HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Help Me With a "Bar Snacks" Menu

So...on mama's fabulous magical blackboard yesterday, Monday's Birfday Night Request appeared, and the request is for "Bar Food", via Tosh. Chicken Wings I got, or maybe a batch of fried legs and thighs, and maybe chili fries because I can work out a vegetarian version of that. I'm trying to build a cohesive menu for 27 strappin' boys and I feel a little lost. Can y'all help a sister out?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Nachos with chili or even pulled pork. Sliders, maybe?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeanmarieok

      Pulled pork sandwiches standing in as the biggest main: I think that's a great idea. I've seen them many places. ty, jmo.

    2. How about pickled eggs? Let me know if you need a recipe

      4 Replies
      1. re: momskitchen

        I love this idea. I can boil and brine the eggs over the weekend in pickled beet juice, and then use the beets in salads and whatnot next week. Good, and unusual coupled with the crudite platter (that's one fancy word for a frat veggie plate) that I'll definitely put out with Spinach Dip.

        1. re: mamachef

          Instead of spinach dip how about a home-made French onion dip? I caramelize onions ( a lot of them!) and add to a mixture of Greek yogurt and sour cream - a dash or two of curry spices (my mix already has salt so no extra needed) and shazam - you got dip.

          1. re: marsprincess

            that sounds so good. that may be a holiday item to kick things up around here.

          2. re: mamachef

            Here's my recipe for pickled eggs from my blog http://motherskitchen.blogspot.com/20...

            It is my most requested recipe....enjoy!

            Yooper Style Pickled Eggs
            2 dozen hard boiled eggs (peeled
            )4 cups vinegar
            1 jar sliced jalapenos, including the juice
            1 onion, chopped finely
            1 cup water
            1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
            1 tablespoon salt

            Put peeled eggs in a large glass jar with a lid. Put remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Pour over eggs and let steep in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 days. Serve eggs in a paper cupcake liner with Frank's Red Hot Sauce, black pepper and plenty of the jalapenos.

        2. small plates - nachos with the works, deep fried ravioli w/a spicy dipping sauce, bacon and pepper jack quesadillas topped with pickled jalapenos

          6 Replies
          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            Talk at me about that there ravioli please? Is that a St. Louis thing? I think I've heard of it but haven't seen it out here. Do you mean w/ a marinara to dip, or something else?

            1. re: mamachef

              I first had'em in Maine of all places. Fresh or thawed frozen ravs, dip in beaten egg/water, coat in seasoned bread crumb, fry until golden. Just a simple marinara, with some hot pepper flakes...I've seen some places serve them with a ranch based dip

              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                I can get some bread-plate sized meat-filled raviolis up in Berkeley. I'm beginning to get a visual of how this meal is going to play out, but I actually really like this because it would limit the amount of pieces I'd have to provide per person. What these kids are capable of destroying, appetite-wise, is just nuts when you see it on a grand scale.

              2. re: mamachef

                Toasted ravioli is a St. Louis thing, or so St. Louisans (like my husband) claim - I've had them other places too, though. In STL they're almost always meat ravioli, but you can use cheese ones or whatever you like. As BiscuitBoy said, just dip thawed ravioli in egg, dip in breadcrumbs (panko are good) and deep or shallow fry. Serve with marinara.

                1. re: biondanonima

                  It is indeed a St. Louis thing! Never heard of them anywhere, and never heard of it before I moved there in the early 90's. Now you see them rather frequently.

                  The concept took off because they are so good!

                2. re: mamachef

                  I've made these a few times - many moons ago - I cooked the frozen ravioli first according to package, dried them, cooled, then dipped in milkto coat, then into parsley, garlicpowder, salt and bread crumbs - now thinking I might try them with Panko - this wasn't out back then, - fry a few at a time. chill. sprinkle Parm over and bake 350 till heated through. My only issue was that I noted that I had to change the oil due to the burnt crumbs. A deep fryer, which maybe you have there, would work perfectly! I used to doctor up a red sauce with it - a can of Italian style tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, sugar, basil. Pretty good! Maybe I will bring this out this year again - especially if I can make them in advance and then just warm. For some reason I don't ever remember not serving them as soon as they had been fried.

