Hosting any kind of party requires time, preparation, and thought as to what to serve. When selecting an appetizer spread I opt for items that are easy to put together and range from comforting classics to items for the health-conscious. Cheese, fruit, and crudité plates are always a no-brainer, but below are four easy recipes that step up the game without you having to break a sweat. The secret is all in the seasoning. I discovered a line of new seasoning blends (nope, I'm not getting paid for the endorsement) that add zip and pizzazz to dishes without needing a boatload of ingredients. ZAS offers four fun flavor combinations: a bold and citrusy Chili Lime, a zesty and tangy Tamarind, a spicy Hatch Chile, and a sweet and fruity Mango Chili. Check out four easy recipes featuring each of the blends, all of which can be purchased online here.
Cucumber Avocado Chili Lime Roll (shown at top)
Makes 20 rolls
¼ of a cream cheese block (4 oz.)
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons of lime juice
3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon of ZAS Chili Lime (and a dash for garnish)
Toss all ingredients (except cucumber) in a blender or food processor. Or if you want to be traditional do it by hand, finely mince garlic and mash ingredients together with a fork until smooth and creamy. Let mixture sit in a refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, cut long thin strips from the cucumber. Be sure to leave the skin for color.
Take a cucumber strip and spread a thin layer of the avocado mixture along the length of the strip. A little goes a long way so be mindful. Make sure the spread goes all the way to the end so that it sticks once rolled.
Roll it up and sprinkle on a dash of ZAS Chili Lime Seasoning.
Mango Chili Jerk Wings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
3 pounds chicken wings, cut apart at joints, wing tips discarded
1/2 cup orange juice, low or no pulp
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons allspice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons ZAS® Mango Chili Super-Seasoning
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Arrange chicken wings on a baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes, turning chicken to other side halfway through.
While the chicken is cooking, combine the orange juice, olive oil, honey, brown sugar, allspice, soy sauce, garlic powder and red pepper flakes to a pan and stir to combine.
Cook the wing sauce on low for 5 minutes, then transfer to large bowl and let cool for 5 minutes.
Once cooled, add ZAS® Mango Chili Super-Seasoning to wing sauce and set aside.
After 40 minutes, turn the oven to broil and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Take wings out, let cool for 5 minutes, then add to wing sauce and toss until coated.
Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese
1 lb uncooked elbow pasta
4 tbps butter melted
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
8 oz can hatch chilis
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp butter
3 cup Whole milk
2 cup Sharp cheddar Cheese grated
2 cup Mild Cheddar cheese grated
2 cup Colby jack cheese grated
4 tsp ZAS Hatch Chile Super Seasoning
Set oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to box until al dente (tender but not overdone).
In a small bowl toss together melted butter, bread crumbs and 2 teaspoons ZAS Hatch Chile Super Seasoning and set aside.
In a medium saucepan melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add flour and whisk until roux paste forms.
Slowly add milk and whisk until slight boil begins.
Remove milk mixture from heat add in all three cheeses and 2 teaspoons ZAS Hatch Chile Super Seasoning. Stir until melted.
In large bowl pour cheese mixture over cooked drained pasta and stir until combined.
Spray a 9X13 cooking pan and fill with macaroni. Sprinkle panko bread crumb mixture on top.
Bake for 15 minutes then broil for 2-3. Serve immediately.
Tamarind Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
For the Ribs:
1 rack pork baby back ribs
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup ZAS® Tamarind Super Seasoning
For the Glaze:
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ZAS® Tamarind Super Seasoning
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Combine the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and ZAS® Tamarind Super Seasoning in a medium bowl for the rib seasoning.
Apply the sugar mixture onto both sides of the ribs, wrap in foil, and cook in oven for 2 hours.
In a small pot, add the brown sugar, butter and water components of the tamarind glaze and cook on low for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a small bowl and let cool for 5 minutes.
Add the ZAS® Tamarind Super Seasoning to the glaze and stir to combine.
After 2 hours, take ribs out and let cool for 5 minutes.
Apply the Tamarind Glaze to the top of the ribs and serve.
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