Dec 3, 2020
How to Create a Grazing Menu From Easy Appetizers You Can Find at Your Local Co-op
A grazing table is one of our absolute favourite dinners to prepare. Not only is it super simple to set up, it looks totally impressive and you can make it from easy appetizers found at your local Co-op. There’s something so decadent about a grazing buffet, with all that delicious food beautifully arranged. It’s perfect for a small gathering, a low-key dinner party or just for a grazing-style dinner—and it works great as a low fuss but filling Christmas Eve dinner. Let’s look at some ideas for creating a grazing menu with awesome appetizers.
Order Deli or Bakery Trays
If you’re really short on time, you can order an appetizer tray at Co-op. Think meat and cheese platters, ready-made for your (there’s also smaller versions this year to fit smaller gatherings). Fill them out with other favourites you may have like pickles or deli salads.
For dessert, bakery or produce entertaining trays are awesome, with options including cupcake platters as well as beautiful fruit trays. You can also find some amazing breakfast platters to feed guests who may be isolating with your over the holidays. Why not host a grazing brunch with a tray of yummy bagels and a meat and cheese platter for filling them with? For afternoon coffee hour, pick up a bakery tray full of cookies or brownies and set up a tureen of coffee and some teapots full of herbal teas.
Make It Up Yourself
If you want to do a DIY grazing table, there are so many delicious and easy to prepare treats you can pick up in the supermarket!
Visit the different sections of the grocery store to pick up a range of treats. You can find pre-made meatballs in the butcher shop and simmer them at home for half an hour in a jar of tomato sauce (look out for tangy Obe sauce too!), or get some frozen chicken wings and whip them up at home in no time.
Graze on Seafood: Sets the Tone for Celebration
Be sure to pick up a shrimp ring—indispensable at any grazing table (don’t forget the cocktail sauce!)—and try our festive tread: smoked candied salmon, too. Why not think about some pre-cooked crab claws or lobster tails to add some luxury to your grazing buffet? Garnish with a few slices of lemon and you’ve got a fresh and tasty seafood feast.
Add to your grazing table with some products from the frozen aisle. We’re talking sausage rolls, mini tarts and quiches, jalapeño peppers, mozzarella sticks and loaded potato skins. All easy to make by popping in the oven for 15 minutes, all absolutely delicious. Fresh bakery garlic bread is also a guaranteed winner on every grazing table.
Dip Into This Mix!
Next, you want to think about dips. There are so many options at the deli counter, from artichoke & asiago to hummus and store-made fresh salsa and guacamole. Accompany these winners with some fresh bread, breadsticks, nachos or vegetable sticks, which look totally beautiful arranged in individual tall glasses.
Grazing Table Recipes
If you have a bit more time on your hands, you can try some easy appetizer recipes to add to your grazing buffet. French cheese puffs, or gougères, are irresistible appetizers made from cream-puff dough with lots of cheese folded through it. These are best served straight from the oven when they have a real crispy shell and a heavenly soft interior. You can actually make the dough in advance and freeze it already formed into little balls, meaning you can pop them into the oven 30 minutes before your guests arrive and wow them with some mouth-wateringly tasty appetizers.
Another simple yet show-stopping appetizer, bacon-wrapped dates are the ultimate mix of sweet and savoury and they couldn’t be easier to make. Simply wrap each date in a thin slice of bacon, secure with a toothpick and bake in the oven until the bacon crisps up, about 15 minutes. For an even more decadent touch, try slipping a teaspoon of soft, creamy cheese, such as mascarpone or gorgonzola inside each date before baking.
Finally, there’s nothing easier than a baked camembert and we promise you, nothing will go down better at a grazing table. Simply slice off the top of the cheese and bake it in a small, oven-proof dish for 20 minutes. The result is a seductive pocket of hot, melted cheese perfect for dipping crusty bread into. Sprinkle some rosemary or crushed garlic on top before baking for an extra touch of flavour.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to make your grazing table look beautiful with some festive greens and florals from Calgary Co-op. A tablecloth will add a sense of elegance to the occasion, too, and make sure to have a stack of napkins handy.
We hope these ideas for an easy grazing buffet have given you some inspiration for your next gathering or simple dinner!
Stop into your nearby Calgary Co-op for more inspired ideas.
Written by Chef Liana
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