Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Stonewall Kitchen. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands and companies that help to keep my little kitchen afloat!
It’s no secret that I love appetizers. Just sit me down in front of a spread of bite-sized foods and I’ll be pretty happy. I can easily skip the main event all together. Cocktails, finger foods and desserts are where it’s at, in my humble opinion. No need to go to all the trouble of roasting up a whole turkey just for me!
And you know what? I kind of have an inkling that you all might be feeling exactly the same way. So today, I’m bringing you these adorable Polenta Bites with Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves, Ricotta and Chutney for all your snacking pleasures. You’re welcome.
My go-to appetizer is usually some kind of toasty bread piled high with cheese and ALL THE toppings. But this year, I really wanted to create something gluten-free. And while I certainly could have just used gluten-free bread, that seemed like a bit of a cop-out. Then I remembered my friend Sarah’s polenta bites from the Summer, and I decided to try my hand at creating a festive Fall/Winter version that would be appropriate for Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday entertaining. My rendition has whipped ricotta cheese with fresh herbs, a flavorful chutney, a few crumbles of bacon and everyone’s favorite seasonal vegetable – brussels sprouts.
There are a few separate steps required to make these polenta bites. But none of them are particularly taxing or time consuming. The polenta gets baked in the oven (no stirring required!), and can be prepared up to a day or two in advance, which is a huge time saver. And you can even separate out the brussels sprout leaves ahead of time as well, storing them in your refrigerator until you’re ready to crisp them up.
I should warn you that these crispy brussels sprout leaves are highly addicting. Once you start munching on them, it’s hard to stop. You’ll be amazed at how quickly an entire pan can disappear!
But the real star of the show is the Holiday Chutney from Stonewall Kitchen. With it’s blend of fruits (including pears, cranberries and rhubarb) and warming spices, it provides the perfect tart-sweet balance to offset the other savory-salty ingredients in this recipe. Which ultimately makes these polenta bites one heck of a well rounded appetizer.
Both literally and figuratively. You know, because they are round.
Ugh. I’m the worst. Sorry.
Stonewall Kitchen’s Holiday Chutney is also a great addition to any charcuterie or cheese plate (these Simple White Crackers are my favorite!). And it’s a wonderful topping for baked ham, pork or chicken. I like to keep a jar on hand at all times, because it totally helps me bring my A-game to the table around the Holidays!
Recipe inspired by The Kitchn
Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of Maison Louis Jadot Wines via One2One Network. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting brands that support Floating Kitchen!
Elaborate, formal dinner parties tend to be one of two things: (1) stressful for those hosting or (2) boring for those attending.
I hesitate to write that, at the risk of sounding overly negative. But I think we can all agree that I’m mostly right.
So in recent years, I’ve ditched the notion of fancy get-togethers in favor of more casual, relaxed entertaining scenarios. With the exception of a few times a year ( i.e. = Thanksgiving), I tend to keep my gatherings low key, with a few simple food and drink options. And I let friends come and go as they please, free from the restrictions of a hard and fast time dictating when we all must sit down at the table together to dine. It just seems to work out better for everyone this way.
Bruschetta has always been one of my favorite foods to serve at casual gatherings. It’s versatile, with a seemingly endless number of savory and sweet options. It’s easy to make. And above all else, it’s a total crowd pleaser. I don’t know many people that will turn down a little toasty piece of bread piled high with fresh, seasonal ingredients. I would (and have on many occasions) happily make an entire meal out of bruschetta alone!
These two Summer Bruschetta recipes highlight everything that I’m obsessed with right now. I used a slightly sweetened whipped goat cheese as the base for both recipes. Then I went either savory, with a combination of corn, adobo sauce and basil. Or sweet, with a combination of fresh cherries, balsamic vinegar, mint and a drizzle of chocolate. I served both versions at a little outdoor garden party I had this past week, and they were a big hit with all my friends. In fact, people had a hard time choosing which one was their favorite!
To complete my garden soiree, I paired my Summer Bruschetta with a couple of Maison Louis Jadot Wines. The clean, fresh flavors of their Mâcon-Villages Chardonnay went perfectly with the savory corn bruschetta that I created. While their plump, juicy Beaujolais-Villages nicely played up the flavors in my sweet cherry bruschetta.
Maison Louis Jadot Wine is the #1 brand of French wine in the United States. Their wines are versatile, pairing well with so many of my favorite foods. And they are available at a great price point. It’s a wine that I’m happy to have in my home and serve to my family and friends!