              3. For 27 boys? Mac and cheese, one vegetarian and one w/ buffalo chicken. If you want single serving sized, make them in muffin tins.


                If you're into frying, a fried platter of mozzarella, zucchini and mushrooms. And, there's the ubiquitous stuffed potato skins which used to be one of my favorites.

                2 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  We eat a lot of mac and cheese there already, but the mixed fry might be the ticket. I'm not heavily into frying at all, but you get what you ask for on birfday night. You've got me thinking about doing something along the lines of the skins with Crash Hot Potatoes, and just dolling them up at the very end of their cooking with the cheese and bacon and onions. Those potatoes are my new love. I would put a ring around them and marry them if I could.
                  Dang, it's good Birfday night only comes once a month.

                  1. re: mamachef

                    Once a month? I just thought of something that's always a hit and much simpler than fried food. Heart attacks on a stick--you cut hot dogs to bite size pieces, wrap w/ bacon, secure w/ toothpick. Sprinkle w/ brown sugar and bake until done. No mater how many nice time consuming appetizers I make, those are the first to disappear.

                2. ABTs - Atomic Buffalo Turds - aka jalapenos, halved lengthwise, deseeded, filled with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon. Best is to smoke them but i'm an apartment dweller so I roast them in like a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes till the jalapeno is softened and then I broil them to make sure the bacon is crispy. I can polish off at least a dozen of these. Can also add lil smokies or pulled pork to the cream cheese filling but I like them without.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ESNY

                    I could easily join you in polishing off a great many of these. If I can get hands in the kitchen, I just may try this one out. If not at work, at home. Yum.

                    1. re: mamachef

                      They aren't awfully time consuming to make since you slice them in half, they aren't hard to stuff. I barely soften cream cheese in the microwave and then usually add some cayenne and maybe garlic powder (very little) then spoon into the jalapeno halves. I guess if you are doing alot you can put in a pastry bag or ziploc bag with the corner cut off an pipe in. Then wrap in half a slice of bacon.

                      If you don't feel like dealing with toothpicks, I like to wrap lengthwise - stem side to bottom - and tuck the ends under the jalapenos... this keeps the bacon from falling off and exposes more bacon surface area to the broiler

                  2. My favourite bar type food to serve is frijoles con queso – take a can (or make your own) refried beans (with or without chilies) mix in salsa (hot, medium or mild), add some shredded cheese (I use the Tex-Mex blend), stir well to combine (I usually add a bit of shredded cheese on top) and bake at 350 or 375 till very bubbly.

                    Serve with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, tortilla chips, etc.

                    Simple things like sweet potato fries with a nice dip are nice. What about a crockpot full of meatballs or weiner wisps.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: nsstampqueen

                      My frijoles con queso looks like a cat's been sick BUT it goes like wildfire at parties. So +1 for that rec! If you do start frying what about beer-battered onion rings? Baked - pigs in blankets (can do veggie dogs/tofupup version too)

                      1. re: themags

                        You are so right about the look, and don't even get me started about the smell when you open a can of refried beans (one of the reasons I try to make my own most of the time). But this stuff disappears in a flash when I put it out at a party!

                        1. re: nsstampqueen

                          I do something similar with Hormel Chili (no beans) and velveeta and onion and hot sauce in the micro - everyone loves it - and I have to be sure to hide the Hormel cans carefully in the recycling bin!

                    2. Everyone, and I mean everyone, likes pigs in blankets. just gets some pillsbury crescent roll dough and you can find thouse little sausages and just wrap them and bake. A winner every time.

