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In need of some kick-butt appetizers!

Planning a very special house party and would really like some over the top appetizers. Any suggestions?

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    1. re: Antilope

      I love the look of Emeril's Lobster Cheese I wonder if you could do it as mini cheesecakes rather than serve it in wedges?

      1. re: maplesugar

        Probably, I don't like a big cake or quiche, people are less likely to eat it. It is also extremely rich, I tried it. I couldn't eat it. Made it for a small party get together. No offense, a great recipe, just way to rich for me and 2 of my friends.

    2. I like to My filet mignon bites on a baguette with a horseradish cream fresh arugula and a olive tapenade. Toast the baguette, rub with garlic then top with a olive tapenade, some fresh arugula and a nice thin slice of filet mignon, marinaded in a simple garlic marinade and then topped with a horshradish cream.

      I make lobster cones, just using puff pasty and making small cones when they are baked and then make a lobster salad with fresh dill a a yogurt mayo, add some thin sliced cucumber, red pepper and jicama stuff the cones.

      These are not fancy, but popular. I get large grape tomatoes, cut a hole in the top and stuff with a large black olive, then I use a herbed cheese (buy or make your own either or) and stuff the olive. They are fun and pretty and they love to gobble them up. I do soak both the tomatoes and olives in vodka prior to stuffing.

      Shrimp and citrus skewers, simple but great flavor, marinade the shrimp in a little teriyaki, ginger, orange and grapefruit juice, honey and red pepper, then skewer just a couple of shrimp and some slices or orange and grapefruit. Once grilled I stick them in a grapefruit. Cut a slice off the bottom so it sits well and put on a platter, but several in the grapefruit for almost a centerpiece then the rest around. I make a honey lime cilantro and sour cream dip. Simple but it accents the shrimp.

      Small potato and spinach cakes with roasted red peppers served with a spicy mustard and chili sauce.

      For munchies I love pancetta wrapped bread sticks (very plain, but people love to nibble on them. I use the mini bread sticks.

      Ok, cabbage, pork, cranberries and apples, all thin sliced and some pecans rolled up in puff pastry and then surved with a greek yogurt, honey sauce with some nutmeg and cardomon. Make one long roll and then cut into bites.

      Cranberry, turkey and goat cheese fried ravioli and any baked ravioli is great. I make one with salmon, dill gruyere and then serve with a lime lemon sauce.

      I love baby stuffed white potatoes, hollow out and stuff with everything from crab, chicken, cheese, vegetables and caviar

      I also love to thin slice my smoked salmon paper thin and roll with a simple marscapone filling, some diced olives and scallions paper thin. They aren't fancy but just pretty and very well liked. I also do the same version with tuna, scallions, thin sliced jicama and carrots and an asian sauce.

      I like finger food rather than forks. These are some of my favorites, some are easy ... some more difficult. I have found with most parties, since I cater a lot that sometimes it is beneficial to serve things NOT to different, but it depends on you friends attending. You know best with your friends. I have some very adventurous, and some not and the same with some of the parties I cater, so I try to go inbetween.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kchurchill5

        Can I come to one of your parties?

        1. re: jcattles

          Sure, FL, right now 75 and sunny!! Give me a days notice :)

        2. re: kchurchill5

          All of your ideas sound awesome! Thanks for sharing!

          1. re: kchurchill5

            Thanks for the fantastic ideas! Problem is, they all sound sooo good, the lobster, the tomatoes, and the filet are sure to be their! Thanks again, and you are always welcome.

          2. Figs sliced 4ways not quite through, stuffed with bleu cheese, wrapped or not in prociutto. Baked until runny.

            1 Reply
            1. re: phantomdoc

              I do the same, but with goat cheese instead of bleu. One of my favorites!

