It was my sister Pam who introduced our family to these Ham and Dill Pickle Appetizer Bites, and I've been making them ever since, thanks Pam! My family eats them just because they're delicious, but they're also low-carb and gluten-free!
A few days ago I suggested Hummus and Cucumber Appetizer Bites for a diet-friendly Super Bowl party offering, and these Ham and Dill Pickle Appetizer Bites are another option if you're looking for something that's a bit lighter for game-day fare. My sister Pam first had these ham and dill pickle bites as a store sample, and she's been making them ever since for Denny family parties, where even the non dieters will chow down on them.
If you'd like to make these dairy-free and even lower in calories, you can skip the cream cheese. When I made these lots of other ideas popped into my head, so check after the main recipe for more options (If you have other good ideas for variations, please share in the comments!)
Start by cutting the dill pickles lengthwise into fourths or sixths, depending on how big the pickles are. I had baby dills, so I bought smaller slices of ham so match the size of the pickles.
The only part of this recipe that's remotely labor-intensive is spreading the cream cheese on the ham, and if you let it sit out and get soft it's pretty easy. Spread lightly or the extra will seep out when you cut the ham! (If you're not dieting whipped cream cheese would be great, but I used light cream cheese which didn't come whipped.)
Put a dill pickle spear on each ham slice, preparing to roll them up. (If the ham was a lot wider than the pickle spear, I'd trim it before I rolled it up.)
Then put toothpicks in each roll, aligning them where you want to cut the ham. (With bigger ham slices you can get up to 5 of these from a piece of ham, but with the smaller ham I only cut 3.)
You can also make them without cream cheese if you have guests who can't do dairy or you want to reduce the calories even more.
Ham and Dill Pickle Appetizer Bites
(Recipe from my sister Pam, who first tasted these as a store sample.)
thin deli ham slices (use lean ham with the lowest fat content you can find for South Beach Diet)
light cream cheese (or use whipped cream cheese if you don't care about it being light)
Let the cream cheese sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you make these.
Cut dill pickles lengthwise into fourths or sixths, depending on how thick the pickles are. You need as many cut pickle spears as you have ham slices.
Spread each slice of ham with a very thin layer of cream cheese. (I used about 1 tsp. cream cheese on each ham slice. The ham doesn't need to be completely covered with cream cheese.)
Put a dill pickle on the edge of each ham slice and trim the ham if it's very much bigger than the dill pickle spear. Roll up the ham around the dill pickle, then place toothpicks where you want each piece to be cut. Cut into pieces so that each piece has a toothpick. Arrange on plate and serve.
Other Ideas That Might be Fun:
-You can make dairy-free Ham and Dill Pickle Bites by omitting the cream cheese.
-For a spicier appetizer, mix some Green Tabasco Sauce into the cream cheese.
-For a sweeter flavor combination, try some Sugar Free Apricot Preserves mixed into the cream cheese.
-Try a flavored cream cheese (like pineapple) for a different twist.
-If you like mustard, try a very thin swipe of mustard on top of the cream cheese.
-Serve the Ham and Dill Pickle bites with a mayo-mustard dipping sauce.
(Edit 2/4/11: Check the comments for many more great ideas for these! I love the way this recipe seems to have inspired creative cooks.)
South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:When made with lean ham and reduced-fat cream cheese, these little appetizer bites are great for any phase of the South Beach Diet. With higher-fat dairy, these are suitable for most other low-carb eating plans.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you're a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Diet-Friendly Super Bowl Party Ideas:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Ten Low-Glycemic Menu Options for a South Beach Diet Friendly Superbowl Party from Kalyn's Kitchen
Healthy Superbowl Recipe Round-Up from This Mama Cooks On a Diet
Top 20 Skinny Superbowl Round-Up from SkinnyTaste
50+ Cheap and Healthy Party Foods from Cheap Healthy Good
Healthy Superbowl Recipes from Jeanette's Healthy Living
Dip Into Something Nutritious on Superbowl Sunday from Blogher.com
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)