Make almond-stuffed dates and fancy pigs

What better way to celebrate the new year than by enjoying delicious food? Sara Gore shares easy recipes for hors d’oeuvres including almond-stuffed dates, endive cups, truffle popcorn and more.

Five-spice almond-stuffed dates

Ingredients

    • 1-2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
    • 36 whole almonds
    • 36 pitted dates
    • Bacon, cut crosswise into three equal pieces
    • Brown sugar, for sprinkling
    • Toothpicks

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Cover a sheet tray with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a sauté pan, melt butter and add almonds. Sprinkle generously with five-spice powder and toss to coat evenly. Stuff an almond in each date. Wrap a piece of bacon around each stuffed date and secure with a toothpick. Put brown sugar in a bowl. Pick up date using toothpick and dip and roll bacon in brown sugar. Brush off excess sugar and place on tray. Continue with all of dates and space 1 inch apart. Bake 5-6 minutes, turn dates over, and bake another 6 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove and let drain on paper towels. Serve and enjoy!

Fancy pigs

Ingredients

    • 1 pound fresh sausage (lamb, chicken, chorizo, whatever you fancy), 1/2-inch thick
    • 2 puff pastry sheets
    • Dijon or whole mustard
    • 1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of milk, as egg wash

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake sausage for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool to room temperature. Cut into four equal pieces. Unfold both sheets of puff pastry on lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet in half lengthwise. Spread mustard over puff pastry leaving 1/2-inch bare border on one end lengthwise. Place sausage on mustard edge lengthwise and roll up toward bare edge. Brush bare end with egg wash and seal. Slice crosswise into equal bite-size pieces. Brush all with egg wash and place on sheet tray covered in parchment.Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with your favorite mustards.

Truffle popcorn

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 3 tablespoons white truffle oil
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated over a microplane
    • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In heavy saucepot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add popcorn kernels and cover. Shake pot until kernels have popped, 3-4 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together melted butter and truffle oil. Pour melted truffle butter mixture over popcorn and add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Serve.

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