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Could I please get some suggestions for a cold appetizer for backyard BBQ?

chefdaddyo Jun 29, 2011 02:35 PM

Close friend's 50th birthay bash. He and his wife are quite accomplished in the kitchen and on the charcoal Weber out back. Last party at their house, he had a whole cooked pig delivered. I've been asked to supply something for the appetizer table. He does like spice, and has a coconut allergy. Otherwise, anything goes. I think cold selections are best. I can make anything, and have every kitchen gadget except for the Williams Sonoma jalapeno roasting tray. Cost is not a factor. Any and all help is appreciated. I thank you. Oh, I think about 25 adults.

  1. w
    whinendine Jul 1, 2011 07:11 PM

    Tzatziki with pita bread wedges or hummus..

    1. yummyinmytummy Jul 1, 2011 11:11 AM

      Ina Garten's Tuna Tartar is AMAZING...simple to prepare and has a big wow factor. Sushi grade ahi is expensive and you will need almost 2 pounds.

      I like the idea of gazpacho - watermelon adding fresh crab on top.

      1. chef chicklet Jul 1, 2011 11:03 AM

        l found a new cold shrimp recipe that I'm trying tomorrow. Rather than serving the usual shrimp with cocktail sauce, the recipe is for spicy jerk shrimp and then served with a pineapple, mango and lime salsa. The recipe I saw called for cooked shrimp tail on, instead I'll marinate with the jerk rub cook quickly, and chill. First I'll quick cook them only, for a couple of minutes, super chill them, then skewer to serve on the smaller knotted bamboo picks..I like the idea of the chilly spicy shrimp with the fresh fruit salsa.

        1. r
          Riatta Jul 1, 2011 12:45 AM

          Hot cherry peppers stuffed with prosciutto and either smoky provolone or mozzella cheese. Marinated in olive oil and a bit of garlic. Or an antipasta platter with roasted vegetables might be good. Any idea what the bbq meat(s) will be?

          1. g
            goodeatsgal Jun 30, 2011 09:56 PM

            Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus or breadsticks. I've made these and had them at other friends' parties, and they're always a big hit. The prosciutto adds an elegance (because it's expensive?) and people can't get enough of them.

            1. g
              gilintx Jun 30, 2011 01:03 PM

              2nding the watermelon salad suggestion, but with Spanish onion and a crumbly cheese (ricotta satata perhaps). Maybe some basil, too. If you salt it, you probably don't have to even dress it, since that makes its own gravy.
              Or how about deviled eggs? If you really want to gild the lily, you can top them with a touch of caviar.

              2 Replies
              1. re: gilintx
                edwardspk Jun 30, 2011 03:03 PM

                Finally somebody said deviled eggs! I can promise you, whenever I make deviled eggs for a buffet dinner or barbecue, they are ALWAYS the first dish to go. High brow or low brow, everyone loves deviled eggs.

                1. re: edwardspk
                  LauraGrace Jun 30, 2011 06:45 PM

                  So true. And to serve, vintage glass deviled egg plates are so cute, and a steal at any antique mall, thrift store, junk shop, or yard sale. I think mine was $2.50 but you can find them for 50 cents if you look!

              2. n
                nemo Jun 30, 2011 10:32 AM

                Although I've not made this yet, I've got it in my tapas folder to test as soon as possible. It looks like you might need demitasse spoons as it seems thick. With all the seafood recommendations, you could certainly hang a shrimp on the glass edge. I'm thinking present in a deep tray with ice, maybe a towel nearby for blotting the bottoms of the glasses.


                1. chef chicklet Jun 30, 2011 09:35 AM

                  a really good gazpacho is nice.

                  1. n
                    nuts4food Jun 30, 2011 06:16 AM

                    Watermelon, crumbled feta (or goat or..), mint or basil, balsamic reduction.

                    1. j
                      jhopp217 Jun 30, 2011 12:48 AM

                      Obviously this sounds a little high end, so you're not going to go with anything too simple. What about individual servings of gazpacho with some nice jumbo shrimp cocktail. Obviously, not knowing what the main course is going to be it's tough to judge. If it's a seafood crowd and money isn't an object, you could do a seafood tower with shrimp, clams, oysters, lump crab meat and/or lobster tails.

                      1. DuchessNukem Jun 29, 2011 11:49 PM

                        Shrimp with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, shallots, and avocado, gently tossed with homemade vinaigrette and lots of coarse black pepper. Everybody's your best friend after this. :)

                        1. ursy_ten Jun 29, 2011 11:09 PM

                          I like Sun dried tomato cheesecake squares

                          Because they're different, quite portable, and require minimal assembling, and are great cold or at room temperature.

