ISO Make-Ahead Apps
Hi there. We're hosting a casual winter party / open house and I'm looking for your tried-and-true recipes for appetizers / hors d'oeuvres / dips that can be made ahead. I don't mind baking/reheating during the party, but would love items that can be frozen ahead, or, in the case of dips, that can survive in the fridge a day or two beforehand. Some hearty options are okay, as the party is starting around 4pm; dinner (pulled pork, chili) will be served around 7.
Looking forward to some fresh ideas to try this year! Thanks, all.
I'm a broken record on this...a great make-ahead app is pinwheels. Basically a flour tortilla (so many colors of them these days!) spread with cream cheese & herbs/spices, veggies sprinkled over the cream cheese...rolled up, refrigerated and then sliced down just before guests arrive. There are a great variety of recipes out on the 'net...I've been using the Hidden Valley Ranch recipe from their website with some tweaks.
Another good frozen app is the English Muffin Crab Bites...if you need a recipe, let me know...that's an old-school one for sure. You do need to bake the bites but you pull them out of the freezer and just put them on a baking pan for a few minutes.
The spinach-stuffed mushrooms from the original Silver Palate are great. I make a huge batch of the stuffing (using pinenuts instead of walnuts) and freeze it, it lasts weeks in the freezer. Thaw in fridge the day before. Then day of the party wipe off a bunch of button mushrooms and loosely stuff (don't pack it in). You can do that early in the afternoon and shove them in the oven in batches during the party.
Phyllo triangles (also from the original Silver Palate) also freeze well and can/should be baked from frozen.
Spiced nuts are fine made the day before.
Not very fancy but kids love it: layered bean dip. Spread a can of refried black beans in a pie plate, top with a layer of mild or medium salsa, bake or nuke till hot, spread a thick layer of grated jack cheese on top then bake or nuke again till melted and serve with tortilla chips. Most adults like it too -- I actually make two at a time for my parties, one for each generation. Can all be prepped ahead no problem.
A big bowl of clementines on the table also tends to be pretty popular and they smell so good when people peel them!
Great ideas. I've never tried the stuffed mushrooms but they sound easy and good. I will check that out as well as the phyllo triangles. Have you ever made the prosciutto palmiers (I think from the Good Times Silver Palate)? They are good, but I've never tried to freeze them. They are made with puff pastry, not phyllo. If you have tried them, do you think it would work to make ahead, freeze and then bake the day of the party?
Do you have a favorite prep for the spiced nuts?
Thanks, also for the kid-friendly options. And, I love clementines this time of year!
The ever-popular Ina Garten roasted rosemary cashews are always good:
I made a sweet and spicy pecan recipe that's good too but I don't seem to be able to find it. It probably came from this thread through:
As to the palmiers, I don't know how many times I have planned to make them and never have so not sure about the freezing but I don't see why not. Do they say in the book (I don't have that one)?
On kids and the hot bean dip, don't let them touch it when it first comes out, it is volcanically hot. I set a timer for 5 minutes of cooling and they all hover around and push each other to go first - like penguins off an iceberg - it is always hilarious! But the dip is much better if it does get super hot before you take it out. Have fun and do report back on what you serve and what was a hit.
We had these on Thanksgiving. http://www.yumsugar.com/2628737
The cheese can be mixed up well ahead. The following day I was spreading it on toasts we hadn't gotten to the day before. They were still crispy so you could do that at least 24 hrs ahead too. Assembly is fast.
I did them with slivers of pear instead of nuts because I was also serving nuts on their own. I liked it both ways. I also used a smaller cutter for the bread so that they were single bites.
I used the breadcrumbs that were left from making the canapés for stuffed mushrooms. I cleaned the caps, made the filling and stuffed the caps a day ahead and held then in the fridge. It only took a few minutes to bake them in a braising pan and then broil the tops for serving.
These were good and easy. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/he... I roasted the olives (with the addition of roasted garlic cloves and Marcona almonds as well) the day before. You'd want to just warm them before serving.