My apologies for the late posting, but the holiday season has begun and we had two guests for dinner on Sunday. This got me to thinking about holiday parties and how to cope if you are on Keto and want to host a small party (depending on your local restrictions during COVID 19).
This year in lieu of a larger party which usually sees us having 40 plus guests, we have had to make significant changes in how we entertain. In our region, we can have 6 people together and for the next four December weekends, we will be entertaining four other people beside ourselves each Saturday.
The easiest way to handle this is to avoid cooking!
Charcuterie is a way of entertaining in France which involves presenting a variety of cold meats and cheeses, along with some fresh fruits and nuts and a selection of breads and crackers. Keeping in mind KETO, a charcuterie can easily be assembled on a lovely wooden cutting board or two or just spread out on a layer of butcher block paper on a convenient hard surface, along with paper plates, napkins, etc. Make it finger foods by cutting up your items in bite sized portions in advance. BYOB means you don’t have to supply alcoholic drinks!
The trick is to choose KETO items ONLY , especially with the breads and crackers!!!
FYI… no two are ever alike! It all depends on what items you wish to choose. Vary the amounts depending on the number of guests you are contemplating. Whatever you choose be sure to carefully check the contents label for the total percentages of carbs, protein and fats !!!
A charcuterie can easily be modified for those who are not on a Keto program, by including non-KETO items.
The following is a suggested Keto board I came across on Pinterest. There are many more to view on that site.
INGREDIENTS for 5 servings…
6 ounces sliced prosciutto
6 ounces genoa salami
5 ounces spicy capocollo
4 ounces herbed chevre
6-ounce sliced Manchego cheese
5 ounces sliced peppercorn white cheddar
4 ounces garlic white cheddar
¼ cup Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup mixed nuts
½ cup fresh blackberries
10 strawberries hulled and halved
½ cup pickled artichoke hearts
10 garlic stuffed green olives
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
¼ roasted red peppers
½ cup Low Carb Pickled Red Onion
20 pickled asparagus spears
¼ cup stone ground mustard
1 sleeve low carb crackers
Select a large platter from the list of options in this post and carefully arrange all of the ingredients on top.
My dilemma…do I buy a full side salmon filet or just three pieces at the fish counter? With the full side from Costco, there are thick and thin pieces, some cook faster than others.
Resolution, trim off the thinner sides of the piece, along with the tail end. Cut these into cubes or smaller slices and freeze them in a bag to make other salmon dishes not requiring small filets. The result was this recipe which makes a very nice dinner when served with some freshly steamed brussel sprouts and maybe a nice rice dish. Those pieces can also be used in a pasta dish.
Salt and Pepper Salmon Bites
1/2-pound skinless salmon filet
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp five spice
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup sliced green onions
red pepper flakes
Slice the salmon into strips about an inch thick.
In a bowl combine the pepper, salt, five spice and cornstarch.
Add the salmon pieces and toss well making sure the salmon is well coated.
In a medium sized pan stick pan heat the oil until hot.
Gently place the salmon into the hot oil and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn the salmon pieces over and repeat with the other side until salmon is fully cooked.
Transfer the salmon to a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Serve with rice and garnish with chopped green onions and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a bit of sour cream if you like.
If you should get invited to a Spanish ‘tapas’ party, this makes a perfect dish to bring. Okay, in English we might say appetizer, in French hors d’oeuvres ??? No matter it was another great find on Pinterest. It was also quick to prepare.
Baked Feta Cheese with Olives and Lemons
one block of sheep’s milk feta (sold in the brine) about 10-14 ounces
1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 large lemon
1 – 2 cups mixed olives* (recipe calls for whole and pitted) see below
a few sundried tomatoes chopped
3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
a few coarse grindings of black pepper
Set oven to 350F
Put the feta in a gratin dish or other small ovenproof dish that you will also serve out of.
Pour the olive oil into the dish, followed by the lemon juice. Arrange the olives* (I would suggest using ONLY sliced olives as they whole ones fall off when you lay them on the cheese when serving) around the cheese, with the rosemary. I quarter the squeezed lemon half and throw that in as well. Sprinkle the red and black pepper over all. I also added some slices of sundried tomatoes.
Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. I loosely laid a sheet of foil over mine. You can finish under the broiler if you like for a little charring effect.
The holidays are always full of social events. What would it be without a cheese ball rolled in crunchy walnuts? Usually I make mine with Imperial Cheddar from Canada, some softened blue cheese and a package of Philly. This year, something a little different… did I mention it is Keto friendly, if you dip bacon rinds?
Blue Cheese, Bacon, And Scallion Cheeseball
4 pieces bacon, chopped and fried and drained to make bacon bits
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 scallions (green onions), minced
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped and divided
1/4 cup gluten-free blue cheese crumbles (or more, depending on taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped unsalted walnuts, raw or lightly toasted
1 In a medium bowl, combine the bacon bits, cream cheese, scallions, 1 tablespoon parsley, blue cheese crumbles, pepper, and salt. Stir together to mix.
2 Using hands or a spatula, form the mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
3 Place the walnuts and reserved tablespoon of parsley in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
4 Unwrap the cheeseball and roll it in the walnut mixture to coat all sides. Press the walnut coating gently to help it stay on if necessary.
5 Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Leftover ham from Christmas dinner? No ham? Buy some… this recipe really was good on crackers, etc. Try it Mikey…you’ll like it!(Who remembers that phrase?) Ignore the Keto reference, it really tastes good!
