I came across this in my inbox this morning, and I love Gourmet Magazine. With the Holidays fast approaching I thought this might help someone out! I know I am always looking for something a little different than the traditional Holiday meal. I think it is definitely time to liven things up. I hope that you will get some use for these appetizers whether it is for Thanksgiving or any other event you might want to use them for.
When it comes to the biggest, most
hyped meal of the year, ease your way into the overindulgence with pre-dinner
nibbles that will ignite palates without ruining appetites. Serve one or two of
these stylish, seasonal hors d’oeuvres, and you can skip a first course,
impress your guests, and keep your wits in the kitchen. Each recipe
below serves 6 to 8 guests, unless otherwise indicated.
Transform a single ingredient into a
crispy, salty cracker in 10 minutes or less: Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper or a Silpat, then cover it with thin layers of shredded
Parmigiano-Reggiano in small circles spaced about 4 inches apart. If you wish,
add a nutty crunch to each bite by sprinkling the cheese with chopped
pistachios or walnuts before baking. Bake at 375°F for about 10 minutes, or
until golden, then remove the frico with a spatula. Serve in a glass dish to
best display the enticing hue and lacy look of these crispy wafers.
Roasted Butternut Squash Bruschetta
The season’s standout squash plus
tangy feta make the ultimate topping for garlic-rubbed toasts. Toss 1/4-inch
peeled cubes of butternut squash with a few teaspoons olive oil, place in a
baking dish, and roast at 450°F for 15 to 20 minutes. While the squash is
roasting, slice a baguette into 1/2-inch rounds. Lightly toast the rounds on a
baking sheet underneath the squash until golden, about 5 minutes, then
immediately rub them with a clove of garlic cut in half lengthwise. Portion the
roasted squash atop the toasts and sprinkle with feta crumbles. Make-ahead
hint: The squash can be roasted and the bread toasted one day in advance and
stored in separate airtight containers. Simply rewarm the squash in the
microwave or oven and assemble the bruschetta when ready to serve.
Crustless mini-quiches are an easy
crowd-pleaser, especially for carb-conscious guests. While a mini-muffin pan is
needed to make single bite-size quiches, a regular muffin pan works well, too,
since you can quarter the larger quiches into smaller servings. For 36 to 48
mini-quiches, whisk together 6 large eggs, 6 large egg yolks, 2/3 cup milk, 2/3
cup heavy cream, and your choice of fillings (peppers, onions, cheese, fresh
herbs, and any other leftover odds and ends). Grease the pan with cooking
spray, portion the egg mixture into the cups, and bake at 375°F for 15 minutes,
or until puffed and cooked throughout.
Savory Tapenade Palmiers
Whip up a simple, savory bite using
store-bought puff pastry. Roll the pastry into a 10-inch square on a lightly
floured surface, then brush it with a thin layer of pesto (store-bought or homemade) or
tapenade, and top it with shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Roll the pastry
inward from both ends (like a scroll) so that the sides meet in the center.
Using a sharp knife, cut the roll crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (you’ll
have about 20 palmiers). Bake them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at
400°F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked throughout.
Asian Glazed Shrimp Skewers
Fresh shrimp take on big flavor with
the addition of a sweet and tangy glaze. Using 2 pounds of shrimp, skewer 3
medium shelled and deveined shrimp on each skewer (if using wooden skewers,
soak them in water for 20 minutes first). Whisk together 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
with 1/2 cup orange marmalade and set aside. Place the skewers on a rimmed
baking sheet and broil for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the baking sheet from
the oven and brush both sides of the shrimp generously with the glaze. Return
the shrimp to the oven and broil for 2 more minutes. Serve warm on skewers or
tucked inside lettuce cups.
6. Greek Salad Bites
Rework the classic Greek salad into finger-friendly hors d’oeuvres. First,
peel a cucumber and slice it into 1 1/2-inch sections. Use a melon-baller to
scoop out the center of each piece without piercing all the way through. Fill
the cucumber cups with a mix of crumbled feta, chopped fresh black olives, and
diced tomatoes. Drizzle the cups with red wine vinaigrette and serve chilled.
7. Make-Ahead Chipotle Meatballs
Smoky chipotle and cumin give meatballs a Southwestern spin. Our recipe
suggests shaping the meatballs into bite-size portions and skewering them on
sticks for easy eating. Best of all, the meatballs can be made a day in advance
and rewarmed. Serve with a few slices of lime.
8. Pumpkin, Corn, and Lemongrass Soup Shooters
Our favorite autumnal soup
is a bracing blend of pumpkin, corn, and lemongrass, perfect for pre-feast
individual sips. Make-ahead hint: This soup can be prepared 2 days in advance,
chilled, and then rewarmed. Portion the soup into shooters and garnish with cilantro
leaves or additional corn kernels.
9. Crispy Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips
Bypass potatoes in favor of this chic leafy green seasoned with salt and
vinegar. To make crispy kale chips, wash and thoroughly dry curly kale, then
tear it from the stem into bite-size pieces. Drizzle the pieces very lightly
with vinegar and olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Arrange the kale
pieces in a single layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake the kale
at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy but not burned. Remove and serve,
or stash them away in an airtight container until right before the big feast.
10. Roasted Chickpeas with Sage
Cooked at high heat and brightened with fresh herb flavor, the humble
chickpea turns irresistibly crispy and downright addictive. Preheat the oven to
425°F and toss two (15-ounce) cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas with 2
tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, and salt and pepper to
taste. Arrange the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet greased
lightly with cooking spray. Roast the chickpeas for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring
halfway through, until they’re golden brown. Remove the chickpeas from the oven
and let them cool slightly before serving in parchment paper cones or ramekins
for easy snacking.
Bio on Chef Shelley Pogue: R&D Chef, Personal Chef and Caterer located in the Austin, Texas area. Texas Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Blue Graduate, with honors Cum Laude.
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