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Aug 6, 2008 06:18 PM

Lost my inspiration - need an elegant but simple stand-up appetizer

Help! I've been sick the past week and am having a dinner party on Saturday. I need to serve a simple, elegant appetizer that we can eat standing up with champagne before sitting down to a tomato tart first course. The main course will be lamb, with green beans as a side dish. I am completely devoid of inspiration due to the illness, so I could really use some guidance. I don't even have the energy or the desire to flip through cookbooks, which is very unlike me. Many thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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  1. Lox or gravlax on black bread with creme fraiche or sour creme between? Or there was a recipe here a while ago for Stilton shortbread that is EASY and tasty.

    1. skewered cantalope balls wrapped in shaved Smithfield ham, nice twist on prosciutto w/ melon

      1. I recently did a great appetizer that was just an endive leaf filled with a scoop of goat cheese that had been mixed with fresh herbs. Also I saw a nice appetizer on Martha Stewart that was a small round of black bread with a deviled quail egg on top.

        1 Reply
        1. re: westvillager02

          I am in love with the goat cheese idea. Every time I serve anything in endive it's wildly popular. I bet you could top that with a small sliver of roasted red pepper or possibly with fine diced prosciutto. I'm adding it to the list for my next party.

          1. I've always had fun with chocolate-covered grapes, which are amazingly refreshing and sophisticated and would probably be lovely with champage. To make it a bit more savory, you could mix some cayenne or chili powder in with the cocoa powder. Plus, they are so easy to make, and are done ahead of time, so you can rest up!

            1 pound stemmed and chilled seedless grapes
            4 ounces 60 percent semisweet chocolate, melted, at body temperature
            1 to 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

            Wash and dry the grapes well; place in a large bowl. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

            Add the melted chocolate to the grapes, 1 tablespoon at a time, carefully scraping down the sides of the bowl and stirring through the center of the grapes so that they are evenly coated.

            As the chocolate begins to set (which will be almost immediately), place the cocoa powder in a small strainer and sift the powder, little by little, over the surface of the grapes. Gently toss or stir the grapes as you continue to sift until all of the grapes are well coated and separated. Spread the grapes on the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the chocolate has completely set, or up to 1 day.

            Another idea would be grapes, rolled in gorgonzola and covered in crushed pistachios. Or, if you have the energy, do both!