HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Blow their sox off killer appetizer needed for Memorial Day BBQ

I need a fantabulous app recipe, easy peasy, quick to make and memorable..I have 3 BBQ's this weekend..egads..

Thanks everyone..

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Smoked bologna. I get the deli guy to cut a couple two inch thick slices, season with my BBQ rub and put it on the smoker for an hour or two. Cube it up and serve a mound of it with toothpicks on the side, and a dish of homemade bbq sauce for dipping. Always a hit, even amongst discriminating palates. Fine at room temp the next day as well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: laststandchili

      No. $hit? Wow! I'm going to carve out some time to make that. For reals. That sounds excellent. BBQ rub recipe? I have the sauce recipe. Wow.

      1. re: laststandchili

        Salami works well in this application too. Grilled or smoked, it's pretty good and you will be amazed at how fast it disappears.

      2. Chop up some peanuts until VERY fine. Load individual grapes onto skewers, dip the grapes into warm butter then roll in the peanuts. Chill ....

        1. Easiest appetizer I've ever made is spinach dip using Knorr's packaged vegetable soup, teamed with store-bought crudites. Always a hit! The recipe is on the package.

          1 Reply
          1. re: katydid13

            Skewer tiny little multi-colored tomatos, small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese and a basil leaf or two. The size and contents of the skewers is up to you. Drizzle with a little reduced balsamic vinegar (best if you do this after you arrive at the bbq). Its easy-peasy, colorful and pretty and while maybe not quite "fantabulous", should go well with whatever other foods are likely to show up at a bbq. Have fun.
            P.S. This travels very well too.

          2. Armadillo Eggs.

            Take a jalapeno & stuff it with cheese. Wrap the entire thing in ground breakfast sausage. Coat with the rub of your choice. Smoke or grill until done.

            3 Replies
              1. re: LaLa

                Aren't ABTs by definition smoked (rather than grilled)? Regardless of cooking method, there's nothing not to like about a cream-cheese stuffed jalapeno wrapped in crispy bacon.

              2. re: achtungpv

                Wow, off to get jalapenos (and skewers for them). I have everything else.

              3. OK this is a little more complicated than easy-peasy but it's totally do-ahead: you could make 3 on Thursday night and then just grab and go come the weekend: Silver Palate salmon mousse. I add about 3 or 4 oz of chopped smoked salmon and people go nuts every time. Thin crispy crackers work best. http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/coo...

                1. Will you have grill access at the BBQ? Defrost and rinse medium-sized shrimp. Don't peel. Toss with a heap of Old Bay, salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, and maybe if yu want even spicier, some cayenne. Pile in the middle of a strip of foil and fold the foil up. Refrigerate until ready to cook. Throw it on the grill, all folded up, 10-15 minutes or so until all of the shrimp are pink. Unfold and serve with paper towels, letting the guests peel them themselves. Always a hit, and people love the tactile experience.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: katecm

                    This is great but it 100 times better if you are able to start with fresh shrimp.

                    1. re: katecm

                      So I feel silly for asking but I want to grill up some shrimp tonight. Since you do not peel before cooking, can you taste the seasoning once you peel the shrimp? Also, should you flip the tin foil packet 1/2 way through?

                      1. re: hto44

                        This is just MHO, but I really don't care for peel-and-eat shrimp. They make a mess, are a ton of work, and the flavor of the seasoning isn't prominent enough for me once the peel is taken off. I love grilled shrimp, but I definitely prefer to peel and devein them first, then season and grill (and not in foil, since if you do that you are actually getting steamed shrimp, not grilled).

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          Thanks! I appreciate your opinion :o) I think I will peel,season them up and skewer them.

                          1. re: hto44

                            You just get different results. People find them to be much more tender than they are straight grilled. I put about twice as much seasoning on than I would if they were grilled and there is PLENTY of flavor. You just have to account for it. No need to flip the packet. And honestly, I don't see them as a ton of work. I think it's fun! It's not for a fancy meal, but have a few friends over who are happy with messy fingers and a cold beer, and they make a great party.

                    2. For a get-together this past weekend I made toasted baguette slices that I topped with mascarpone whipped with orange zest and agave. I put sliced strawberries that I cooked until they just started to slump a bit on top of the cheese and drizzled with cinnamon balsamic. I cooked the strawberries because they were a bit sub-par, but if I had the sweet, juicy local ones I would've left them uncooked. These toasts were the first to go and were super quick to whip up!

                      1. Find a pretty, flat plate. Place two bricks of cream cheese on the plate. Cover with a small bottle of cocktail sauce. Cover sauce with a pound of rinsed, drained and papertowel-dried baby shrimp meat. Serve with Wheat Thins. I've never had any left to take home from any event. Totally easy and very, very good.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: pilotgirl210

                          My mother-in-law made this every Christmas but she pureed the 1st 3 ingredients in a blender and served it with Bugles chips.

                          1. re: pilotgirl210

                            This was one of the first "fancy" appetizers I made for a party (my mom's bridge club) when I was a kid - it really is very tasty and people love it!

                            1. re: pilotgirl210

                              Thai sweet chili sauce works well, too. With or without the shrimp.

                            2. my black bean dip is always a crowd-pleaser, and it's actually best made ahead to give the flavors a chance to develop. serve with homemade or store-bought chili-lime tortilla chips...


                              3 Replies
                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I have made your black bean dip and homemade chips and it was a big hit. Have also served with store-bought chips, no complaints! It's a great recipe.