            2. The Kilted Cook's signature Appetizer:

              Basil-Mango Shrimp
              1 Mango
              12 leaves fresh basil
              1-2 lbs shrimp.
              1-2 Tbsp Cajun/Creole spice blend, Mesxican spice, Chile Powder, etc

              Peel and pit the mango and toss the meat in a blender with the chopped up Basil. Whirrrr until you get a thick puree. Chill.

              Toss the shrimp with the spice and saute with a splash of EVOO until cooked just right. Chill.

              Shrimp Cocktail - put the sauce in margarita glasses and hook a half dosen shrimp around the rim.

              Shrimp "Shooter" - put the sauce in shot glasses and put a single shrimp on top.

              Shrimp To Dip. Put the shreimp on a platter with a serving bowl of the dip and an empty for shells.

              Shrimp Salad - Lay down a bed of Mesclun or micro greens, add a few shrimp and spoon the sauce over.

              1 Reply
              1. re: KiltedCook

                You can't go wrong with shrimp!

              2. Smoked trout salad in endive leaves
                Crostini with seared skirt steak and chimichurri
                Smoked salmon-horseradish mousse on pumpernickel rounds
                Piquillo peppers stuffed with white anchovies and goat cheese
                Chicken tikka masala drumettes
                Corn blinis black bean salsa and carnitas

                1. One of my new favorites is small skewers with cheese tortellini, cherry tomatoes, & sugar snap peas marinated for a couple of hours in a Champagne Vinaigrette. The colors are beautiful and it's an easy make-ahead dish that got plenty of oohhs.

                  1. An easy one, and I love salty, sweet, spicy combination...

                    Devein large shrimp, add a sliver of jalapeno where the vein was. Wrap in bacon, secure w/ toothpick. Top w/ some brown sugar and bake. Always make more than you think you'll need because they go quickly.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: chowser

                      They are always a fave. I love them as well

                      Baguettes with an olive tapenade (I know I already used it but it is good) smoked salmon and a creamy dill sour cream, Easy and quick. Most of mine other than the grilled skewers and pancetta bread sticks are made ahead.are made ahead. I like to do as much before.

                      Artichoke mixed with garlic and carmelized onion on a baguette with some parm cheese and fontina melted as amazing or just simple marinated artichokes, add some diced olives and top a baguette, top with a roasted romato slice. Make the tomatoes the day ahead same with the artichoke sauce.

                      Bacon wrapped filet bites, Single filet and chicken bites wrapped in bacon and then baked and then served with a mustard dip and a horsradish dip or a spicy chipolte dip or an asian dip. Your choice. Simple tooth pick in each, very simple. I do the same with grouper bites, or cod or halibut, Make with a coconut and panko crust and then saute, put a tooth pick in and serve with a apricot, ginger and soy dipping sauce. Easy and quick.

                      1. re: chowser

                        Thanks, sounds like a keeper to me!

                        1. re: Ed Buckley

                          Use milk jalapeno, most of my guests don't like spice, I do however. Always good and a favorite.

                          Stuffed jalapenos. Remove seeds and ribs, cut in half and stuff with cream cheese, proscuitto, chives and cheddar, just a little of each. Stuff and wrap with pancetta and then bake 20 minutes at 350. Great appetisers. Just check with guests for hot stuff. as all. I love the shrimp dish, my favorite by far.

                        2. spicy tuna sashimis cut in bite sized cubes, arrange them neatly with pretty picks. Quick, easy and realitively healthier than all the puffy pastries.

                          This is a lot of work but i've baked my own mini slider buns to 1-1.25 diameter and had spiced lamb sliders topped with a slice roasted beets, aoli/ olive tapenade and pretty microgreens, held together with a longer skewer (found in asian markets). it was a huge hit. The guys loved it (they are always whining about hunger). Alternatively, you can do tempeh or cook up some veggie burger patties.

                          i'd love to do a linguini eaten out of a crab shell on my next event.

                          it's a stable for us but braise or roast some short ribs in some spicy and sweet combo., debone them and serve in chunks on toasted brioche or something. mm..

