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Need a suggestion for Thanksgiving-day appetizer

We're doing the Macy's Parade int he AM (long story) and then back to our place for apps in the afternoon and then dinner at a favorite restaurant in town at 7 pm. I'm making stuffed artichokes and stuffed mushrooms to snack on during the afternoon at home (they are best at room temperature), but I need one more app that I can prep ahead of time and then either throw in the oven or serve room temp when we get home. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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  1. I like a cheese board, 3-5 cheeses, which can either include fruit or not. Or you could make an antipasto for an easy appetizer. How many people?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jay F

      not a fan of a cheese board for an app. it is heavy and dulls the palate, especially before a big meal. presumably it will be cold outside so a hot dish would be a nice addition, but how substantial do you want it to be? would just a bowl of warm spiced nuts be enough?

      all these can be prepped ahead and cooked/heated when you get back:

      dried figs or dates wrapped in bacon
      shrimp or scallops wrapped in bacon (or not, but with a great dipping sauce)
      asparagus bundles wrapped in puff pastry, cut into squares and baked
      roasted tomato or red pepper soup served in small cups
      chicken or beef satay
      stuffed fingerling potatoes

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        "shrimp or scallops wrapped in bacon (or not, but with a great dipping sauce)"

        Love this idea! I can wrap them ahead of time and them pop them under the broiler when we get home. I would sub prosciutto for the bacon, but still a great suggestion. Thanks hotoynoodle.

        1. re: ttoommyy

          the prosciutto will dry out before the seafood is cooked. par-cook the bacon and wrap around each shrimp or scallop. will only take about 10-15 minutes in the oven. baking is a better option than broiling for this.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            or sub water chestnuts for the seafood. Water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, and then sprinkled with brown sugar before baking. YUM!!!

      2. re: Jay F

        we usually do a cheese board with crudites in the afternoon. Fromage.com usually has a nice beaujolais noveau cheese/wine offering (the wine is pretty good) which adds a different dimension to the day. Something like a pumpkin soup would be good too.

        A month or so I had a couple of sweet potatoes hanging around for an Ottolenghi salad project. They were transitioning toward the trash bin so i diced them up and roasted them with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and rosemary. The bits got very ddark and crispy and were extremely excellent as a snack - they never made it into any salad. So something like this might be a good seasonal add on to your app array.

        1. re: karenrmj

          Sounds tasty and is the kind of thing I am looking for, but I cannot for the life of me figure out the following instructions!

          "On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 13-inch square. Fold the corners in and lightly roll the pastry into a rough round."

          Can you help me, karenrmj?

          1. re: ttoommyy

            first roll it into a relatively even square, then turn up the edges to turn the pastry into a round. i am lazy and just make these sorts of things square on a sheet-pan, lol.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Aha! I get it. Silly me, I kept reading "tightly" for the word "lightly" in this phrase: "and lightly roll the pastry into a rough round." I was picturing the doll rolled up tightly like a cigar! Thanks.

        2. How about a roasted vegetable soup? You could prepare it ahead of time and reheat or put it in a crockpot on warm.

          1. The Circassian Chicken recipe discussed on the Time Life Foods of the World cookbooks thread is meant to be served at room temperature. It's basically poached chicken in a walnut sauce thickened with bread and seasoned with onions and paprika. Very good, and probably new to most of your guests.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kleine mocha

              You could really flip thing around and do what we do. Desert First! No one has room after thanksgiving dinner.....


              1. re: don515

                What a fun idea! I'll keep that in mind.

            2. If you want a more substantial appetizer, you could roast an eye of round, slice it thin and serve it with fresh horseradish on a crusty roll.

              1 Reply
              1. re: vafarmwife

                i thought of a roast as well, but it doesn't seem like the direction the op is going. they're even fine at room temp so can be cooked early in the day and left to rest on the counter.

              2. Someone suggested caramelized pear and gorgonzola phyllo cigars on a similar thread that I started and I think they sound AMAZING. You can fill and roll the cigars ahead and freeze, then bake off quickly when you get home. Any type of filling would work, really.

                1. For those with a sweet tooth, I'd make a pumpkin pie dip and serve with fruit like pear and apple slices. It's lighter than "full-on" dessert, but still satisfying!

                  Recipes abound on the web....I make mine with canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, neutchatel cheese, a touch of lemon juice, and a little water to lighten up the consistency as necessary.

                  1. dates (no pits) wrapped in maple bacon and pan fried are sublime and a huge hit..

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Bacon dates are so good. We had some this weekend with blue cheese inside. I've also seen them with pecans inside. I precook my bacon about half way and then wrap each one with half a piece and finish in the oven. I have fried them too if I am just making a few, but usually I am making a big tray of them!

                      1. re: wekick

                        blue cheese stuffed dates...quivering like a chihuahua just thinking about that..

                        tim..love love love the endive with sour cream and caviar.

                        1. re: wekick

                          Sounds wonderful wekick. How long in the oven and at what temp? Thanks!

                          1. re: ttoommyy

                            I do them this way too - really any temp works, although I am impatient so I go to 400 so they're done faster. Just bake until the bacon is crispy, 10 mins, maybe?

                            1. re: biondanonima

                              Thanks biondanonima. I pretty much assumed what you said; I guess I was just looking for reassurance. :)

                      2. Belgian endive with a small spoon of sour cream in each leaf and a little (or a lot) of caviar.

                        1. an herbed smoke salmon dip - just google for a recipe you like, make ahead and serve in a pretty dish with good bread sticks, crackers, or those little toasts, this is one dish actually better made ahead

                          the pitted dates with maple bacon are succulent provided you can get some good quality dates, have also had this with a little bacon around a 1/4 fig and very nice

                          boil some shrimp in old bay, crab boil seasoning, or your seasoning of choice and chill to serve with a good dip - we used ketchup, green onion, garlic, worcestershire, horse raddish sauce, and port to make ours and it is best made ahead

                          crock pot meatballs aren't fancy but our family loves them done Asian-style in a sauce made by making a gravy with cider vinegar, soy sauce, corn starch, and a pinch of five spice powder

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: GertieHound

                            "boil some shrimp in old bay, crab boil seasoning, or your seasoning of choice and chill to serve with a good dip"

                            I just did this for a birthday party and everyone loved it. I may just do it again for Thanksgiving. Thanks GertieHound.

                          2. how about a warm dip in the crockpot? crockpot will go all day even while you are out and you can come back to a fantastic smelling home.

                            spinach artichoke, buffalo chicken, etc?

                            1. Something easy that we love, using tortillas (or the popn fresh pizza dough, thin variety)
                              cover with thinly sliced ripe pears, generously sprinkle with blue cheese, drizzle with honey, sparingly, fresh crushed black pepper, 400 degree oven, about 5 mins, warm, crunchy, sweet, salty, hits all the points and is really light