I'm chairing a fundraiser for about 200 women. The dinner is catered, however we ran out of money for any passed hors d oeuvres. Since I'm going to cover this part myself I'm looking for a few very easy appetizers that I can do ahead. Many caveats, the dinner is salmon, and it is a kosher style event, so we can't serve any meat or chicken, has to be room temp, since don't want to be in the caterer's way in the kitchen. I will have teenage help setting up and passing the hor d oeurves, but doubt they are so keen on intricate finishing details. I will set some crudites and probably some sort of pesto cheese torte with baguette slces by the bar, but mostly I'd like a few very tasty passed items that won't take me weeks to make.
First let me say I think you're a trooper for doing this. I'm no expert when it comes to kosher, but I do know what's easy. I'd be putting out bruschettas, i.e. slices of baguette topped with something easy/inexpensive that could be served room temperature and prettied up with dill fronds,capers, red onion bits, etc. Choices could include everything from eggplant dip to chicken liver spread, tuna salad or garbanzo "caviar". A couple of baguettes can make an awful lot of appetizers while looking beautiful and varied on a tray.
Here's a good garbanzo bean dip to use as a topping and it's easy (makes 1.5 cups):
a 14 oz can of garbanzos, drained, reserving 2 T of the liquid (or you could use water)
1/4 cup tahini sesame paste
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
3/4 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
paprika, regular or smoked
Puree the beans with the 2 T liquid in a food processor or blender to the consistency of a smooth, mashed-potatolike paste. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and cumin.
Mix until light and fluffy. Put into a bowl and swirl in the olive oil. Either add to bruschetta or put the bread toasts on the side and let people help themselves.
Sprinkle on paprika and garnish with lemon slices and chopped parsley before you serve. It should be room temperature.
I don't know how much you want to do ahead of time, baking and fussy -wise, but hear are a couple of easy ideas:
Feta or goat cheese with herbs in endive leaves
mushroom pate with pita crisps
fruit kabobs dirzzled with chocolate and/or carmel
savory cheese thumbprint cookies
Mark Bittman of the N.Y. TImes also has a list of 101 easy appetizers ready in 15 min or less, or something like that. Obviously the list is gigantic but I could send it to you if you like. Unfortunatly, I think you can only access it from the Times website if you are a member
Crosini with tapenade
Expensive, but simple, boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce.