Holidays are the perfect reason to get people together, and food is often the center of any event. Try these simple Latin-inspired appetizers for Christmas. Your guests will be sure to love them! With easy-to-find ingredients, these recipes are not just delicious, they are also affordable. All three appetizers can be served for small groups or large parties by adjusting the serving sizes. Start with some great food and a festive tablescape to set the tone for either a casual or elegant party. Add a little music and your favorite people and you will have a successful get-together.
Appetizers for Christmas
Baleadas A baleada is a flour tortilla that is folded and filled with refried mashed beans, cheese and sour cream. This Honduran treat is best for small groups, but if you have the space to prepare multiple baleadas, you can cut them into triangles and served them stacked and secured with Christmas toothpicks.
4 cups refried beans
1 cup cotija cheese
Use a flat griddle to heat up the tortillas. Heat the refried beans and smear some on the inside of the tortilla. Sprinkle in cheese and add sour cream, fold over, cut into triangles and serve. These appetizers for Christmas will bring a little Latin flavor to the party.
Cassava Chips with Guacamole
3 cassava roots
Cut cassava root into chip size with a mandolin slicer. It is very important that the chips are thin. Soak the vegetables in cold water for at least 40 minutes. Remove the chips and drain on a paper towel. Heat up oil in a pan for frying. Make sure the chips are completely dry before adding them to the oil. Fry chips in small batches until brown and crispy; this will be quick. Remove and place on a rack or paper towel and add kosher or sea salt to taste. Serve with your favorite guacamole recipe.
Puff Pastry Empanadas
The classic empanada gets a new twist being served as small puff pastry.
packaged puff pastry
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion
2 cut red peppers
minced garlic to taste
Roll out puff pastry dough and cut into 50 small squares. Cook according to package instructions. Sauté onions, peppers, and garlic in oil until tender. Add ground beef and cook on medium until browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer until heated through. While the pastries are hot use the back of a spoon or your finger to create an indention in the center of the pastry. Add a small spoonful of filling.