Recipes to try: mini appetizers for the holidays

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Michael Althen, owner of Elite Catering out of Baraboo, Wis., stopped by NBC15 News at 11 to share a couple of recipes to make before the next holiday get together with friends or family.

Stuffed baby potatoes: eight mini stuffed appetizers

4 each Small potatoes (reds, blues, white or yellow potatoes)
1/2 cup Water
1 ounce Butter
1/4 cup Heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1-2 each Green onions or chives can be substituted
3 strips Bacon, fried crispy and crumbled (may be omitted or substituted)
1/2 cup Instant potato flakes (amount varies based on type of potato flakes)
To taste Salt, black pepper, garlic

For topping:

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch granulated garlic or garlic powder

Equipment needed:
Oven set at 325 degrees and stove top
1 small sheet pan
1 small sauce pan
1 table or soup spoon
1 wire whisk OR potato masher
1 dinner fork (to test for doneness of the potatoes)
1 pastry bag OR ice cream scoop
1 large ended pastry tip

In small pan or in oven, bake or simmer to tender potatoes (about 30 minutes to fork tender, let cool completely, maybe the night before or leftover from supper.)

Cut potatoes in half with a spoon, hollow out potatoes leaving about 1/4 inch of potato on the skins, reserve the potato 'guts.'

In a sauce pan, put water, butter, cream and seasonings along with potato 'guts.'

Bring to boil and smash potato 'guts' until smooth.

Add bacon, sour cream, chives and bind with instant potato, a little at a time until the consistency you require is met. Potatoes should have a stiff but pipe-able finished product.

Transfer into pastry bag with a large ended tip, and pipe into prepared potato shells.

Top with Parmesan mix, and bake at 325 degrees about 15-25 minutes depending on the size of potato and the amount of browning you desire. Serve hot.

Maryland Crab Cakes ala Drake: 4-5, four ounce cakes or this recipe can be made into smaller cakes as well for entertaining.

1/2 pound lump crab meat - good quality (may substitute mock crab, cod or any other lean fish fillets, shrimp or lobster)
1/4 pound (1/2 cup) mashed potatoes, prepared
1 Tablespoon red bell pepper, fine diced
1 Tablespoon green bell pepper, fine diced
1/2 Tablespoon green onion, chopped fine
1/2 Tablespoon celery, chopped fine
1 each egg, whole fresh
1/4 cup bread crumbs, panko or similar - potato flakes can also be used
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
To taste, salt, white pepper ground, granulated garlic
About 1 Cup salad oil, olive oil, avocado oil or similar

Traditional breading station:
1 each egg
1/4 cup water or milk
Combine in one bowl.

1/2 cup seasoned flour with Lawery's Chef Salt, cracked black pepper and garlic powder
Place into second bowl.

Panko or similar breading (cracker crumbs, potato flakes, corn meal) all can be substituted.
Place in third bowl.

For sauce:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (for serving hot) or sour cream if served cold
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Equipment needed:

Oven set at 325 degrees
4 medium sized bowls
Food processor to crush cracker meal
1 dinner fork
1 larger saute pan or skillet - cast iron works well for this as well
1 knife
1 cutting board
1 sauce pan to make potatoes if not already prepared

Dice up all vegetables very fine.

If not pre-prepared or leftover from previous meal, make a small batch of mashed potatoes - instant can be utilized and chill fully.

Place crab, potatoes, vegetables, eggs, crumbs and seasonings into bowl and mix together well with your hands until all are incorporated.

Scoop out desired size (smaller for appetizers, larger for full meal - center of the plate).

Roll into balls, patty flat on both sides so you end up with about a 3/4 inch thick cake.

Chill for about an hour for the protein of the egg to bind and the moisture to be absorbed by the bread crumbs.

Make three bowls of product for your breading station:

First bowl - seasoned flour
Second bowl - egg wash
Third bowl - cracker crumbs

Take one cake at a time and put into flour, coat entirely and remove excess flour.

Place into second bowl and coat with egg.
Place into crumbs and coat all sides.

Place oil into saute pan over medium high heat. Once hot, brown each side of the cakes and remove to a prepared cookie sheet or sheet pan.
Finish in the 325 degree oven for about 10-20 minutes, depending on size.

Serve with your favorite sauce or the above Dijon cream sauce provided.

For the sauce, either mix the mustard and sour cream together and serve cold OR place the heavy cream into a sauce pot and reduce by have and then add mustard to serve a hot sauce.

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