I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves in situations where we would love to be able to ‘pull a rabbit out of our hats’ for unexpected guests or for any number of reasons when you might not be prepared to offer a pre-planned appetizer to go along with a shared glass of wine, a gluten-free beer or any other beverage you that happen to be serving. Almost everyone has found themselves in this situation at one time or another, but it is all the more challenging within the confines of a gluten-free diet.
Having faced this predicament many times myself, I have come up with ‘emergency’ appetizer ideas that can be ready in minutes and that will satisfy your guests, even assuming that they will not be gluten intolerant.
Here are six great quick appetizer ideas to stick in your hat:
- Corn chips
- Refried beans
- Cheese (cheddar, jack, goat,etc.)
Spread a little refried beans on each chip, top with a little shredded cheese an place on a baking sheet under the broiler just until cheese melts. Serve immediately. Can serve with salsa.
Chips a la Potato!
- Kettle style chips (Black pepper or other seasoned types are great, make sure they are gf)
- Smoked salmon
- Cream cheese
- Fresh chives, or capers
Place a piece of smoked salmon on a chip, top with a dollop of cream cheese and sprinkle with chives or capers.
- Tube of prepared polenta
- Olive oil
- Pizza sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
Slice polenta into ½” slices and brush each side with olive oil. Place under the broiler and broil until crisped and brown on edges. Flip over and repeat for other side. Spread tops of polenta rounds with pizza sauce an top with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler again until cheese melts. Serve immediately.
(You can also top the polenta rounds with just about anything you have on hand)
Pop popcorn in an air popper. Transfer to a large paper shopping bag. Add 3-4 Tablespoons truffle oil and sprinkle with salt and shade vigorously. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
(This is fabulous served with sparkling wine, no kidding!)
Endive, not Crackers
Endive is an elegant and wonderful substitution for crackers that will hold just about anything; seafood, cheeses, hummus, etc. Practically anything you can do with a cracker, you can do with endive. Endive also has zero fat and practically no calories and it will give whatever you stuff it with a crisp, fresh taste.
Delicious, nutritious and literally cooks in 5 minutes, edamame is stored in the freezer so, it is easy to always have on hand.
- Hot sesame oil
Place frozen edamame in salted boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with hot sesame oil and salt, toss and serve. Serve with extra bowl for discarded pods.
- Chef Yvonne