For starters, how about trying these?
A variety of appetizers is a nice way to make your holiday party guests welcome while you're waiting for everyone to arrive.
With an exciting assortment, you'll be able to please the most finicky guests.
The following recipes are provided by the National Pork Board:
2 pounds lean ground pork
1 cup ice water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. With hands or wooden spoon mix pork, water, soy sauce and pepper thoroughly in large bowl. Shape into 3/4 -inch balls (mixture will be fairly soft and balls will not be perfect). Arrange closely together in single layer on ungreased shallow baking pan, like a jelly-roll pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from pan, and serve immediately with a dipping sauce, like your favorite salad dressings (Russian, Thousand Island, Ranch) or choose from the suggestions below. Use toothpicks to skewer meatballs to dip. Or remove from pan, cool, cover and freeze or refrigerate. Serve cold or reheated.
Try these dips from the condiment category:
* Barbecue-Cranberry Dip
* Ginger-Orange Dip
* Toasted Onion Dip
Black Bean Dip
2 15-oz cans black beans, drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced *
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
* Use rubber gloves when handling hot pepper.
In food processor, blend together all ingredients except cilantro. Remove bean dip to serving bowl; cover and refrigerate until serving time. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Makes 4 cups.
Bacon, Lettuce and TomatoBruschetta
8-10 slices bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled
3-4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 11/3 cup)
1 cup chopped leafy green lettuce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 package (16-oz.) twin French bread loaves, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup favorite crumble cheese, blue cheese or feta (optional)
In medium bowl, stir together all topping ingredients; set aside. Brush olive oil on both sides of bread slices; place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F., turning once, for 7 minutes per side or until crisp and golden brown; cool. Spoon about 1 tablespoon topping on each toast round, or, serve topping in a small bowl, surrounded by the toast rounds.
Makes about 24 appetizers.
Tailgate Tip: Prepare and refrigerate topping ingredients and bake toast rounds ahead of time. For best flavor, stir together topping ingredients just before serving.
Ham, Gorgonzola and Pear Crostini
1 package (8 oz.) finely chopped ready-to-eat ham (about 2 cups)
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can (15.25 oz.) Bartlett pears in heavy syrup, drained and finely chopped
1/3 cup (3 oz.) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 loaf French bread or 3 to 4 French sandwich rolls
1/3 cup olive oil
Green onion slices for garnish
Combine ham, cream cheese, pears, cheese, onion and pepper; refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend. Slice French bread into 1/4-inch slices. Place in single layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides of each slice with some of the olive oil. Bake at 375 & ordm; for 6 minutes per side or until toasted and golden brown. Remove from oven to cool on wire rack. When ready to serve, spoon about 1 tablespoon ham mixture on each toasted bread slice. Garnish with green onion slices.
Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley Torte
11/2 cups butter, divided
3 3-ounce packages cream cheese
4 ounces smoked ham, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons Madeira or Port, divided
White pepper, ground, to taste
2 cups firmly packed parsley, stems removed
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup drained and coarsely chopped roasted red peppers
1/3 cup cubed ham
Place 1/2 cup butter, 3 ounces cream cheese, the 4 ounces chopped ham, 1 tablespoon wine and white pepper to taste; process until smooth. Remove to small bowl, cover and chill.
In processor, process another 1/2 cup butter, 3 ounces cream cheese, the parsley, green onion, 1 tablespoon of wine and white pepper to taste. Remove to small bowl, cover and chill.
Process remaining butter, cream cheese, the red peppers, remaining wine and pepper to taste until smooth; remove to small bowl, cover and chill. Line a glass 2-quart bowl or glass 9-inch pie plate with plastic wrap; sprinkle in cubed ham; spread the ham mixture, spread the red pepper mixture, and top with a layer of the parsley mixture. Cover and chill overnight. Unmold onto serving plate; let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.
Pineapple-Mango Salsa with Baked Flour Tortilla Chips
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 can (8 oz) pineapple tidbits, packed in juice, drained
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 packages (81/2) flour tortillas (about 6 inches in diameter)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
Salt to taste
In medium bowl, stir together all ingredients except tortilla chips ingredients; cover and refrigerate to blend flavors until ready serve.
Makes 12 servings (1/4 cup per serving).
Prepare and refrigerate this colorful salsa up to 1 day ahead. If time is short, serve with purchased tortilla chips.
* Baked Flour Tortillas Chips: Place tortillas in a single layer on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Brush lightly with butter on both sides. Using a knife or kitchen shears, cut each tortilla into 4 wedges. Sprinkle with salt. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp and light brown. Cool slightly (chips will continue to crisp as they cool). Serve warm or cool. Store baked chips in a tightly covered container for up to 3 weeks.
Pork Kabobs with Tequila and Pineapples
1/2 pound pork loin, in chunks
5 chili peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
1/4 cup tequila
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bell peppers, chopped in chunks
2 cups pineapple chunks, freshly chopped
12 cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix chili peppers, garlic, ginger, oil, and tequila, soy sauce and lemon juice. Place pork in a deep dish. Add the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 6 or more hours. Take out the pork chunks from the marinade and insert them onto metal skewers, alternating between bell peppers, pineapples and cherry tomatoes. Place marinade in a pot and cook for 8 minutes to thicken slightly. Place over the grill until golden and pour marinade over the skewers continually.
Sesame Pork Appetizers
11/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 green onion, finely chopped
In a dish large enough to hold the tenderloin, combine the sherry and soy sauce. Add the pork. Let marinate, 1-2 hours, turning several times. Remove the tenderloin. Spread the honey on a plate. Roll the pork in honey, then in sesame seeds. Place the tenderloin in a roast pan, roast at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F. Let stand 5 minutes, then slice thinly on the diagonal.
Combine all remaining ingredients for dipping sauce. Place in a bowl in the center of a serving platter. Surround the bowl with the spinach leaves. Arrange pork slices on top.
Spinach Filled Ham Pinwheels
10 thin slices ham, about 3/4 pound
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Dash ground cayenne
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 8-oz. can water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
In medium bowl stir together sour cream, Parmesan cheese, pepper and cayenne. Stir in spinach and water chestnuts. Spread about 2 tablespoons filling on each ham slice. Roll up jelly roll fashion; wrap each roll in plastic wrap, refrigerate 1-2 hours. To serve, slice each roll crosswise into 5 pinwheels. Serve with toothpicks. Makes about 50 servings.
Thinly-sliced deli ham holds a savory mixture of spinach, water chestnuts and cheese. Skewered with toothpicks by hungry guests, these pinwheels will satisfy a cocktail crowd.
When Pigs Fly Appetizer
4 boneless pork chops, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 14-oz. bottle hot-style ketchup
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
In large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir pork cubes for 4-5 minutes or until pork is just done. Remove excess fat from skillet; reduce heat to low. Add remaining ingredients to skillet, stirring to coat pork cubes. Cover and cook about 1 minute or until heated through. Transfer to warm serving dish; serve with toothpicks.
Reminiscent of Buffalo wings, these bite-sized pieces of tender pork are bathed in spicy hot sauce.