January 6, 2015 admin

Thanksgiving Hors D’œuvres

Thanksgiving Horsdourves

Love Turkey Day so much you want to serve the classics all year round?  Or maybe the sit down dinner is not in your plans this year.  This festive hors d’oeuvres will have your guests giving you major thanks.

If the sit down dinner isn’t in your plans this upcoming Turkey Day, then festive hors d’oeuvres are a great alternative.  Serve an array of amuse bouches, or “amuse-gueles,” a French term referring to a single bite of food translating to literally, “mouth amuser.”  In restaurants, amuse bouches differ in appetizers because guests do not order them from a menu, but are created solely from the chef ’s selection alone.  Serve dishes that feature all the Thanksgiving classic ingredients, like stuffing and potatoes.  There is something about the flavors of Thanksgiving spread that can help set the tone for an evening of gratitude and cheer.  These Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvres ideas will have your guests giving you major thanks.  Oh, and because we are that spirited and there is nothing better than eating nothing but Thanksgiving food for three days straight, the ideas are in an acrostic style spelling THANKS.

T is for…Triple Threat Potatoes.  Jaymee Sire, an emmy-award winning sports reporter and anchor, has an awesome food blog called E is for Eat, where we found this triple the taste hors d’œuvre.  Called “The Triple Threat” for the three ways the spud is prepared – baked, fried, and mashed.  AKA the best ways to serve it.  Grab a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, designating the larger ones for hash browns, the medium-sized ones for the skins, and the smaller ones for the
filling.  Wash and dry potatoes, and separate the chosen ones for shredding accordingly.  Drizzle the others with oil and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.  If your potatoes are smaller than most, opt to keep them mostly whole by cutting a small portion off the top, or if they are too lumpy and don’t sit right, shave a small piece of the bottom as well, and scoop out most of the insides with a melon baller.

From there, use your preferred method to create mashed potatoes.  For classic mashed, use a potato ricer for fluffing, and add a little bit of sour cream, buttermilk, butter, salt and pepper.  Feel free to include chives, bacon, cheese, etc.

Once the filling is made, stuff mixture into piping bag, using a plain or star tip if you want to get fancy.  Brush them with a little melted butter (optional) and pop them back in the oven until warmed through and starting to brown around the edges. While the ‘toes are baking for a second time, start on your hash brown toppings.  Begin with heating oil on the stove over medium-high heat while you peel and shred the potatoes.  To achieve the crispiest of hash browns, you want to squeeze all the moisture out of the shredded potatoes.  A potato ricer works great for squeezing when you use the holes to get all the moisture out instead of pushing the potato through them.

The oil needs to be simmering and extremely hot.  Drop little piles of the shredded potato into the oil and fry until golden brown and flip.  Finally, sprinkle potatoes with chives or parsley and top with crispy hash brown rounds.

H is for Hot Turkey Aage Meatballs with Cranberry Glaze
Eat turkey before you eat more turkey.  Without having to commit the time to cook a full turkey,
this is an easy twist with abundant flavor.  Gobble, gobble up. For the meatball..
1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey, 90% lean
1/4 cup bread crumbs, plain
1/4 cup ricotta, (I use whole milk)
1 egg, large
1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbs sage, chiffonade
2+Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup water

1 cup sugar
12oz cranberries, fresh if available
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp zest (orange or tangerine)
2 Tbs ginger, minced and pressed
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all meatball ingredients.  Mix with fork until just slightly incorporated.  Form meat mixture info 3/4 inch balls or use a melon ball to keep size consistent, and place on tray same distance apart.  On medium heat, heat vegetable oil in a large skillet.  Careful not to overcrowd, gently add turkey meatballs in three batches, turning with two forks to evenly brown on all sides.  Place on baking sheet and pace in oven until they are cooked through, about fifteen minutes.  While baking, combine the water, sugar, cranberries, salt, zest, ginger, and apple cider vinegar.  Simmer on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until cranberries have all split open.  Off heat, stir in cayenne and adjust seasoning to taste.  Transfer mixture to a strainer over a large sauté pan.  Press remaining juice through with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.  Be sure to scrape the outside of the strainer to include the fine pulp.  Heat Cranberry Glaze on medium heat, allowing it to
reduce and thicken.  The glaze should have the texture of a thick syrup.  Add the turkey meatballs to the glaze, heating through and spooning the glaze over top.  Transfer to a warm bowl. You may want to spoon extra glaze on the side for dipping, and serve with toothpicks.

