It’s Thanksgiving Thursday. Everyone’s waiting for the turkey to cool down. Or waiting for Uncle Charlie to arrive. Then, there’s skinny cousin Carla, who doesn’t know how to cook but “wanders” into the kitchen to taste “a little something” because she’s hungry and can’t wait.
Having an appetizer ready, just in case, will keep the natives from getting too restless while they wait for dinner to be served. The important thing to remember is that it should be simple to prepare and not filling.
There are simple things such as nuts or chips. But since we are putting a twist on it, try some spiced or glazed nuts. You can purchase them at the grocery store or make them yourself.
Or how about some bruschetta. You can slice and toast some bread a day or two in advance. Or buy at the supermarket. Before guests arrive, spread the slices with some Alouette spread (I like sun-dried tomato).
Top with some diced Roma tomatoes (marinated in a little olive oil, garlic and basil) and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese. Toast in the oven @ 350° for about 5 minutes. Then have cousin Carla pass them around to guests…that will give her something to do and get her OUT of the kitchen.
Another option is one my friend Leah turned me on to. The main ingredient will surprise you and your guest.
Pea Pesto (adapted from Giada DeLaurentis):
2 cups of defrosted petit pois (little sweet peas)
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves
kosher salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
In a food processor, combine your defrosted peas, garlic clove, mint leaves and pulse until you have a thick paste. Now add your olive oil thru the feed tube until you reach desired consistency. Taste and add a pinch of salt and a turn of black pepper. Serve with pita chips. Or process with about 4 ounces of cream cheese to make a thicker vegetable dip.
By the way, Thanksgiving is now a week away. If you haven’t started purchasing items for your menu, table, food prep and storage, etc., you better start now. And unless you’re using a fresh turkey, check yesterday’s grocery ads for good prices on frozen turkeys.