EASY DEVILED HAM SALAD – LOW CARB & KETO
Author: Mellissa Sevigny Yield: 5 servings
For the salad:
2 cups chopped cooked ham
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
For the dressing:
1/2 cup sugar free mayonnaise (you decide, I used Hellamns Organic…)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Sriracha (or other chili sauce)
1 tsp fresh lime juice
To make the salad:
Combine the salad ingredients into a food processor or magic bullet and pulse until a coarse, crumbly mixture is formed – don’t over blend into mush.
To make the dressing:
Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
Spoon the ham mixture into the dressing mixture and mix until the dressing is fully incorporated into the salad.
Serve chilled on low carb crackers, celery, romaine, or another low carb base of your choice! It was great with bacon rinds!
No photo for this one as it is all blended together in a jar and then refrigerated. Great for using during the upcoming holidays…
Easy Cranberry Chutney
(Adapted from a recipe in Yumana’s Table by Yumana Devi)
Makes about 3 cups, and doubles easily if you’re serving a crowd.
1 (12-ounce) bag of cranberries
2 large apples
2 large oranges or limes
1 cup pure maple syrup (I used ½ cup)
Zest the oranges.
Wash and drain the cranberries and put them in a pot. (My 3 quart pot is the perfect size.)
Peel, core, and chop the apples, and add them to the pot.
Juice the oranges. Add the juice and the orange zest to the pot.
Add the maple syrup.
Bring the chutney to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for about 30 – 45 minutes, until the cranberries have popped, the apples have cooked down, and the chutney has thickened a bit. Stir it occasionally while it’s cooking.
Cool and transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve OR put it in an airtight jar, ready for use. Would be great over cream cheese as an appetizer or with roast beef…not just turkey!
What to do without Costco? I have had a bag of turkey meatballs in the freezer for awhile. The truth is we didn’t really like them! Not to waste I found this slow cooker recipe for Swedish meatballs and I got the chance to use them all up, never to buy again. If you have been following for sometime you will know that I had previously made meatballs for use with pasta. This recipe called for frozen ones. Et voila! Actually they tasted awesome…great for a buffet table.
In a 5-6 quart slow cooker, mix undiluted soup with beef broth, onion soup mix and steak sauce. Stir well.
Then add in frozen meatballs.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-5 hours. (My slow cooker is always faster than the recipe calls for, in this case they were done in about 4 1/2 hours.
After meatball mixture is almost cooked, add in the sliced mushrooms and stir in sour cream.
At this time, put a pot of water on the oven to boil for your egg noodles (make according to package directions.) Drain noodles well when done.
Mix noodles and meatballs together. Or serve meatballs on top of noodles.
Note: Low sodium is my personal preference for this to keep it from being too salty. If I’m serving for a crowd, I will mix together noodles and meatballs and keep my crock pot on the ‘warm’ or ‘buffet’ setting. But when it’s just my family, everyone can serve themselves and grab as many meatballs, noodles and sauce as they like.
Okay, so the holidays have passed. Truth is I have never shared this recipe for some strange reason, but it is traditional for us on Christmas Eve. We never grow tired of it. Over the years we have refined it with the sambuca liqueur…LOL. Give it a try for Valentines Day with a great wine and crusty French bread.
Snails in Garlic butter with Bleu Cheese and Sambuca Liqueur Escargots au beurre de l’ail gratiné a l’anise y fromage bleu (FR)
(serves 4) 4 escargot dishes : 6 escargots in each
½ cup unsalted butter
4 large garlic cloves, more or less, finely chopped
1/3 cup bleu cheese, more or less
½ cup ground up Caesar salad croutons, plus garlic salt added to taste
1 to 2 Tbsp black Sambuca or any anise liqueur
Salt to taste
Preparation Preheat your oven to 475 F (270 C)
1 Place butter in a microwavable ramekin, add the chopped garlic and some salt and melt slowly. Let stand to develop flavor.
2 Place an escargot in each hole of the four escargot dishes.
3 Add some powder garlic to the crouton crumbs for more flavor. Crumble in the bleu cheese. Stir with a fork to coat the cheese as much as possible. Drizzle in the Sambuca and stir the mixture to more evenly distribute the flavours. Add more salt, too, if you wish.
4 Drizzle the garlic butter mixture evenly over all the escargots. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over everything.
Bake in oven for approx. 10 minutes, or until crumb topping is browned.
Happy New Year Bloggers! I am going to try something different this year now that so many of you are really setting the bar high with your wonderful blogs. This old dog is not that techie…LOL…but like John Glenn I can take small steps. Hence my New Years resolution to use actual photos of the recipes when I cook them.
I thought the cocktail looked quite nice in the ice cream dishes we got from our friends one Christmas. Here is the recipe –
Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (food.com)
1 (48 ounce) can V8 vegetable juice (spicy if desired)
Bonus day today as I have two similar recipes, one of which originated from our “sister” Jean in Peterborough, Ontario. She served it while we were visiting for her sons wedding in August. It has a great fresh taste when served with tortilla chips.
The second I ran across while waiting for Jeans recipe to arrive. The ingredients are very similar, with the exception of the avocado and the dressing.
Corn and Black Bean Dip from Jean Johnston
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2cup olive oil
1 tbsp water
1 can lentils
1 can corn
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup each celery, green pepper and green onion
Jar of pimento ( I used red pepper because I didn’t have any pimento)
I added a few fresh spices. Her daughter suggested adding fresh cilantro which makes sense.
Mix all together and soak for at least 3 hours. Drain and serve.