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Appetizer needed ...

A friend is having a Wine tasting party and I offered to bring an appetizer. What should I make? It can be anything....but it needs to be a finger food. More high brow than not. Please include the recipe.

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  1. an easy finger food that's sure to please is mini caprese skewers. use grape tomatoes, slice in half, skewer on toothpicks around mini fresh mozzarella balls, half or third of a sundried tomato (the herb marinated ones are really good for this) and a folded basil leaf. also good for extra flavor is a half kalamata olive. include a small bowl of balsamic for dipping.

    easy, and you don't have to worry about the temperature or cooking it at the host's house.

    be sure to salt the exposed cut side of the tomatoes before skewering!

    1. I recently went to a party and brought prosciutto and cheese puff pastry pinwheels that went over well. They were an adaptation of a Mary Ann Esposito recipe and easy as can be. Let me know if you need a recipe and I'll post.

      1. gougeres would be great. Make them cheese flavoured.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sarah galvin

          This is not meant to be smart-ass question - are there gougeres that aren't cheese flavoured? It's a great idea since they reheat well too.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Well, that is a good question, isn't it! :) Just added that, just in case!

            1. re: MMRuth

              Not that I'm aware of! Without cheese, they would just be pate a choux -- plain old cream puff shells.

          2. Make a few dozen blinis, top with store bought smoked salmon and some pepper, dollop of creme fraiche, sprinkle of chives.

            1. Do you know what types of wine your friends is putting out? That might be the best place to start as certain flavors can overwhelm certain wines or highlight undesirable flavors in a wine.

              1. I saw an idea on here somewhere last week:

                A fresh strawberry halved lengthwise topped with a cube of brie and then a piece of walnut

                Melon slices wrapped in proscuitto are always a favorite

                Brie topped with fig jam and sliced almonds and baked for 15 min served w/bread

                1. Bear ... I'd love your recipe. And would love to know if it would work with fillo too ?!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chinaplate

                    Here goes, chinaplate. I used puff pastry from Trader Joe's because I prefer all butter as opposed to shortening. Whole Foods also sells all butter pastry, but you could certainly use Pepperidge Farm from the supermarket. This couldn't be easier.

                    I'm sure filo would work just fine, but might be a little trickier to eat since it would be really crumbly/flaky.

                    Here's a paraphrase:

                    Let the puff pastry thaw in the fridge overnight or at room temp for 10-15 minutes. Remove from package and roll out to about 12"x18". Spread about 2 tablespoons dijon mustard over the pastry and then layer about 1/4 lb. of prosciutto per sheet over mustard. Cover with cheese of your choice and roll into a log. Slice slightly less than 1/2" in. thick and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 425 for 10-12 minutes. I overbaked the first batch because they didn't look done, so I wouldn't recommend going much beyond 12 minutes.

                    As far as cheese goes, I used aged provolone, but would probably use an italian fontina or mozzarella next time because between the proscuitto, dijon and tangy cheese it was a little salty. Mary Ann Esposito recommends asiago.

                    If you want to get fancy, you can roll one side to the middle, and then the other side to the middle and then slice to make palmiers.

                    Puff pastry is also delicious with tapenade as a filling.

                    1. re: bear

                      Thank you! I will try this with phyllo and report back ... because you bring up a good point with the crumble issue I may try a sheet of purses or pockets first and see how that goes.

                  2. This is a really good canape that I've posted before. It can be prepared ahead of time and composed at the last minute before serving. Here's a link to the recipe for Salami Crisps on the Food Network.


                    1. Brooklyn cheese puffs are so easy and always impress. They are the Italian version of the French gougeres... but much easier to make. Here is a link to my mother's recipe:


                      Another option would be crostini topped w/ prosciutto, membrillo (quince paste) and manchego cheese. Top off w/ a light drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped mint. I got that "recipe" off of here a while back and it was a huge hit at a cocktail party I hosted (easy to execute too).

