Simple Holiday Appetizers – Local-Style!
While most fresh fruits and veggies come from outside the area as winter settles in, we still get to enjoy an abundance of local foods. With holiday gatherings bringing us together around our shared love of food, here are some ideas for appetizers made using local ingredients. Many of these recipes require five ingredients or less, making them simply delicious. If you try any of these recipes, let us know what you think on our Facebook page.
Crostini with Goat Cheese – Slather Sassy Nanny Farmstead Cheese Lake Effect (Herbster, Wis.) onto Coco crostini (Washburn, Wis.). The creamy goat cheesy pairs well with the crunchy bread. Add tapenade (an olive spread) or fresh, chopped tomatoes from Bay Produce (Superior, Wis.).
Sauerkraut Spinach Dip – Blend together one package of thawed frozen spinach, 1 ½ cups Spirit Creek Farm Sauerkraut (Herbster, Wis.), and 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise in your food processor or blender until smooth. Dip in with fresh carrots, pretzels, or bread sticks.
Pickled Garlic & Cream Cheese Spread – Blend together Jalapeña Nina’s Spicy Pickled Garlic (Mason, Wis.) with 1 cup cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of fresh basil or dill. Great on crackers or crostini.
Pickled Garlic Picks – Simply slip Jalapeña Nina’s Spicy Pickled Garlic (Mason, Wis.) onto the ends of toothpicks. Add a cube of creamy cheese such as on the bottom to help them stand up. For even more flavor add a fresh basil leaf and cherry tomato.
Baked Brie with Cranberry Chutney – Soft, creamy brie like Tous Les Deux from Happy Hollow Creamery (Bayfield, Wis.) makes a lovely addition to your holiday spread. Pair it with cranberry chutney from Meadowbrook Family Farm (Exeland, Wis.) for a sweet way to eat your cheese and crackers. Bake the brie on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or until it starts to ooze. Transfer to a serving plate and top with several spoonfuls of chutney.
Jelly or Jam Pie Bites – Make your favorite pie dough. Use a small cookie cutter to cut out circles from the dough. Freeze for two minutes on parchment paper placed on a cookie sheet. Spread peanut butter on one circle and local jelly or jam from Bayfield Apple Company or Northwind Farm (both of Bayfield, Wis.) on another. Place circles together, spread-side in. Crimp the edges of each circle with the tines of a fork. Beat together one egg and a splash of milk. Brush each pie with the egg wash. Cut an X in each top to help steam escape. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Smoked Provolone Spread Crostini with Bacon Bits – Grab some Coco crostini (Washburn, Wis.), spread on some Coco Smoked Provolone Spread, and then top with bacon bits and fresh chives. Not big on bacon? Try a slice of corned beef.
Smoked Trout Dip – Combine 6 ounces Everett’s smoked trout (Port Wing, WI), skin removed, with 1 teaspoon fresh chives, 2 tablespoons capers, 1 teaspoon fresh dill, ¼ cup plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors blend. Serve with rye bread, crostini, crackers, or veggies.