                                  1. re: junescook

                                    aw, thanks! i've been making it for ages and never thought it was much of a big deal, but ever since i first posted it on a thread a few years ago it's taken on a life of its own and become a CH favorite. i just love that it's so EASY - toss everything into the FP and stash it in the fridge until it's time to serve...frees me up to make the tortilla chips to go with it :)

                                1. Usually at big gatherings, people tend to bring really heavy apps, or totally unhealthy apps, so I ususally make banched asparagus with wasabi dip. The asparagus just needs a quick blanch and put in the fridge to get cool and firm up. For the wasabi dip, just quickly mix the following:
                                  1 cup mayonnaise
                                  4 teaspoons soy sauce
                                  1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
                                  2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
                                  2 teaspoons wasabi paste

                                  I almost always get requests for the recipe, and a lot of people appreciate something lighter like this for a big gathering where there is an abundance of food on offer.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: egbluesuede

                                    Just wanted to let you know - I made this for my daughter's birthday party and it was a huge hit. That dip is amazing on or in everything!

                                  2. Easy peasy, and they'll love it if it doesn't exactly amaze them: med. cherry tomatoes stuffed with shredded lettuce mixed with crumbled brown bacon and mayonnaise. If you have access to the grill, grilled haloumi and grilled bread is lovely.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: mamachef

                                      Mamachef, I am so glad you reminded me of these little BLT thingies -- we had them at some catered event and I thought, "what a great idea, must remember" and promptly forgot. :) I think the ones we had also had finely chopped chives dusted over them.

                                      1. re: mamachef

                                        definite second on the grilled haloumi and bread. Yum.

                                      2. No one walks away from Deviled Eggs. cut them in half horizontally and cut a bit off the bottom so they stand upright. I don't use mayo or (ick) miracle whip. Mash the egg yolks with softened real butter, some dijon mustard with green pepper corns, a bit of anchovy paste, some finely chopped chive are a nice touch. Pipe in to the whites using a pastry bag with a star tip. It is nice to top with a small shrimp or a dab of caviar or...use your imagination. They will disappear quickly.

                                        A 4th of July Party I am going to I am taking the deviled eggs, the chocolate ice cream from June Bon Appetit' p 101. Probably the most amazing chocolate ice cream I have ever made, and a pound cake. Maybe lemon. I could also make lemon curd and wild blueberry ice cream. I'm making a trial run on that this weekend.

                                        1. mini croissant sandwiches with turkey, bacon, avocado, mustard, lettuce, and tomato held together with toothpicks

                                          1. I make a lot of Thai-style chicken satay for parties. You can google the recipe (there are TONS). It's a bit more labor intensive to cut and marinate the chicken, but people love them. Buy pre cut breast tenders and slice them into 3 longer pieces, can be done ahead. Then, marinate, skewer on soaked bamboo skewers, and cook them up on a grill pan. You can line them up real close, turn them in the same order, and bust them out really quickly. If you cook them on Sat. morning, they will be fine through Monday. They taste good cold at room temp and are great with bottled peanut sauce.

                                            1. I make these and everybody loves them. And I mean loves them! If you have not had them, you can't figure out what they are and even my "plain food is best", "no herbs" mom really likes them. If you have a helper, make a little assembly line. I have frozen a bunch before baking and they are great pulled out of the freezer.
                                              I modidify by using plain goat cheese, wrapping the dates in half stripof bacon and baking in the oven until the bacon looks cooked. I've also used plain old pitted dates from a container.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Siobhan

                                                OMG, i just saw your post above mine! :) My recipe comes from Food and WIne magazine, but they sound very similar.

                                                1. re: lawkitty

                                                  Ooh I like your idea of grilling. Going to try that next time :-)

                                                  Try with the basil leaf. I really like that touch.

                                              2. Goat cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates. TO DIE FOR, even for the bacon ambivalent.
                                                Buy pitted dates, big ones, and fry up some bacon until mid-crisp, but not too crisp to wrap. Stuff the dates with the goat cheese (I use peppered goat cheese) and wrap in bacon. Secure with toothpick or metal mini-skewer. Grill until bacon is crisped, you can use a grill pan or outside grill. You could potentially even skewer a bunch of them on the same (large) bbq skewer and just take them off the skewer in larger batches. Great finger food, and delicious flavor combination. Very fancy looking but very easy to make.

                                                1. My crab dip always goes over well- 3 bricks softened cream cheese, 1 can drained, chopped artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onions(I soften them in microwave w/ 1 pat butter for about 1 min), 1 tsp. dry mustard, 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning, couple dashes worcestershire sauce, 1/2 lb. crabmeat(claw is fine to save $). Mix all ingredients except crab. Fold in crab meat, top w/ bread crumbs or panko mixed w/ parmesean. Bake @350 about 20 min or until bubble. Can be nuked if necessary. Serve w/ crackers that won't crumble if dipped such as water crackers.
                                                  Another easy recipe is tomato basil canapes. Just slice a baguette into 1/4" sizes, top w/ leaf of fresh basil, sliced roma tomato and slice of plain havarti. Heat in oven unitl chesse starts to melt. If no access to oven, you could do these on foil on top of grill. You could pre-arrange on baking dish or just bring the ingredients in separate baggies and assemble at party.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: sherriberry

                                                    I bake my crab dip in a hollowed out boule of sourdough & toast the pulled out bread chunks to spread the dip on.

                                                    1. re: sparkareno

                                                      Another crab idea: people go nuts for this crab salad in wonton cups. I play with it a bit--I skip the celery, add green onions and sometimes a bit of diced serrano, I'll do fresh mint instead of cilantro if I know a cilantro-hater will be present...you get the idea. I also add a bit of honey or sugar to balance the acidity of the lime (not enough to make it sweet though). The only bad part is shelling out the $$ for the crab meat (I only use fresh). But, a 1/2 lb makes 18 of these.


                                                  2. one rectangle block of cream cheese, one small can of chopped clams-do not strain

                                                    mix them together and serve with chips--easy and wonderful