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jeniyo

                            Interesting idea the crab shell, do you mind if I borrow that? Also, love the thought of short ribs on brioche, sounds like a hit! Thanks so much.

                          2. I love sliders, I did a party with quality beef, sun seafood crab and shrimp sliders and then turkey.

                            Offer a bar a ingredients, kids loves them, so do adults, lots of sweet potato fries and some zuchinni chips and appetizers, Offer all the toppings. It is a lot of fun and even great for adults equally. A turkey slider with a little spice, some avacado and a chipolte mayo is great with fresh arugula. Kids can still eat them with lettuce and tomato, Grilled mushroom and onions for the beef and the seafood, fresh spinach tomato and a herbed vinaigrette. Even a veggie or a lamb burger with roasted romatoes and spring greens, endless possibilities. Don't worry about buns, I either have my regular grocer which most will make them now a days for minimal cost or I use just small dinner rolls. Never had a complaint.. They are really a lot of fun. Like I said appealing to both teenagers and adults. Other than just the end cooking, everything made ahead. Easy entertaining, maybe some pastas on the side, some fun appetizers and relax and enjoy. Maybe some fruit kabobs for desert and even maybe a grilled pasta salad, again made ahead. I did this party and everyone loved it.

                            Anyways, FYI

                            1. I like crostini with mushrooms and anything involving smoked salmon or bacon, preferably caramelized.

                              1. Mini Reubens:
                                I ask the baker or grocery store, mine will make it for me a thin almost a baquette sized pumpernickle You can cut the wholes slices in circles or something fancy it you want. I like the baguette size. I just slice and lightly toast. Add some thousand (fresh home made if you can), sauerkraut that was lightly sauteed with some red onions. topped with corned beef and then of course swiss cheese. Mini reubens. Really good and fun.

                                I chop shrimp (un cooked), some scallions, a dash of chili sauce, parsley and a little honey and orange juice. Mix well, add a few dried bread crumbs and mix. I roll out pieces of proscuitto and spread the mix out on the piece of ham and wrap tight, secure with a tooth pick. Bake 15 minutes at 400. They will be lightly brown and the shrimp cooked. I serve with a creamy melted gruyere cheese flavored with a little orange zest, orange juice and honey and red pepper flakes. Really good. These are fine at room temp, but the cheese should be warm. Heat up and the cheese stays warm for quite a while. Different easy and bit size pieces.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                  Thank you so much, the shrimp and proscuitto sounds perfect! Cannot wait to try it! Thanks again, you have been most helpful.

                                2. Some things I've made for past parties - always a cheese plate (with big hunks of lovely cheese - usually from costo), crudites, glazed nuts, sauces and dips to match the theme, and boiled shrimp.

                                  KIDS PARTY (for adults):
                                  Popcorn machine in the backyard with someone tossing gourmet popcorn on request (southwest, pesto, parm, garlic, asian, etc seasoning),"Ice cream and cake" (salmon tartare in cornets ala French Laundry and crab cakes, "Tomato soup and grilled cheese" (gazpacheo and grilled cheese on fruit/nut bread; "Mac and cheese" (creamed mac and cheese with lobster and tomatoes); "Nachos" (individual cups of traditional 7 layers); "Chicken Legs" (grilled, wrapped and pushed up drumettes with sauce), "Fish sticks"( tilapia and prosciutto asparagus), "Bacon and Eggs" (dressed bacon, omlete, and hollendaise on toasted bioche ), "Pigs in blanket" (sausage, mustard, quince jam in puff pastry), "Poptarts" (fruit and cheese in pastry, "Choco pudding" (chocolate mousse with crumbled brownies served in spoons, tenderloin cubesmarinated and grilled with 1/2 cherry tomato, "tater tots" (stuffed with gorgonzola cheese)Drinks - choco kaluha milkshake or choco martini

