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Help with make ahead appetizers to transport (no heating/refrigeration at destination)

The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 09:26 AM

I'm hosting a small gathering (15-20) people and plan to serve wine and a few appetizers. The event is at a whimsy painting studio, so most of the time, people will be busy painting - but, I wanted to have some food on hand.

I won't have any time to prep on the day of, so anything that needs preparation would have to be done the night before and then stored in the fridge til the next evening.

I'm also transporting the food to the event location - where there is no heating or refrigeration.

So far, I'm thinking:
-- Crackers, a few different cheeses, a couple different salami's
-- Hummus, pita triangles, baby carrots

I'd like to have a couple more options - any ideas for something transportable yet tasty?

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  1. chowser RE: The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 10:59 AM

    To go along w/ your crackers, you could do Nigella's pesto terrine. Transport in loaf pan and turn over when you get there. It's better at room temperature.


    1. firecooked RE: The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 11:02 AM

      Maybe some spiced nuts?

      1. todao RE: The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 11:03 AM

        bruschetta - topped with anything your heart desires. Just be sure to cover them tightly under refrigeration.
        Some ideas:

        1. e
          escondido123 RE: The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 11:04 AM

          If you slice up some baguettes, brush them with olive oil and then bake them until really crisp, you could pair them with a mix of fresh chopped tomatoes, mozzrella and basil as well as a nice pate.

          1 Reply
          1. re: escondido123
            cleopatra999 RE: escondido123 Sep 24, 2012 11:14 AM

            I always love the bocconcini/tomato/basil on a stick, drizzled in olive oil. so easy and yummy. Wrap the basil leaf around the cheese, looks nicer IMO.

            I am also a big tapenade fan, great on crackers or bread.

            You could also do roasted or even better grilled vegetable antipasto such as asparagus, zucchini and eggplant, cold with olive oil drizzled on top.

            blanched asparagus wrapped w proscuitto and boursin cheese.

          2. v
            valerie RE: The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 12:50 PM

            Instead of (or in addition to) regular hummus, I love this roasted carrot and garlic hummus. I've made it twice and it's great.


            I also love the caprese on a stick, like cleopatra999 mentioned, or this summer I kicked it up and made antipasto on a stick, sort of like this. I used sundried tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. And if the basil is not good, you could always skip it. You could assemble and drizzle with balsamic glaze right before you out them out for your guests.


            1. LaLa RE: The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 01:19 PM

              cheese straws
              room temp tart
              spiced chick peas
              dolled up olives

              1 Reply
              1. re: LaLa
                Claudette RE: LaLa Sep 25, 2012 04:18 PM

                We used to put out a few different quiches (the salmon/peas combo was the best). I'm making a zucchini lattice tart from Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts book (page 304) for tomorrow - it's easy but fancy-looking.

              2. LindaWhit RE: The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 02:01 PM

                Marinated vegetables
                Spiced nuts
                Mango wrapped with proscuitto
                Dried fruit (apricots?) topped with an herbed goat cheese and a Marcona almond

                1. Scoutmaster RE: The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 02:09 PM

                  Medjool dates stuffed with goat cheese and dusted with chopped candied walnuts.
                  Variation: Wrap the stuffed date with a piece of basil and prosciutto ~skewer with fancy toothpick.

                  Your favorite chicken salad stuffed in french endive leaves.

                  1. c
                    Cliocooks RE: The Oracle Sep 24, 2012 04:35 PM

                    The last time I was the designated appetizer-person for our regular dinner group I took pickled shrimp from Amanda Hesser's "Essential NYT Cookbook," some roasted chickpeas seasoned with smoked paprika, and lightly steamed asparagus. Everything went over well, and all could be cooked ahead of time.

                    1. c
                      christy319 RE: The Oracle Sep 25, 2012 01:24 PM

                      I go to a lot of potlucks and I always have the same challenge. It has to be easily transportable, can't need heating, and must be fine sitting on the table.

                      I make these and people rave. You'll need to spoon the crab salad into the cups before/at the gathering, but that doesn't take long.

                      You can't go wrong with cheese and salami, as you've planned. I like the roasted veggies suggestion--those are great at room temp. And I agree with the bruscetta ideas. Anything you'd find on an antipasto tray would be good.

