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Barbecue Snack Food or Appetizers

Hello All!
I desperately need your help. I am having a surprise party for my husband. The theme of the party is Southern Barbecue (My husband is originally from North Carolina although I am from the North). I need some ideas for snack food and appetizers items that will fit with my theme. I would prefer items that can be prepared ahead of time, so I can have them out between when guests arrive and when my husband arrives for the surprise.
Thank you all in advance for all of your help!

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  1. Deviled eggs and pimento cheese (two dishes, not both together) come to mind immediately. Make twice as many deviled eggs as you think you need. They're always the first thing to disappear.

    7 Replies
    1. re: rockycat

      Excellent ideas! Do Southerners put anything specific in their deviled eggs?

      1. re: Juliet593

        Don't fancy them up too much with exotic ingredients like wasabi or the like. Just do a straightforward deviled egg recipe and sprinkle the tops with a bit of paprika. Do use Duke's mayonnaise, if you can find it. It makes a difference.

        And there's no elegant Southern reception that doesn't serve ham biscuits. I should have thought of that, but I guess I don't get invited to the right kind of parties. :-)

          1. re: melpy

            It just is a buttermilk(usually) biscuit with a slice of country ham. Ham is either salt cured or my favotire, salt and pepper cured. Its a southern thing.

            1. re: suzigirl

              Yet another item stumps me by being from the south! I obviously need to expand my horizons.

              1. re: melpy

                That is the beauty of this website. It's a wealth of knowledge to dip into.

        1. re: Juliet593

          When I make deviled eggs for a BBQ-themed meal, I put a splash of BBQ sauce in the egg mixture.

      2. Don't forget (small) country ham biscuits.

        2 Replies
        1. re: walras

          Thank you so much Walras!! My husband absolutely loves country ham. Mini-biscuits are an amazing idea!!

          1. re: Juliet593

            If you go with ham biscuits, my favorite way to dress them up a little is by making sweet potato biscuits instead of the standard kind. They are easy to make (I use Martha Stewart's recipe) and have a slightly softer texture that is great for making ahead and freezing -- they really freeze perfectly. The color is pretty, too. I also spread with a thin smear of a mixture of creole mustard (or dijon) and peach jam and then thinly sliced ham.

            Also consider cheese straws, pickled shrimp and the old standby, hot pepper jelly spread over cream cheese.

        2. One thing I always like as an app is fried green tomatoes. Usually at my BBQ we do these a couple of hours before the meat is done and keep hold warm in the oven. (have to be sure they are very dry or else will get mushy of course) or just finishing hem up just before the guests arrive. Can be a handful of course depending on how many confounding factors there are.

          Along the same lines and a bit more forgiving are hush puppies, or even corn fritters.

          I like to do a creole shrimp dip that I make the night before, has to be served in a chill bowl though.. can be served with bits of crusty french bread. Not traditional Carolina since it is more New Orleans southern, but it always moves well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PenskeFan

            Speaking of tomatoes, bacon and lettuce-stuffed cherry tomatoes always disappear in a flash. You could use Benton's or some other regional bacon to keep it in theme. Southern-fried chicken drummies also go quickly. Crushed sesame seeds would not be out of place at all in the batter.People in the Southland love their "benne bits." If you feel like making a small pot of Frogmore stew, or Burgoo, small cups of that would work, but it might be heavier than you want. Enjoy the party.I'm sure it will be great.

          2. I don't have the amounts of the ingredients but the very old school Bisquick sausage balls? Only three ingredients. Breakfast or Italian sausage, Bisquick and sharp cheddar. Rolled into balls and baked. Or what about cream cheese pinwheels? 8 oz package softened cream cheese,one package Hidden Valley Ranch mix, 1/4 cup each minced black olives, minced pimentoes, green tops of scallions and two tbs green chilies. Spread on tortillas. Roll up cigar style and stash in the fridge for an hour or more to firm up. Cut I no bite size pieces and plate. The colors are pretty from the mix of ingredients. I also agree with the ham bisquits but I prefer mine with pepper jelly. You can put out various nuts. I serve them in wine glasses so people have to pour them in their hands. I love my friends but who knows which one patted their beloved Fido before leaving the house? I'm just sayin'.

              1. re: chinaplate

                You really don't want your hush puppies sitting around waiting for your guests. They'll be leaden and greasy. Hush puppies are best when served directly out of the fryer, preferably with honey butter or hot sauce.