The holidays are approaching way too fast! That means friends and relatives will be planning to visit. Along with the anticipation of company comes the job of organizing your menu. While your hard work, goodness and delight in pleasing everyone takes precedence, you may need to choose whether to have a sit down dinner, or heavy appetizers.
How many people do you expect? Will they be arriving around the same time, or different stages? Here are some ideas just in time! These main entrees can be prepared as appetizers, along with your other goodies. You can add some nice rolls or breads. Or, use as the main dish along with your favorite sides. Either way, your guests will be simply delighted! Enjoy!
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
1 pkg. pork tenderloin (pkg. contains 2 loins), trimmed lightly of any excess fat. A 2 ½ to 3 lb. package should serve 8 to 10 people for dinner.
¾ c. pineapple or orange juice
1/3 c. soy sauce
3 T. brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
1 t. ginger
2 T. olive oil
2 T. cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place tenderloin in a shallow dish; set it aside.
Marinade: In a glass measure, combine all ingredients. Pour over pork and cover dish. Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
Preheat grill very hot so you can sear the meat on both sides for about 3 minutes on each side. Occasionally brush pork with marinade.
After searing place pork in foil lined pan, along with remaining marinade. Close the grill cover and cook very low for 30 to 45 minutes, or until done to your liking. Remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
4 loaves frozen bread, thawed
2 lb. cooked hamburger or sausage
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
1 lb. Provolone cheese, sliced
½ lb. salami, sliced
½ lb. deli ham, sliced (use either salami or ham, or both, as preferred)
Oregano and garlic salt, to taste
Roll thawed bread dough into rectangle on floured surface that has been seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano and Parmesan cheese.. In middle of bread, lay provolone cheese, ham and/or salami, mozzarella cheese, then beef or sausage. Sprinkle with oregano and garlic salt, to taste. Fold one side over, then the other side towards the middle and seal. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 to 400 degrees (depending on your oven), for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Can be made ahead and frozen. This recipe can be divided in half.
Slice for appetizer size servings, or larger slices along with a salad for dinner.
Herbed Shrimp and Tomatoes
2 lb. fresh or frozen jumbo shrimp (20 to 21 per lb.)
2 T. snipped fresh basil or oregano
1 T. fresh lemon juice
¾ t. salt
¼ t. ground black pepper
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
Basil Dipping Sauce:
1 c. mayonnaise
1 T. snipped fresh basil or oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein, removing tails. Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Set aside. In large bowl combine basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add shrimp. Toss to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In large skillet cook shrimp, half at a time, in hot oil over med-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque, stirring often to cook evenly. Transfer shrimp to serving platter.
Add tomatoes to shrimp; gently toss to combine. Serve with Basil Dipping Sauce. Serve warm or chill until serving time. Makes about 8 servings.