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#1 Jake

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:20 AM

I do a LOT of appetizers, for us, for dinner parties, cocktail parties, to take to friends etc. as well as in the past in a professional setting. So here's my question - do you get bogged down with the same old standbys? Are you bored with the usual ones you turn to?

I am. In the next month or so I have at least 4 functions where I will have to take some type of hors d'oevre or appetizer. I'll need a few more for functions at my home. I'm bored with my usual. In at least 3 cases I have to rule out shellfish or fish. I won't have a lot of time for a la minute prep as I'll be at someone elses house. So, I'd love some ideas, both hot and cold, please!
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#2 Marlene

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:41 AM

Good question. I do a lot of appetizers as well. In starting to sketch out my New Year's Eve soiree, I noted that I'm using the same ones I always make. So I do seem to be stuck in a rut.

I love things that can be made ahead and reheated if necessary, or of course served cold.

Help Jake and I out of our ruts!
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#3 James

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:17 AM

How about a list of your regular standby's first, so we don't embarrass selves with same old suggestions :blush: .

Anyway, here's one that few people do these days,

Brandade de Morue,

It can be made ahead, and reheated or placed on a low flame device, or served cold, with garlic bread rounds, or toast for dipping.
I still prepare mine with a food mill, but a food processor is fine, too, and saves a lot of work.

I use boneless salt cod from the fridge section of a supermarket. Recently I tried a very expensive skateboard from the Gaspe, and merely learned that it was a lot of extra work, not much gained.
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#4 Marlene

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:22 AM

My list includes things like:

beef tenderloin canapes
mini quiches, clafoutis, cheese tartlets
garlic meatballs, wings
home made potato chips dusted with truffle oil and parmesan
mini cornbread muffins
nacho dips, cheese balls etc
warm cheese dip
shrimp cocktail.
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#5 James

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:37 AM

Chips made with duck or goose fat? I wouldn't rule out that one!
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#6 Jake

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:49 AM

Cucumber slices with wasabi creme fraiche, topped with butterflied shrimp and caviar

mini empanadas

tenderloin and horseradish cream on crostini

smoked duck with sour cherry jelly in toast cups, chive garnish

crostini in every imaginable form

fritatta's of every imaginable mixture

gougeres

pate a choux with chix salad, or smoked trout, creme fraiche and capers

crab dip

mini burgers

smoked chix with some type of chutney on various bases

asian flavoured chix or beef skewers

filo cups or wontons with wild mushrooms

lamb "lollipops"

proscuitto wrapped asparagus

various "tarts" made with puff pastry

And of course, I'm overly familiar with all the old standbys (cheese ball/dip, spinach dip, crudites etc.) one sees everywhere.

Thats an incomplete list of some of the things that have made an appearance in the last 3 months......
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#7 Marlene

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:33 PM

Mini burgers. I want to make these. Explain? And where do you find buns small enough?
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#8 Jake

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 03:23 PM

Mini lamb or beef burgers (yes, even peanut butter burgers would work). If I can't get my local bakery to make small buns (and I often can) then I cut down regular ones with a biscuit cutter......

Do not go crazy on toppings, they will fall apart, use a toothpick if need be.
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#9 Marlene

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:04 PM

Mini lamb or beef burgers (yes, even peanut butter burgers would work). If I can't get my local bakery to make small buns (and I often can) then I cut down regular ones with a biscuit cutter......

Do not go crazy on toppings, they will fall apart, use a toothpick if need be.



Must be some relationship with your bakery! Put in an order for me next time!. Mini peanut burgers. Yes. Yes. I can see it now. Yet another way for the unsuspecting PB to continue it's takeover of the world. :D
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#10 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 09:07 AM

Two of my standby favourites are black olive tapenade and these little escargot phyllo bundles I learned to make in a cooking course I took in Montreal.

For the tapenade, I use the recipe from the Chez Piggy Cookbook. Basically, you take a pound of kalamata olives and chop them fine (I imagine you could use a food processor, but I like the texture of hand-chopped). Add four big cloves of minced garlic, a couple of minced anchovies (optional for vegetarians), a dollop of dijon mustard, a splash of brandy, a pinch of dried thyme... and I'm sure there are a couple of other things. I don't have the recipe in front of me right now. But it's pretty flexible. Anyway, mix it all together, let it sit in the fridge for the flavours to blend, then serve with crostini or warm pita.

