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May 23, 2006 03:36 PM

your best make ahead hors d'oeuvres

  • r

Am having about 30 - 45 people for an open house and am desperately seeking make ahead apps - as in, 2 weeks ahead and can put in the freezer and then reheated the day of, on as needed-basis.

Have an idea or two for 2 days ahead (hummus and salsa). and only one for the freezer (spanikopita). oh - and yes - party dogs! (hillshire farms lil smokies and pillsbury crescent dough...)

Just don't want to do much the day of - cept socialize!

PS- "entree" will be Philly's famous roast pork from Tony, the theme is not fancy schmancy

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  1. Along the lines of the spanikopita - you can do a filling with black beans, goat cheese and cumin wrap them in phyllo and freeze - reheat as you would spanikopita. If you have any Greek markets around - you can also buy a large can of stuffed grape leaves - before serving rinse, add fresh dill and lemon.

    1. I'm in the exact same situation. Party in two weeks and I need to get ahead of the game.

      I made Gougeres / Cheese Puffs and stashed them in the freezer unbaked. Used the Martha Stewart Baking Recipe but I've include one that is similar (with addition of thyme, paprika, parmesan and chives).

      Will stuff them with cheese and chutney or grilled sausages or just on their own.

      Anxiously waiting to see what replies you get. Have fun at your party.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Mila

        You can bake and freeze gougeres. They warm up beautifully. I have never frozen the dough before. Do you defrost it before baking or just pop it frozen into the oven?

        1. re: Candy

          I did a few test ones and baked them right from frozen. Mine are small, so added on about 3 minutes to the 13 minute cooking time.

          Extra time saving to not have to worry about thawing.

      2. I've had good luck freezing rumake. The chicken liver suffers a tiny bit but because of the broiling it's not objectionable.

        1. Treats to go with crackers or thinly sliced bread: smoked salmon, pates (meat, smoked fish, seafood, veggie). Other dips: muhammara, tarator, baba ghanoush - all great with pita or pita chips. Vietnamese spring rolls - veggie or shrimp, with peanut dipping sauce. All these are served cold or room temperature so can be purchased or prepared ahead of the party.

          8 Replies
          1. re: cheryl

            have made spring rolls before - but for small parties. and just got a supply of rice paper, in facat, but i worry that if I had to make, say 50 of them, how to keep them amply moist for a few hours til the gig begins?

            1. re: rumdrinks

              I have mde the Vietnamese fried variety, and fried and froze them. They reheat beautifully and come back all crispy and nice. They are fun to eat wrapped in a lettuce leaf with herbs and a dippping sauce.

              1. re: Candy

                am not good with frying things...fearful of the wrong temp for the oil and then ending up with scorched - or oil-drenched foods. Did you make your fried ones with rice paper? if so, how hot was the oil?

                1. re: rumdrinks

                  I've never fried Vietnamese spring rolls, only made the fresh kind. If you prep all the fillings beforehand you should be able to assemble the rolls a few hours before and keep them covered with moist towels or saran wrap. Try an experiment, seeing you have the rice paper on hand. A friend served these at a party and said she had made them the day before so I assume it can be done successfully.

                  1. re: cheryl

                    They definitely can be done at least the morning of the party if not before. I buy them from a Vietnamese sandwich shop occasionally and they are placed on a styrofoam platter (like meat that you buy in the supermarket) and the entire thing, platter and all, is well wrapped in plastic wrap.

                    1. re: farmersdaughter

                      I have made several times "spring rolls out of filo dough. Same concept. cook your filling and cool. Layer about 3/4 sheets of filo, brushing with butter each time. Roll up just like a spring roll and you can even freeze. Take them out, brush tops with butter and bake at 375 about 10-12 min.

                  2. re: rumdrinks

                    I fry them in my wok at about 360-375 F.

                    Yes they are wrapped in the rice papers, I like to use the triangular variety for these. I often will make up 50-100 to have on hand and while you are rolling them is is good to keep them moist under a damp towel.

                    The filling I use is as follows:

                    Soak 2 oz. of cellophane noodles and 1 oz. of dried cloud ear mushrooms (in seperate bowls of course) in warm water and drain when soft and pliable. Finely chop and placein a mixing bowl and add 1 lb. ground pork, or crab or shrimp or a combination of all 3 any way you like, a medium minced oinon, a minced garlic clove, a grated carrot, 1 egg and salt and pepper. Mix it all well, using your hands is best.

                    Soak about 4 papers at a time and place them on a towel. Place a heaping tsp. of the filling on the broad end about an inch from the edge then fold that edge over and then the sides roll to the pointed end, tightly enclosing the filling. Repeat until all are made and then fry a few at a time until golden and drain. Serve with leaves of butter lettuce and shredded carrots, cucumber shreds and some mint leaves and cilantro are nice.

                    Make a dippping sauce from 5 Tbs. sugar, 3 Tbs. water, 1/3 C. Vietnamese fish sauce, 1/2 C. lime juice, 1 large crushed garlic clove, minced Thai chilies to taste. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Serve that at room temp. Some add some minced shallot to the sauce, i do occasionaly.

                2. re: rumdrinks

                  You can definitely make fresh Vietnamese spring rolls early that morning. I have even revived spring rolls that had already dried out and no one noticed. Here's how:

                  If you take a big pot and put about an inch of water in it, then take a strainer and put it in the pot and put your spring rolls in it, so that they're not sitting in the water, and then cover the whole thing with a lid or saran wrap, then your spring rolls should lose almost no moisture, and should be juicy enough even to uncover them and platter them an hour or so before the party without having them get too dry.

              2. Make ahead mini quiches are so easy and the flavor choice endless. They reheat wonderfully. I use premade pie crust and a small biscuit cutter. Line mini muffin tins w/ the dough. You can then make a big batch of the custard base first and then pour into separate/smaller mixing bowls to flavor. A few ideas: classic quiche Lorraine, spicy cheddar/jalapeno, swiss/spinach, goat w/ caramelized onions. After they are baked pop them out of the tins and let cool on a rack, freeze them on a cookie sheet and then when frozen you can put them all into an airtight plastic baggie until ready to use.

                Also- don't forget bowls of mixed nut and/or corn nuts. Easy fillers.