Appetite for appetizersWhen it comes to parties, I’ve always been an appetizer kind of guy (can you say smoked salmon). I’d much rather stand around nibbling finger food than sitting down for a full-blown meal with all the amenities.
By: Jeff Tiedeman, Grand Forks Herald
The last time I attended a New Year’s Eve party escapes my mind. But if there was food at it, I’m sure you could have found me around the appetizer table.
When it comes to parties, I’ve always been an appetizer kind of guy (can you say smoked salmon). I’d much rather stand around nibbling finger food than sitting down for a full-blown meal with all the amenities.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to plop myself on a chair for one of those feasts like the one on Thanksgiving last month or the one Therese and I shared on Christmas Day last week. Those are the kind of food get-togethers that never get old, especially if it’s with family.
But two of those meals within a month can sustain my appetite for that type of extravaganza for quite a while, and I think that’s why appetizers seem so appealing not just to me but a lot of other people when it comes to those last-day-of-the-year parties.
I haven’t hosted or been to a New Year’s Eve party for a long time, but there are some appetizers that caught my eye recently at www.delish.com/recipes/best-recipes/appetizer-recipes. Any of them would be welcome at food get-together. They included sauteed shrimp cocktail, sun-dried tomato bruschetta, little crab cakes with wasabi mayo, Chinese dumplings, orange-chipotle salsa, oven-fried chicken tenders, pimiento deviled eggs, onion chip dip, marinated olives, orange-glazed chicken wings, instant party mix and hummus.
While my holiday partying days are pretty much behind me, this time of the year, there usually are food events at work that fill the void. We recently had a potluck to celebrate the Christmas season, and there was a ton of food, most of which was of the appetizer variety. Besides the standard chips and dips, a couple of types of pickles and meat-and-cheese trays, there was, of course, the old standby — little smokies in barbecue sauce.
But I think my favorite type of food at the potluck was the fruit and vegetables that came with some sort of dip. My favorite of that genre was the broccoli and carrots that were served with a Ranch dressing.
And on another day in the past two weeks, Mark Young, our Information Systems Department manager, brought in another of my favorites, crackers and venison sausage, which he had cut into small pieces and cooked in Western dressing in a crockpot.
But I’ve discovered another appetizer that comes pretty close. It was cream cheese topped with a hot jalapeno pepper jelly and served with crackers (Wheat Thins and original Triscuits). Therese had put together the tasty appetizer for a party at her school, and luckily, there was some left over, which she brought home. It went quite well with another appetizer I fixed recently, smoked pheasant.
And just about the time I finished off the last of the jelly-covered cream cheese Therese had made for her teaching buddies, a couple of my friends, Mac and Bettye Salisbury, presented me with a jar of jalapeno jelly they picked up at the World of Christmas in Park Rapids, Minn. (before it closed for good this month), with specific instructions to use it atop a platter of cream cheese.
They also gave me some spicy hot sauce and a packet of habenero salsa mix — because they know I like things on the firey side. With the cold temps we’ve been experiencing, they just might be the ticket to stay warm.
And even if the weather turns nice, it won’t be enough to cool my appetite for appetizers.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.