“You’re invited to a Thanksgiving dinner party. Please bring an appetizer for guests to have with a cocktail before dinner”. What a fun little theme for this month’s Creative Cooking Crew! How many holiday meals have you ruined because you stuffed your faces with too many appetizer before the actual diner? Come on don’t be shy put your hand up in the air. Even more so now because the family is finally getting more creative than the stand-by tuna ball, crudites and ham rolls. Well we have not served these in years already, thankfully. But I am sure my Beet and Blue Grilled Cheese Bites would be a welcomed change to the mix.
I am always a bit amused at this time of the year with all the Thanksgiving posts. I am in Canada and we had our Thanksgiving in mid October. It is also not a big celebration as it is in the US. But still it is fun to participate each year and contribute to a meal I am not invited too, like with the Retro Aspic Green Bean Casserole that I made last year. Well I lie, I am going to my first ever Thanksgiving dinner party this year. It will take place in Montreal but it is hosted by an American friend. I am really looking forward to it.
Canada VS American Thanksgiving
In the US it is the 4th Thursday in November and in Canada it is the 2nd Monday in October. Canada is to give thanks for the harvest only where as the US is also about thanking the natives who saved the colonists from starvation. Canada first celebrated in 1578, in the US it started in 1620.
Why we are a month earlier? Geograhpy! We are more north so the harvest season ends sooner in October, similarly to Europe as Europe has harvest celebrations in October as well.
Since the US date is close to Christmas it gets the ball rolling for the holiday season, not so in Canada. Some families get together in Canada but it is not considered a big holiday.
So I decided early on to go with a fancy grill cheese. Coming up with my combination was a challenge. It had to be colorful yet not too stacked and easy to cut into bites. And you have to served it right away so the cheese does not solidify again. Beet came to mind but I did not want to go with plain goat cheese. Turns out blue cheese is a good combination. If you find blue cheese to intense you can use a brie blue cheese like I did which is much milder.
- roasted beets, thin slices
- balsamic vinegar
- sea salt
- triple cream brie blue cheese (or plain blue cheese)
- slices of country bread
- In a bowl toss the beets with the balsamic vinegar and salt.
- Heat a pan over medium heat.
- Completely butter one side of each slice of bread.
- Lower heat a notch and place one slice of bread in the pan, buttered side down.
- Sprinkle half the cheese on the bread, layer the beets, sprinkle remaining cheese and top with the 2nd slice of bread, buttered side up.
- Cook until golden brown, flip and cook until golden brown.
- Cut into squares with a sharp knife.
Swipe clean your knife when cutting the squares so that the beet juice does not stain the bread too much.
I love the results as the beets just look like they have a layer of thick gloss on them when it is actually cheese. Its not too thick and if you cook it right with will serve well on an appetizer plate. The trick is to slowly melt the cheese on both sides so everything sticks together. This is achieved by heating your pan on medium and then lower it a notch. Just let it grill on a lower heat slowly. This makes the crust extra crispy too.