Ok, I would have put this in the "Turkey Day '05...What are you Eating thread", but one needs a bulletproof vest to hang out in there. Wink And, other than Purple Haze's Bacon Pineapple Tidbits, I didn't see too many recipes (likely because everyone is focused on the feast itself). Smile

We're actually going to a friend's house for Thanksgiving. She had given me the good old, "Just bring yourselves." So, we'd ordered flowers to be delivered Wednesday & planned to bring champagnes & pinots. Well, that part of the plan still stays. Big Grin But, today she asked me to bring an appetizer.

So, I'd love any recipes for appetizers/starters that would be nice before traditional Thanksgiving fare. (She's brining the turkey, and doing traditional sides.) It's about a half hour to their house, and I don't want to create work for her with anything I bring.

Thanks in advance for any help!!! Smile
Original Post
skosh... we don't do any "big" appys because the meal itself is so huge. We do some light fare... shrimp cocktail, various cheeses with crackers, and an olive platter (with green, black and kalamata). We also like doing fresh veggies and homemade dips, but all together it's too much... so we cut out the work with the veggies. Razz
Thanks, mwagner7700. I hear you. Because I've been asked to do so little, I feel (felt?) I should cook something (although shrimp, cheeses, & olives always work for me). Smile

So, for better or for worse, I'm in the market for one or two autumnal-type starters...
I think cheeses and veggies with dip go year round. But for fall themed ideas how about:

- some sort of bisque (seafood or veggie)
- stuffed mushrooms
- something with oysters
- some kind of cornbread (maybe filled or topped with something)
- how about a salad with cranberries, oranges, etc. We made one on Mother's day that had mixed greens, mandarin orange, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and crumbled blue cheese in a orange vinaigrette. It was fantastic.
mwagher7700 beat me to it. Big Grin Another tradition in our family was a good shrimp cocktail. Go extremely low on quantities, though. This is the case where the dish really needs to serve the purpose of appetizer. Just enough to whet the appetite. You'll know you did right if people are looking for appetizers and you've run out! Smile Seems unusual for a good hostess or guest to run out of anything, but for Thanksgiving, the meal is indeed the deal!

And if you haven't tried the tidbits, they are a real hit!!

PH
Last edited by purplehaze
For the football game before the dinner:

Shrimp with two dipping sauces- aioli and a cocktail sauce

A selection of cheeses and crackers- d'Affinois, Reblochon, St. Andre, Baked Brie, Tommes Verte, and Morbier, with red, black, and green grapes

crudite with two dips- garlic and clam

Hot nachos

Oil cured pitted Moroccan olives

A mixture of cashews, raisins, and semisweet chocolate chips

Beer, wine, soda, iced tea, water, and a few people will want Martinis
My mother in-law usually puts out the Italian apps, before the very American main meal.

Cold marinated eggplant
Fresh Mozzeralla, peppers and tomatoes
Prochiutto wrapped bread sticks
Cheeses
Maybe a Seafood Salad
PH, I'll let you prepare your answers for the onslaught of Bella's typical questions, which are:

1. What brand of pineapple chunks?
a. Sweetened or unsweetened?
b. What size can?
2. What brand of bacon?
a. Thick or thin
b. Maple or plain?
c. How many inches long should eacxh piece of bacon be?
d. Wrap around the pineapple with the grain or against the grain?
e. Overlap or not?
f. Should the bacon be cold or should I blanch it in flour first?

3. What kind of toothpick- round in crosssection or flat?
a. How long should the toothpick be?
b. Should I moisten the toothpicks so they don't burn?
c. If so, what should I soak them in?
d. For how long?

4. Should I turn the broiler on in advance?
a. For how long?
b. How close to the broiler should the tidbits be?
c. How much space should I leave between the tidbits.
d. How long do I broil them?

5. Would I be better off using a microwave?
a. How many watts?
b. High, medium, or low?
c. For how long?
d. How long should I let them rest before serving?
e. How many will each person eat?
f. Should I floss my teeth immediately after eating them?
Expect this also:

"Ph, I did your Pineapple Bacon chunks, but I used regular Apples intead of pineapple (I really don't like Pineapple) and I used Turkey, instead of bacon. I didn't think Bacon would go with apples. I also added orange marmalade to it, since I had some leftover. Anyway, I really didn't like it that much. BD 78"
quote:
Originally posted by Hunter:
Expect this also:

"Ph, I did your Pineapple Bacon chunks, but I used regular Apples intead of pineapple (I really don't like Pineapple) and I used Turkey, instead of bacon. I didn't think Bacon would go with apples. I also added orange marmalade to it, since I had some leftover. Anyway, I really didn't like it that much. BD 78"
I have never substituted all the ingredients like that Big Grin
Ok, Hunter, that's what I get for pooping in your duck thread (just kidding). Wink Smile (Seriously, you better fish out the few recipes before that bad boy is closed.)

Now I have too many good suggestions. Better that than the alternative. Smile

Perhaps bisque and a cheese/olive plate, or stuffed mushrooms and a cheese/olive plate. I like the salad and/or Italian apps idea too.

Board-O's pre-dinner items are killing me. Awesome combo anytime, but particularly during the game.

