of the golden panko exterior and the flavor of the fresh dungeness crab will make you want to eat and make more! You can either serve them for a great weekend dinner or as elegant appetizers at your next party.  Enjoy! – Tessa


1 pound dungeness crab meat
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 large egg
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tbls. fresh cilantro chopped fine
1 Tbls. fresh tarragon chopped fine
1 Tbls. fresh dill chopped fine
1 Tbls. fresh parsley chopped fine
1 Tbls. dijon mustard
1 Tbls. finely grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 separate cups panko
1 cup canola oil for frying

Put the crab in a small bowl and pick over the meat to remove any shells.  Try not to tear apart the crab meat.  Grab a medium sized bowl.  Zest your lemon first, then juice it.  Add egg, mayo, fresh herbs, mustard and spices.  Mix well.  Now add the crab and 1 cup panko. Gently mix all ingredients together except for 1 cup of panko and the canola oil.  Be careful not to over mix. Let the crab mixture sit in refrigerator for at least a 1/2 hour before shaping into 3 ounce patties (use a 3 ounce scoop). Take the remaining 1 cup of panko and place on a plate. Take each crab patty and gently push into the panko forming a crust. Heat canola oil in frying pan. Fry crab cakes in oil until golden brown on both sides. Put crab cakes on paper lined plate to drain.  Serve immediately with lemon wedges or sriracha sauce.  Makes 10 crab cakes. Enjoy!

Itty Bitty Buffalo Burgers

Just imagine… Little itty bitty buffalo burgers, topped with smoked gouda cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and a spankin smoked paprika aioli.  If you like avocado, toss that on top too.  Did you catch that?  I bet you did…  So now go to the store and gather your ingredients.  Make these little gems for your next backyard BBQ or serve them up while you watch your favorite sporting event.  Dang!  These burgers are awesome!  Makes 6 itty bitty burger gems.

Let’s begin by making the aioli.

Smoked Paprika Aioli ingredients:

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic, or to taste

Note:  this smoked paprika aioli can be used on crab cakes, grilled fish, and even potato fries.

Now let’s pull the buffalo burgers together…

Burger ingredients:

1 pound ground buffalo (bison)
1 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
fresh cracked black pepper about 1/4 tsp.
6 small french rolls

garnish with the following:

smoked paprika aioli (see above)
sliced smoked gouda cheese
grilled onions

In a medium sized mixing bowl, lightly mix the ground buffalo, Indonesian soy sauce, seasoning sauce and cracked black pepper. Shape into 6 patties.  Fire up your BBQ or indoor grill.  In the meantime, prepare your garnishes. Slice your french rolls in half and lightly butter.  Grill these until golden brown.  Remove from heat.  Toss your little burgers on the BBQ or grill.  Cook about 3 -4 minutes each side. Add the gouda cheese and melt.  Assemble your burgers.  Enjoy!

Hot Pickled Carrots

One of my favorite foods at a Mexican restaurant are Hot Pickled Carrots.  Some Mexican restaurants and many of the food trucks serve them as a condiment alongside their fresh homemade salsas.  I love the fire of the jalapeños and the crunch of the vibrant orange carrots.  Make these simple yet spicy carrots to serve at your next Mexican inspired meal or put them out on an appetizer tray alongside olives and other pickles.  Enjoy!  Tessa


3 c. peeled and sliced carrots
3 large jalapeño peppers sliced 1/2″ thick rounds
1 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 c. water
1/4 c. baking sugar (fine)
4 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns
5 whole cloves garlic (peeled)

Prepare your carrots and jalapeño peppers.  In a non reactive pan heat the vinegar, water, sugar, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, and garlic cloves.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the carrots and jalapeños.  Remove pan from heat and let cool.  Put mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate 12 hours or more.  Hot Pickled Carrots will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator if they last that long…  Makes about 4 cups.