Appetizer ideas for a Fourth of July should feature lots of small items, preferably ones that can be eaten by hand or with a skewer. In what follows, you’ll find three finger-friendly recipes, all of which go well together on our nation’s birthday.
Prepare your sauce. Put all of your ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate the sauce; it will thicken as it gets colder. Begin making your crab cakes by melting 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a skillet. Sauté your onions, bell pepper and garlic for 3 minutes. Add in your cream, Dijon, egg, parsley, Cayenne and bread crumbs, mixing thoroughly. Add in your crab meat. Fold the contents of the skillet into 8 patties. Take a clean bowl and combine the leftover ½ cup of bread crumbs with your Parmesan. Pat this over the patties and refrigerate for 2 hours. In your skillet, combine your oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté your cakes for 3 minutes per side. Alternately, you can bake them at 400 F for 7 to 10 minutes. Serve each cake with a dollop of your sauce.
Take your oven up to 400 F and place your rack up high in your oven. Put your milk in a small bowl and soak the bread in it until softened, which should take approximately 4 minutes. In a large skillet, cook your pancetta, onion and garlic in one tablespoon of olive oil. Add ½ tsp. of both salt and pepper in too. After 6 minutes, remove from the heat and let it cool. Pour off the milk from your bowl and squeeze more out of the bread. In another large bowl, beat your egg and then add in the chicken, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, pancetta mixture from the skillet, bread and parsley. Make 12 meatballs and place on a sheet pan. Take your remaining tomato paste and olive oil, and then brush this mixture over the meatballs. Bake for about 20 minutes and serve.
In the bowl of your food processor, shred the potato and onion coarsely. If you want longer strands of potato, place the potato sideways in your food processor chute. Move the shredded potato into your colander and squeeze dry. Let it sit for 2 minutes and then squeeze dry again. Take a large bowl and whisk together your flour, egg, salt and pepper. Add in your potato and onion mixture until everything is evenly coated. In your skillet, heat up your frying oil. Place overstuffed teaspoons of potato mixture in your skillet and flatten them down. Cook at high heat until golden, which should only take 1 or 2 minutes. Drain over paper towels and repeat until you’ve used all of your potato mixture.
Take a large saucepan and place your cranberries, sugar, water, apple, cinnamon, ginger and cloves inside. Bring the saucepan to a boil, continuously stirring. Take down the heat and let the saucepan simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the apple tenderizes and the mixture becomes thick. Cool completely by storing in your refrigerator. The chutney goes great with the chicken meatballs or over the potato pancakes.