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Originally published Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 6:04 AM

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Holiday Recipes: Easy Appetizers

Easy doesn’t have to be boring with these quick but elegant New Year’s appetizers.


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Melissa Clark doesn't usually post recipes that turn out so poorly. I made the caviar w... MORE

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BROILED MUSSELS WITH GARLICKY HERB BUTTER 8 to 12 servings

½ cup parsley leaves

2 large garlic cloves

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup plus 1½ tablespoons Pernod or pastis

2 pounds mussels, scrubbed

1 / 3 cup breadcrumbs

1. In a food processor, pulse together parsley, garlic, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Pulse in butter and 1½ tablespoons Pernod until mixture is combined. Scrape into a bowl.

2. In a soup pot with a tightfitting lid, combine mussels, ¼ cup Pernod and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until mussels have opened, five to 10 minutes. Transfer mussels to a bowl until cool enough to handle; remove meat from the shells (reserving shells) and transfer to a bowl.

3. Pry apart mussel shells and arrange half the shells on one or two large baking sheets; discard remaining shells. Place one mussel in each shell. Top each with a small spoonful of herb butter and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. Mussels may be made up to a day ahead up to this point; wrap baking sheets and mussels in plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to serve, heat broiler to high and arrange a rack 4 inches from the heat. Transfer tray(s) to the oven and broil until golden, one to two minutes.

—Melissa Clark, The New York Times

HOT CRAB AND OYSTER DIP Serves 8

Olive oil, for greasing pan

1 pound lump crab meat

4 ounces canned oysters, drained and coarsely chopped to yield ½ cup

4 ounces (1 cup) Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated

1 jalapeño, seeded if desired, finely chopped

¾ cup mayonnaise

2 ounces (¼ cup) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon hot sauce

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Crackers or bread, for serving

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 2-quart gratin dish or 9-inch baking dish with olive oil.

2. In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Transfer mixture to baking dish. Bake until hot and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm with crackers or bread.

— Melissa Clark, The New York Times

ROASTED SHRIMP COCKTAIL WITH AIOLI 8 Servings

1 large egg yolk

1½ teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed

2 / 3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon ketchup

2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 2 / 3 cup oil until completely incorporated. Whisk in horseradish, hot sauce and ketchup. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to three days.

2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with 2 tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spread shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until shrimp are just opaque, about 10 minutes. Serve shrimp either hot or at room temperature, with the aioli for dipping.

— Melissa Clark, The New York Times

CAVIAR POTATO CHIPS AND LEMON CREAM 8 to 12 servings

¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream

¾ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Potato chips

4 ounces salmon roe or other caviar

1. In a small bowl, whisk together crème fraîche and zest. Top each potato chip with a small dollop of crème fraîche and a spoonful of caviar.

— Melissa Clark, The New York Times



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