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Jan 14, 2011 12:38 PM

Room temperature hors d'œuvre ideas

Calling all caterers!
We're hosting my daughter's first birthday next Sunday and need some ideas for finger foods to be served at room temperature. The party is in the afternoon, and I'll have the ability to heat things up in the morning, but the venue doesn't have a heat source and only a mini fridge. I may order a platter of maki from a local restaurant, but other than cheese, crackers and dip, I'm a bit at a loss for what to serve. Are puff pastry type foods ok served at room temperature? Also, we could bring a crock pot for something like meatballs(?) or whatever, but I'm a little short on ideas. Ideally foods that can be eaten in one bite with one hand would be best so things like soup or chili are out. There will be a lot of babies and not much seating. There will be about 45 adults at the party.

I'm swamped with last minute planning and would greatly appreciate any ideas and advice!


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  1. Fill some phyllo cups with chicken salad.

    Fruit skewers.

    You can skewer up combos like cheese tortellini, olives, mozz cheese, pepperoni, etc.

    A cold version of a seven layer dip.

    Spinach squares can be served hot or cold.

    1. My wife and I love Zaalouk. I've seen different recipes for this online, the version we're fond of (from Claudia Roden's Arabesuqes) is a dip of garlicky tomato sauce and eggplant caviar. Figure 1 large eggplant to a 16oz can of tomatoes. Prick the eggplant a bit with a fork or knife, and roast it until it collapses. Meanwhile, cook your tomatoes with minced/crushed garlic and plenty of olive oil until they are much reduced. Once the eggplant is done, scoop out the insides and add them to the tomatoes, along with some lemon juice. You'll need to break up the eggplant, either mash it with the tomatoes or chop it before you add it. A few spices finish the dish: cumin, paprika, maybe some powdered coriander seed or hot pepper. Parsley, cilantro and mint are also good.

      here's an illustrated recipe:

      1. Caprese on a stick (or toothpick). A ball of marinated mozzarella, a piece of sun-dried tomato (or half of a grape tomato), and a small piece of basil.

        Or some kind of pinwheels or rollup type of thing. Maybe not exactly these, but you get the idea.

        Or grilled chicken on a stick with peanut sauce.

          1. Diced beet salad with walnuts blue cheese and vinaigrette of your choice in endive leaves.
            Almost any kind of Empanaditas
            Pates, Salumis and the like.
            Beggar's Purses
            Mini Bisteeyas, Spanakopita, Boereks.
            Many Spanish Tapas will work very well too.