Easy-to-make Appetizers for Christmas

Don’t make Christmas Day stressful – please. You do not have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I promise!  This holiday appetizer menu will leave you so unstressed that you will be hanging out and enjoying your family and guests. Over my culinary years I have mellowed.  I would be in the kitchen all day. I would never see anyone, never taste anything and I would go to bed exhausted.  Now I think more strategically. I want to enjoy Christmas as much as my family so I put together a stress-free, do ahead menu.  No more sweating over a hot stove – everyone will be happy, food will be tasty and you will get to enjoy what you’ve made.  After all it’s Christmas!

I will not apologize for deviled eggs.

Just let me say this, these deviled eggs are AWESOME! Easy – tasty – and almost everyone loves them. These little devils are not just relish, mayo and yolks anymore. However, they are still easy and a great way to get put your Christmas ‘love’ in the food.   Needless to say, these are inexpensive to make.

The perfect boiled egg for deviled eggs are done this way.

1- Start the eggs in a pot of cold water. Bring them up to a boil.

2 – Cover the pot, shut off the heat.

3 – Slide the pot off the burner over on the stove. Set the timer for 13 minutes. DONE!

4 – Pour out the hot water and add cold to chill the eggs down (no ice).

Proceed with the recipe which, by the way, can easily be doubled, tripled and so on.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large hard-boiled eggs, shelled and halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney, Major Greys if you can find it
  • 1 tbsp green onions, minced
  • 1 tsp curry powder, make sure it is fresh
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Method:

1 -Scoop yolks into a bowl and mash with fork until slightly chunky.

2 -Add mayonnaise, mustard, mango chutney, green onion, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.

3 -Spoon or pipe filling into egg white halves.


Prosciutto Wrapped Figs with Port Wine and Honey Drizzle with Toasted Walnuts

This recipe could not be easier. It can be served at room temp after they are broiled and these are so delicious!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Port
  • 1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 12 ripe fresh figs cut in half lengthwise, cut through the stem if possible to leave a piece on each fig – looks nicer.
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 1 cup crumbled fresh blue cheese, your favorite lighter blue
  • 2 tbsp honey for drizzling, tupelo honey (my favorite)
  • 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts, chopped

Method:

1 – Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2- Toast the walnuts in the oven 10 minutes and set aside.

3- Pour the Port into a glass pie pan. Place all of the figs, cut side down into the Port and let marinate for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the figs with pepper.

4 -Cut the slices of the prosciutto lengthwise in half. Loosely wrap each fig half with a strip of prosciutto and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Cut the remaining Prosciutto into thin strips and then cut the strips into 2 inch pieces. In a small pan, sauté the strips until they are crisp. This only takes a couple minutes. Drain and reserve.

5 – Place blue cheese and fried prosciutto strips on top of each fig..

6 – Place the baking pan under the broiler and cook until the edges of the prosciutto are beginning to brown and the cheese is melting and bubbling.

7 – Remove from the oven and transfer the figs to a platter. Drizzle the honey over and add some toasted walnuts and serve.


Holiday White Bean Dip

This is a hit at any party and low in calories as well!  Serve with a basket of crisp toasts and keep the bottle of truffle oil ready for more drizzling.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of your favorite white bean, I use Cannellini but use Great Northern if you like
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, spicy as you like it, be careful it get hotter as it sits
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • white truffle oil, to taste, very strong but adds that holiday touch
  • 1 loaf bread, such as ciabatta or baguette, sliced and lightly toasted

Method:

1 – Season the beans to taste with salt and pepper flakes. Drain the beans, reserving the garlic cloves.

2 – Place the beans in a bowl and coarsely mash with a potato masher.

3- Add 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and continue mashing.

4 – Mash in the olive oil but keep the mixture fairly coarse. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the scallions and parsley.

5- Spoon into a serving bowl and drizzle with white truffle oil.

Posted on October 8, 2013 and filed under appetizers, Holiday.