From Our Kitchen to Yours: Fall Appetizers
For Dalena and I, November is one of our favorite months of the year. It’s always a little sad to take down all the Halloween stuff, but the Harvest pumpkins still get to share the spotlight in our home for another month of festivities. And if there’s anything that makes Dalena happy, it’s pumpkins....I did propose to her in a pumpkin patch, after all!
Most important to us this month, is that our home is ready for our annual Thanksgiving feast and every year we like to do something special with the menu. We’re still bouncing some ideas around, but now is the perfect time to practice making some appetizers and dishes that’ll surprise our family and friends. Last thing we want to do Thanksgiving day is get “experimental” in the kitchen. And along with all the traditional staples we’ll be making, I want to make sure we’re on top of our game.
This year we decided to focus on some unique twists to our appetizers. And equally important to them being delicious, is that they are easy to make!
For our first recipe, Dalena is making a Harvest Crostini. This appetizer is not only easy to make, it’s also healthy and will impress your guests.
- 1 French Baguette (We used Schar because it’s gluten free!)
- 1 Triple Creme Brie Cheese
- 1 Pear
- Raw Unfiltered Honey (Or any you like!)
First, slice the baguette in ¼ inch pieces and place on a baking sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 375 and toast the baguette slices for 15-20 mins. You want these to be toasty on outside with still a little chewiness.
While that’s toasting, slice some thin pieces of your brie along with the pear. You’ll want to layer those on the crostini right out the oven for them to melt. Lay the brie first, followed by the pear. Then drizzle some honey across each crostini. No need to drown them, just a light kiss will do. And lastly, sprinkle them all over with some crushed walnuts. And that is that! Now watch your guests smile after every bite!
Our next appetizer has my name written all over it. Dalena always says that my favorite vegetable is potato. So I had to include it in an app! I’ve decided to make Chorizo Mashed Potato Balls, and although it’s not nearly as healthy as Dalena's appetizer, it will score just as high on the taste-ometer.
Chorizo Mashed Potato Balls
- 4-5 Red Potatoes
- 1 lb Chorizo
- ½ cup Almond Milk
- Salted Butter
- 1 Egg
- Bread Crumbs
- Sea Salt
- Garlic Powder
- Creme Fraiche
- Olive Oil
Boil 4-5 large red potatoes. Cook your chorizo on the stove top while the potatoes are boiling. We use a higher quality chorizo that is not only preservative free, but also gluten free. That said, feel free to use your favorite brand. Keep the chorizo on the side til your taters are done. When they are done, get to mashing! Add in the almond milk, butter, and seasonings to taste. Then combine both the chorizo and mashed and watch the magic happen. This is a next level mashed by itself, but for appetizer purposes I’m going to let this cool for 30-45 mins.
Meanwhile, prepare your dredging station with 1 egg in a bowl or plate along with the breadcrumbs on a separate bowl or plate. Because I’m gluten intolerant, I purchased a bag of GF croutons and had fun crushing them while in the bag. But again, feel free to use any breadcrumbs of your choice.
Once the mashed is cooled, you can start making the balls. Dip each ball into the egg to coat and then roll it around in the breadcrumb dish. Place each ball on a baking sheet. Once you’ve made enough, brush with oil all around. We used olive oil, but any will do. Then pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and place them in for 20-25 mins. You’ll want these to toast fully.
When they’re done, let them cool for 15-20 mins. This will ensure that they don’t crumble when you plate them. Spread some creme fraiche on a serving dish. Place your Chorizo Mashed Potato Balls on the dish and then sprinkle generously with chopped chives. That’s it!
We hope these recipes help inspire you this Thanksgiving! And that your Fall festivities are filled with love, laughter, and good eating!