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Your best appetizer/snack?

alliegator Mar 6, 2013 08:46 AM

Spinning this off from the "Your best main dish" thread. What is the appetizer, snack, or small plate that you make that is a favorite of yours or most requested by others?
Please tell us about it :)

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  1. m
    masha RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 09:07 AM

    BLT Dip
    Lemon marinated shrimp with sweet & hot peppers

    4 Replies
    1. re: masha
      masha RE: masha Mar 7, 2013 08:53 AM

      To follow up, here are the recipes for both:

      BLT Dip

      3 green onions
      ¼ cup mayonnaise
      ¼ cup Greek Yoghurt (low-fat is fine)
      ¼ cup chopped arugula
      4 slices bacon, cooked, drained & crumbled
      fresh ground pepper
      1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered

      Combine green onions, mayonnaise, and yoghurt in food processor, and pulse until still chunky.
      Transfer to bowl. Stir in bacon, tomatoes, and ground pepper. Taste and add a bit more salt (depending on saltiness of bacon) and pepper, if needed.

      Note, that this can be made with regular plain yoghurt but it will be a bit looser than if made with Greek Yoghurt.

      Lemon Marinated Shrimp with Sweet & Hot Peppers

      ½ cup olive oil
      1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced into discs
      1 medium onion, chopped fine
      2 red, orange, or yellow sweet peppers, julienned
      6 whole, peeled cloves garlic
      1-1/2 lbs. medium size shrimp, peeled
      juice of two lemons (about ¼ cup)
      ¼ tsp. dried thyme
      ½ tsp. dried oregano
      1 baguette

      1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.
      2. Add jalapeno peppers, sweet peppers, garlic, and onions, cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
      3. Meanwhile boil shrimp until just done, about 2 minutes from boil.
      4. Drain shrimp and place in bowl for marinating. Toss shrimp with lemon juice to coat thoroughly. Add pepper mixture and mix completely.
      5. Set aside for a few hours or overnight (if more than a few hours, refrigerate).
      6. Bring back to room temperature if refrigerated. Remove cloves of garlic, add some dried thyme & oregano, and mix. Serve on toasted baguette slices.

      Note, if planning to serve as finger food then, before boiling shrimp, cut them into bite size pieces. Alternately, leave shrimp whole, and serve with fork & knife as a sit-down appetizer.

      1. re: masha
        ChristinaMason RE: masha Mar 10, 2013 06:34 AM

        These both sound amazing, and I'll be trying them. Thanks for sharing.

        1. re: ChristinaMason
          masha RE: ChristinaMason Mar 10, 2013 10:03 AM

          Both are from the Chicago Tribune, which every year publishes a top 10 list of their best recipes of the year; both were on that list, about 20 years apart. For the shrimp appetizer, remove the seeds from the jalapenos if your guests don't care for particularly hot food.

          1. re: masha
            ChristinaMason RE: masha Mar 10, 2013 11:19 AM

            Nice, I'm taking a look of the paper's archives now! Here's this past year's: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/20...

    2. biondanonima RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 09:20 AM

      Mine is stupidly simple but everyone goes nuts for them - olive cheese balls.

      Throw 8oz of cheddar cheese in the food processor and grind. Add a stick of soft butter and a cup of flour, plus a pinch of salt, paprika and cayenne (or any other seasoning you like). Whiz until it forms a dough. Wrap small pieces of dough around large green olives (I usually get about 45-50). Freeze (or chill thoroughly), then bake at 400 for about 12-15 minutes.

      The better your olives and cheddar, the better these are. Green olives stuffed with interesting things (like garlic slivers, sundried tomatoes, etc.) add an interesting twist.

      3 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima
        weezieduzzit RE: biondanonima Mar 6, 2013 11:22 AM

        Those are ridiculously good.

        1. re: biondanonima
          Pwmfan RE: biondanonima Mar 6, 2013 04:23 PM

          I can't make these; I would consume them all before anyone else had a chance.

          1. re: biondanonima
            BobB RE: biondanonima Mar 7, 2013 06:56 AM

            I do a very similar cheese olive ball, but with the addition of some Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco, and don't skimp on the cayenne.

          2. c
            cheesecake17 RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 09:23 AM

            Hummus and chips. Homemade. Everyone goes nuts over it and there are endless variations

            1. j
              jbsiegel RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 11:17 AM

              Sugar spiced pecans.

              1. h
                Heatherb RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 11:22 AM

                A recipe suggested on here: Phyllo cups (pre-crisped in the oven), add the jam of your choicen (I like cranberry or fig or raspberry), top with a square of brie, bake until bubbly.

                Everyone thinks I'm a culinary genius because of these things. Cracks me up.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Heatherb
                  juliejulez RE: Heatherb Mar 6, 2013 04:36 PM

                  I think if you make anything in a mini cup, everyone thinks it was tons of work. I made these mini cheesecakes in a muffin tin and everyone went nuts for them, when it was the simplest thing ever to make.

                  1. re: juliejulez
                    Heatherb RE: juliejulez Mar 6, 2013 05:18 PM

                    LOL. That's probably what boosted Martha Stewart to fame: Food in little tiny cups! :D

                  2. re: Heatherb
                    Tom34 RE: Heatherb Mar 6, 2013 07:29 PM

                    AHHH, mini Phyllo cups......I do them with browned chopped Port mushrooms, garlic, parm cheese, Mozz Cheeze, little white wine and a little heavy cream & S/P. People go nuts over them.

                    Also do wet crab cake mixture in them. People go wild over them too.

                    Your Brie / raspberry combo sounds great.!!!!!

                    1. re: Tom34
                      Heatherb RE: Tom34 Mar 7, 2013 05:33 AM

                      It was just a basic starter recipe someone gave me on these boards several years ago. But your recipe sounds amazing!

                      You can do a lot with those little Phyllo cups! :)

                      1. re: Heatherb
                        Tom34 RE: Heatherb Mar 7, 2013 08:26 AM

                        Yeah I think those little cups are great. Perfect portion control, easy for guests to handle and eat, handle moist product well, heat well, light crispy, delicious & reasonably priced too. They are a go to for me.

                        Will be trying the Brie / Raspberry this Easter.

                    2. re: Heatherb
                      Pwmfan RE: Heatherb Mar 7, 2013 04:31 PM

                      Do you use the frozen or the shelf-stable variety? I've seen both but tried neither yet.

                      1. re: Pwmfan
                        JerryMe RE: Pwmfan Mar 10, 2013 01:08 PM

                        I've seen neither - where do you find them? In the freezer section?

                        I don't have a fabulous appetizer / snack except in the early summer when it's still not too hot to grill. I'll grill fresh fruit - pineapple, peaches, if I can still get them, cantaloupe. Those are scarfed up in short order.

                        Oh, I forgot to add - I made these once and they've been requested ever since http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/20...

                        They're entirely too rich for me but I've had guests sneak them out by the bowlful.

                        1. re: Pwmfan
                          Heatherb RE: Pwmfan Mar 11, 2013 04:19 AM

                          I use the freezer version. Although, I think they are one in the same. The freezer just makes them stay good longer.

                      2. weezieduzzit RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 11:23 AM

                        Blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped with thick cut deep smoked applewood bacon, broiled and glazed with an apple cider vinegar/ honey reduction.

                        1. juliejulez RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 11:43 AM

                          I make a cheeseball from this site: http://traceysculinaryadventures.blog... and I guess she adapted it from Homesick Texan.

                          Everyone loves it. It is VERY good, I could eat it all by myself.

                          1. s
                            sandylc RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 03:45 PM

                            I do an herbed cheese spread that goes over pretty well.

                            1. r
                              realtorav8tor RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 03:53 PM

                              Baked wonton cups with lump crab meat, diced red pepper, green onions and various condiments(old bay, dijon etc) or alternatively stuffed with crispy cooked ground lamb, shallots,shitake mushrooms, cumin and coriander topped with with mint sauce,

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: realtorav8tor
                                Tom34 RE: realtorav8tor Mar 6, 2013 07:31 PM

                                I make a similar crab combo in a wanton skin and deep fry them. Very easy and very popular.

                                1. re: realtorav8tor
                                  alliegator RE: realtorav8tor Mar 7, 2013 08:41 AM

                                  I do a crab cup similar to that as well. People go nuts for it. I think crab + little cuppy thing = really happy people who think you're a genious ;)

                                2. p
                                  Pwmfan RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 04:21 PM

                                  A wedge of Cambozola drizzled with good honey along with some toasts or crackers. Fast, easy and never any leftovers.

                                  1. d
                                    Dovebelle RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 05:27 PM

                                    "Cheese crumbles": shred parmesan cheese, spread it on the bottom of a greased (e.g. Pam) pan, let it melt about 5 minutes (so all of the melted shreds make a big criss-cross piece), let it cool, and then gently remove it from the pan. You have a roughly round-shaped, large piece of parmesan cheese.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Dovebelle
                                      jbsiegel RE: Dovebelle Mar 6, 2013 05:47 PM

                                      We do them with all kinds of cheeses...

