Fabulously Festive Party Trays
Dixie Party Tray
The Perfect Party Tray Cheese:
Thomasville Tomme Cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy ( sweetgrassdairy.com) in Georgia. Guests will find it mellow, buttery, and easy to love. (You may substitute Manchego.) Buy 2 to 3 oz. per person.
Homemade Bites: Brined Pecans, Toast Points
Grocery Pickups: Country ham and peach preserves
Wine Pairing: Beachaven Brut, Tennessee (beachavenwinery.com) or Domaine Chandon Brut Classic, California
Add flair to pecan halves with this fragrant sugary, salty coating.
- Recipe: Brined Pecans
In 15 minutes, you can turn basic white bread into crisp, flavorful triangles. They pair perfectly with cheese, ham, and fruit preserves.
- Recipe: Toast Points
Creole Party Tray
The Perfect Cheese: Louisiana's Bittersweet Plantation Dairy Kashkaval Bulgarian-style Yellow Cheese (jfolse.com/bittersweet_dairy/). (You may substitute Gouda.)
Homemade Bites: Smoked Paprika-Glazed Andouille, Frenchie Flats
Grocery Pickups: Sweet Cajun trail mix and pickled okra. (We tested with Archer Farms trail mix from Target.)
Wine Pairing: Pontchartrain Vineyards Louis D'Or, Louisiana (pontchartrainvineyards.com) or Foxglove Zinfandel, California
Smoked Paprika-Glazed Andouille
Garlic, paprika, and thyme add a zesty coating to this flavroful sausage. Serve with toothpicks.
- Recipe: Smoked Paprika-Glazed Andouille
Sprinkled with Creole seasoning, these crispy bread strips taste great with cheese, with wine, or by themselves.
- Recipe: Frenchie Flats
Blue Ridge Party Tray
The Perfect Cheese:
Barren Co. Bleu Cheese ( kennysfarmhousecheese.com) from Kentucky. It's a tart yet subtle blue cheese that's delicious with fruit and nuts. (You may substitute Stilton or Gorgonzola.)
Homemade Bites: Sweet Potato Chips, a nod to North Carolina's cash crop
Grocery Pickups: Golden Delicious apples (the state fruit of West Virginia) and glazed walnuts. (We tested with Emerald Original Glazed Walnuts.)
Wine Pairing: RayLen Vineyards Cabernet Franc, North Carolina (raylenvineyards.com) or Eberle Estate Muscat Canelli, California
Sweet Potato Chips
- The secret to crisp sweet potato chips is to fry them in small batches, in peanut oil, at a low temperature. This makes 6 servings when served as a side but will be plenty for 10 with the other foods on the tray.
- Recipe:Sweet Potato Chips