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Appetizers for Barbecues

Sweet Potato Chips With Dip

Slice two sweet potatoes on a mandolin slicer set at level 2. This makes a thicker cut that deep fries evenly and makes chips that hold up to dip. Deep fry the slices a dozen at a time until golden brown, turning for even cooking. Remove the chips from the fryer and drain on paper towels. Salt the chips lightly with fresh ground sea salt or smoke-flavored salt. Set the sweet potato chips aside and make whatever dip you like -- chipotle bean, caramelized onion or traditional taco.

Meatball Sliders

Mix one pound of ground chicken or ground beef with 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. minced garlic and 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger. Form this mixture into 15 medium-size meatballs. Brown them lightly in a frying pan then put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees. While the meatballs cook, make an accompanying sauce, prepare garnishes and get out the slider rolls. Try bourbon sauce with thinly sliced grilled pineapple for the chicken meatballs, and rich, aged cheddar cheese and red onions with the beef sliders.

Dim Sum

Buy dim sum or egg roll wraps at the grocery store; they are usually located in the dairy or produce aisle. The dim sum wraps make bite-size appetizers, while the egg roll wraps make heartier offerings. Fill with your choice of stuffing, including ground pork with mirin and green onions, broccoli slaw with garlic and soy or apple pie filling for a sweet appetizer.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Buy large cherry tomatoes and core them using a melon-baller. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then invert on a paper towel while you make the filling. Try shrimp or tuna salad, herbed goat cheese or spinach and feta for yummy, savory fillings.

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