Appetizers for Your Holiday Gatherings

Keeping a stash of Macrina’s flatbread and crostini on hand helps make holiday entertaining easy — with impressive results. This month, I’m showcasing two elegant appetizers that use our new holiday spreads, alongside two treasured standbys. In addition, I’m sharing my recipes for two great holiday appetizers: Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream and Chinese Meatballs with Peanut Sauce. Some of these dishes take longer to prepare than others, but all are relatively quick and present well. Holiday entertaining can be stressful, but these crowdpleasers will lighten your load and bring joy and satisfied smiles to your festivities.

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Each appetizer serves 8.

Macrina’s Rye Crostini with Our New Kale & Roasted Artichoke Spread and Buttered Dungeness Crab
In a small sauté pan, melt 4 Tbsp unsalted butter. Add 2 oz of fresh crabmeat and cook just long enough to warm it through (less than a minute). Turn off the heat. Season the crab with ⅛ tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of Kale and Roasted Artichoke Spread onto each, then evenly top with the warm, buttery crab. Drizzle with any remaining warm butter from the pan. Garnish with finely chopped fresh chives or parsley.

Macrina’s Greek Olive Crostini with Softened Goat Cheese and Project Barnstorm Plum Conserve
Bring 4 oz of goat cheese to room temperature (about an hour). In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese, ¼ cup whipping cream and ⅛ tsp kosher salt. Use a whisk or fork to blend the mixture until you have a spreadable consistency. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate. Spread 2 tsp of the mixture on the crostini and top with 1½ tsp of Plum Conserve.

Macrina’s Sardinian Flatbread with Holiday Smoked Salmon Spread* and Microgreens
Take two flatbread sheets and snap each of them into four pieces. With the curved side up, spread 2 tsp of the Smoked Salmon Spread on each piece. Top each with a pinch of microgreens and a dash of fresh lemon juice.
*Our Smoked Salmon Spread will be available in December. We recommend our Smoked Trout Spread for gatherings in November.

Macrina’s Cranberry Apricot Nut Crostini with Burrata, Coppa and Pomegranate Seeds
Cut the burrata ball in half. Then cut each half in 4 slices. Arrange 8 crostini on a plate and top each with a piece of coppa, a slice of burrata, and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. Garnish with finely chopped fresh rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt.

Potato Latkes with Spicy Shrimp & Sour Cream

1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into quarters
3 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 egg
2 Tbsp gluten-free flour mix (or unbleached all-purpose flour)
⅛ tsp black pepper
1½ tsp chimichurri seasoning
½ cup pure olive oil, divided
8 shelled raw shrimp (16–20 size)
2 Tbsp white wine
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup sour cream

Place the potato in a saucepan, covered with water and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potato is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the water and let cool.

Using the medium holes of a box grater, shred the cooked potato. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded potato, scallions, egg, gluten-free flour mix, 1 tsp salt and the pepper. Mix well.

Season the shrimp with the chimichurri seasoning and the remaining 1 tsp salt.

Pour ¼ cup oil into a large cast iron or non-stick sauté pan and set it over medium-high heat. Once hot, add golf-ball-sized scoops of the potato latke batter. Flatten and fry until both sides are crisp and browned. Avoid overcrowding; you will likely need to sauté the latkes in two batches. Once cooked, set them aside to keep warm.

Clear away any stuck bits from the pan, then add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Just before the shrimp is finished, add the white wine and butter. Swirl the pan to create a simple sauce. (Note: if there is excess oil, pour it off before adding the wine.)

Top each latke with a shrimp, a spoonful of the pan sauce, and a dollop of sour cream. For a great presentation, garnish with chopped herbs.

Chinese Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp onion, finely diced
1½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp soy sauce
8 oz ground chicken meat
¼ cup scallions, finely diced
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 egg

½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
¾ tsp sriracha sauce

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and sauté for about 1 minute until they turn translucent. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and allow it to cool.

In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and soy sauce. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes.

To the cooled onion mixture, add the ground chicken, scallions, cilantro, and breadcrumb mixture. Mix thoroughly. Then, incorporate the egg to bind the ingredients together.

Form the mixture into quarter-sized balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water or vinegar to your taste. The sauce will hold in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Serve the warm meatballs on a pool of the peanut sauce, each skewered with a toothpick.