Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes
New Media PublishingThere are many of us who treat Thanksgiving dinner like a sport: training and stretching our stomach in advance of the big day, and letting it rest for a good six hours prior to game time. And on Thanksgiving afternoon, those serious food athletes are bound to arrive at your door hungry (and thirsty).
So you need to be armed with some Thanksgiving appetizers and snacks that won't fill guests up but will keep them satisfied until you're ready to serve dinner. We've got 5 appetizer recipes that leave plenty of room for the feast but have more substance, taste and flair than a veggie platter. Remind guests to take it easy, though -- this is just the warm-up round, after all.
When combined with garlic that has been roasted with herbs, salt and pepper, puréed eggplant turns into a surprisingly aromatic dip. Serve it with crudites or crackers.
This riff on muhammara, a spicy Syrian red pepper dip, is exotic (and wildly addictive) yet a breeze to prepare.
Palmiers are sweet, caramelized French pastries in the shape of palm leaves, often served with coffee or tea as a dessert accompaniment. This savory version is made with two kinds of cheese and black pepper -- perfect to complement that glass of wine.
Using just a few packaged and canned ingredients from your local market and a loaf pan, make a layered terrine that is sure to impress guests. It's excellent served atop baguette slices or crackers and easy to make. (We promise.)
Beer PairingsIf you're beginning your feast with crackers, crudités and cheese, follow a few simple guidelines. For a smoked gouda, look toward an effervescent saison such as Pretty Things' Jack D'Or or Saison Dupont. Cheddars will do well with a malty pale ale, such as Stone Brewing's gently bitter take. And stinky cheeses, such as gorgonzola or Stilton, go great with barleywines like Tröegs Flying Mouflan -- in moderation. You don't want to blow out guests' taste buds before the main course.
Wine Pairings• Serve guests something fresh and youthful, like 2008 Beringer Reserve Chardonnay (Napa Valley, California) as its floral notes and mild, balanced and creamy flavors of pineapple and butterscotch will get guests prepped for the rest of the feast.
• Another option is a sparkling wine, such as NV Taltarni Brut Rose Tache (Australia). Made from Pinot Noir grapes, its pale-pink color is festive, and its nose smells of wild strawberries before winding into a creamy finish.
• 2008 Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon) is a light-bodied red wine with rich plum notes, which would go great with just about any savory dip, appetizer or cheese board.
• For a little bit of bubbly to awaken the palate, open a bottle or two of Mumm Napa Brut Rose (Napa Valley, California). It's got assertive plum, cherry and wild-strawberry notes against a crisp, refreshing structure. A veggie tray would be a good pairing for this wine.