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The mission: appetizers

Hello CH-ers, How about giving me your best recommendations for appetizers? The rules are: fingers or skewers only, no dripping. They will be served at a very chic opening at an art gallery, people will be standing/milling about, they can't have any liquids that could stain clothes. Thanks for your suggestions.

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  1. Your guests will appreciate the no mess rule. Mini cupcake tins in gold & silver make mess-less "plates" for small bites. you can find more adult variety cupcake papers & tins at baking supply stores.

    When my partners & I coordinate events we tend to go with small desserts and drinks with only a few appetizers. Small egg rolls, tightly prep'd meatballs, chicken bites are the usual and we jazz them up with unique ingredients. However on the dessert side, small cheesecake triangles, chocolate truffles, homemade cookies made smaller all fit in those neat cupcakes tin and make a great presentation.

    Good luck with your opening!

    2 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Thanks HillJ, Now tell me a meatball recipe...Chicken, too. Thanks.

      1. re: kathinmadrid

        we've made these in a bunless mini version
        spicy good
        asian flavors
        chicken meatballs
        and these are killer
        (those cupcake tins will come in handy here


        don't forget to check CH archives too, there are several delicious meatball recipes under CHOW.

        start rolling!

    2. These are some of my faves, tried and tested over more than a decade of holiday open houses. Keep in mind they're all vegetarian.

      Skewers of cheese tortellini, brushed with garlic oil and broiled
      Pitted dates stuffed with goat cheese and a roasted almond
      Mini arancini (those fried risotto balls)
      Roasted parsnip sticks wrapped in phyllo pastry and baked till crispy (recipe in French Chatelaine)

      1. Skewers or toothpicks with grape tomato, mozz and basil; pinwheels would also be a good choice.

        1. Thanks all for the suggestions so far. I like the looks of the asian meatballs and the grilled tortellini sounds like a good thing to try. I had already planned on the mini-caprese (mozzarella, tomato, basil) though unfortunately it has to be served dry, no olive oil. Any other ideas out there? Something with smoked salmon maybe? Thanks.

          1. spinach pie, but cut the phyllo in strips and make individual portions by folding the strip into a triangle.

            1. Deviled quail eggs (too slippery? but they'd be so cute on a nest of shredded spinach! maybe stick a pick in horizontally?)

              Sweet-and-spicy nuts There are some recipes where the glaze gets a bit hard, not as oily/buttery as others. Walnuts, pecans, and almonds work well. Use one kind of nut or a mixture. Maybe served in those tiny cupcake liners that HillJ mentioned.

              Cantaloupe and/or honeydew balls wrapped with a strip of prosciutto or Serrano ham, with a grind of black pepper on a skewer.

              Any finely chopped salad (shrimp, chicken, ham) in tiny phyllo cups. Fill at the last minute to prevent them getting soggy. Just make sure they're one-bite size to avoid crumbage.

              Cherry tomatoes filled with deviled ham/horseradish/sour cream mixture (piped in to be fancy), with a parsley leaf tucked in the side.

              Pear slices with a smear of blue cheese/toasted pecans on one point. Or apple slices. Or both.

              I like HillJ's idea of cookies. Maybe do the gallery's logo?

              3 Replies
              1. re: nemo

                Thanks, Nemo. The tiny phyllo cups could also be done with a smoked salmon filling to get the salmon in the menu, don't you think? And I like the apple or pear with cheese idea, whichever would stay best on a toothpick. Thanks.

                1. re: kathinmadrid


                  Actually, I wasn't thinking about putting the pear/apple slices on a pick. Slice the fruit fairly thick (1/3"-1/2" maybe?) and spiral on a round platter with the bare end facing out, and guests could just pick up the non-cheesy end and pop in their mouths.

                  If you just want a vehicle to get smoked salmon from plate to palate, instead of the phyllo cup, I'd use a half slice of party rye bread cut on the diagonal with a little twist of smoked salmon, a dab of sour cream, a tiny sliver of red onion, and a caper on top. Let the smoked salmon be the star with just enough condiment to make ones mouth happy. Assemble just prior to service.
                  (There are rye crackers and melba toasts that would work as well.)

                  Best of luck with the opening!

                  1. re: nemo

                    I was thinking of the toothpick in the fruit so that these oh-so-chic people don't get their fingers wet with fruit juice. I'm originally from Wisconsin so anything with an apple, cheddar cheese is added to it! I've done a fruit-cheese combo before but with grapes and a semi-cured manchego cheese. Such fun taking the seeds out of hundreds of grapes (rarely see seedless grapes in this country). And I said "phyllo" since others have mentioned it; there is no pre-made pastry that I've ever seen here so I would instead be using something homemade. No rye bread either but melba-type toast and other crackers do exist! The last time I served a smoked salmon spread, I did it on slices of cucumber but it was high summer so cucumber went well with the temperature but some people didn't want to touch the cucumber with their hands. Thanks for your help. Kath