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Sep 20, 2007 03:32 PM

What are your favorite appetizers to serve?

Having another group of friends over for wine and again I'm feeling uninspired in terms of what to serve as finger food. Looking for great, tasty, hopefully not too complicated ideas. Thanks!

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  1. Two or three different kinds of olives; slices of prosciutto piled up; little fresh mozzarella balls; cherry tomatoes in various colors. Maybe some baguette slices and olive oil on the table. That's it, you can just arrange it and have a nice chat with your friends.

    3 Replies
    1. re: brendastarlet

      + Asparagus Wrapped in Crisp Prosciutto

      + Lamb Sausage in Puff Pastry with Laurent du Clos Mustard

      + Mini Crab Cakes encrusted in potato chips with Rémoulade Sauce

      + Pan-Fried Onion Dip, with slowly car-amelized shallots, maytag blue & fresh sour cream/mayo served along with Olive Oil (brand name) Crispy Classic Potato Chips

      1. re: JayVaBeach

        Jay....where can i find the recipe for the mini crab cakes encrusted in potato chips? It sounds great and I do love a good crab cake.

        1. re: YMO

          i can't help you with Jay's recipe, but this one sounds pretty darned good to me...

      Responses to this recent thread about appetizers might help you along. Enjoy!

      1. One of my faves, is a mix of swiss and cheddar cheese, with garlic, onion and frozen spinach (about a cup of cheese and 1/4 -1/2 onion per package of spinach) and some mayo to bind. Toast english muffins with a little butter, spread the mixture on the muffins, cut into fours. I do this ahead of time, place them in the fridge or freezer ona cookie sheet. When guests arrive I heat at 350 for about 10 min. I like that I can do them in advance, and although it's such a "70's" recipe, everyone always seems to love them.

        2 Replies
        1. re: SweetPea914

          We do this in my family too -- slightly different topping, same crispy crunchy gooey cheesy 70's delight! YUM. I always grab English muffins when Thomas' goes on sale so I can make a huge batch and freeze some. Then, if anyone stops by, I just pop a bunch in the oven! :)

          1. re: foxy fairy

            add bacon and garlic sometime. It is pretty tasty!

        2. When I'm tight for time I like to do an antipasti platter; marinated artichoke hearts, mushrooms, assorted olives, Italian meats, cheeses, crostini for meats and cheeses. All this can be purchased. Just arrange beautifully and you're set.

          1. Stuffed mushrooms always a hit, and I love them
            Shrimp Diabla-with avocado and red onion on a stick with pico de gallo
            Cocktail Tamales
            Hot Garlicky Artichoke Dip
            Shu Mei - with sauces
            Spring Rolls - with two dipping sauces
            Thai Lettuce Wraps
            cheese tray with lots of fruit- or fruit with bamboo picks with different grapes, melons, apple and pear, also fresh herbs like basil and mint
            Salmon served cold - so many good sauces - just a great appetizer
            chicken drummies with bleu cheese

            30 Replies
            1. re: chef chicklet

              >>>Cocktail Tamales<<<

              Where are you finding these? I love them and haven't seen them in years.

              1. re: Gail

                oh i had these years ago at very hoity toity party. They are just the cutest things, a little tricky to eat, but such a fun thing to have at a party. I usually make an oinker out of myself with these. Alot of work though!

              2. re: chef chicklet

                I was just thinking today how my relatives are going to go crazy for your hot garlicky artichoke dip! We ate it again last night... mmmmm... this time with naan and baguette. YUM. thank you again. Such wonderful goodness. I really like how it's not greasy the way most artichoke dips are -- I wonder why not? Maybe blending the dips helps avoid that, plus I think it contains a higher percentage of actual artichokes than many dips.

                1. re: foxy fairy

                  Yes I think that the artichokes in there adjust for that. I told you it would be good!
                  Oh I wanted to ask does it sort of souffle up also?

                  It would be good as the base of a pizza, with asparagus and procuitto....doncha think?