                                      parchment paper on a cookie sheet, little piles of cheese (a couple T. each), and then bake until they are nicely melted and a little brown around the edges

                                      Stupid easy and stupid good!

                                      1. re: Dovebelle
                                        sandylc RE: Dovebelle Mar 6, 2013 06:04 PM


                                      2. ursy_ten RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 05:44 PM

                                        A sun-dried tomato cheesecake, cut into little bite size squares (it's very rich).

                                        So many people have never heard of a savoury cheesecake so it's always somewhat of a novelty - and every one seems to love it too.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: ursy_ten
                                          geminigirl RE: ursy_ten Mar 6, 2013 10:29 PM

                                          Do you have a good recipe? I have a ton of tomatoes from the summer to use up. Thanks

                                          1. re: geminigirl
                                            ursy_ten RE: geminigirl Mar 6, 2013 11:14 PM


                                            Are you talking fresh tomatoes? If so, I've never tried it with fresh, you might need to dry them in a slow oven or a dehydrator for a bit to get rid of some of the juicy goodness.

                                            Googling "semi-dried tomato recipe" might give you some ideas.

                                            1. re: ursy_ten
                                              geminigirl RE: ursy_ten Mar 7, 2013 09:37 AM

                                              Nope, dehydrated, a fun little investment but now need recipe ideas! thanks for the link

                                              1. re: geminigirl
                                                ursy_ten RE: geminigirl Mar 7, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                You're welcome, I hope you like it - let me know how you go with it :)

                                        2. deet13 RE: alliegator Mar 6, 2013 06:50 PM

                                          Chicken livers, skewered w/sweet onions, wrapped in bacon, and then grilled.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: deet13
                                            sandylc RE: deet13 Mar 6, 2013 06:54 PM


                                            1. re: sandylc
                                              chloebell RE: sandylc Mar 7, 2013 05:51 AM

                                              My mango salsa, & the retro 70's appetizer - Bacon Bowties.

                                            2. re: deet13
                                              betsydiver RE: deet13 Mar 7, 2013 07:31 AM

                                              I have also done both pineapple chunks or water chestnuts wrapped in bacon secured with toothpick and baked in oven til bacon is crispy (maybe this is a classic recipe that i cannot remember the name of?

                                              1. re: betsydiver
                                                deet13 RE: betsydiver Mar 7, 2013 05:46 PM

                                                Yeah it's basically a Rumaki, minus the water chestnuts (my wife dislikes them).

                                                Now that I'm thinking about it, I also like to marinate chicken hearts in soy and some cream sherry (or mirin) for an hour or so, skewer them, and cook them on the grill until they're a nice brown.

                                            3. JungMann RE: alliegator Mar 7, 2013 07:41 AM

                                              Most requested? Crab rangoon, deviled crab cakes or deviled eggs.

                                              My favorite? Pimento cheese, papri chaat, or pork spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: JungMann
                                                LaLa RE: JungMann Mar 8, 2013 02:42 PM

                                                Pimento cheese is a staple in our house...kinda like having milk in the fridge! Lol

                                              2. alliegator RE: alliegator Mar 7, 2013 08:43 AM

                                                Some very cool answers, thanks for sharing. I love making small plates and just having people over for drinks and nibbles. Lots of great ideas here.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: alliegator
                                                  Pwmfan RE: alliegator Mar 7, 2013 04:33 PM

                                                  For me, this will be the "What's for dinner" thread!

                                                2. lrostron RE: alliegator Mar 9, 2013 10:18 AM

                                                  Marinated mozzarella (olive oil, herbs and red pepper flakes) and olives, served with crostinis.

                                                  1. foodieX2 RE: alliegator Mar 9, 2013 10:44 AM

                                                    Not my all time favorite but the one that is requested the most is not even a real recipe-Wasabi Dip. Basically been told I am not welcome if I don't bring it.
                                                    -slice a block of cream cheese in half, lengthwise
                                                    -layer prepared wasabi on top of one of the slices
                                                    -place second slice on top of the one with wasabi, like a sandwich
                                                    -press black sesame seeds all over the cream cheese, including the sides, secure with tooth picks
                                                    -right before serving pour low sodium tamari soy sauce over the top
                                                    -serve with rice crackers.