For the escargot bundles, melt lots of butter in a small saucepan, and add a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Lay out a sheet of phyllo and brush with the garlic butter. Top with another sheet of phyllo and brush that one with garlic butter, too, for good measure. Cut into small squares (a pizza wheel is great for this) and top each square with a canned escargot. Draw up the corners of the square into a bundle, put on a baking sheet, and bake in a hot oven until brown and crispy. (No, I don't have this recipe in front of me either. How could you tell?)

Of course, both of those ideas involve strong flavours and/or snails, which aren't to everybody's taste. Naturally, the phyllo bundles will work with just about anything you care to put in them. I haven't gotten around to trying it yet (and now it's too late to prepare it for this year's Christmas party *sigh*), but when I learned how to do the escargot bundles, the first thought that occurred to me was that they'd be great with minced black oil-cured olives and Moroccan preserved lemons. But you could do anything you like.

Also, my husband makes killer samosas!
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#11 Jake

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 11:18 AM

Would love a samosa recipe (I buy these!)

Much as I love escargot, my other half is allergic to all shellfish, as are a couple other people at the upcoming functions. You're right though, if I can't come up with something you can stuff anything in phyllo....
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#12 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 03:33 PM

The samosa recipe we use is from 1,000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra. It produces a great samosa, but is definitely a special-occasion food in our house, because it takes a lot of time to prepare. Also, it may be considered difficult, depending on how you view deep frying. (It doesn't bother us, because we have one of those T-Fal deep fryers that automatically filters the oil and then goes in the dishwasher.)
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#13 Jake

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 08:57 AM

Ok, so I have to take some nibbles to a party Saturday night. Fish is ok, but no shellfish. Must be something I can make ahead, will be able to reheat as necessary.....any ideas?????????
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#14 Dana

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:10 PM

Posted Image

This is the seafood trio apps I made for Christmas dinner. Poor photo, I know, but I think you can see the puddle of scallop 'juice' in the middle. I should have rested the scallops on a paper towel before plating.

The whole thing was a big hit, though (that's tuna tartare one end and plain boiled shrimp on the other)
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#15 Marlene

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:21 PM

I love the plate! How did you make the tuna tartare?
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#16 Dana

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:33 PM

It was from Food Network's Barefoot Contessa. The only thing I'd change is that the recipe called for lime zest, which I'd cut down on and I'd add a little more salt and cayenne. - It was just a tad bland.

The plates are from CB2 (Crate and Barrel). They were $3.95 (US). I just love them and will be looking for more opportunities to use them.
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#17 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 09:10 AM

We're having some friends over tonight for a big pile of choucroute garnie. I've been racking my brain for a suitable appetizer - something not too heavy, but that will limit the effect of the pre-dinner cocktails. I think I've finally settled on some canned, anchovy-stuffed olives and goat cheese crostini. For the crostini, I'll take some thin slices of baguette, brush them will some extra virgin olive oil, dollop some goat cheese on top and toast it all in the oven until lightly browned. Usually I would add a sweet condiment, such as red pepper jelly or reduced balsamic vinegar, but I've been informed that I'm not allowed to buy any jellies that we won't use up before we move, and I have to work all day, so I won't have time to watch balsamic vinegar reduce.
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#18 Dana

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 07:39 PM

I spied some ripe figs at the store today ($5.99, yikes) so I got 5 of them for myself for dinner - I know, what a pig. I love figs. I split them, stuck in a piece of blue cheese - next time that piece will be bigger-, drizzled with honey and a few chopped walnuts. Ran them under the broiler for a few. Just heavenly. a great 2 bite appi, light and easy.
Posted Image

Edited by Dana, 24 June 2007 - 09:29 PM.

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#19 Madge

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 08:33 AM

Dana, those figs look wonderful. I am going to have to look for some as I love that combo.

#20 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 04:21 PM

Dana, those figs do look wonderful. I've only ever bought fresh figs once, and wasn't very pleased with them. I've stuck with dried since then.

I couldn't help but notice that this thread was started in the fall, with an eye to the December entertaining season. Now that it's summer, what kinds of appetizers are people serving as their default repertoire? We're probably going to be having a cocktail party soon, and I need some ideas that don't involve cooking things for long periods of time in a hot oven.

Assuming that I'm going to have a barbecue by then, my working ideas so far are Thai chicken satays, homemade salsa and probably some form of cheese. If I'm feeling up to it, I might make Vietnamese cold spring rolls (or "summer rolls," as I've seen them called). I have a pretty strong base of dips and spreads, so I'm looking for more "finger food" type things.

Any ideas?
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"A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion."
-Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking




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