                      1. Ok, I've got this going on now I think, thanks be to all of you. This is the unhealthiest amalgam I will probably ever place in front of them, but we're gonna have fun...belch. I like to bring out the cake (carrot-pineapple that his mom will send) and so will stay for part of the festivities and some food. Final Menu:
                        Veggie Platter w/ pickled eggs, Spinach Dip in a bread bowl
                        Pulled-pork on buns, slaw (I'll do some med. mashed tofu in sauce for the vegetarians)
                        Crash potatoes with cheese, scallions and sour cream. I'll leave the bacon out this time.
                        Toasted Raviolis w/ marinara
                        Smokies with bacon and sugar
                        The Abts mentioned above. I am going to need help. Wonder who's recruitable that day? I have some jars of pepper jelly and am going to donate them to the cause to make a dip for these.
                        Cake by Tosh's Ma
                        Whatever leftovers (vegie lasagna, whatever, that I can cut into small pieces.)
                        And, I bought Asian Bar mix to toss in for movie night.

                        1. I know I'm entering the fray a little late, but I was thinking of things that you can make big batches of and somewhat set it and forget it. Obviously wings are the bar staple, so you have to do that, but a big bowl of chili and then set up a fixin's bar is somewhat easy (or do a taco bar). Pulled pork is a great idea, with some slaw and hamburger buns. Shrimp cocktail is always pretty easy. There is some legwork in the shucking, but baked, steamed and raw clams are always good (and not too expensive). What about cheese stuffed jalapenos? Hummus with pita chips? And trust me chips and dip of any kind are a winner!

                          sounds like a fun time is going to be had no matter what is served!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jhopp217

                            Birfday night's the best - and we soooo can't afford shrimp cocktail unless I feed them saltines and sunny delite for the following week. Tacos are a Tues. entree, but I'm now thinking I might set up a small nachos bar to give the vegetarians one more option. Good one on the hummus, too, with virtually no work for me.

                            1. re: mamachef

                              Some supermarkets have the tiny shrimp (about 50 of them) in the little plastic tray with the cocktail sauce in the middle. Not elegant, but not expensive by any means. My ex-girlfriends go-to dish was a spinach dip that she would serve inside a pumpernickel bread and she'd use all the inside for dipping....then she'd by the sliced squares and cut them in triangles. I think she said the whole thing would cost her about $15...and it was always everyone's favorite.

                          2. Ok mamachef, I know you've already planned your menu but I thought I'd throw another idea out there, even if its something you may want to consider for "next time".

                            When it comes to pub snacks at our house, an all time favourite is Scotch Eggs. Over the years I've played with different versions and to make my life simple I've landed on a baked egg that is super easy. I've pasted a link to the base recipe from the London Sunday Times that I play with.

                            My latest riff on this is to use fresh chorizo sausage meat instead of the plain and, add some fresh garlic. Instead of parsley, I use oregano. These are super-delicious eaten alone or, served with tomato sauce or a flavoured aioli (chipotle and lemon are our 2 faves) on the side for dipping.

                            Here's the base recipe I've been using:

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              Probably a little too late here, but here goes: I'm with the person who suggested big batches of things you don't need to hover over.

                              I would recommend meatballs in the crockpot for boys. As a protein, they're satisfying and filling, and from a Mom's point of view, they're nice because once you plug that baby in, your duties are over other than soaking the dish once all the boys leave.

                              The easiest one I've tried is a mixture of salsa and jam mixed together and poured over the pre-cooked meatballs. Super, super easy. Set out mini paper plates, napkins and toothpicks and you're done.

                            2. copied from another thread --------mamachef - I can't find the thread where you were talking about that berfday bar feast you were planning - but did you end up making the fried raviolis? If so, did you use bread crumbs or panko? Did you chill them in advance then fry? Did you make them enough in advance that they went into the fridge and reheated in the oven? I know --- lots of questions - but asking because these would all be new variations for my method. Also, did you find that the oil got very messy and needed to be switched mid-task?

                              1. Crab-stuffed mushrooms are always a big hit. Finger food too....