Party Appetizer Ideas: Chocolate Popcorn and Mushroom Crab Melts

27 Dec

My girl friends and I have started the tradition of getting together every year for appetizers and drinks and a ‘Dirty Santa’ gift exchange before we all head home to visit family for the holidays. If you have never heard of ‘Dirty Santa’ or a ‘White Elephant’ gift exchange, it’s a fun and inexpensive way to give gifts. Everyone brings one gift and all the gifts are put in a pile, and then you draw numbers to see what order people will select gifts in. When it’s your turn, you can either get an un-opened gift from the pile, or steal a gift from someone who has already opened! It’s best to be last or at least near the end so you have your choice of what present you want. It’s always a good time, especially when you throw in some random or actual ‘dirty’ gifts ;).

Anyways, on to the recipes! There were some pretty delicious appetizers at the party, and I’ll have to add more recipes from my friends when I get them. I made chocolate drizzled popcorn and these mushroom crab melts that were a big hit. They are both great party appetizers, and would be great for New Year’s or maybe some of the upcoming bowl games. The chocolate drizzled popcorn was really easy. I popped the popcorn and laid it out on a cookie sheet. I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips, then used a spoon to drizzle the chocoloate back and forth over the popcorn, and I used a generous amount of chocolate. (Note: I was a in a bit of a rush and didn’t have time for pictures, so these are just images from the web. My popcorn had quite a bit more chocolate!) Then you let the chocolate harden in the fridge over night, and break it up into chunks. You can use any kind of chocolate you like, add marshmallows, nuts, etc… I saw a recipe with both white and dark chocolate drizzle that looked awesome. One thing I learned from my first-time attempt at melting chocolate- don’t add any liquid! I thought by adding a little milk it might make the melted chocolate creamier… NOPE. It sounds a little counter-intuitive, but adding any liquid makes the chocolate seize up and get all dry and lumpy. You need to just melt the chocolate slowly over low heat until it is nice and creamy.

The mushroom crab melts were a mixture of bacon, mushrooms, onions, crab, cheese, and a little mayo spread over whole-wheat english muffins with a little paprika sprinkled on top. They wold make a great lunch by themselves, but I cut each into four pieces with a pizza-cutter to make bite-size appetizers. Here is the recipe:

  • 3 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can crabmeat, drained
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 6 english muffins, split
  • Dash of cayenne pepper and paprika

Cook the bacon until crisp, then break into pieces when cooled, reserving the bacon drippings in the pan. Saute the chopped-up mushrooms and onions in the drippings for a few minutes until soft. Combine crab, cheeses, mayo, mushroom mixture, and bacon bits in a mixing bowl and stir until blended. Spread a little butter on each muffin half, then top with mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and cayenne pepper and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Cut each muffin into four pieces with pizza-slicer.

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2 Responses to “Party Appetizer Ideas: Chocolate Popcorn and Mushroom Crab Melts”

  1. tovah11 December 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    The popcorn looks delicious!

    The mushroom crab melts look really good, but violate my rule of ‘nothing over 3 ingredients”.

    Happy New Year!

    • Sarah January 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

      I am right there with you! I usually stick to recipes with a few simple ingredients. These were actually pretty easy to make… maybe not the best if you need to make something in a hurry, but definitely worth trying sometime!

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