Easy Holiday Appetizers with Avelina

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This holiday season, show off to your guests with these easy gourmet appetizers that you can make at home.  Chef Anthony Mills with Avelina makes it look easy and simple.

Here are the recipes: 

Hazelnut romesco

  • 1 large tomato (1/2 lb), cored
  • 1 (1/2-oz) dried ancho chile*
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and loose skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel while warm
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almonds
  • 1 (1/2-inch-thick) slice firm white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup drained bottled pimientos, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a small baking pan with foil.

Roast tomato in pan until tender and skin peels off easily, about 30 minutes.

While tomato is roasting, slit chile open lengthwise and discard stem and seeds, then tear chile into small pieces. Heat oil in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then add chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant and chile turns a brighter red, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer chile with a slotted spoon to a heatproof bowl. Add hazelnuts to skillet along with almonds, bread, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until bread and garlic are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mixture (including oil) to chile in bowl and cool slightly.

Peel tomato, then coarsely chop and transfer (with juices) to a food processor. Add bread and chile mixture, pimientos, water, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and purée until smooth. Thin with water if desired and season with salt.

Harissa Mape Glaze                                                                                                                        Yields: 1qt

4C rice wine vinegar
3C maple syrup
1/2C Harissa paste
1C Miso paste

In a stock pot whisk all ingredients together, let simmer until syrup consistency. Put a cold plate in the freezer to check consistency then pass through chinoise, reserve in quart containers.

Cashew Butter                                                                  Yields: ~1.5qts

4cups Toasted Cashews
3cups warm water
4T Honey
75grams miso

TT Salt and pepper

While cashews are still warm, puree with all ingredients in the vitamix until creamy and smooth. The miso itself is already salty so be careful when adding salt. Taste and adjust if need be.


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