HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Best Tasting Appetizer that is ......

RenoRed Nov 13, 2006 07:56 PM

Store Bought!!! Yes, shame on me, but I have a crowd coming for the holiday, and I'm looking to take some stess off. If you can't cook, and you like to do things right, what store bought appetizer is your favorite to serve? I'm looking for simple but tasty here....

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. chowser RE: RenoRed Nov 13, 2006 08:12 PM

    Completely, or is heating in the oven fine? For heating, things that have worked for me: IKEA meatballs, Costco scallops wrapped in bacon, Costco's artichoke crabmeat dip, hummus and garlic puree from my favorite lebanese restaurant w/ pita and veggies.

    1. h
      HillJ RE: RenoRed Nov 13, 2006 08:36 PM

      I agree, costco is your friend at times like these :)

      1. MSPD RE: RenoRed Nov 13, 2006 09:01 PM

        I'd set out a tray of smoked/cured/pickled fish, a thoughtfully selected cheese tray, variety of crackers and some dips (hummus, etc.) Maybe a few types of olives.

        Some of this shows up at our various family holidays. I would prefer it to the frozen stuff like quiches, meatballs, etc.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MSPD
          Sharuf RE: MSPD Nov 14, 2006 10:42 AM

          Pickled herring is a Scandanavian favorite.

          1. re: Sharuf
            MSPD RE: Sharuf Nov 14, 2006 01:06 PM

            True. Also Jewish. I (of eastern European ancestry, half Jewish) married into a Swedish/Norwegian family. Throw in northern Minnesotan and my in-laws' Thanksgiving appetizers include pickled herring and northern pike, smoked trout, venison sausage, pickled deer hearts, lefse, crackers, cheese and a old-fashioned relish tray. (The lutefisk doesn't show up until supper starts).

        2. Morton the Mousse RE: RenoRed Nov 13, 2006 09:06 PM

          If you have a good butcher, deli, cheesemonger or charcuterie in your nabe I'd do an antipasti platter. Salami, pate, ham, cheese, maybe some fresh radishes. Just slice, assemble and serve.

          1. jpschust RE: RenoRed Nov 13, 2006 11:07 PM

            Fine cheese & meat tray

            1. Glencora RE: RenoRed Nov 13, 2006 11:13 PM

              I love finding myself at a party with expensive cheeses. I never miss the homemade stuff. However if it were my party, I'd serve hummus, dolmas and a variety of olives.

              1. scoobyhed RE: RenoRed Nov 14, 2006 12:02 AM

                Cosco's jalapeno artichoke dip is fantastic. It's a constant presence at my parties (alongside plates of homemade goodies, of course!)

                Other than dips, I wouldn't go with anything frozen though. Frozen pastries and such are always kinda gross. I second the antipasti platter. Or a nice cheese plate with some fancy crackers.

                1 Reply
                1. re: scoobyhed
                  chowser RE: scoobyhed Nov 14, 2006 12:05 AM

                  That's the dip I meant, above, not crab.

                2. c
                  cmd RE: RenoRed Nov 14, 2006 01:33 AM

                  I always have Trader Joe's spanakopita in the freezer for last-minute guests.

                  I like the antipasti platter idea as well (and no heating, even!).

                  1. monku RE: RenoRed Nov 14, 2006 03:53 AM

                    Costco shrimp cocktail platter. No muss no fuss, just flip off the top and its ready to serve.

                    1. k
                      KevinB RE: RenoRed Nov 14, 2006 03:59 AM

                      Two things my guests have always enjoyed: good pate, and (inexpensive) caviar.

                      You can get two or three varieties of pate, put them on a board, and have plates of crackers or breads (Paris Toasts and pumpernickel squares are great), and my secret: black currant jelly. If you have the inclination, a little chopped onion and/or gherkin works too.

                      As for the caviar - I'm talking domestic lumpfish, but that means you can usually get dark, yellow, and red varieties, which makes for a beautiful presentation. (Keep the plates on ice!) Toast points are traditional, but crackers, square breads, etc. work fine as well. An ice bucket with bottles of Stoli Vanilla and Stoli Lemon next to the spread will set the whole thing off magnificently.

