While the main course is in the oven and guests mingle in anticipation this holiday season, tide them over with easy, cheesy appetizers that will please any crowd.
Antipasti Holiday Skewers
1 package (9 ounces) cheese-filled tortellini, cooked al dente and cooled
1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing
1 block (8 ounces) reduced-fat Swiss cheese, cubed
2 cups baby spinach leaves
32 pieces turkey pepperoni
3 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
16 wooden skewers, 9-10 inches each
• In large bowl, marinate tortellini in Italian dressing 30 minutes in refrigerator.
• To assemble skewers, start with two pieces tortellini, one cheese cube, two spinach leaves, one pepperoni slice (folded in fourths), one tomato and repeat. Each skewer will have total of four pieces tortellini, two cheese cubes, four spinach leaves, two pepperoni slices and two tomatoes.
• Repeat until skewers are complete. Refrigerate until serving.
~ From MidwestDairy.com
Baked Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach frozen, thawed and drained
8 ounces plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup shredded, low-moisture, part-skim Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons red pepper, chopped
• Heat oven to 350 F.
• Combine artichoke hearts, spinach, yogurt, cheese, onion and garlic; mix well.
• Pour mixture into 1-quart casserole dish or 9-inch pie plate. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until heated through.
• Sprinkle with red peppers.
~ From MidwestDairy.com
Cheese & Garlic Cracked Bread
1 crusty loaf, preferably sourdough or Vienna
¾ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (or other melting cheese)
7 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Combine butter, garlic and salt in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave. Stir through parsley.
3. Cut the bread on a diagonal into 2cm/1″ diamonds but do not cut all the way through the bread (just like you would cut a french stick for garlic bread).
4. Use your fingers or a knife to pry open each crack and drizzle in a teaspoon of butter and stuff in a pinch of cheese.You don’t need to be too neat; it’s nice to have some of the butter drizzled over the crust.
5. Wrap with foil and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese has mostly melted, then unwrap and bake for 5 minutes more to make the bread nice and crusty.
6. Serve immediately. To make ahead, after wrapping with foil, wrap with cling wrap as well. Store in fridge overnight or freeze to store for longer. To cook, thaw then follow recipe instructions to bake.
~ From RecipeTinEats.com