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South American Appetizers
In South America, appetizers take two forms: as first courses (entradas) or as finger foods (bocaditos - "little bites").
Most Latin American parties feature trays of bite-size bocaditos, allowing guests to sample everything without feeling too full. This tradition came to Latin America from Spain (read more about Spanish tapas).
The spread is followed up with a couple of plates of up with a couple of plates of bite-sized South American sweets.
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Lime Chicken Empanadas Recipe
Shredded chile-lime chicken, carmelized onions, and goat cheese fill these delicious bite-size empanadas.
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Twice-Fried Green Plantain with Aji Dipping Sauce (Patacones) Recipe
Patacones (known as tostones in Central America) are twice-fried rounds of green plantain. Fried green plantain (plátano verde) is starchy and sweet, and absolutely fantastic dipped in creamy aji amarillo sauce.
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Baby Potatoes with Creamy Aji Amarillo Dipping Sauce Recipe
Potatoes are sweeter when they are small, and bite-size potatoes are perfect for dipping. Spear them with toothpicks and dip them in the rich cream ají sauce, made with aji amarillo chile pepper paste.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Fried Cheese Wonton Sticks (Tequeños) Recipe
Kids will have a blast helping you roll these crispy fried cheese sticks known as tequenos. They'll help you eat them too!
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Brazilian Risoles Recipe
Brazilian risoles (an import from Indonesia) are like breaded empanadas. The dough is rolled out and filled, breaded, then deep fried.
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Manchego Cheese and Quince Paste Hors d'Oeuvres Recipe
Quince paste served with manchego or goat cheese is a popular appetizer or light dessert or breakfast.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Argentinian Picada Recipe
A picada is a wonderful Argentinian tradition of serving a tray of artfully arranged finger foods for everyone to share. It's a genius idea for entertaining. People simply "pick" at the foods (the name picada comes from the Spanish verb picar) while they enjoy wine or beer and socialize.
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Stuffed Fried Yuca (Yuquitas Rellenas) Recipe
These crispy little balls are made by shaping the mashed yuca around a piece of queso fresco, then rolling them in bread crumbs and frying them until golden brown.
The result is a crispy shell around a soft starchy filling, with melted cheese in the very middle. Fried yuca balls are excellent dipped in salsa a la huancaína, a spicy cheese sauce.
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Boliarepas are appetizer versions of the popular Venezuelan and Colombian corn cakes called arepas. Boilarepas are crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside and filled with bacon and cheddar cheese.
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Pizza Empanadas Recipe
Appetizer-size empanadas filled with pizza toppings like mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce, and pepperoni are always a hit with kids and adults.