                      The only thing about hummus--well, it depends on your crowd I guess. It's just soooo ubiquitous here. There is always hummus and always those bagged baby carrots. I'm really sick of these. But if it's not as common where you live, it could be a crowd pleaser.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: christy319
                        cleopatra999 RE: christy319 Sep 25, 2012 03:23 PM

                        those crab cups look awesome, I putting them in my rotation for my next party!!

                        1. re: christy319
                          The Oracle RE: christy319 Sep 25, 2012 04:19 PM

                          Thank you for your thoughts! I will definitely rethink the hummus. I've been on a hummus kick lately, which is why it came to mind.... it's definitely common around here, and I think my guests may prefer something else.

                          Quick question on the crab salad. Do the empty wonton 'cups' keep if made the night before? My concern is that they would get soggy by the next evening - even if stored sealed.

                          1. re: The Oracle
                            chowser RE: The Oracle Sep 26, 2012 10:42 AM

                            Use these mini phyllo shells--so easy and better than baked won ton cups. Put the salad in a zip lock bag and then snip a corner and fill the cups when you get there.


                            1. re: chowser
                              The Oracle RE: chowser Sep 27, 2012 11:09 AM

                              Thanks, chowser!!

                            2. re: The Oracle
                              goodhealthgourmet RE: The Oracle Sep 28, 2012 07:11 PM

                              white bean dip, black bean dip, lentil dip, lentil-nut paté, baba ghannouj, spiced roasted carrot dip, tapenade, ratatouille, pesto dip...would all be good alternatives to hummus.

                          2. Cynsa RE: The Oracle Sep 25, 2012 05:14 PM

                            mixed nuts with chopped dates and dried apricots - it's a little sweet and a little salty and a little tart. easy to eat by the handful or a nibble. spread it on a flat plate and it's inviting.

                            1. Emme RE: The Oracle Sep 27, 2012 03:14 PM

                              Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives - i lightly steam the beets and potatoes, then put cuts almost all the way through them, fill the slits with a sprig of rosemary each, and roast til they're soft. peel the beets; season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chopped chives and dollops of goat cheese. Always a hit. Great at any temp.

                              Spring rolls in small cuts with dipping sauce

                              Bite-sized salmon croquettes with dipping sauce

                              Deviled eggs

                              Cucumber Cups filled with Sesame Roasted Baba Ghanouj

                              Bite sized frittatas or quiches


                              Homemade lime tortilla chips and homemade black bean and roasted corn dip

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Emme
                                tigerwoman RE: Emme Sep 27, 2012 04:17 PM

                                those roasted beets sound divine.

                                Homemade rondele cheese slathered with pesto and sundried tomato tapenade
                                beat 1 # cream cheese in mixing machine until soft and whipped
                                add chopped fresh garlic about 1-3 teaspoons or to taste - don't use prechopped garlic
                                add dried oregano and dried basil - a generous sprinkle of each (can always add more later)
                                and a pinch of hot pepper flakes.
                                Layer in a pretty glass bowl about 1/3 the way up
                                add a layer of pesto or sundried tomato tapenade
                                another layer of cream cheese
                                and so on
                                on the top we like to spread the sundried tomato tapenade and make a hole in the middle for the pesto which tends to be runnier and needs to be surrounded.

                                Sundried tomato tapenade
                                - this is great on sandwiches, crostinis, slices of veggies, etc

                                in food processor whiz together
                                sundried tomato, raw chopped garlic (not pre chopped jar stuff please)
                                generous amount of shredded parmesan or dry aged cheese
                                and just a few splashes balsamic vinegar (enough to make it into a paste.
                                It's addictively delicious and great with the rondele.

                                you could use the same recipe and take a baguette cut it long ways through the middle
                                spread with the sundried tomato tapenade on one side, and either grilled chicken or rondele cheese on the other side, cover with arugula and place two halves back together and wrap well. When you get to the party, slice into finger size sandwiches (maybe stick with toothpicks) and serve as a delicious appetizer.

                              2. suzigirl RE: The Oracle Sep 28, 2012 06:49 PM

                                Since its an artsy party why not get a paint can of black paint and make sure there is paint dripping down the sides for effect. Find a bowl that fits over the mouth of the empty can and make black olive tapenade. If the budget permits fill it with caviar instead. Make sure it is filled with ice to keep it cold and serve with the usual accompaniments. That could look kinda cool.

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