Starters tide over hungry dinner guests

  • Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 8:34am
  • Life

By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist

When you consider the marvelous, mouth-watering, hours-long, starvation-building aromas wafting from the kitchen come Thanksgiving, it’s no wonder some people set out a few appetizers.

A few nibbles of this or that then, to hold body and soul together until dinner is served Thursday, or to haul out of the oven at upcoming holiday parties, might be just the ticket.

And thanks to frequent Forum recipe-sharer Lavon Woodey of Everett, we’ll have a trio of possibilities coming right up that will be on hand when the need arises.

“With party season now here,’’ she says, “these appetizers are crowd pleasers. The spread is a change of flavors and is a bit unusual, but draws many a rave!

“The stuffed figs I made for a party also had raves, even from those that usually don’t eat figs or goat cheese.

“As for the bacon-chestnut wraps, the sauce gives a twist to the usual plain bacon-wrapped chestnuts.’’

Hearts of palm spread

1can (14 ounces) hearts of palm, drained and finely chopped

3/4cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3green onions, finely chopped

2/3cup mayonnaise

1/4cup sour cream

2tablespoons minced pimiento

1/8teaspoon cayenne pepper

Toasted French bread rounds, crackers, pita triangles or other favorite dippers

Turn chopped hearts of palm into a mixing bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon each of the cheese and green onions and add remainder to the mixing bowl. Mix, then add the mayonnaise, sour cream, pimiento and cayenne pepper and mix well. Spread mixture in an 8-inch square baking pan and sprinkle with the reserved cheese and green onion.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly; run quickly under broiler to brown top.

Serve with choice of dippers.

Bacon-water chestnut wraps

1pound bacon, cut in half crosswise

2cans (8 ounces) each water chestnuts, drained

1/2cup brown sugar

1/2cup mayonnaise

1/4cup chili sauce

Fry bacon until almost crisp; drain. Wrap each water chestnut with a bacon piece and secure with a toothpick. Place in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, mayonnaise and chili sauce, mixing well; pour over the chestnuts and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Stuffed figs

Figs (found at Trader Joe’s)

Goat cheese

Peeled almonds (optional)

Bacon slices, cut in thirds

Balsamic vinegar sweetened to taste with sugar

Cut figs to open; stuff with goat cheese (poke in an almond, if desired), wrap each with a bacon piece and secure bacon with a toothpick. Arrange on rimmed sheet and bake or broil until the bacon crisps. Lift from pan, drain quickly and serve drizzled with sweetened balsamic vinegar.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen wraps.