                  1. re: chef chicklet


                    would you be kind enough to share the recipe for this spectacular dip...?

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      For you guys.....anything!

                      So here it is.
                      2 cans of artichokes cut fine or 2 boxes frozen Artichoke hearts
                      1 8oz pkg. Cream Cheese or Mascarpone
                      1 cup mayonnaise
                      2 shallots sautéed – see above add the garlic after the shallots
                      5 garlic gloves cut into pieces and sautéed with the shallots to golden color
                      ½ lemon- juice only
                      ½ cup grated parmesan
                      Salt and cracked pepper to taste

                      Drain the artichoke hearts well and rinse, put that and all but the lemon juice and the Parmesan cheese to a blender or food processor, and with short bursts mix, not pureeing but smallish pieces to make for easy spreading.
                      Pour into a nice baking crock or dish (one you can serve out of)
                      Parm goes on the top..

                      I took an old standby and just messed around with it. I think the lemon does something along with whipping it in a blender. Sometimes I just get lucky!


                      1. re: chef chicklet

                        I was also thrilled with the lemony tang. The flavors just dance here.

                        It did puff up when baked -- it looks so cute! I can't wait to serve it to guests. I will always keep an extra stash just for us the next day though. I like your pizza idea, too. My sweety makes delicious pizzas and we're definitely going to try spreading this on our next one -- with prosciutto maybe, caramelized onions, mmmm, a little ricotta.

                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          How long do you bake and at what temp? When to add lemon juice? Sounds delicious!

                          1. re: Sarah

                            Oh I don't know, I bake it until it bubbles and puffs, at 350. Stir the lemon juice in after you mix everything and then add the parm to the top.

                            I have made really rustic croutons for this one, crunchy you know take bread tear it put some olive oil on it or not, and then bake it till its nice and hard, Guests like that they can really scoop and get dip with it. I always make two of these, this just seems to be a favorite at my house. ( I have also used lite cream cheese too)

                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              what's the taste difference when using the mascarpone? I couldn't justify splurging since it cost 4 times as much as the cream cheese, and it's already so divine that I don't need/want to change it. Curious, though, abt the flavor difference. Can you tell?

                              1. re: foxy fairy

                                oh I'd say, creamier and it does taste a little different. I was in the Sierra Foothills and bought mascarpone and some great olive bread in Murphys a year ago, I think I was trying to impress some friends and the spread on the olive bread and it was a huge success. However I agree with you we love it with the cream cheese just fine. It's all about the artichoke and garlic anyway. So good steamy hot!

                              2. re: chef chicklet

                                Hi there,
                                I made the artichoke dip tonight for my friends-only I added a can of lump crabmeat bacause I have this problem with just leaving a good recipe alone. It was excellent!! I don't think the crabmeat had any affect on the recipe-it would have been good without it. Anyway, thanks for the recipe! Maybe next time I'll add mushrooms to my scallions as they camelize to see what else I can do.....

                                1. re: chocchipcookie

                                  Wow crab! I've been making this for so long and often improvised. Scallions are allowed in there with my family (love them). They really get sideways when I mess with the regular artichoke. They look forward to it, and will eat it what I make but grumble loudly. I wish they would lighten up, I do enjoy experimenting with different ingredients..just remember to drain well the newly introduced addition...

                                  I've made it with shrimp and scallions before and I really loved it, such a versatile base.

                                2. re: chef chicklet

                                  I made this over the weekend and it was great! I used mascarpone cheese and the two of us demolished the dip over a couple of days. I think next time I'd like just a bit more "tang" from artichokes so I might cut back on the mascarpone or add a little more lemon juice. Great recipe, I'll be making it again!

                              3. re: chef chicklet

                                you're such a doll...can't wait to try it.

                                thanks so much!

                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                    Wow that sounds great and I was looking for an app. to serve at a PartLite party that I got hooked in to doing!!!

                                    Very timely!!!

