Divas: The next big thing in little food

Every few years a food trend emerges that has everyone excited to hop on the foodie bandwagon. This year, everywhere you look, there are little tiny sandwiches! But, with a wow factor. I see them at catering trade shows, in print, on Pinterest, and at parties. I love that the miniature sandwich concept is so versatile and totally accessible. Who doesn’t like a cute little sandwich? It means we can eat more of them, right?

This is a riff on bite-sized hors d’oeuvres. The important thing to remember when making hors d’oeuvres is that the flavors should be strong. You’re only having one or two bites of these things so they need to make an impression. This is a time for flavor combinations that might be too intense or too rich to eat by the plateful.

For your next party, consider a variety of small sandwiches using a selection of bread types and fillings. Small loaves of cocktail bread, thinly sliced baguettes, mini pita bread and tiny biscuits are all perfect for this. For fillings use combinations of sweet and savory.

Add salsa, chutney, pickles or jam to boost the flavors. Sliced deli meats, shrimp, chicken or tuna salad, cream cheese blended with herbs, thinly sliced vegetables would all be sure hits with your guests.

For New Year’s Eve, to bridge the gap between highbrow and down home, let’s feature a sandwich made with the humble corn muffin. We’ll dress her up by adding thinly sliced black forest ham with sweet and tart cranberry and orange spread. We’ll hold it all together with a schmear of green onion compound butter.

Cranberry Cornbread Bites

Cranberry spread – use either canned cranberry sauce or make the recipe below.

Muffins – Use your favorite recipe or use a purchased mix to bake mini-sized muffins.

Ham – any thinly sliced ham will work. I used black forest deli sliced ham.

Compound butter – combine ½ cup butter with 2 tablespoons minced green onion.

To assemble the sandwiches:

Slice the mini muffin in half, spread each half with a small amount of the compound butter. Place a folded slice of ham on the bottom piece of muffin, with a spoonful of the cranberry orange spread and replace the top of the muffin. Repeat with the rest of the muffins.

Easy Cranberry Orange Spread

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1/3 cup sugar

1 orange – juice and zest

In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, juice and zest of one orange, and ¾ cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries break apart and the spread has thickened about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

When I made these sandwiches to photograph I added a half cup of dried cranberries that I soaked in a quarter cup of orange juice until plump to the corn muffin batter. Divine!

There are cranberry orange corn muffin mixes available to purchase. But good old, simple corn muffins are absolute perfection with this recipe.

Happy New Year from all of us at Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom