What do you bring to the (appetizer) table?
I am pretty fortunate that I have been invited to so many parties lately but I am bored with my go-to appetizer. I love to bring a plate of cherry tomatoes that I half and hold together with a little basil and fresh mozzarella. They are a nice burst of color on a table full of party foods. They are usually a hit but I am tired of making them.
What are your tried and true (and not too labor intensive) recipes to bring to a party?
I make a Greek version of the Mexican layer dip and it's always a hit. In a pie plate, I layer hummus, some of the sundried tomato tampade from the deli (or chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil), seeded/diced cucumber, seeded/diced tomatoes, Kalamata olives, diced and crumbled feta. I add a squirt of lemon on the cucumbers and fresh tomatoes and just before serving drizzled the top of the feta with olive oil and pepper. This can be changed to suit your preferences or what you have on hand...I've used goat cheese, roasted peppers and even pesto in the past. Serve with pita chips.
I like making different varieties of turnovers from puff pastry dough -- a favorite is spinach and feta, but goat cheese and olives works well too. They take a little bit longer to make, but they aren't hard, it's just the folding of the turnovers, and they end up looking really fancy.
I like dips too. I make a variation on hummus with white beans, goat cheese and fresh basil. I also like taking fresh cooked crab or shrimp, mixing it with curry powder and mayo and serving it on cut slices of baguette. Also triangle shaped, one serving size, spanakopita. If you are in a rush a nice cheese plate.
I generally do some type of spread with toasts. Either a smoked salmon spread with dill from Ina Garten, or a fig and walnut tapenade served over sliced goat cheese.
My last party, I made two kinds of crostini. One was tomato basil bruschetta, and the other was roast beef with a blue cheese horseradish sauce. The beef went very quickly, and took a lot less work.
I bought the roast beef at my local deli and piled it on toasted baguette slices. The sauce was sour cream, horseradish, dijon, blue cheese and fresh ground pepper. Nuked the mixture til the cheese melted and put a dollop on each crostini. Very good.