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Cocktail Party Appetizers

I am so unimpressed looking around the internet for cocktail party appetizers. I am all set with dips and capanes and bruscetta & predictable flavor combinations...I'm looking for something a little more inventive & this is one of the only places I trust for people that know what food is supposed to tase like. Anyone have anything new/not boring?

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  1. Grape truffles - grapes covered in a combo of cream cheese and blue cheese and rolled in chopped nuts


    3 Replies
    1. re: eatmyfood

      These are fabulous - everyone loved them!

      1. re: eatmyfood

        I couldn't find the recipe on that site for the grape truffles. Can you post it? They sound fabulous. Thanks

        1. re: mschow

          Original was mix 1/2 blue cheese & 1/2 goat cheese but I don't like goat cheese so here's what I did

          1/2 maytag blue cheese - any soft blue will do and 1/2 marscarpone cheese (you could use cream cheese), Mix together. Take a small amount in your hand and form it around the grape. Then roll in chopped pistachios (tho you could probably use other nuts) If you make the cheese thinner, you could do this as a "dip" kind of thing.

      2. gazpacho shots / shrimp garnish
        roasted figs, stuffed with gorgonzola, wrapped in bacon
        scallops wrapped in bacon
        mini phyllo wrapped spinach and feta
        tandoori chicken sticks
        marinated mussels
        spring rolls

        Hope these help, have a great time.

        3 Replies
        1. re: othervoice

          I have seen a couple of appetizer recipes posted recently that call for figs and I am curious...do you buy these in your regular grocery store? I can rarely find dried figs, let alone fresh ones.

          1. re: aryqalyn

            i usually buy fresh figs at the farmers market...but also can find them in the local grocery store.

            1. re: aryqalyn

              I know I've seen them (fresh) in my local markets around the Holidays (Christmas).....but haven't looked lately. Dried ones are usually there year round.

          2. I've recently been investigating tapas recipes. Here is an alternative to quince paste to serve with Manchego cheese that sounds really good.


            Along the pear theme, Penelope Casas' book, Tapas, has a recipe for Pear and Spinach in Puff Pastry. Chopped pear and spinach in a cream sauce in a bite sized puff pastry shell. Haven't tried, but it's calling to me.

            1. halved figs drizzled with balsamic and topped with mascarpone
              breadsticks or melon wrapped in proscuitto
              strawberries with cream cheese/yogurt dip

              1. here's any easy different app:

                Lay out slices of prosciuto to form a large rectangle (overlapping sides and ends slightly). Spread on marscapone cheese (at room temp), and layer on some fresh basil. Roll up into plastic wrap and chill. When ready to service, slice into 3/4 inch rounds.

                Sausage-stuffed mushrooms are always a hit.
                And shrimp seem to evaporate at any party.
                Eggplant rollatini -- Nigella uses feta, mint and chiles. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/418174

                Beyond that, you should check out Penelope Casas' updated "Tapas" cookbook.

                1. I like shrimp wrapped in pastry-phyllo on a stick or not, and then hot and spicy dip.Like vingegar with chili, lime and sugar. YUM

                  Fresh spring rolls would be so dynamite, fill with fresh herbs,carrot, cucumber butter lettuce, shrimp or cooked chicken or pork. Nice dipping sauce - so many, let me know if you need a recipe.

                  Martha Steward did an article might be as long ago as a year, I saved the book. A filipino party that was in the adorabale little pool house decorated so festive with fushica, chartreuse, orange, pale yellows and whites. I loved the foods they presented. Pansit done beautifully, Just all of it. so classy and different. Place orchids around float the flowers in drinks, just get exoctic. The weather is perfect for this type of food and appetizers.
                  Another is take rice noodles and fry them into little pancakes as a base then pile with your shrimp, herbs, pork or chicken top with scallion chives, or long cilantro or mint or basil...the possiblities are endless.

                  Another is scallion cakes, mini version serve with duck and plum sauce...
                  I guess you can tell what I'm craving today!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    Chef Chicklet - would you post the recipe for fresh spring rolls? Sounds like fun!

                    1. re: kmr

                      Sure, let me get the package out!

                      You know I'm talking about rice paper wrappers that you soak in water and wrap stuff up in right? They aren't cooked okay?

                      1. re: chef chicklet

                        Yes - I knew they weren't cooked or fried, I bought a package of wrappers on a whim when we were down in the valley at an ethnic market...haven't even opened them yet!

                        I've got tons of fresh dill and some snow peas in the garden, plus some tender beet tops that I need to thin out, can I use stuff like that, maybe some cooked shrimp? What kind of dipping sauces do you recommend? The rice cakes sound pretty heavenly, too - I've got a recipe for that, I'll have to try your suggestions.... Thanks!

