Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes

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What do you do when you have a boat-load of extra mashed potatoes? Add some cheese, sour cream and green onions – bacon would be great too, but since we were having ham I left it out. I’ve also put this filling in a pie crust and baked it – amazing – potato deep dish pizza!!

Ingredients:
4 c left over mashed potatoes
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 c green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 425.

Stir 3/4 cheese, sour cream and green onions into the potatoes. Put into a baking dish, top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese starts to bubble. Put under the broiler for 3 minutes until cheese starts to brown.

Serves 4 – 6.

Shrimp Cocktail with Two Sauces

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Another winner from Bon Appetite! I made it for Christmas Day – it was the perfect appetizer to keep everyone going until dinner. I swapped out 1 lb of shrimp for Langoustines. I also opted not to make the classic sauce and used Trade Joe’s Cocktail sauce it has an awesome kick.

Shrimp and Langoustines:
lemon, halved
1 onion, quartered
10 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 TBSP salt
1 lb uncooked, unpeeled shrimp
1 lb Langoustines

Fill a large pot three-quarters full with water; squeeze juice from lemon halves into pot and add lemon halves. Add onion and next 3 ingredients to pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium; simmer for 5 minutes for flavors to blend.

Add shrimp; cook until just opaque in center, 2-3 minutes. Drain and transfer shrimp to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain again. Peel; devein, leaving tails intact. DO AHEAD Shrimp can be poached 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Tarragon Vinaigrette:
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP shallot, minced
1 TBSP tarragon, chopped
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/2 c olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine lemon juice, shallot, tarragon, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

Serves 6 – 8.

Spinach Puffs

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This is adapted from a recipe I found in Bon Appetite. I decided to do a mini version instead. This recipe makes a lot, so unless you are having a big dinner party, I would suggest freezing them. Simply place the cooled puffs on a baking sheet in your freezer overnight and pop them into a ziplock bag. Then simple reheat at 375 for 15 – 20 minutes.

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3/4 c feta, crumbled
1/4 c shallot, minced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp dill, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
2 eggs
2 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounces package), thawed, rolled out to a 12″ square, kept chilled

Preheat oven to 400.

Using your hands, squeeze spinach until dry, forcing out as much water as possible. Mix spinach and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, beat eggs to blend; fold into spinach mixture.

Cut puff pastry into 4 equal strips. Cut each remaining strip into 4 squares. Place a square in each muffin cup, pressing into bottom and up sides and leaving corners pointing up. Divide filling among cups. Fold pastry over filling, pressing corners together to meet in the center.

Bake until pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let puffs cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a sharp paring knife around pan edges to loosen; turn out puffs onto rack to cool slightly before serving.