                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  chef chicklet, this sounds wonderful, thank you.
                                  This entire thread is a keeper.
                                  The Christopher Wren Gems from The Silver Palate Cookbook are a tussle, but they are heavenly.

                                  1. re: dolores

                                    The Christopher Wren Gems? I go look it up, thanks.

                                    I'm searching the Good Times and the Silver Palate Cookbook, are they in tthey in there? I'm not able to find it? or is it a new book?

                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                      Wow, now I can't find them myself. I may be very wrong about the location of the recipe. Sorry, chef chicklet.

                                      I'll have to look through my recipes in a bit and will post it here.

                                      No luck yet, but this is close:

                                      Date Stuffed Gorgonzola Cheese Appetizer

                                      Makes approximately 48 sweet appetizers

                                      1 (8 ounce) package dates, pitted
                                      4 tablespoons Gorgonzola cheese, creamy style
                                      2 tablespoons walnuts or almonds or pecans toasted and chopped

                                      Slit dates open lengthwise. In a small bowl mash together gorgonzola cheese and toasted nuts, stuff 1/2 teaspoon inside dates making smooth oval shapes.

                                      I remember prosciutto and filberts in my recipe, though.

                                      1. re: dolores

                                        I see stuffed dates alot, I don't think I have ever eaten one. I've always associated them with those gift boxes at holidays and also I'm put off by the look of the date, ok now I'll eat a prune... go figure. I need to seriously get over myself. I have a wonderful danish blue I am dying to do something exotic with. I love blue cheese I would love to try this, procuitto wrap too? I'm like it more and more!

                                      2. re: chef chicklet

                                        Canned artichokes are on sale this week at Stop and Shop, as is cream cheese. You know what that means -- time for more dip!!! (ha -- like I need a reason). Yesterday, after grabbing SIX cream cheeses, I had to stop myself from buying every can of 'chokes on the shelf. You know, in the past I always used the little jars of artichokes -- maybe that's another reason why my dips came out oily. I much prefer the cans. :)

                                        Can't thank you enough for that dip, chicklet. Yay! I think we have friends visiting us for Waterfire, from out of town one evening this weekend, but I'm not sure when. No problem -- as soon as I find out they're en route (an hr away) I'll whip up the dip to surprise them upon arrival!

                                        1. re: foxy fairy

                                          What is a stop and shop? I only have a grocery outlet, and a dollar store that has the discounted artichokes. I have used them and there is nothing wrong with them that a little garlic and lemon juice won't take care of!
                                          Don't make yourself sick of it like I did on my salsa,the one that I finally figured out the Rubios recipe!

                                          NO marinated artichokes! I like them in salads, but not in this dip. I have had then at other's partiesin a cream cheese base dip, that could be the reason for the're right!
                                          You're friends will think you are a gourmet cook with this dip, everyone enjoys it. I really wish I could remember when where or how it came to be...

                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                            Stop and Shop is a New England thing I guess -- it's not a grocery outlet, just a supermarket... maybe like an Albertson's or Ralphs on the West Coast?

                                        2. re: chef chicklet

                                          chef chicklet, I just today remembered how to find the Christopher Wren Gems! Sorry for the tardiness.

                                          They're in The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, page 329.


                                        1. re: pilotgirl210

                                          You can toss the lemon around with the artichokes after you've drained them off. Or as you lastly mixing the parm in. I gotta say I usually toss it on the chokes, I guess I feel it will keep them from turning color? or brighten the flavor up there. Old habit is all.

                                    2. re: chef chicklet

                                      Hey! Very soon, I am going to try this as a pizza :) with asparagus and prosciutto, as you suggested... long ago, cc!

                                      1. re: foxy fairy

                                        hey there! I can't believe I JUST saw this today, sorry about that!
                                        Good luck with your pizza!!

                                        It's pretty hot right now, but perhaps if we get a cooler day I'll make pizza, I've need my fix. Larger quarted artichokes (where they will crisp up too) for the top , roast chicken, olives, red onions, and this spread.... oh and maybe some very thinly sliced lemon circles..with the mandoline...