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Nov 30, 2009 08:20 PM

Popular appetizer recipes from the 1980's

Attending an 80's theme party and need ideas. Thanks.

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  1. Here's a link to a food timeline, maybe you can get some ideas

    19 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Thanks for your response Cheryl. I was hoping for more specific recipes. Was wondering if 7 layer taco dip was 80's? All suggestions welcome.

      1. re: kemi5

        I don't remember seeing 7-layer dip back then (I was living in a culinary outpost) but spinach-artichoke dip in a bread bowl was really big. Crudite platters with various dipping sauces, including curried mayonaise, brie en croute, anything avocado, blackened shrimp, smoked salmon "rolls" with goat cheese on croutons, bacon-wrapped waterchestnuts or rumaki, pasta salads, pate of any sort, especially vegetable, with baguettes, small wedges of or mini quiche (how could I forget those,) stuffed potato skins, stuffed mushrooms, deep fried ravioli, asparagus wrapped in Proscuitto, blini (a perennial favorite, the '80s versions was a cornmeal pancake with salmon roe and creme fraiche,) crepes stuffed with seafood, mini-pizzas, mini anything, grilled chicken or beef skewers with Asian-style dipping sauces, gyoza, grilled vegetable skewers, anything stuffed into phyllo, the list goes on...Ceviche was coming into popularity and anything remotely Mexican, chili-cheese dip with tortillas, mini make-your-own tacos, was also hot.

        Party Music

        "Relax" / Frankie Goes to Hollywood
        "Footloose" / Kenny Loggins
        "Rock Me Amadeus" / Falco
        "Whip It" / Devo
        "Burning Down the House" / Talking Heads
        "Rio" / Duran Duran
        "Dancing with Myself" / Billy Idol
        "Take on Me" / A-ha
        "Living on a Prayer" / Bon Jovi
        "Call Me" / Blondie

        Have fun!

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Oh yeah! 7 layer dip was at just about every birthday party I took the kids to back then. Maybe more late than early 80s but 80s for sure.

          I've always heard that when people talk about a decade -- either historically or culturally -- what they're usually remembering is the period from mid-decade when things coalesce into a character to the middle of the next one. Ex: the sense people have of the "80s" probably encompasses what transpired from roughly 85 thru 94.

          1. re: rainey

            Unfortunately for me, it was one verrrry loooong decade.
            I just can't believe I missed out on all that 7-layer dip!
            But I do agree with you on your points, things do seem to coalesce mid-way through.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Maybe the 7 layer dip was still a west coast/southwest thing back then? I'm not sure Mexican foods had made their way into the general culture across the country by that time. What 7 layer dip comes down to is nacho toppings without the tortilla chips. Things like fresh salsa and canned refried beans not to mention fresh avocados may just not have been widely available at that point.

              1. re: rainey

                No, no, no, for sure, it was with us in the Northeast (I'm in CT). ;)

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  I've always hated 7 layer dip-so many good tastes, all competing for room... And each dip-o-the-chip never seems to achieve the perfect combo.

                  Stew's sells that dip, kattyeyes!

                  1. re: stuck in Hartford County

                    HA HA, I know--what DOESN'T Stew's sell? ;)

                    You can always make the related dip (I actually prefer this one)--cream cheese on the bottom, top with chili, then cheese, then bake. Always a hit at parties...even when it's Hormel chili and not my own! ;)

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Well, I do remember the cream cheese-chili dip thing, which was real tasty, and taco salads, you know, the crispy, basket-shaped fried tortillas, filled with "taco" meat, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, salsa, topped with sour cream and guac; does that count? Woudn't be good for a appetizer though, unless you made "mini" versions, in keeping with the decade.

                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        That might be tough to keep from getting too soggy, but Tostitos Scoops would be good mini-basket candidates. :)

                        Those salad baskets are still going strong, btw. I saw one across the restaurant when we went out to eat last night. Right before my "Millionaire's" coffee served in a glass cowboy boot. YEEEEHAAAAAAAA!

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          OOH, drinks in glass cowboy boots, I miss CT!
                          As you often say, it's the land of steady habits.

                2. re: rainey

                  we had 7 layer dip in s.w. florida in the '70s.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    We were cooler and more progressive than rainey recalls. ;) LOL!

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Oops! Not suggesting any slight. Just trying to reconcile how universal it was on the West Coast with someone else's memory from someplace else that didn't include 7LD. ::turns red and slinks away chastened::

                      1. re: rainey

                        No, no! No harm done. I just thought it was funny. Chalk it up to my Yankee sense of humor. ;)

          2. re: kemi5

            Yes, seven layer dip was a product of the 80's...a perfect example of the 80's.

            1. re: grouper

              Having worked in national chain restaurants during the 80's, I can attest to the seven layer dip being a very popular item on menus during that period of time. These were also very popular items as well:

              Fried Mozzarella Sticks
              Fried Mushrooms and Zucchini
              Potato Skin
              Chicken Fingers
              Chile con Queso
              Chinese Pu-Pu Platters

              1. re: fourunder

                Yes, having spent many an evening at the bar eating "dinner", I can vouch for the authenticity of this list.