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: lynnlato

                        Hey lynnlato, just wanted you to know that I made your mom's recipe last night and the puffs are delicious! I love gourgeres and when you said they were even easier, I had to try them. It's a ridiculously easy recipe and they turn out beautifully. The end result is sort of a cross between a gourgere and a biscuit. I made them with chopped scallions instead of parsley. Delish, thanks for sharing!

                        1. re: TorontoJo

                          Yea! I'm so glad you liked them. What's so nice about them is you can make them and leave them in the freezer and then when you have unexpected company just pop some in the oven and 10 mins. later voila!

                      2. Grape "truffles" - roll grapes in a mixture of blue cheese and mascarpone or cream cheese then in chopped pistachios
                        Baked Brie en croute - wrap brie in puff pastry (can add a topping to it like a fruit spread, chutney, chopped mushrooms, nuts, etc) and bake. Serve warm with apples and/or crackers/bread
                        Fresh figs halved, sprinkled with sugar and broiled, topped with mascarpone and nuts
                        Little puffs - mini cream puffs filled with smoked salmon, crab or shrimp spread
                        Smoked Salmon, cream cheese, with capers and onions or jalapeno jelly - with crackers

                        1. We've made savory biscotti for dinner parties and people love them.

                          Here's one from Gourmet a few years ago:

                          And here's one that Lynne Rosetto Kasper adapted from a Sally Schneider recipe:

                          1. I like to get a baget and slice it thin on a diagonal.

                            I lightly fry it in olive oil.

                            When cool, I scrape it with a clove of garlic.

                            I top it with goat cheese, a smear of mild jalepeno jelly and a slice of pear.

                            You can make the bread ahead of time, I would assemble the rest prior to arriving.

                            1. My quick and easy standby app is the bruschetta and tiny mozzarella balls from Trader Joes with toasted baguette slices. But make sure it's the bruschetta that comes in the red, green and white tub. The kind that comes in a clear tub isn't nearly as good. I also like to do deviled eggs with a slice of lox on top

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gmm

                                Oooh, speaking of Trader Joe's, their little pastry bites filled w/ carmelized onion and feta are great! I don't think anyone can refuse those. Sweet, salty and creamy w/ a light crunch. Nice.

                              2. Wasabi rice crackers topped with hot- or cold-smoked salmon, a dab of creme fraiche and tiny sprinkling of snipped chives.

                                1. Endive leaves filled with a good blue cheese, topped with a toasted walnut and then drizzled with honey is easy to make and easy to eat.

                                  Little phyllo dough cups (in the frozen food section of grocery) can be filled with a variety of either sweet or savory goodies. Like: cream cheese and olive tapenade, blue cheese and a bit of fig, brie and strawberry ... the possibilities are just about endless!

                                  1. my mom makes these great little "cups" that she saw in of all places the Wegmans magazine!

                                    - phylo cups (from the freezer section)
                                    - fill with dab of pesto (store bought or home made...it's summer, so maybe make it!)
                                    - a little piece of toasted tomato (fresh, or from the olive bar at whole foods)
                                    - a quarter of a small ball of mozerella.

                                    bake at 350 probably for 10-12 minutes. they're great at room temp after being cooked, too.

                                    they're very tasty.

                                    Also, you can stuff endive with anything - a little light crab salad, maybe some tuna tartar. But endive is a great cup for a finger food.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Jeserf

                                      procuitto wrapped asparagus.

                                      grill or steam asparagus whole or in halves. spread boursin cheese on procuitto slice and wrap around asparagus.

                                      popcorn with truffle oil butter

                                      baguette toasts topped with rare seared thinly sliced filet mignon& caramelized onion & watercress (or similar)

                                    2. Rice crackers topped w/ slices of seared, sesame-crusted ahi tuna and a dab of wasabi, splash of soy and a sprinkle of scallions. Beyond easy.