                                                    My favorite? roasted shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce. Simple. Easy. Delicious.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: foodieX2
                                                      liza219 RE: foodieX2 Mar 9, 2013 11:02 PM

                                                      Fascinating recipe...I've gotta try this recipe with the wasabi. Any name for it?

                                                      1. re: liza219
                                                        foodieX2 RE: liza219 Mar 10, 2013 05:57 AM

                                                        We just call it Wasabi Dip. :)

                                                        If you think of something clever let me know!

                                                      2. re: foodieX2
                                                        ChristinaMason RE: foodieX2 Mar 10, 2013 06:43 AM

                                                        I made this once based on a recipe I found on Chowhound, probably from you. It was very good! I think I added some scallions in the middle layer.

                                                      3. goodhealthgourmet RE: alliegator Mar 9, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                        Dips are always requested, particularly spicy black bean, white bean with roasted garlic & sun-dried tomato, and Moroccan-spiced carrot.

                                                        Other common requests/faves:
                                                        - Piquillo peppers stuffed with herbed goat cheese & drizzled with a sherry vinegar reduction
                                                        - Brussels sprouts "two ways" with anchovy-lemon sauce & fried capers
                                                        - Polenta rounds with various toppings & polenta "fries" with dipping sauces
                                                        - Lentil-walnut paté

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                          cleopatra999 RE: goodhealthgourmet Mar 9, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                          My favourites are:

                                                          tuna tataki with ponzu dipping sauce

                                                          chorizo manchego puffs

                                                          Stuffed jalepenos wrapped in bacon

                                                          And truffle/parmesan popcorn (couple dashes of truffle oil in with butter then dust with parm at end)

                                                          1. re: cleopatra999
                                                            Tom34 RE: cleopatra999 Mar 9, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                            First 3 sound great. My family has no problem with soft bacon but some people do. Does the cooking time allow the bacon to crisp a little of should the bacon be precooked a little?

                                                            1. re: Tom34
                                                              cleopatra999 RE: Tom34 Mar 10, 2013 02:49 PM

                                                              Yes, the bacon cooks no problem, I would use thin bacon (regular) not thick cut though.

                                                        2. c
                                                          calmossimo RE: alliegator Mar 9, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                          Most requested apps/nibbles? Candied peanuts (from David Lebovitz' blog) and weirdly enough, pigs in a blanket. I use lil smokies sausages, wrap in triangles of puff pastry, brush with egg glaze and sprinkle sesame seeds/poppy seeds on top. I think I've tried a thin smear of mustard under the sausage, but that added another step when I could just whip up a honey mustard dip while they bake.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: calmossimo
                                                            Lillipop RE: calmossimo Mar 9, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                            Sounds delicious and fun:)

                                                            1. re: Lillipop
                                                              nikkihwood RE: Lillipop Mar 9, 2013 09:47 PM

                                                              Pigs are my sweetie's all-time favorite appetizer!

                                                              We make an old-school app - zucchini squares, with sauteed bulk sausage [or not, it's good either way]. People just gobble them up.

                                                          2. p
                                                            piccola RE: alliegator Mar 9, 2013 05:52 PM

                                                            One is beet and sweet potato chips (made with a microwave gadget rather than fried) and the other is spicy corn fritters. The latter works best when entertaining at home because fritters aren't as good if they sit, but the chips are good for potlucks too.

                                                            1. d
                                                              Dcfoodblog RE: alliegator Mar 9, 2013 06:00 PM

                                                              Sundried tomato tapenade with crostini
                                                              Puff pastry cups with mushroom ragout
                                                              Deviled eggs
                                                              Carrot nut pate

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Dcfoodblog
                                                                valerie RE: Dcfoodblog Mar 10, 2013 12:30 PM

                                                                I got this recipe for Artichoke and Sun-dried tomato tapenade a few years ago on CH and every time I make it, it gets rave reviews.


                                                                I also recently started making this Roasted Garlic and Carrot Hummus and it's delicious. People always asking for it.


                                                              2. l
                                                                liza219 RE: alliegator Mar 9, 2013 11:07 PM

                                                                I'm surprised no one mentioned the brie en croute.A favorite.....I do one with a walnut brown sugar, garlic and butter sauce on top, and on with dried cranberries, sugar and butter on top. I'm open to any other ideas with a brie wheel. Its such a simply recipe/app. Must have a hot oven, though!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: liza219
                                                                  ludmilasdaughter RE: liza219 Mar 12, 2013 06:48 AM

                                                                  I do this all the time too. People love it. One of mine and everyone's favorite versions uses raspberry habanero jelly. The sweet/spiciness of the jelly goes so well with the creaminess of the brie.

