3-Ingredient Holiday Recipes

December 12, 2016
Use these easy appetizer recipes to please all your (potentially picky) party guests without losing your mind.
By 
Danielle DeSiato
3 Recipes to Please Everyone at Your Next Holiday Party | CRAVING BOSTON | WGBH

Holiday party season is in full swing. Whether you’re hosting or attending, here are a few recipes that are so yummy no one would ever guess they’re also super quick and easy. Because who has excess time to fuss around in the kitchen this time of year? Not you! Gluten free? Vegetarian? No problem! Use these 3-ingredient recipes to please the whole range of party guests, and still have the energy to carry on a conversation. 

For the Carnivores: Bacon, Date & Chorizo Bites

All of the ingredients are in the title of this recipe. I’ve been making these since culinary school, and they're always a huge hit. The best part: they’re super easy! (I even included them in the 6-Ingredient Solutions cookbook I worked on at America's Test Kitchen.) Savory. Salty. Spicy. Sweet. For the carnivores, what’s not to love? With 2 kinds of meat and a ton of flavor packed into a single bite, these party faves will disappear the minute you turn your back on them. So grab a couple for yourself before you put that plate down!

For the Herbivores: Za’atar Flatbread

This Lebanese spice blend has become the international darling on restaurant menus around town, and there’s a good reason. You get a ton of flavor bang for your proverbial ingredient buck. The combination of thyme, oregano and sesame seeds is punctuated by slightly citrusy sumac, which is a lesser known spice that is absolutely worth adding to your collection. Mix this herbaceous spice blend with some really good-quality olive oil, slather it on pizza dough, and you’ve got a star-quality appetizer with minimal effort. Cut it into wedges and this little addition seriously elevates the standard hummus-and-cheese-platter party fare. Side note: If it wasn’t the holidays I might advocate making your own dough, because it would be delicious. (David Lebovitz has a great recipe here.) But this time of year, we all need to save ourselves time and stress and take the easy route. In this case, the store-bought pizza dough route. 

For the Cheese-ivores: Parmesan Crisps

Go beyond the classic cheese board with these addicting crisps, known as frico in Italian. This could technically be a one-ingredient recipe, especially with really good quality Parmesan cheese. But you can easily dress them up with anything from coarsely cracked black pepper to finely chopped herbs (or both!), and they take only minutes to make. Just be sure that your baking surface is well greased so that you can easily release the melted crisps (I learned that one the hard way!).

Bacon, Date & Chorizo Bites

Bacon, Date & Chorizo Bites (Photo: Danielle DeSiato)

The combination of smoky, salty, spicy and sweet in this easy 3-ingredient combination can't be beat. Look for fully cooked, spicy chorizo sausage in the package meats section of your grocery store. 

Ingredients 
1 pound bacon, cut in half crosswise (I use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the whole stack in half)
12 Medjool dates, halved (be sure to discard pits)
3 links fully cooked chorizo sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Directions 

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange bacon in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean-up). Bake until starting to brown, but don't let it get crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.

2. Stack half a date and a slice of chorizo, then wrap them in a half-slize of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with all date halves, chorizo slices, and bacon.

3. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet (not the same foil from before or your bacon grease will smoke). Return to the oven and bake until the bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. 

Za'atar Flatbread

Za'atar Flatbread (Photo: Danielle DeSiato)
Ingredients 
1/4 cup za'atar
5 tablespoons olive oil (good quality)
1 pound pizza dough (room temperature)
Notes 

Since there are so few ingredients here, you'll get the best resutls by using high-quality ingredients. 

Directions 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease two large baking sheets (or you can bake flatbreads one at a time). Combine the za'atar and olive oil in a small bowl.

2. Cut the pizza dough in half and roll out each half on a floured surface to a 15-inch oval. Transfer to greased baking sheet(s).

3a. If you want a crisp flatbread, bake the plain dough for 8 minutes before spreading with za'atar mixture. Spread half the mixture on the par-baked dough, leaving a little bit of an edge. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until crisp and golden. 

3b. If you want a chewy, pull-apart flatbread, spread the za'atar on the raw dough, leaving an edge, and bake for about 15 minutes until edges start to turn golden. 

4. Cut into wedges or break apart and serve warm or at room temperature. 

Parmesan Crisps

Parmesan Crisps (Photo: Danielle DeSiato)
Ingredients 
8 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, thyme,or rosemary (or herb of your choice, dried works in a pinch)
  Coarsely ground black pepper
Notes 

The cheese basically fries itself in the oven, so these can be a little greasy. You may want to drain them briefly on a paper towel before transferring them to a serving platter. 

Directions 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchement paper and grease it generously. (No joke, grease it more than you'd think.)

2. Drop 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan into small piles on greased parchment, about 2 inches apart. Spread lightly to create 2-inch circles. Sprinkle each with a little minced herb of your choice (or a mix), and a little coarsley ground pepper. 

3. Bake until cheese is melted and edges start to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Let them cool slightly, but not entirely, and then transfer to a serving platter. 

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3-Ingredient Holiday Recipes
  • December 9, 2016