Fun winter finger food. November 26, 2010Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
Tags: appetizer recipe, appetizers, easy appetizer, holiday appetizers, winter appetizers
Silence Dogood here. Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any big dinner presents the cook with the same problem: How do you give your ravenous guests something to fend off starvation until the meal is on the table without giving them a chance to overeat and be unable to appreciate the food you’ve probably spent days preparing? Appetizers seem like the ideal solution, but not just any appetizer will do. Cheese and crackers, rich dips, bruschetta, tapenade or baked brie on sliced baguette, hummus and pita, even salsa and chips—it’s all too easy for a hungry guest to inadvertently overindulge.
This Thanksgiving, I finally hit on the perfect solution. It’s everything an appetizer should be: light but satisfying, crunchy but creamy, healthy but decadent, easy to eat with your fingers, always at the right temperature. It’s stuffed endive, and trust me, it’s so delicious it’s a good thing you can serve plates and limit the portions!
To make these delicious endive “boats,” you’ll need to buy Belgian endive (those tight, pale green heads in the salad section with boatlike leaves), crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled feta cheese, dried cranberries, and nuts. (I had pecans on hand, but you could use walnuts or even smoked almonds if you prefer them.) That’s all there is to it!
To put the boats together, place four large or six smaller leaves on each salad plate. Add a little crumbled Gorgonzola in the bottom of each leaf “boat” (this adds delicious bite, but you don’t want to overdo it or it will overwhelm the other flavors). Fill the leaves almost to the top with crumbled feta. Now, press in 4-6 dried cranberries in each “boat” (again, you want to add color and flavor, but not to overwhelm the other flavors with sweetness; ultimately, this is a savory appetizer). Sprinkle chopped nuts over the top of each filled leaf, and top it with lemon pepper or fresh-ground pepper.
Give each guest a filled plate, a napkin, and a glass of dry Reisling, Traminette, or Pinot Grigio, and scoot back into the kitchen to finish cooking in peace. Your guests will think you’re the grestest host or hostess who ever lived—and they’ll still have room for your wonderful meal.
‘Til next time,