Holiday recipes to wow your crowd: appetizers



Still looking for some easy and tasty recipes — emphasis on the easy — to entertain family and friends this holiday season? Doppler asked some of Huntsville’s local chefs for their suggestions. Try these out and let us know how much your crowd liked them!

Click the link at the end of each recipe for a printable version.

And watch for some delicious dessert recipes on Huntsville Doppler this week.

Happy holidays!

The Artisan House Poached Shrimp and Pickled Watermelon

Chef Reto Ballat, The Artisan House

Poached Shrimp and Pickled Watermelon

Raw shrimp
Radish sprouts
Green Goddess dressing (see below)
Pickling liquid (see below)

First make green goddess dressing (recipe below) and refrigerate.
Make pickling liquid (recipe below) and refrigerate.
Dice watermelon and put in pickling liquid overnight.
Poach shrimp.
Slice avocado just before service and assemble on plate according to picture.
Decorate with radish sprouts and drizzle with olive oil.

Green Goddess Dressing

100g sour cream
100g mayo
3g tarragon
30g chives
20g Italian parsley
1 whole lemon squeezed
1 whole avocado
2g kosher salt

Blend in blender until smooth and refrigerate until use.

Pickling Liquid

250ml water
125ml Champagne vinegar
90g white sugar
10g kosher salt

Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil and cool.

Printable PDF version


Swiss-born chef Reto Ballat and Huntsville-born host Becki Steele, owners of The Artisan House, are excited to bring “Mediterranean meets West Coast” cuisine to Huntsville. Learn more at


The Norsemen Restaurant Mushroom Strudel

Chef Dave Kealey, The Norsemen Restaurant at Walker Lake Resort

Mushroom Strudel

500 gm mixed, fresh, wild and cultivated mushrooms (slice thin about 1/3 and fine chop the rest)
1 medium onion, minced
50 ml butter
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
20 ml dry sherry
Leaves from 1 sprig marjoram or thyme
60 ml freshly grated Parmesan
Phyllo pastry
Plain yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

Make the filling: Make sure the mushrooms are dust- and sand-free, wash if necessary, and trim if need be. Cook the onion in the butter and, when soft, add the mushrooms with the nutmeg. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until liquid has been released and has partially evaporated. Add the sherry and evaporate the alcohol by cooking over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the herbs, and some salt and pepper, and let cool. The mixture will be moist.

To make strudel: Take 3 sheets of phyllo at a time from their package; cover the remaining sheets with plastic and then a damp towel, ensuring they are completely covered. Brush 1 sheet on both sides with melted butter, then place it on top of another sheet, and cover with a third.

Cut sheet into six strips and then cut the sheet in half to make 12 strips about 8×12 cm.

Brush the edges with beaten egg. Put one spoon of the mushroom mixture on the centre of the phyllo and add a sprinkle of Parmesan. Fold in the sides, then fold over and over into a neat parcel. Brush with beaten egg, turn over very carefully so that the seam is on the bottom, and brush with egg again.

Bake in a 400F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

We serve it on a cucumber cream which is similar to a tzatziki without the garlic:

Shredded, peeled cucumber, drained
Salt and pepper to taste

Add together and mix well

Printable PDF version

The Norsemen Restaurant is recognized for its fine Canadian and International cuisine for over 50 years. Treat yourself to French-inspired food in our recently renovated historic lodge with stone fireplaces, wood beamed ceilings and “Old Muskoka” charm. The Norsemen has a reputation for great food and great times. Get off the beaten path, enjoy the view of beautiful Walker Lake, and savour the superb cuisine. Just 10 minutes from Huntsville off Limberlost Road.


 The Best Ever of Best Ever Nuts!

Three recipes by Morgan Richter, Lilac Local Source

Best Ever Baked Brie

Best Ever Baked Brie

1 round of Brie cheese
1 tbsp Rosemary, chopped
½ cup Muskoka Honey Bee Honey
1 cup Best Ever Nuts

Preheat oven to 325 C. Bake brie for 10-12 minutes, until soft. Meanwhile, in a medium size bowl, mix together honey and rosemary. Heat honey and rosemary over low heat, add Best Ever nuts. Pour the mixture over brie and serve warm with baguette and crackers.

Cranberry, Brie, Prosciutto Crostini

Cranberry, Brie, Prosciutto Crostini

1 baguette
¼ cup olive oil
1 package Prosciutto
1 round of Brie cheese
1/3 cup Cranberry Sauce
¼ cup Best Ever Nuts
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Cut baguette into thick slices. Lightly coat with olive oil and bake at 300 C for 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Slice brie into thin strips and place on baguette, bake for another 3 minutes until brie starts to melt. Top with prosciutto and a generous teaspoon of cranberry sauce. Sprinkle Best Ever nuts, drizzle balsamic glaze, garnish with basil or arugula.

Cranberry-Goat Cheese Sweet Potato Rounds

Cranberry-Goat Cheese Sweet Potato Rounds

2 large Sweet Potatoes
5 oz Goat Cheese
1/3 cup Best Ever Nuts
1/3 cup Cranberry Sauce
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Sea Salt + more to taste
1/2 tsp Paprika
2 tbsp Olive Oil + more as needed
1 tbsp Attilios Fine Food Blood Orange Olive Oil
3 tbsp Muskoka Honey Bee Honey
Zest from 1 Lemon
Leaves Basil small, for garnish

Preheat your oven to 350 C. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, sea salt and paprika. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch thick rounds. Take each sweet potato round and coat both sides in the olive oil mixture. Place them on a large baking tray, bake the sweet potato rounds for 8 to 10 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to a serving tray and top with goat cheese, cranberry sauce and Best Ever nuts. Spoon some honey on top of each potato round and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Just before serving finish with a light drizzle of orange infused olive oil, balsamic glaze and garnish with the fresh basil leaves.

Printable PDF version

Morgan Richter is passionate about healthy local food

Morgan Richter is passionate about healthy local food

Lilac Local Source is a small-scale catering company with a focus on community development. Supporting the local economy while bringing people together is a rewarding experience. After all, eating good food is one of life’s greatest gifts so why not enjoy it together! Find Morgan on Instagram at @lilaclocalsource #morgansmouthwateringmoments


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