                                                                  1. re: liza219
                                                                    valerie RE: liza219 Mar 12, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                                    I make one too, but just brie wrapped in puff pastry since my husband doesn't like other "stuff" in it. Always a hit.

                                                                  2. g
                                                                    Goatjunky RE: alliegator Mar 10, 2013 11:29 AM

                                                                    I am constantly asked to bring BLT Dip, a bit different from the one previously listed. But my current favorite is a layered Mediterranean dip. hummus, pesto, kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, some veggies, and lots of good feta. I love it. I too want to eat everything in
                                                                    this thread for dinner!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Goatjunky
                                                                      ChristinaMason RE: Goatjunky Mar 10, 2013 11:37 AM

                                                                      Could you please share both?

                                                                    2. EM23 RE: alliegator Mar 10, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                                      Union Square Bar Nuts

                                                                      1. r
                                                                        Rhee RE: alliegator Mar 10, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                                        Vietnamese shrimp springs rolls. Anything wrapped in those rice paper wrappers look impressive. I use mint from my garden, cilantro, red lettuce, red pepper, shrimp and cooked rice stick. I server with hot chili sauce or peanut sauce as dip. But you can put anything.

                                                                        1. suzigirl RE: alliegator Mar 10, 2013 04:32 PM

                                                                          pot stickers, surimi krab cream cheese spread, deviled eggs ans a three layer cream cheese spread that has a layer of sun dried tomato pesto mixed with CC, a layer mixed with HV ranch and CC, and another with pesto mixed w CC served with good crackers and veggies.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: suzigirl
                                                                            ChristinaMason RE: suzigirl Mar 10, 2013 04:50 PM

                                                                            I occasionally buy surimi and never know what to do with it. Is your krab dip just surimi, cream cheese, and Old Bay? Or is it heated with melty cheeses, maybe scallions? Sounds good right now, maybe with some celery sticks.

                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                              suzigirl RE: ChristinaMason Mar 10, 2013 05:32 PM

                                                                              Pretty simple.
                                                                              Two 8 oz CC
                                                                              One super finely diced garlic clove
                                                                              Two scallions diced greens only
                                                                              As much crab as you care for. I like about a pile the size of a block of the CC.
                                                                              Half cup cheddar shreds for in and on the dip, halved.
                                                                              Depending on who is eating it is either seasoned with two teaspoons of ranch dry seasoning powder or if the people eating can have msg then it is Badia complete seasoning
                                                                              Mix everything but half the cheddar and put in an eight by eight pan and sprinkle with the rest of the cheddarand bake twenty minutes til warmed thru. Serve with crackers and veggies. Goes like gang busters

                                                                          2. m
                                                                            mike0989 RE: alliegator Mar 11, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                            When squash blossoms are in season, I like to get the females. I stuff them with a crab salad and then fry them up in a tempura batter.

                                                                            1. Crockett67 RE: alliegator Mar 11, 2013 07:57 AM

                                                                              Would you believe that recently it's been dried fruit and nut mixes. Like unroasted almonds, roasted salted cashews, and dried berry mix. So simply and it disappears from the buffet table.

                                                                              Maybe because it's different?

                                                                              1. l
                                                                                laliz RE: alliegator Mar 12, 2013 08:42 AM

                                                                                Antipasto Pinwheels
                                                                                • 12 thin slices provolone cheese (6 to 7 oz.)

                                                                                • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, softened (2 oz.)
                                                                                • 1 Tbsp. milk
                                                                                • 12 thin slices soppresata or premium Genoa salami (about 4 oz.)

                                                                                • 12 large fresh basil leaves

                                                                                mix gorgonzola & milk to spreading consistency. top salami slices w/provolone and spread cheese over. top w/basil leaf and roll into pinwheel.

                                                                                cut into slices before serving.

                                                                                Assorted crackers or flatbread (optional)

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: laliz
                                                                                  ChristinaMason RE: laliz Mar 13, 2013 09:42 PM

                                                                                  I will try that, thanks! I imagine a marinated artichoke heart piece might be good there, too.

                                                                                  1. re: laliz
                                                                                    valerie RE: laliz Mar 14, 2013 06:18 AM

                                                                                    This reminds me of the Antipasto Skewers that I made for last year's July 4th party that I host. They were a huge hit and it was easy to make some of them without salami for the vegetarians. They looked great on a platter.

                                                                                    I used sun dried tomatoes and marinated mozzarella balls...everyone loved them.


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