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Appetizers: Finger foods before meal

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Pots & Pans by With Hajiya Ramatu Usman Dorayi

Toasted mushroom sandwiches

Starting the day with a delicious toasted mushroom sandwich is one great idea one should absolutely take into consideration when adopting a healthy diet. In addition to that, for all its healthy ingredients, and the easy-to-handle preparation, it is not just a great alternative for breakfast, but also a great appetizer idea too.
Sandwiches have made part of our culinary history since early times, or, to be more exact, since Neolithic times, when people used to wrap meat or various herbs between two slices of unleavened bread. If, at its beginnings, the sandwiches were a ‘male’ meal, shared by men when drinking or gaming late at night, nowadays the sandwich has its respected, specific social place in our lives. Besides being a very inexpensive dish, its quick preparation and wide variety of options for ingredients, make it one favorite item in the cooking area. This popular type of food gained its success throughout all the picnics, packed lunches or all the other occasions where it is served as an appetizer. Sandwiches can contain lots of our favorite ingredients, starting with special bread to various kinds of cheese, meat, sauces, vegetables, butter or mustard.
A toasted mushroom sandwich not only sounds delicious, but it actually is. Combining the crispiness of toasted bread with the intense aroma of mushrooms, this specific sandwich can become one of your favorite breakfast ideas. Many traditional cuisines use mushrooms as a main ingredient in a wide range of dishes, especially the Chinese, the Japanese and other European countries.
One of the reasons mushrooms are so popular, besides their incredible taste, is their nutritional values: mushrooms are rich in fiber and contain vitamins like vitamin D, thiamine, niacin and ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C. Mushrooms also have a great effect when treating the symptoms of excessive exposure to ultraviolet lights, and also contain some minerals, like potassium or selenium.
In order to obtain 16 delicious pieces of the toasted mushroom sandwich, here are the most essential ingredients:
·  2 tbsp of butter
·  1/2 pound mushrooms
·  2 tbsp of flour
·  pinch of curry powder
·  1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
·  salt and ground pepper
·  16 thin slices dense white bread
·  melted butter
Take a sauté pan and melt in it the 2 tbsp of butter, then add the mushrooms, which need to be previously cleaned, stemmed, and finely chopped. Cook the mushrooms over medium to high heat, and stir until they reach a brownish colour. After about 3 minutes, sprinkle some flour and curry powder and keep stirring, for a couple of minutes. Now add the milk, and keep cooking and stirring, until the texture of this mixture becomes rather thick.
After seasoning with salt and pepper, spread this mixture evenly on one slice of bread. Top it with another slice of bread, then cut them into half. Each side of bread needs to be brushed with melted butter, then place them on a cooking sheet, then into the oven, about 5 inches from the broiler, and broil until each side of the sandwich turns gold, then turn on the other side. When ready, serve hot. It is incredibly tasty!

Sour cream, lemon and eggs

-6 eggs
-3 tablespoons sour cream
-1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
-1/2 teaspoon mustard
-1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
-1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
-1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-chopped fresh parsley
Cook eggs in simmering water for 15 minutes and cool.
Cut hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise.
Transfer yolks to small bowl and mash with fork.
Mix in sour cream, mayonnaise, and mustard.
Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.
Add salt to your taste.
Spoon yolk mixture into whites.
Sprinkle generously with chopped parsley.
Cover loosely and refrigerate.

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