Whether you're hosting a full-fledged Southern dinner or you're looking for hearty appetizer choices for any meal, consider Southern-inspired appetizers. Incorporating spicy, smoky and sweet flavors, these also make great hors d'oeuvres for parties. Bust out the napkins, set the forks aside and get ready for finger-lickin', down-home goodness. Here are a few favorite Southern appetizers to consider for your next meal or party:
It's hard to get enough of crunchy, tangy fried pickles. Best served with ranch dip, these are a favorite among adults and kids alike. Try serving them along with fried mushrooms and zucchini for an appetizer trio, and include other choices for dipping sauces, like barbecue sauce, honey mustard or Vidalia onion dressing.
Mini corn fritters are the ultimate comfort food, and make perfect finger-sized appetizers. Mixing corn bread, spices, fresh corn kernels, grated zucchini and cheddar cheese, corn fritters host an array of flavors in each bite. Consider adding onions and cayenne pepper or hot sauce to your recipe for a Louisiana-style kick. Serve soon after frying for maximum tastiness.
Crawfish tails, green onions and hot sauce are blended together with cream cheese to make this just-spicy-enough dip. Served with celery sticks, chicken-flavored crackers or pita chips, crawfish dip makes an excellent starter or party dish. Serve alongside a hot, savory appetizer for variety.
Roasted pecans are commonly served at country fairs. Coated with cinnamon, sugar and just a touch of salt, they're best enjoyed warm and can be served as an appetizer when served along fruit and cheese. On a platter, pile roasted pecans alongside savory finger fruits such as strawberries, dried figs and raspberries. Smokier cheeses like cheddar or gouda will complement the sweet flavors of the nuts and fruits. Serve with sparkling cider for an elegant start to a Southern meal.