        2. Just had a 70's themed Thanksgiving- fun!

          80's appetizer ideas:
          Any herbed veggie dip (served in a bread bowl, natch!)
          Sushi rolls
          salmon/crab meat rolls
          beef teriyaki skewers
          Chicken "drumettes"
          Hot-pepper cheese dip
          Asparagus roll-ups
          Cream cheese stuffed pea pods/cherry tomatoes
          Cheese sticks
          Cheese wrapped olives
          Mini samosas
          Cheese puff (pastry shells/Camembert or brie)
          Stuffed grape leaves
          Anything in a cabbage head
          Martha Stewart's Hors D'oeuvres was actually published in 1999- not, as I assumed, in the 80's. Go figure!

          Have fun!

          3 Replies
          1. re: stuck in Hartford County

            I would like to hear about your 70s Thanksgiving. Please report to one of the Thanksgiving threads pronto! ;)

            1. re: stuck in Hartford County

              Yeah, I forgot about those damn cream cheese stuffed cherry tomatoes!
              Martha Stewart's Hors d'oeuvres: The Creation and Presentation of Fabulous Food was originally published in 1984, I used it quite a bit in the mid-'80's, although I don't like to admit to that. So you were right.
              In 1999, the book was published as Martha Stewart's Hors D'oeuvres Handbook, probably updated but I've never looked at it.
              Then it was published in paperback and ad infinitum, ad $$$$.

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                I really do use that book! It's got a ton of really good ideas that DO smack of the 80's, but are still relevant now. But then again, my iPod is loaded w/Styx songs...

            2. It's hard to come up with "recipes" that are specifically 80s, I think more of products that were out at the time, such as totino's pizza rolls or maybe those pinwheel things, didn't those start being served in the 80s?

              You could improvise on the theme. For example, I went to a Dead Celebrity party once and they had a bowl with those black and pink Good & Plenty's which was labeled "Marilyn Monroe mix" (looked like a bowl of pills) and (poor taste warning here) a hollowed out half of a mannequin's head lined with foil that had that velveeta-salsa dip in it (which is kind of red colored) that was labeled "JFK dip" (I know! Bad! But it worked with the theme, and it wasn't MY party). You know, you could have cans of Pesi and label them "Jesus Juice" ala Michael Jackson, stuff like that?

              1 Reply
              1. re: rockandroller1

                OK, based on that helpful timeline:

                For potato skins, rub Idaho or Russet potatoes with olive oil. Bake potatoes halve them and remove the flesh. Cut the jackets into 2 or 3 bite sized pieces. Return to oven and bake to dry flesh side and crisp up. Top with a combo or offer dishes of crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar, sour cream and sliced green onions. If you fill them yourself you could run them under a broiler to get the cheese brown and bubbly.

                For nachos, spead tortilla chips on a wide shallow oven safe serving plate. Top with refried beans, cooked ground beef and shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese. Cook in a hot oven until hot and bubbly. Remove and drizzle on fresh salsa, spoonfuls of gaucamole and, if you're into it, sliced jalapeños. Top with sour cream.

                For sweet and sour meatballs, form bite-sized meatballs from ground pork, beef or a mixture of the two. Sear until brown. Add a few tablespoons of water and cover sauté pan. Cook over low temp about 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove to a chafing dish cover about halfway up the sides of the meatballs a mixture of half ketchup or bottled chiii sauce (not hot sauce, the Heinz stuff you make a cocktail sauce with) and half grape or plum jelly. Stir to cover meatballs with the sauce.

                For crudité with spinach dip, clean raw veggies such as celery, zucchini, cauliflower, radishes, etc. In a bowl, place thawed and well-sqeezed out frozen chopped spinach. Add a dry vegetable soup mix (Knorr is what I remember using), and equal parts of sour cream and mayonnaise -- I'd say about a cup of each. Stir in the finely chopped green part of green onions and finely chopped water chestnuts. The crudité can be impaled on skewers and stuck into a half of a green or red cabbage for serving. Sometimes hollowed bell peppers were used as the dip container.

                Cheese straws were big. Get some puff pastry. Brush one side with melted butter. Sprinkle with a layer of shedded cheese -- could be cheddar; could be Parmesan. Cut into long strips about 1 1/2" wide. Twist to bring sides up around the cheese and form a spiralling seam. Place on a baking sheet, brush with a bit more melted butter and bake according to package directions for the puff pastry.

                Shrimp platters were popular. Just arrange cooked shrimp with the tails on over ice or around a cocktail sauce of bottled chili sauce mixed with as much horseradish or horseradish sauce as you prefer. Provide lemon wedges.

                That's what I remember from the 80s when my daughter was a baby.

              2. Your inputs are all so great!

                1. definitely the 7 layer dip and spinach dip in a bread bowl

                  (use 2 10 oz pkgs of spinach for one recipe and use Mrs. Grass homestyle vegetable soup mix) trust me on this