The Holiday Appetizer Trio

Every year on the Friday past Thanksgiving – I plan and film my holiday appetizers show! This year – I made Savory Palmiers, Open Face Meatloaf Sandwich Bites, and Miniature Chicken Alfredos. All three recipes are easy to pull together – and there are sauces and aspects of each recipe that stand alone.

(with three recipes – the video runs about eleven minutes but each recipe is step by step and easy to follow)


Appetizer #1 – Savory Palmiers


  • 1 1/4 cups sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cups basil leaves, packed
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated asiago cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the paste, place the sun-dried tomatoes  in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until pureed. Add the Parmesan & Asiago and puree for 15 seconds. Set aside.

Unfold a sheet of puff pastry and place it on a lightly floured board. With a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it’s a 13-inch square. Using a knife, spread the paste over the top of the puff pastry. Fold the sides of the square toward the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the 2 folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold one half over the other half as though closing a book.

If you are making these in advance, wrap the folded dough tightly in plastic wrapPut the folded dough back in the freezer till you are ready to cook it up.

Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush each piece with egg wash and place in the oven. Bake for 6 minutes. Turn each pastry slice over and continue baking an additional 5 minutes.

Appetizer #2 -

Miniature Chicken Alfredos


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 precooked jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
  • 8 oz Alfredo Sauce


Fry up the cubed chicken in a fry pan in the olive oil – as it starts to brown stir in the smoke paprika and cook until the liquid is gone from the pan and the paprika completely coats the cooked chicken. In a large pot – boil a dozen large pasta shells. (11-13 minutes at boiling depending on the pasta) Let the pasta cool after rinsing it in cold water. Then – stuff a pasta shell with a tablespoon of alfredo – two piece of the cubed chicken and fill the shell with shredded parmesan and set each shell in a cupcake pan. Broil the pasta shells for 5 minutes, watch closely – as they start to brown – remove them from the oven. Remove them from the cupcake pan with tongs and let cool just a couple of minutes before serving. Top them with a dash of smoked paprika and serve!

Appetizer #3 – Open Faced Meatloaf Sandwich Bites


  • 1/2 pound of ground chuck (or hamburger)
  • 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of panko style bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Red Pepper Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 table spoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablepoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Catsup
  • olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sliced baquette (about 1/3″ thick)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • toothpicks

In a small bowl – mix the 2 tablespoons of milk into your panko to make your binder. Combine the beef and pork in a bowl with the dry ingredients making sure the herbs and spices get evenly distributed through the meat – (nothing like biting into a meatloaf and getting a mouthful of cayenne! Jenkies!) then mix in your egg, and once it’s fully combined, your bread crumbs. Put your meatloaf in a loaf pan and press it down. Then, add a layer of tomato catsup over the top. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes.

While your meatloaf is cooking – make your Red Pepper sauce! Make a rue in the pan by combining your spices and olive oil, cook on medium high heat for about a minute and it’ll all combine and paste up in the pan. To that? add your Worchestire Sauce and Catsup. Cook for another minute before adding your tomatoes and peppers. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until it reduces by about half – then take it off the heat – and run it thorugh a food processor just enough to get the big chunks cut up – to give it a more salsa-like consistency.

When your meatloaf comes out of the oven – carefully remove it from the pan and set it out to cool for about 15 minutes. Now you can make your toast and get ready for assembly. Toast slices of a baguette and then spread your tomato sauce on each baguette minitoast. then top with a slice of the meatloaf to match – and with a toothpick add a cherry tomato on top to pin in all together. Serve warm.