Monday , 18 December 2017

Lorie Fangio: Super Simple Appetizers for Holiday Entertaining

By Lorie Fangio, TSB Contributor

Celebrate friendship this holiday season and entertain in your home with a bounty of delicious appetizers. Tasty tidbits full of flavor are satisfying party fare. Whether hosting a few friends or a whole crowd, be prepared with some terrific go to recipes sure to please. 

Entice your guests with an array of scrumptious savory offerings. Blue Cheese Truffles are simply tiny cheese balls but don’t let their size fool you, these little gems are a taste sensation. Stuffed Grilled Shrimp, wrapped in nutty prosciutto, packs a punch of spicy jalapeno flavor. Basil Pesto Bruschetta with Sun Dried Tomatoes is feast for the eyes and the palette; all the components are done ahead so last minute assembly is effortless.

Entertaining for the holidays really can be simple. An arsenal of tasty appetizers short on effort and long on flavor make party planning a breeze. So plan a celebration today and delight your guests with hassle free homemade favorites.

Blue Cheese Truffles
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
¾ cup finely chopped walnuts

Let cheese come to room temperature. Mix cheese and seasonings together.  Shape cheese mixture into ½ inch balls using a kitchen scoop and your hands.  Roll balls in chopped nuts and store in the refrigerator until serving with crackers.

Stuffed Grilled Shrimp
16 large shrimp peeled and deveined
One jalapeno
1 4 ounce package cream cheese
8 thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
Salt and pepper

Combine oil and rosemary, set aside. Cut the jalapeno in half and cut each half into 8 thin slices, discarding seeds and membranes.  Cut prosciutto slices in half long ways giving you 16 thin strips that resemble bacon. Using a sharp knife make a slit down the back of each shrimp. Assemble the shrimp by stuffing about a teaspoon of cream cheese and jalapeno slice into the back of the shrimp. Wrap the prosciutto around the shrimp and secure with a toothpick. Brush shrimp with oil mixture, season with salt and pepper. Place shrimp on hot grill or grill pan set to medium high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. Grilled shrimp can be held in a warm oven for up to an hour.

Basil Pesto Bruschetta with Sun Dried Tomatoes
One package of fresh basil
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup pistachios or traditional pine nuts
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup sun dried tomatoes coarsely chopped
1 French bread baguette cut into ¼ inch slices.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread bread slices onto a baking sheet, toast until slightly browned on both sides. In a food processor combine basil, parmesan, garlic and nuts and process until smooth. Continue to process as you add olive oil in a stream. Spread pesto on toasted French bread slices. Top with sun dried tomatoes and return to the broiler for 2-3 minutes to warm.

Lorie Fangio is a Home Economist and Lifestyle Advisor.  For more terrific recipes click on the link to Lorie’s Blog Around the Table

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