The holiday season can be a whirlwind of activity, leaving little time for elaborate meal preparations. Thankfully, our own chef Serge Krikorian, who recently joined hosts Adam Bledsoe and Ashley King on THV 11’s The Vine, has shared some delightful last-minute appetizer ideas that are both easy to make and guaranteed to impress your guests. In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into these brilliant suggestions, ensuring that you can effortlessly create delectable holiday treats using simple store-bought ingredients.
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese:
A blend of savory and sweet, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with creamy goat cheese make for an irresistible appetizer. Start by pitting Medjool dates and filling them with goat cheese. Wrap each date with a strip (or half of a strip) of bacon and secure it with a toothpick. Place the wrapped dates on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until crispy. The result is a heavenly combination of flavors that will have your guests coming back for more.
- Hummus-Stuffed Cucumber Bites:
For a refreshing and healthy option, consider hollowing out cucumber bites and filling them with store-bought hummus. Slice carrots and celery into thin sticks and insert them into the hummus-filled cucumber “vessels.” This creative twist not only adds visual appeal but also provides a convenient way to enjoy the hummus and veggies together. It’s a guilt-free starter that’s as delicious as it is easy to assemble. You can even eat the vessel!
- Pesto Tortellini Salad:
If time is of the essence, an uncomplicated tortellini salad will save the day. Begin by cooking store-bought tortellini according to the package instructions, usually boil for about 4 minutes. Once cooked, drain and toss the tortellini in a generous portion of homemade or store-bought pesto sauce. Refrigerate the dressed tortellini in cute, single-serve acrylic bowls easily sourced from a party supply store. Before serving, sprinkle some Parmesan or Romano cheese over the top for an elegant touch. This chilled pasta dish will leave your guests wanting more.
- Cajun Spiced Shrimp Cocktail:
Elevate store-bought shrimp by adding your favorite seasoning, such as Cajun spices, to give them a kick. Stir well to ensure the shrimp are evenly coated. In individual, single-serve vessels like acrylic martini glasses, place cocktail sauce and hang the seasoned shrimp on the side. Don’t forget to add a wedge of lemon and a couple of chive sprigs to enhance the presentation. This sophisticated take on a classic appetizer will impress your guests effortlessly.
- DIY Charcuterie Platter:
Create an impressive charcuterie platter using an assortment of store-bought cheeses, sausages, pickles, strawberries, and other delectable bites. Arrange the ingredients on your favorite serving platters or charcuterie boards, ensuring a visually appealing and appetizing spread. Allow your guests to indulge in an array of flavors, textures, and combinations, fostering an atmosphere of conviviality and culinary exploration.
With these easy-to-follow ideas from the talented chef Serge Krikorian, you can effortlessly prepare outstanding holiday appetizers using store-bought ingredients. From bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese to a personalized charcuterie board, these recipes will save you time while still impressing your guests. Embrace the festive spirit, embrace simplicity, and let your holiday celebrations shine with these delectable treats.