Thanks everyone! Despite what I wrote above, please feel free to post more ideas and/or recipes. Cheers!!!
quote:
Originally posted by Bella Dumba:
I have never substituted all the ingredients like that


You have a long history of doing far worse.
quote:
"Ph, I did your Pineapple Bacon chunks, but I used regular Apples intead of pineapple (I really don't like Pineapple) and I used Turkey, instead of bacon. I didn't think Bacon would go with apples. I also added orange marmalade to it, since I had some leftover. Anyway, I really didn't like it that much. BD 78"


ROTFLMAO!!! Big Grin Big Grin

PH
I'm thinking about corn and blue crab fritters with a dijon tarragon aioli; bread sticks wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with brown sugar, then baked until crispy; and maybe fried artichoke hearts and/or fried zucchini blossoms if I can find them.
BigM, we had deep fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with a manchego cheese mixture including two other cheese at a NYC restaurant. Outstanding.

For the crowd here this Thanksgiving, we wanted finger food appetizers.
quote:
Originally posted by Big M:
I'm thinking about corn and blue crab fritters with a dijon tarragon aioli; bread sticks wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with brown sugar, then baked until crispy; and maybe fried artichoke hearts and/or fried zucchini blossoms if I can find them.


I'm thinking:

1) This sounds frikkin' wonderful!! Cool

2) 60's retro bacon tidbits are a LOT less work!! Razz

Happy Thanksgiving!!

PH
PH,

You are absolutely right about the bacon wrapped breadsticks. They are so easy and so good it almost makes you feel guilty. Just make sure to cool them on a rack to prevent them from becoming soggy.
quote:
Originally posted by spo1977:
quote:
ROTFLMAO!!!



I cannot take it any longer. Would someone please tell me what that means?


Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off
PH, as always, LOL.

spo1977, Rolling on the Floor, Laughing my A$$ off.

Big M, if it's not too much trouble, would you please share the fritter & aioli, as well as breadsticks wrapped in bacon recipes? Woof!!! (Not that I can get blue crab in time, but, for the future.) Smile
For the fritters you can use a basic recipe on the net with the addition of crab and whole corn kernels. I like to saute my corn kernels just a bit with a little jalapeno for an added kick, and to soften them a little before mixing with the fritter batter. For the aioli, I use one large egg yolk per cup of oil. I will usually mix the egg yolk with a teaspoon or so of dijon, then whisk or blend in the oil. Add about a teaspoon of finely minced or smashed garlic. After that you can add whatever you like. In this case I will add some very finely chopped tarragon and maybe a little more dijon to taste. Salt and pepper of course. You can increase the acidity with lemon juice or a little vinegar. For the oil, I use a fairly neutral, grocery store type EVOO. Some people use a blend of really good EVOO and a more neutral vegetable oil. Again, you can find many more specific recipes for aioli on the net, just enhance with a little more dijon and some tarragon.

The breadsticks are really easy. You get the boxed, thicker style plain Italian breadsticks, wrap a thin slice of bacon along the entire length, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Then bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or so. The bacon should be browned. Then rest on a rack until cool.
Hi Big M,

Thank you! I myself haven't made fritters, so it will be fun. Practice, practice, practice, right? Also, I had (mistakenly) assumed you were making the breadsticks from scratch. So, that one is just too easy...Smile

Cheers!
quote:
Originally posted by Big M:

The breadsticks are really easy. You get the boxed, thicker style plain Italian breadsticks,
Big M, are these the frozen ones that turn soft when you bake them? Or are these the ones that are long, skinny and crunchy that they leave on your tables at Italian restaurants?
Well, if your bringing Pinot Noir, here's agreat app that goes well with PN (not so well with champagne) and the chutney can be made the day before.

Fig Chutney & Sicilian Sausage on Crostini

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ onion, small dice
Large Granny Smith apple peeled & diced
20 dried figs, quartered
½ cup Pinot Noir
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 small cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 small star anise
Salt and pepper to taste

1 baguette
½ pound Sicilian sausage

Dice onion and Apple. Quarter figs.
Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and apple, lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring until the onion is soft and translucent. Do not let brown. Add the figs, wine, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, bay leaf, and star anise. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 (20 to 30) minutes, or until the figs start to fall apart. Set aside at room temperature. Remove cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and star anise. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice baguette into 1/8” thick rounds, brush lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Toast in a 400°F oven until light brown in color. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Cook sausage until light brown. Remove from pan. Slice sausage into rounds. Spread fig chutney on crostini, top with slice of sausage.
Hey GreenDrazi,

Although it looks straightforward, I'm going to make this one today. Test run. Smile Do have to pick up star anise. This was just the kind of thing I was after - thanks!
Menus like these are the reason I hate the fact that I don't have a dining room large enough to host our relatives and provide a flavorful, interesting holiday meal.... Frown I think I'd like holidays more if I could come to these dinners!
skosh,
The star anise adds just a faint spice/liquorice-like touch to the flavor which helps tie it to the wine. You could use anise (or try Ouzo), but it’s not as strong and I don’t know what amounts to recommend.

The chutney can last for weeks. I also like to use it with grilled pork.
No problem finding Sicilian sausage or star anise, but I had to go to a second store to find the boxed breadsticks. (All of them were thin or had something foofy going on - the addition of asiago, poppy seeds, 14k gold, etc.) It's like the "gourmet" stuff is fairly easy to find around here, while you'll have to actually look to find the processed, oldies but goodies. Too funny. Seems to happen all the time.
My question still wasn't answered: are those breadsticks the soft kind or the hard kind that you are served at Italian restaurants waiting for your appetizers and entrees to arrive.
quote:
You get the boxed, thicker style plain Italian breadsticks


I would say that boxed, thicker sytle breadsticks would not be frozen...otherwise I would think he/she would have specified frozen.
Bella, can't you decide anything for yourself? Live a little. Try both and see which you prefer. Then maybe you'll stop asking thousands of highly unintelligent questions.

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