If you are busy cooking a turkey or gammon and have a half dozen sides already prepared, it can be easy to forget the appetiser. An appetiser can elevate a meal or party from being a simple affair to a fancy occasion. These three quick and easy recipes can all be made at the last moment and will definitely be remembered by your guests for years to come. The best part is that they work well together – the perfect, appetisers in a hurry menu.
Crostini Scamorza e Accinghe (Anchovy, cheese toast)
Serves 2 – 4
In Italian the name is far too fancy. In English, it’s not fancy at all. This is because this is an incredibly simple appetiser that is also such a good combination of ingredients it will have you lauded as a high-quality chef.
4 Anchovy Fillets
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 slices of Italian bread
4 slices of smoked Mozarella
1: Preheat the oven to 180°C. If using salted anchovy fillets, rinse them and pat them dry. Heat the anchovies and 1⁄4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
2: Take four thick slices from an Italian bread loaf and place them on a baking sheet. On each piece of bread, lay a thick slice of smoked mozzarella (scamorza), top it with an anchovy, and drizzle some of the oil over the anchovies and cheese. Bake until the cheese is just melted, approximately 10 minutes
Goat cheese Prosciutto rolls
If you are looking for a lovely appetiser, these Prosciutto Rolls are a great choice. Something of a tradition in some parts of middle-America, they work like a cheese board in one simple snack.
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
170g of room-temperature soft goat cheese
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
12 slices of prosciutto
1/2 cup of preserved green figs in syrup
170g of roquette
freshly ground black pepper
1: Combine oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl and leave it aside. In another small bowl, mix goat cheese and garlic, and set this mixture aside.
2: Apply a delicate layer of the goat cheese blend onto each slice of prosciutto, then spread a light layer of fig preserves over the cheese.
3: Place 1-2 arugula leaves on top, drizzle with a portion of the lemon vinaigrette, and season to your taste with pepper. Roll the prosciutto around the filling, ensuring the seam is facing downward. Arrange the rolled prosciutto on a serving platter. If desired, garnish the platter with parsley.
Cranberry Pecan Cheese balls
Served with crackers, these perfect little cheese balls make a perfect spread, but also a delectable snack on their own. The best part is they only take ten minutes to make.
450g cream cheese
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons honey plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 cups nuts (walnuts and pecans)
1 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup minced fresh chives
1: In a spacious bowl, beat the cream cheese, cinnamon, and honey (or maple syrup) until it becomes light and fluffy. Add in 1/2 cup of pecan chips and thoroughly combine the mixture. Set it aside.
2: Prepare a plate or cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Combine the remaining nuts, dried cranberries, and chopped chives in a toss.
3: Employing a cookie scoop, form cheese filling into balls and roll them in the nut mixture. Continue until all the cheese balls have been coated.
4: Place the cranberry nut cream cheese balls in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!
Serve with crackers, toasted bread, or as they are with a toothpick. You can prepare these up to three days in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.