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Holiday Buffets Taste and Look More Festive with Grapes

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Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:31 am, Mon Nov 4, 2013.

(Family Features) Clusters of colorful grapes are traditional additions to many holiday tables. Whether they are used for a centerpiece, a garnish for the main course (think turkey, crown roast of pork, baked ham) or a “must” addition to a fruit and cheese plate, grapes offer beauty, flavor and freshness to the season.

But there are many other ways to add grapes to special meals and party fare. The recipes included here are easy-to-make, beautiful and tasty examples of unique ways to prepare and serve grapes. Luckily, many varieties of fresh grapes from California are available throughout the holiday season and into January. For more recipes and serving suggestions, visit www.grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Grape Tuxedo Bites, 3 Ways

Sometimes, the amount of cookies and other sweets served during the holidays can be overwhelming. Grape Tuxedo Bites 3 Ways are the exception. These three recipes, featuring white and dark chocolate, caramel, toffee bits, almonds and peanuts, are definitely rich, but because the center of each is a refreshing, juicy grape, they avoid being overly sweet.

Recipe: Chocolate Toffee Grapes

Ingredients:

  • 25 green or red seedless California grapes
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toffee bits

Preparation:

  1. Put toothpicks into grapes, set aside. Line baking sheet with wax paper or parchment.
  2. In small double boiler, melt chocolate and oil together over medium-low heat, stirring until melted, about 5 minutes (or in microwave on high power 30 seconds, stirring once). Dip grapes in chocolate and then in toffee. Place on baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment. Repeat until all grapes are used. Chill until set.

Makes 25

Recipe: White Chocolate Almond Grapes

Ingredients:

  • 25 green or red seedless California grapes
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped salted almonds

Preparation:

  1. Put toothpicks into grapes, set aside. Line baking sheet with wax paper or parchment.
  2. In small double boiler, melt chocolate and oil together over medium-low heat, stirring until melted, about 5 minutes (or in microwave on high power 30 seconds, stirring once). Dip grapes in chocolate and then in almonds. Place on baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment. Repeat until all grapes are used. Chill until set.

Makes 25

Recipe: Caramel Peanut Grapes

Ingredients:

  • 25 green seedless California grapes
  • 1/2cup finely chopped salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup caramel bits or 10 unwrapped caramels
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preparation:

  1. Put toothpicks into grapes, set aside. Line baking sheet with parchment. Place peanuts in small bowl and set aside. In small saucepan, melt caramel and cream together over medium-low heat, stirring until melted, about 5 minutes. Keep warm. Dip grapes in caramel and then in nuts. Place on baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment. Repeat until all grapes are used. Chill until set.

Makes 25

Grape Relish

Recipe: Grape Relish

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely chopped red and green seedless California grapes
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon safflower or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 baguette, sliced thinly

Preparation:

  1. In medium bowl, combine chopped grapes, shallot, thyme, vinegar, sugar, oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to small serving bowl and set aside. Makes 2 cups.
  2. To make crostini, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread baguette slices on baking sheet and toast until crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Servings 8

Grape Roquefort Canapés

Recipe: Grape Roquefort Canapés

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Roquefort or other blue cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 20 red seedless California grapes
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted pistachios or toasted walnuts

Preparation:

  1. Line small baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In small food processor (or mix by hand), combine cream cheese, Roquefort, heavy cream and tarragon until well mixed. Transfer to medium bowl and stir in grapes. Put nuts in small bowl. With tablespoon, scoop up grape and gently coat in cheese mixture. Roll in nuts and place on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours and serve.

Makes 20

Frosted Grape

Recipe: Frosted Grape

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds seedless California grapes, cut into 2- to 4-inch clusters
  • 2 large egg whites, beaten or 1/4 cup pasteurized liquid egg whites
  • 1 cup superfine granulated sugar

Preparation:

  1. Hold one grape cluster by the stem and brush lightly with egg whites. Transfer to rack set over wax paper, then sprinkle with sugar. Using fingers, turn cluster to lightly coat. Gently shake off excess sugar. Repeat with remaining clusters. Let grapes dry, uncovered, at room temperature, about 2 hours.

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Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 203

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