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« Valley Food Home

Simple appetizers for your holiday gathering


Published: Wed, November 13, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Family Features

Kick off your holiday parties in style with flavorful appetizers every guest will enjoy.

Whether you’re a seasoned holiday host or a first-timer, throwing a holiday party can be a bit overwhelming. But with the proper tools, such as a great sampling of easy-to-make appetizers and delicious beverage pairings, you and your guests will get in the festive mood in no time.

Simple starters

When planning your appetizer fare, go with casual selections that require little to no cleanup. Finger foods, like this recipe for Sweet Slice Ham Sliders, require just a few savory, mouth-watering ingredients and minimal time in the kitchen. Or, take some inspiration from the menus of Italian restaurants and wine bars and create an old world-inspired charcuterie board composed of Boar’s Head Brand artisan meats and cheeses. Here are a few tips to create your own:

Delight and prime guests’ palates: Use one to two ounces of cheese and three slices of meat per person. This will give your guests a mix of salty and savory items to delight their palates but not overwhelm them before the main course.

Arm independent snackers: Don’t fully precut your cheese choices. To give guests the most interaction with the delicacies, slice a few pieces and then pair a knife with each selection.

Choose the cheese: The cheese selection should also be diverse and include a minimum of a fresh, semi-soft, firm and hard cheese. Try Boar’s Head Asiago Vecchio Cheese, Picante Sharp Provolone Cheese and Aged Gouda. For more tasty ideas, visit www.boarshead.com.

Match your meat: You’ll want to display a variety of charcuterie including cured, smoked and preserved meats. Boar’s Head Bianco D’Oro Italian Dry Salame, Italian Dry Sausage and Prosciutto Di Parma are robust and delicious.

Add the finishing touches: Recreate the artisan culinary experience by placing meats and cheeses on a wooden platter or cutting board. Accessorize by adding fruits, nuts, olives, grapes and honey for dipping. Be sure to offer textural contrasts with dippers, such as whole grain crackers, crusted breads, breadsticks and crostini.

Cheers to your success: Pair a great wine or beer with your choice of meat and cheese. For example, a Cabernet Sauvignon goes great with a dry salami, while dark beers pair perfectly with aged Gouda.

So, get your party started right with a delicious assortment of appetizers and just relax. As long as the drinks and delicious foods are flowing, the good times will as well.

Sweet Slice Ham Sliders

Serves: 8

Cooking time: 10 minutes

8 appetizer size rolls

1/2 cup apple butter

4slices Sweet Slice Boneless Smoked Ham, sliced thick

4slices whole milk low moisture mozzarella cheese, sliced thick

Slice rolls and spread with apple butter. Cut ham and cheese slices in half to fit on roll. Add one slice each of ham and cheese to roll. Arrange on dish and serve.


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