                        1. re: kmr

                          yes there are several...

                          Vinegar garlic dipping sauce
                          2 T minced garlic
                          1/4 c distilled white vinegar
                          1/4 c soy
                          whisk together-refrigerate and bring to room temp before serving

                          1 tsp sugar
                          1 T lime juice
                          1 T fish sauce
                          1 t minced ginger
                          1/2 t dried red chili flakes
                          In a small bowl, mix add 1 T water to dissolve the sugar in, stir and adj the seasoning if you need to.

                          Minty Dipping Sauce
                          1/2 cup chopped/minced mint leaves
                          1 serrano chili chopped fine
                          2 cloves garlic minced
                          1 T grated lime zest
                          1/4 cup lime juice
                          2 T fish sauce
                          place all in a blender, procees til smooth- also goes well with shrimp

                          These are a few. I also use a bottled one when I'm in a hurry.
                          Its sweet with sugar/ vinegar/garlic, and chili peppers/fish sauce

                          The rolls, well you can use what you have.
                          I use fresh butter lettuce, mint, basil, cilantro, shrimp or cooked chicken slivered or pork, rice noodles that have been softned in water, carrot, cucumer sticks, and that's about it. I love these. They are fresh and feel so healthy to eat.

                  2. there's a recipe on epicurious for bacon wrapped dates stuffed with parmasean and broiled. they're always really popular. you can also stuff with a different cheese or marcona almond.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: LAcupcake

                      I made this a few months ago for a group of our friends and they loved it.


                      1. re: kwe730

                        I've made that same recipe several times for parties and it's always a hit! i actually like it better than the bacon wrapped dates I mentioned above but people always request those (and that way I'll eat less)...

                        1. re: kwe730

                          I made that fig and goat cheese tapenade some years ago for a party and it was a huge hit!

                      2. I found some of these while hunting for appy recipes a while back, and had them book marked on my computer... many I havn't tried yet, but thought they looked neat:

                        Shot glass shrimp cocktail:
                        http://www.finedinings.com/amuse_bouc... (I just liked the presentation of this one...


                        Panchetta crisps with goat cheese and pear:

                        Cucumber appetizer cups:

                        Peaches with serrano ham and basil:

                        Bacon wrapped dates:

                        Grapes rolled in pistachio nuts:

                        Zucchini patties with feta:

                        Pear and Gorgonzola mini pizzas:

                        Hope this helps!

                        1. If you don't mind a little liquor at your cocktail party (hehe!), try these beautiful "jello shots" on lime twists: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/221/49... That is from The French Laundry cookbook.

                          You could also do the same concept with Limoncello Gelee http://thebittenword.typepad.com/theb...

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Tehama

                            Thanks those are some great ideas.. I absolutely love the jello shot Tehema-I'm planning a pre-bachelorette party & those will be a huge hit!

                            1. re: Teraesa22

                              Oh my god... they are so good! I did the Limoncello recipe and (attempted to make) made it look like the lime shots. My friends scarfed them up! I will say, I only let the Limoncello set for about 6 hours and it was not fully "jello-ized" at that point, so if you use that recipe, make it the night before. They were so pretty--- I wish I had taken a picture. Lemon slices, then a mint leaf, then the limoncello drop on top.

                              I love lime, too, so I am looking forward to trying the French Laundry's lime version!

                              BUT -- my friends had a ball with these. They were so much fun!

                              1. re: Tehama

                                Sounds awesome & I can visualize-thanks!

                          2. If cherries are in season where you are, I've made a cherry crostini that has been a hit at potlucks.

                            The basic gist is you need dill, chopped walnuts and cream cheese, chopped (and pitted) cherries and watercress. If you don't have watercress, others have told me that arugula and even endive worked for them. Oh, and bread. I like to buy the bread a day or two in advance to make it slightly stale (and harder).

                            Slice the bread. Mix the cream cheese, dill and walnuts to taste. Spread this on the bread slices. On top, arrange watercress. Then the cherries. I know it sounds weird, but it is really good.

                            It's also quite pretty (I took a picture here: http://anzukko.blogspot.com/2007/06/c...


                            The only downside is that the cherries are quite slippery, so they fall off rather easily.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: anzu

                              Try chopping the cherries in large pieces and folding into the cream cheese and serve on walnut crostini instead of walnuts in the dip, just another way of looking at the same ingredients presented differently.

                            2. Suggest you also do a search on the term appetizers on this board - there have been very many recent posts of wonderful and unique items.