                          They are quite rich, so I whip the mixture really well to make them as light as possible, and I cut them into squares about 1 x 1 inch in size. I also top each with a dob of sour light cream and a sprinkle of finely chopped herbs, which seems to cut the richness.

                          They are always very popular.

                          You could also spice it up a little with some cayenne pepper or paprika, if you like.

                          1. r
                            rtms Jun 29, 2011 10:43 PM

                            it may be so 'last year' or the year before but how about something like a thai noodle salad or gado-gado (veggie salad with peanut sauce). or even simpler is a can of white kidney beans mixed with a can of seasoned tuna.

                            1. King of Northern Blvd Jun 29, 2011 07:42 PM

                              Summer Rolls would be nice.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: King of Northern Blvd
                                mscoffee1 Jun 29, 2011 10:34 PM

                                Good idea and some could be vegetarian.

                                1. re: King of Northern Blvd
                                  chef chicklet Jun 30, 2011 09:30 AM

                                  These are perfect for summer bbq, do them myself. So refreshing with dipping sauce.

                                2. Phurstluv Jun 29, 2011 05:46 PM

                                  I just did a backyard BBQ recently and served chicken liver mousse crostini. Went over huge. My caterer friend brought roasted green beans, served cold, w some homemade tzatziki dip.

                                  Other thoughts:
                                  Bruschetta w heirloom tomatoes
                                  stuffed figs with pecans & bleu cheese
                                  smoked bluefish pate (or any fish, for that matter)
                                  goat cheese mousse piped into Parmesan tuiles
                                  Spanish pinchos (served speared on toothpicks) like chorizo, manchego & black olive, or proscuitto or serrano ham, manchego & pepperoncini
                                  stuffed poquillo peppers
                                  cold soup shots, like gazpacho or spicy Thai cucumber-avocado (oh, strike that it uses coconut milk, but I can think of more if you like the idea)
                                  cucumber cups filled w wasabi crab salad

                                  Happy to provide a recipe if needed!

                                  1. biondanonima Jun 29, 2011 05:31 PM

                                    A variety of cold spreads/dips like hummus, skordalia, etc.? Or some type of savory tarts? I make little tartlets with homemade ricotta, pesto and roasted grape tomatoes that are always a hit.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: biondanonima
                                      ursy_ten Jun 30, 2011 12:56 AM

                                      Oh yes, mini tartlets are always a hit, and it's so easy to make a number of different fillings for variety. I love them!

                                      1. re: biondanonima
                                        farmersdaughter Jun 30, 2011 02:38 PM

                                        Your tartlet combo sounds great. What do you use for the shell? Pie crust, wonton skin, ??? Can you describe a little more?

                                        1. re: farmersdaughter
                                          biondanonima Jun 30, 2011 06:37 PM

                                          The first time I made them I was in a hurry and I just flattened a roll of crescent roll dough into a sheet pan, baked it until golden and let it cool, then spread it with the ricotta followed by the pesto, then cut it into even squares and topped each with a roasted tomato. I actually loved the slight sweetness of the crescent roll dough with the savory toppings. I've also used puff pastry (you could use a large piece and make it a sliceable tart, or cut it into smaller, individual pieces). A non-sweetened shortbread style crust would work too, or you could just pile the toppings on toasted bread, bruschetta-style.

                                      2. shanagain Jun 29, 2011 05:29 PM

                                        What about a super-spicy shrimp salad and cucumber cups?

                                        If all else truly fails you, stuff cherry tomatoes with.. just about anything that sounds good.

                                        1. goodhealthgourmet Jun 29, 2011 03:44 PM

                                          do you have any idea what they're serving for the main course & sides?

                                          1. pinehurst Jun 29, 2011 03:31 PM

                                            Caprese salad. Simple, delicious.

                                            1. ROCKLES Jun 29, 2011 03:29 PM

                                              Vege crudites on skewers with dipping sauces.
                                              Shrimp or crab stuffed cherry tomatoes.
                                              mini lobster rolls
                                              ahi or scallop ceviche

                                              1. mamachef Jun 29, 2011 02:38 PM

                                                An awesome cold seafood bar with a side of bbq'd oysters comes to mind immediately. Sidebar of sauces and do-it-yourselves.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                  LauraGrace Jun 30, 2011 05:53 AM

                                                  Yes! If cost is not a consideration, cold seafood is the biz. Maybe some ceviche?

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