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Easy canape ideas... catering for 30

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I am (once again) the volunteer for sorting out the food for my Dad's 60th birthday bash later this month. Wondered if anyone had any ideas for canapes / finger food that aren't too labour-intensive.

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  1. Broiled or grilled fig halves topped with a little blue cheese and a carmelized/toasted walnut half
    Bruschetta .. buy the crackers/presliced mini bread rounds, top and broil
    Tortilla roll-ups or pinwheels
    Spinach Artichoke Dip w/ toasted bread rounds, chips, pita slices, or crackers
    Frittata wedges and/or mini quiches
    Marinated and grilled meat skewers
    Marinated olive bar
    Stuffed phyllo triangles
    Broiled Polenta rounds (topped with tapenade and/or parmesan, garlic and shallots)

    A few more elegant ideas depending upon your ingredient desires http://www.chefspencil.com/seasons/NQ...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Emme

      Blanch asparagus, marinate in Italian salad dressing
      Blanch asparagus lightly smear cream cheese on proscuitto and wrap around spears
      Cheese tray/cold cuts tray
      Shrimp with cocktail sauce
      Celery stuffed with pimento cheese
      Chicken tenders seasoned to taste, grill or saute ahead of time
      Marinated mushrooms and other veggies
      Steamed artichokes with curry mayo, lemon butter, garlic oil

      1. re: Janet

        The wrapped asparagus was a big hit at a potluck I went to a few weeks ago. Some asparagus were wrapped in ham, some in turkey.

        Other ideas:
        cold salad (tuna & white bean or chicken salad are good choices) in radicchio leaves
        mini pitas stuffed with marinated veggies & chick peas
        baba ghanoush, hummus, & pita points for dipping

    2. If it's a more casual affair, cross-cut ribs are really good and really easy. They can be a bit messy to eat, but they've been the first thing to go every time I've made them. Basically: have your butcher cut some racks crosswise (so the ribs are about 3" long), and then separate into individual ribs. Simmer in salted water for half an hour. Drain, and while still warm, toss with your favourite marinade, and chill overnight. Spread out on big pan (cookie sheet, roasting pan, whatever) and broil 3-4 minutes per side. Serve. This recipe taught me the method (and the marinade is pretty amazing, too): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

      Oh - and if you aren't worried about cost, shrimp are also fantastic. Toss a bunch of the ones that have already been deveined and had the legs removed in whatever seasonings you like, and oven roast. Optional: serve with a matching dip.

      1. Hollowed out cherry tomatoes filled with herbed cheese or orzo/pesto salad (nice color contrast)
        Cucumber cups filled with crab salad, bell pepper salsa or bleu cheese. Gazpacho shots in cuke cups are nice too. Either stripe the cukes w/a peeler or french w/a fork.
        Grissini (thin bread sticks) wrapped w/prosciutto
        Marinated shrimp wrapped in a pea pod (then skewer w/a frill pick)
        Belgian endive spears filled w/bleu cheese and toasted walnuts, or any other salad filling
        Prosciutto w/melon is classic and easy
        Spinach wedges can be prebaked, and then reheated as needed. They're also good room temp.
        Petite potato latkes, can be premade and reheated. Garnish w/a dolllop of sour cream and a sprinkle of caviar

        1 Reply
        1. re: rednails

          Looks like lots of great ideas already. Some of my easy stand-bys are:
          -proscuitto, wrapped around melon, bread sticks, roasted asparagus, fresh mozzarella, etc.
          -pepperdew peppers stuffed with goat cheese
          -kippered white salmon with cream cheese and Stonewall Kitchen garlic onion jam on crackers
          -nice selection of meats and cheeses
          -bruschetta, with colorful heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil
          -fig halves with blue cheese, lightly toasted pine nuts and just a tiny drizzle of balsamic