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Feb 7, 2009 10:16 AM

wine party - need budget friendly appetizers!

i was asked to help cater a charity event where a friend is working. a local winery is donating as well so the food should be wine friendly. my usual style is lots of fancy stuff with ingredients like fine cheeses, charcuterie, sausage, bacon, shortribs, etc. but since it's a non-profit, i really need to pare down and give them good simple wine-friendly finger food for a low price. any recs and links are greatly appreciated!! there will be about 50-60 people and i'll be working in a loft kitchen.

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  1. I am such a broken record..gougeres, different cheese in the batter. Make, freeze, heat ...perfect finger food and nearly free

    8 Replies
    1. re: capeanne

      That was my first thought as well.

      1. re: Chris VR

        And, you can make them ahead of time, freeze and reheat.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Hi MMRuth

          I making these this weekend. Do you freeze pre-baked, or after? Thanks!

          1. re: Rubee

            I've frozen them after baking - then reheated. I really want to try the Zuni ones, but lent my book to someone!

            1. re: MMRuth

              Thanks! Yep, the Zuni ones are the ones I'm going to make. I finally have a free weekend with only a half day of work today, so I'm tackling a bunch of projects to stock the freezer - beef stock, Dunlop's potstickers, Zuni gougeres, and crab rangoon ; )

              1. re: Rubee

                What recipe do you use for beef stock? I've never made it!

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Me either. Hope it comes out good!

                  I'm making the Lucques short ribs for the first time for guests next weekend, so I wanted to use good beef stock. I'm going to try the Cook's Illustrated method. I bought some meaty beef shanks from a local Mexican market.

                  1. re: Rubee

                    Well, those short ribs are amazing. Enjoy.

    2. "gourmet" popcorn - multiple kinds - parm, cheddar, garlic, spicy, etc
      homemade crackers and dips - hummus, babaganoush, creamy, etc
      baked puff pastry filled with meatblends and/or veggie blends
      veggie and fruit platter
      filled wontons (mostly bock choi)

      1. Veggies are pretty reasonable; roasted and raw would be a nice variety.
        You can make humus pretty cheaply...does that pair well with wine though?
        There was a Chow recipe a while back for marinated mushrooms I tried that was pretty good.
        Chocolate covered fruit (berries, apples, ect.) would also be pretty reasonable, no?

        EDIT: This has been mentioned on the boards before, but I am terrible with the search function. I googled NYT best appetizer list and found this:

        Plenty of variety here, you're bound to find something... good luck :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: enbell

          Instead of humus, try this bean puree instead -- its very wine friendly: Cook your own beans to make even more budget friendly. Serve with vegetables and pita crisps (make from split quarters of pita bread, bit of oil, and toast in oven)..

        2. Stuffed mushrooms using its stem, is a good way to fill the mushrooms without having to add to many exotic items. Saute the chopped stem with green onion, garlic, butter, add a little ham, bread crumbs and mozzerella. Then top with mozz and bread crumbs. I use large mushrooms, its like little pizzas. Hey - there another easy one, pizza, use a cookie sheet, cut into squares. Both can be done ahead, just pop in the oven and serve.

          I was going to suggest quesadillas but rememeber that they tend to harden and not be as appetizing when they sit too long...the tortilla doesn't hold up as well. I don't think anyway.

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