A is for Not ANOTHER Corn Casserole

Fresh corn can be served a dozen or so ways, roasted, boiled,baked, and this casserole has a delicious sweet fresh corn flavor that tastes right out of the field.  The perfect combo or fresh and creamed corn is the perfect addition to your passed hors d’eovres.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for coating pan
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears of corn)
1 15-ounce can cream-style corn
1 cup sour cream
1 8-ounce package corn muffin mix
6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch salt
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup melted butter, cream-style corn, sour cream, muffin mix, green onions, pepper, salt, and fresh corn.  Stir together and pour batter into the pan.  Bake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let stand for five before serving.  One 9inch pan yields six to eight servings.

N…is for Nifty Stuffing Balls.
Stuffing is a staple at Thanksgiving.  These bite size spheres are perfect paired with Merlot and our triple threat potatoes.  The stuffing recipe is pretty traditional but molded into balls to keep all guests from fighting over the crispy ends of the stuffing.  First let bread go stale.  Use a variation, like multigrain, potato, and white for different flavors.  Cook celery, onion, and peppers with oil until tender and translucent.  Spice up the bread with salt, pepper,minded garlic, Italian seasonings, parsley, and fresh sage is a must!  Add celery and onions to bread and seasonings in a baking pan.  Heat up about two cups of chicken stock until warm and add it to the bread.  An ideal texture is moist, but not soupy.  Mix mixture together then start getting dirty to create the balls.  Form balls into 3/4 inch spheres until there is none left!  Line them on a baking sheet that is lightly greased and covered in foil.  Bake for an hour at 350, turning once at thirty minutes.  Let these puppies rest for five, then serve piping hot, with gravy if desired.

K is for…Glazed Pineapple Kielbasa Bites
This may not be one of your classic Thanksgiving staples, but these little Polish sausage’s are something worth biting into.  It’s a tropical spin on glazed ham that guests will pop into their mouths faster than you can plate.  This recipe makes 2 dozen.  If you are feeding a large crowd or a crowd of big eaters, feel free to double up on the pineapple and kielbasa.  The sauce yields enough for double.

For the glaze you will need..
3 Tbsp. of Teriyaki sauce
1 Tbsp. of Sweet Chili sauce
1 Tbsp. of honey
1 Tbsp. of pineapple juice from can
1 (or more) regular Kielbasa, sliced
1 (or more, 20 oz) can pineapple chunks, reserve juice.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Top sliced kielbasa with a pineapple chunk, or layer kielbasa and pineapple and stick with a toothpick.  In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Place kielbasa bites onto the baking sheets and brush glaze over tops and sides.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, let cool, and serve.

S is for…Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites
These elegant dazzlers are sure to impress guests with their frosted look.  Red, sparkling, sweet, tart and creamy, these winter hors d’oeuvres are everything you could want to warm up your holidays.  Fresh cranberries are only available this time of year, so grab a bag the next time you are at the market.  To make about sixteen, you will need..

Sugared Cranberries
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup good maple syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
16 crackers
8 oz Brie cheese
cranberry chutney or cranberry relish, we suggest fresh mint for garnish

Start with rinsing cranberries and placing in a medium bowl.  Heat syrup in a small sauce pan just until warm.  Heating the syrup thins it out, ensuring that there is not too thick of a coat. Pour syrup over cranberries when syrup is warm.  If the syrup is too hot, cranberries can pop. Cool, cover, and let soak in the refrigerator over night.  The next day, drain cranberries in a colander and pour in a bowl or baking dish.  Add cranberries in 2 batches and roll around until lightly coated in sugar.  Let those babies dry for about an hour.

We suggest Caar’s water crackers for a perfect crunch.  Spread brie cheese, with cranberry chutney of choice, we suggest Trader Joe’s or Stonewall Kitchen (available online or Sur la Table), top with mint for garnish and sugared cranberries.  Make sure to spread enough cheese on the cracker, as sometimes cranberries can be a bit tart.  Enjoy.  This one is sure to shine like a star on any holiday table.

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