Today I am joining my pals Annie and Mary Ann and four other bloggers. We are sharing our favorite holiday appetizers. It’s the season to eat, drink and be merry but who wants to spend all their time in the kitchen? Would you love to throw a party but don’t want the stress? I once was the queen of making things complicated. I love to cook and entertain but prefer to keep things festive, fun, stress-free and simple. My husband loves to serve good wine so I leave that feat up to him. Here are four simple appetizers and the wines that love them.
We love brussel sprouts in almost any incarnation but I love serving them as an appetizer with my chipotle sauce. You can make them the day before. They are actually fine at room temperature. They are best served crisp from the oven but I have served them both ways and they always get gobbled up.
If you can find green and purple brussel sprouts it makes a prettier presentation, but not to worry if you cannot.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Chipotle Aioli
- 1 lb brussel sprouts get a mix of green & purple if possible
- 2 T citrus-flavored olive oil or EVO
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1/4 c greek yogurt
- 1/4 c mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove
- 1-2 tsp adobo sauce
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- smoked sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
- 1 green onion (green top only) finely sliced
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.Wash and trim ends of Brussels sprouts.Slice each Brussels sprout in half .Place Brussels on a sheet pan. Drizzle with oil, dash with salt and pepper and toss to coat.Roast in oven for 15 minutes or until slightly browned, While the Brussels are roasting, combine the aioli ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve.When Brussels are roasted to perfection, remove from oven and transfer to serving dish. Serve with Chipotle Aioli topped with green onions.
You can use all mayonaise if you aren't worried about calories. I prefer to use 1/2 greek yogurt for a healthier option. You can also use regular EVO but the blood orange olive oil takes the edge off the brussel sprouts
If you look up brussel sprouts and wine you will find the pairings run the gamut. Some even believe that brussel sprouts are unpairable. Since my husband loves red wine (and some suggest a gutsy rhone) we are pairing this dish with one of our favorite wines the Avenger (James Berry Vineyard) from Villa Creek. The James Berry Vineyard is perhaps the most famous vineyard in all of Paso Robles. If you are in the Paso area Villa Creek is a must-visit.
Another of my go-to appetizers is this smoked trout dip. It is so simple it is embarrassing.
It basically has three ingredients and tastes better the next day!
Smoked Trout Dip
- 8 oz smoked trout
- 3/4 c greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 T mayonaise
- 2 T fresh dill
- salt & pepper to taste (I skip the salt)
- lemon juice to taste
Using a fork, mix trout, greek yogurt, mayonaise, and lemon juice, in a medium bowl until trout flakes into very small pieces. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
Just before serving, garnish with dill.
I am pairing this trout appetizer with one of our favorite Sauvignon Blancs from Morgan Winery. You can order their wine here. They also happen to have some of the best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in the area. I have already purchased multiple wines for Christmas gifts. If you are in the area be sure and stop by their beautiful tasting room (yes I am prejudiced) in the Crossroads in Carmel Valley. You might remember the post I did on their tasting room reno Morgan Winery’s Fresh Modern Look.
My daughter in law (who is an amazing cook) fixed this appetizer last weekend. It is super easy to prepare as there is no cooking involved. All you need are good breadsticks, butter, prosciutto, parmesan, and arugula.
Breadsticks with Prosciutto (adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 12 10 12 in long breadsticks
- 1/3 c freshly grated parmesan
- 12 4 x 3 in prosciutto slices
- 60 arugula leaves
Spread some butter over 4 inches of 1 end of each breadstick. Spread Parmesan cheese on plate. Roll buttered end of each breadstick in cheese to coat lightly. Place 1 slice prosciutto on work surface; arrange 2 arugula leaves atop prosciutto, then place cheese-covered end of breadstick atop arugula and roll up prosciutto around breadstick, enclosing arugula. Repeat procedure with remaining breadsticks. Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Place breadsticks in container, prosciutto ends up. Cover with plastic wrap and chill.
I paired this one with an Argentinian Malbec that you can find at Grocery Outlet for $5.99 I kid you not. (if you are lucky enough to have one near you). It is pretty darn good. Our son in law works for Grocery Outlet so we always have inside info on their best wine deals. Check them out they had some fabulous wines this year on their twice-yearly sale.
My last appetizer is actually one I pirated from my friend Annie from Most Lovely Things. Annie is such a good cook, and she makes everything look effortless and gorgeous. This one is also super simple, tastes delicious, and looks pretty to boot! You can find that recipe here on Most Lovely Things.
We are pairing Annie’s Goat Cheese Appetizer with Babcock’s Deja Vu Pinot Noir. Babcock wines are a favorite from the Santa Rita Hills region. If you are in the area it is a must-visit not only for the wine but the experience. They have an incredible tasting room.
If there is one thing I learned while searching for the perfect pairing is it is very controversial. I am certainly no authority, we just enjoy food and wine. For more information on wine pairings from the experts, you might enjoy
You might also enjoy my Tips for Creating the Perfect Cheeseboard here
If you would like to plan a simple holiday get together but are worried about the stress and work involved, I hope that these simple appetizers will spur you on. I am all about keeping it simple these days.
You saw it first here on Rough Luxe Lifestyle,Four Simple Appetizers and the Wines that Love Them.
I can’t wait to visit my blogging friends to see what they are sharing. I get my best ideas from them!
Click on their blog links below
Next week I will be back with the remainder of my home tour and more.