Not Your Average Holiday Appetizers!

December 4, 2011 9:06:38 AM PST
The holidays of course mean holiday parties. But forget the chips and dip and hot wing platters! You can easily make upscale appetizers that are also healthy and that you can prepare ahead of time.

Tony Stallone from Peapod came to our ABC7 studio to show us how to put together delicious above-average finger food. He brought a trio of holiday appetizers: smoked salmon on toast points with guacamole; goat cheese, prosciutto lollipops; and carpaccio on toast points with emulsified basil oil.

Since Carpaccio involves raw meat, there are a few precautions you should take:
- Use the freshest ingredients possible
- Use a trusted butcher or retailer that provides high-quality beef
- Prepare simply
- If you are completely adverse to raw meat, you can also sear before serving, but the flavor will not be as delicate
- To save money, you can use a center cut sirloin

- Cut the meat into 1/8" to 1/4" slices, and set on a piece of plastic wrap
- Season with sea salt and pepper (see recipe for Tony's secret seasoning blend)
- Place another piece of plastic wrap over the top, and gently pound with a heavy spoon or mallet until paper thin
- Remove plastic, cut into small pieces, place atop toast points dressed with arugula, and drizzle with creamy basil olive oil
- Top with a sliced grape tomato

Smoked Salmon
- Cut into small pieces and place atop toast points
- Top with a dab of guacamole

Prosciutto Lollipops
- Take a grissini or breadstick, cut in half
- Wrap with herb goat cheese and roasted pepper
- Cover with thinly-sliced prosciutto
- Shape in the form of a lollipop

Smoked Salmon topped with Guacamole
4 oz Good Smoked Salmon
2 oz Guacamole
12 Toast Points
1 T Capers (Optional)

Place even portions of smoked salmon on top of toast points, then place a dollop of guacamole on top. Sprinkle with capers (optional) and serve.