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Oct 23, 2007 08:45 AM

Suggestions for Cocktail Party Food

What's the your best suggestion for finger food for a december cocktail party with no budget?

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  1. No budget meaning you can spend anything or very little? And how many people? Are you preparing the food or having someone else do it?

    1. Without knowing specifics of the event it's difficult to give suggestions but here are a few links that might help:

      Everything from formal to 50's style menus:

      Or this link for an interesting looking "A Taste of Christmas" Menu from

      Otherwise I'm pretty sure cocktail food on a budget has been discussed on the Home Cooking Board.


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        1. Do wine/food pairing tables.

          Chinese chicken salad in to-go box individual servings

          Ahi tartar on sesame rice crisp.

          Yakitori skewers

          stuffed endive leaves

          caramelized figs w/ blue cheese

          caviar on rounds

          Fried macaroni and cheese (for down home goodness)

          Polenta rounds fried and topped with a dollop of eggplant tapenade or ratatouille

          An Olive bar

          Grilled fruit

          Stuffed Dates

          Stuffed Mushrooms or Tomatoes

          Petit Four sandies

          ...just a few ideas, and with more info, we can probably all help sculpt you in the right direction...

          2 Replies
            1. re: alkapal

              did the OP ever clarify no budget-- "sky's the limit" or "impress on a budget"??

          1. If you mean "no budget" to mean little cash then I can relate what I did for our Christmas open houses when our business was new and struggling. Chicken drumettes sauced and baked (not wings- they are too hard to eat), meatballs in any classic sweet and sour sauce (even use the small ones from the mega stores that are maybe 7 bucks for 150 balls), whole salamis thin sliced with a meat slicer and slices folded in half and half again and toothpicked, bunches of grapes if cheap and in season, bowls of nuts like peanuts and cashew- just shop judiciously at the megastores, bread and cheese- again using the best bargains and pre-slicing- don't let guests slice. Also there are relatively o.k. "eggrolls" (using term loosely), and taquito type things at the megastores. If you offer a good dipping sauce, anything tastes good. Good luck and report back

            8 Replies
            1. re: torty

              I'm doing a party on a budget next month and I also plan on having drumettes and meatballs! Maybe sweedish ones though. For the vegetarians I'm doing samosas using Goya empanada discos.

              1. re: Lixer

                The Goya empanada dough is really nasty! You'd be better off making your own dough if you have the time as it is still inexpensive to make.

                1. re: JungMann

                  Hmmm..Thanks for the heads up. It was a time saver thing, but I don't want anything nasty at my party!

                  1. re: Lixer

                    hey lixer, you could use puff pastries as the dough for the samosas. Thats what I had done to make samosas. You can refer to my blog for the recipe.

                    1. re: amishad

                      i would second that, or fillo pastry. keep it thin. (2-3 sheets)

                      1. re: amishad

                        An Indian deli I sometimes stop by makes their samosas with puff pastry and it just doesn't work for me. It's off-puttingly sweet with not enough textural contrast for a vegetable samosa. You need something more crunchy, almost like a ritz crust.

                        1. re: JungMann

                          jungmann, as you know, samosa dough is not sweet, so a puff pastry crust as substitute should not be sweet either. did they make their own puff pastry? weird for indians who could easily -- and more cheaply -- make samosa dough chose a puff pastry crust instead!

                          samosa dough is like pie dough -- well, an oil pastry crust. not crispy until deep fried. i think fillo (phyllo) is a great shortcut, but i had a lebanese friend who would make the spinach pies (baked cousin of samosa) with pillsbury rolls, rolled out as one sheet (or using the triangles already perforated on the dough for portion size). she did not brush with oil to bake, but i would to crisp it up! by the way, those little spinach pies - so easy -- were snapped up.

                          ps what is a "ritz" crust?

                          1. re: alkapal

                            The best samosas I have had used a ghee pastry crust, which I think especially important when making vegetarian samosas. Filo or spring roll wrappers are a great shortcut for meat samosas, and it's one my family uses, but I don't think it has the body to stand up to chunky potatoes and peas. But I suppose it can do in a pinch.

                            Ritz crust is Pillsbury's frozen butter pie crust. If Filo doesn't have enough body, Ritz probably has too much.