Thanksgiving can seem hectic, with food to prepare and guests to tend to. To help you out, we thought we’d share some easy and appealing appetizer recipes, with beer pairings, to keep everyone happy and well-fed.
Our chef, Eric Bell, was recently featured on Southern Oregon news channel KDRV where he shared the Thanksgiving Day appetizer ideas we’ve posted here, along with preparation tips. They’re are easy to prepare and perfect to enjoy while your other entrées and sides are baking away for dinner.
Eric suggests pairing these spreads, which we’ve highlighted at Standing Stone on both our daily and special menus, with fresh baked bread spread with olive oil and garlic (toasted at your oven’s highest temperature – see the KDRV video for tips). We think a loaf of our baguette, which is made fresh every morning, makes for a real Standing Stone experience. You can order these to go but sure you come by and grab your a day early, as we’ll be closed on Thanksgiving Day to spend it with our families.
We also asked our brewer, Larry Chase to give us some perfect beer pairings for each of these spreads, since offering guests with some fun, flavorful pairings is a great way to entertain a houseful. We offer our beers to go in liter and half gallon bottles, and kegs, perfect for the holidays, and any day.
Heirloom Tomato & Feta Salsa
2 large heirloom tomatoes, or a few roma, juice removed & diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1-2 Tablespoons fresh thyme minced
1-2 Tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
½-1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
¼-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (like Rogue Brambles, available at the Growers and Crafters Market)
¼-1/3 cup Spanish sherry vinegar (12 years old- yes, you can find it!)
Pepper (coarse fresh grind) to taste
6-8 oz feta cheese
Salt (coarse sea salt is best)
A great way to balance the acidity of this dish is pairing it with a maltier beer, like Amber Ale. Our current specialty beer, NPK Ale, also has delicate flavors and a light mouthfeel that wouldn’t overpower the light, fresh flavors in this bruschetta.
Artichoke Spinach Dip
12 oz chevre goat cheese (we like Mama Terra)
8 oz cream cheese
16 oz sour cream
1 can artichoke hearts with water, coarsely cut
6-8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
1 c chopped fresh spinach
1-2 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
In a mixer, using the paddle, incorporate all ingredients except artichoke hearts. Mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. When smooth, add artichoke hearts and mix on low for 1 minute. Move to an oven-safe bowl and bake at high heat until the top starts browning. We suggest heating the oven as high as it will go, around 500 degrees, and toasting your bread at the same time to enjoy both servings warm.
A great beer to go with this dip is the Oatmeal Stout. Both have a creamy mouthfeel and rich flavors. You could also try an India Pale Ale, or our Double IPA, as the hops offer an astringent property that cuts through richness, refreshing the palate after each drink.
Thanks Eric and Larry! We hope you enjoy these Thanksgiving food and beer pairing suggestions. Let us know how they go, and feel free to some creative twists and pairings of your own!