                      1. Davwud RE: RenoRed Nov 14, 2006 11:22 AM

                        Smoked salmon. A nice assortment of crackers, cream cheese (w/ dill??) and capers. Perhaps if you have time, you can very finely mince some red onion.


                        1. j
                          Janet from Richmond RE: RenoRed Nov 14, 2006 01:13 PM

                          This is scary simple and always a hit.

                          In a pie plate layer:
                          A container of hummus.
                          A container of olive spread (or sun dried tomato tampade)
                          A container of feta.
                          Diced tomatoes and cucumber (small dice, seeded)
                          Just before serving, drizzle with olive oil

                          Serve with pita chips.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Janet from Richmond
                            LindaWhit RE: Janet from Richmond Nov 14, 2006 03:12 PM

                            Janet, I've been charged with bringing an "easy appetizer" to my sister's Thanksgiving dinner, and this just might be it! I've already got the garlic hummus and TJ's sun-dried tomato tapenade...I could sub goat cheese for the feta, and all I have to get is some vine-ripened tomatoes and an English cuke, and I'm good to go - thanks!

                            1. re: LindaWhit
                              Janet from Richmond RE: LindaWhit Nov 14, 2006 04:16 PM

                              It's easy and good and adaptable. Bill has decided he's making French Onion dip from scratch (see: no soup mix). I'll let you know how it turns out.

                              1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                LindaWhit RE: Janet from Richmond Nov 14, 2006 04:59 PM

                                Having read about Bill's past holiday meal endeavors, I'd bet it's going to be better than any Lipton soup mix could ever dream of being. :-)

                          2. Michele4466 RE: RenoRed Nov 14, 2006 03:11 PM

                            I have to agree with most of the posts here. IMO, the best thing to do would be to serve the following:

                            1. A terrific antipasto plate, always a fave around my house. My husband and I sometimes do an abbreviated version for dinner as an appie/ football or movie night. Good bottle of wine and you are all set.

                            2. Fish sampler platter: lox or gravlax, sable, trout, shrimp cocktail, etc. with the proper accoutrements (sp?) for a holiday/ evening party (as opoosed to weekend brunch with bagels and cream cheese). You can throw in the caviar here if you like. Again, always a fave around here.

                            3. As for heated items, I ALWAYS serve pigs in blankets (Hebrew National BIG box) and no matter what style of party, they are the biggest hit!

                            4. Cheese plate is a no-brainer. Great bread, crackers, bread sticks, fruit, etc.

                            Sounds like a party I would want to attend. :-) Whatever you decide, have fun!

                            1. r
                              RiJaAr RE: RenoRed Nov 14, 2006 04:18 PM

                              i buy a good smoked salmon, and serve it with crackers and cream cheese, it presents well too

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: RiJaAr
                                Janet from Richmond RE: RiJaAr Nov 14, 2006 04:19 PM

                                And capers...don't forget the capers.

                              2. h
                                Hapa Dude RE: RenoRed Nov 14, 2006 10:14 PM

                                If you get spinach dip from Costco or a supermarket, add some extra spinach (frozen, thawed out & squeezed dry) to the dip. Usually spinach dips are too creamy and white w/ not enough spinach, IMO. I have had several compliments on the dip, hahaha.

                                1. talkoftomatoes RE: RenoRed Nov 15, 2006 10:05 PM

                                  A few ideas off the top of my head:

                                  1. The smoked salmon from costco is great. I just put it with a wedge of brie and some good crackers.

                                  2. Blue cheese wedge with Quince Paste (YUM---I buy the paste from Whole Foods but many places will carry it).

                                  3. Thin focaccia, rubbed with pesto, with small triangles of brie heated in oven 5 minutes. Cut into triangles.

                                  4. Olives, olives, olives.

                                  5. Awesome artisan bread with my fave dip (turns bread and oil into a bonafide appetizer): olive oil, balsamic, garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh italian parsley.

                                  I will resist writing the next five---this is one of my favorite topics! Oh, and loved the above comment by Janet: "scary simple." I love scary simple!


                                  Show Hidden Posts