                                  CHINA/ASIAN ("recall" party!)
                                  Peking Duck, Chicken fried eggroll, pork Charsu bao, Lobster dimsum, Pork Ribs ala Roy, Beef Sate, Shrimp shumai, Shrimp Sping Rolls, miniPork & bok choy potstickers, Edaname Shumai, mini Mushroom Tofu potstickers, fried rice, Avacado Spring rolls, Mango pudding, Cononut pudding, Drink - green tea martini

                                  Oysters Bienville and Oysters Rockafeller served on salt bed, Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya croquettes, Muffuletta Pizza, Spicy Andouille Sausage and Tomato Relish on crostini, Crawfish etouffee in puff pastry, Jalapeno Souffles, Chicken Tenders with Pepper Jelly, Tenderloin served with creole mustard, Cornbread, Wild mushroom pate, Bananas Foster, Bread pudding with bourbon sauce, Lemon curd tartlets, Drinks - Hurricanes

                                  OTHER POPULAR ITEMS
                                  Mini logs of beef Wellington sliced, Mini tenderloin 'hamburgers', Figs and prosciutto with parm, luau (kalua pig, poke, salmon, etc)

                                  Let me know if anything looks interesting and I'll forward recipes

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: alwayscooking

                                    Absolutely, the chicken and shrimp jambalaya croquettes sound fantastic! And if it is not too much trouble, the mini pork & bok choy potstickers sound great as well. Thank you.

                                    1. re: alwayscooking

                                      1/2 pound fine chopped lean pork
                                      1/2 pound fine chopped bok choy
                                      3 water fine chopped chestnuts
                                      2 slices grated ginger
                                      1 tablespoon oyster sauce
                                      2 teaspoons soy sauce
                                      1 tablespoon mirin
                                      1 teaspoon granulated sugar
                                      1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
                                      Freshly ground white pepper
                                      Wonton wrappers - cut down by 1/3 (app size)

                                      Combine ingredients. Put some of the mixture in a small bowl, nuke, taste, and adjust flavors. Fill wontons into potsticker form. Use immediately or freeze. Cook as with any potsticker - brown bottoms in peanut oil, add water to cover the bottom of the pan, cover, steam for a few minutes, uncover and boil off the remaining liquid. Serve with dipping sauce.

                                      Any potsticker recipe would work - they just need to be bit-sized for apps. You can make them yourself or some restaurants will make them for you.

                                      JAMBALAYA CROQUETTES
                                      1 1/2 c long grain rice
                                      1 1/2 c low -sodium chicken broth
                                      1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes diced
                                      2 t Veg oil
                                      1 lb shrimp (31 - 40 per pound) diced (save the shells)
                                      1 C bottled clam juice
                                      8 oz andouille sauage diced
                                      4 bone-in chicken thighs diced
                                      2 T parsley
                                      1/2 t fresh thyme leaves
                                      1 med red pepper diced
                                      1 celery rib diced
                                      5 med garlic cloves minced
                                      1 med onion diced
                                      2 bay leaves
                                      1 t salt

                                      Unlike a trad Jambalaya, everything needs to be small because each of the ingredients need to end up in the end product.

                                      Make the jambalaya: Saute the onion, celery, red pepper until soft - add the sausage and brown. In a separate pot, simmer the chicken stock with the shrimp shells and chicken bones. Add the rice and brown in the pot. Add the herbs and garlic. Then add tomatoes, some of its juice and the clam juice. Add 3/4 of the stock and stir. Watch as the rice cooks and add more stock when necessary - the end texture needs to be rather dry since it needs to hold together. When barely done, add the shrimp and finish. Let cool.

                                      Croquettes - form mixture into balls (use bread crumbs if too moist. Roll in flour or breadcrumbs and fry. Service with a dipping sauce like roumalade.

                                      1. re: alwayscooking

                                        these were a huge hit at our xmas party. I did them exactly like the recipe as well I stuffed some with goat cheese, and used chipotle instead of paprika on some. so fast, so delish! get as big of shrimp as your budget allows, do not over cook! they only take about 4 mins.