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Your best appetizer/snack?

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. BLT Dip
    Lemon marinated shrimp with sweet & hot peppers

    4 Replies
    1. re: masha

      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

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

        1. re: ChristinaMason

          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

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

    2. 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

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

          1. re: biondanonima

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

              1. 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

                  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

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

                  2. re: Heatherb

                    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

                      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

                        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

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

                      1. re: Pwmfan

                        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

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