HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it
TELL US

1950's appetizers

a
amazinc Nov 13, 2013 09:41 AM

Friend is having a party themed 1950's and asked me to come up with some appetizers. I wasn't going to cocktail parties in the '50s so am not
sure what will fly. Little smoked sausages in barbeque sauce, chicken liver pate, but what else? Need about 6 more if you 'hounds can supply
the ideas. Thanks in advance.

  1. eclecticsynergy Nov 30, 2013 09:09 PM

    How about dried beef spirals?

    Mix onion juice and minced chives into softened cream cheese. Flatten out thin sheets of dried beef (the kind in a little jar, like you'd use for creamed chipped beef), spread with the cream cheese and roll up, then slice into little rounds.

    I remember these fondly from my childhood.

    1. EricMM Nov 16, 2013 08:49 AM

      I was too young to remember the 50's, but since my parents always served shrimp cocktail in the 60's, it must have been just as popular in the 50's....and before.

      1. s
        schrutefarms Nov 15, 2013 01:20 PM

        You should look up the Madonna Inns website, and check out their dinner menu…I ate there once and found it to be very much a throwback in time...

        1. s
          sandylc Nov 15, 2013 10:10 AM

          Just remember that just because it might be out of style doesn't mean that it can't be delicious...

          1 Reply
          1. re: sandylc
            alkapal Nov 15, 2013 01:15 PM

            rock on, girlfriend!

          2. s
            schrutefarms Nov 14, 2013 11:51 PM

            Deviled eggs, for sure…and I went to a '50's cocktail party years ago…not sure how authentic this was, but it sure was pretty…

            Boil tiny new potatoes untill just done, cut in half and scoop out a bit of the center, and fill with creme fraiche (or sour cream). Top with caviar.

            1. w
              wildgoosechase9 Nov 14, 2013 01:15 PM

              Tomato aspic. Or anything with canned tuna.

              1. m
                MrsJonesey Nov 14, 2013 12:52 PM

                Has anyone mentioned tea sandwiches? Here's some ideas: http://www.greatpartyrecipes.com/teasandwichrecipes.html
                http://www.southernliving.com/food/en...

                1. s
                  Splendid Spatula Nov 14, 2013 09:27 AM

                  Look no further than the famous liverwurst pineapple. http://innerfabiola.blogspot.com/2007/08/liverwurst-pineapple-who-could-resist.html

                  You can see a photo here: http://turkeysandwich.wordpress.com/2...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Splendid Spatula
                    cayjohan Nov 14, 2013 11:18 AM

                    I. Actually. Made. This. For a neighbor's retro party. What I didn't really expect was how much people loved it -I am a liverwurst fan, but I know not everyone shares my affection. That crowd did, and the whole thing was eaten.

                    One thing: I had a devil of a time getting the liverwurst to stay molded around the jar - no amount of chilling prevented the slow slide into a lumpy liverwurst skirt around the jar's base. I finally scrapped the jar and just molded the liverwurst into a loaf, so the whole thing ended up looking like a half-pineapple, cut side down, then went to town with the fancification. It was pretty cute, really.

                    1. re: cayjohan
                      d
                      DGresh Nov 15, 2013 04:17 AM

                      I read the instructions on "building" this thing, but I can't figure out how one would server or eat it? it doesn't seem to make sense! Your solution sounds sensible.

                      1. re: DGresh
                        s
                        Splendid Spatula Nov 15, 2013 09:53 AM

                        I made it too, and I agree - it is pretty tasty! You serve it by cutting bits off and spreading on crackers, kind of like a giant cheeseball, Take your pictures first, then let people dig in.

                  2. Lambowner Nov 14, 2013 06:31 AM

                    Stuffed cherry tomatoes.

                    1. p
                      Pwmfan Nov 14, 2013 05:13 AM

                      Olive cheese balls - I love these!

                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ol...

                      1. m
                        MrsJonesey Nov 14, 2013 05:07 AM

                        Almost wish I had a reason to make a couple of these: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/retro...

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: MrsJonesey
                          MidwesternerTT Nov 14, 2013 05:51 AM

                          I've got the perfect excuse. We're invited to good friend's home for supper tomorrow. She's making pulled pork sandwiches and put me in charge of deciding/bringing "sides". Potato salad was already on my list, this will be fun to try - love the decoration.

                          1. re: MidwesternerTT
                            m
                            MrsJonesey Nov 14, 2013 06:26 AM

                            Then I bet you will like the idea of a smorgastarta. http://paninihappy.com/celebrating-4-...

                            1. re: MrsJonesey
                              MidwesternerTT Nov 14, 2013 11:20 AM

                              Not that one, due to the salmon/herring, but I'll look for others.

                              1. re: MidwesternerTT
                                cayjohan Nov 14, 2013 11:33 AM

                                Smörgåstårta is one of my all-time favorites! You can totally bypass the fish and go with ground meat salad spreads and cheese spreads for the layer fillings. Google the term with the diacriticals and you'll get a lot of decorating ideas. Very fun party dish: it's delicious, beautiful and mockable all at the same time! ;-)

                                1. re: cayjohan
                                  alkapal Nov 15, 2013 05:08 AM

                                  i'd be happy to chow on that one pictured!

                            2. re: MidwesternerTT
                              MidwesternerTT Nov 16, 2013 04:49 AM

                              I posted the photo of my version of the potato salad decoration over on WFD discussion - here's the link
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9242...

                              We decided to forego the glaze and because my loaf of potato salad was only half as tall as the one in the ad photo, we put the radish flowers on top. When served, the loaf did not slice - we decided that you'd need much smaller dice on the potatoes and probably more dressing to get it to work. Still a fun presentation.

                              The radish flowers took patience and a steady hand - my cooking pal was much better at it than I am. The key is to carefully make 5 or 6 very thin carved peels that follow the curve of the radish, leaving them attached at the base. Then lay the radish on the cutting board and slice each peel section into 3-4 small petals.

                              1. re: MidwesternerTT
                                m
                                MrsJonesey Nov 16, 2013 07:17 AM

                                Great job!

                            3. re: MrsJonesey
                              alkapal Nov 15, 2013 05:12 AM

                              cool potato salad!

                              1. re: MrsJonesey
                                KaimukiMan Nov 15, 2013 07:05 PM

                                Oh dear God, brings back memories (shudder). Grandma's bridge club. That salmon shortcake was enough to make me gag just looking at it, mostly because I remember how it smelled.

                              2. j
                                Jerseygirl111 Nov 13, 2013 11:55 PM

                                Stuffed mushrooms

                                1. LaLa Nov 13, 2013 05:35 PM

                                  My charleston jr league cookbooks focus on seafood....crab dip, lobster puffs, shrimp bites, chafing dish oysters, seafood tarts

                                  Also musts. ...cheese straws, deviled eggs, any thing wrapped in bacon, cheese balls, stuff stuffed in celery

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: LaLa
                                    e
                                    ellabee Nov 15, 2013 10:02 AM

                                    As a spectator at cocktail parties of the late 1950s and early 1960s, I can vouch for all these.

                                    Nothing wrong with some cheese straws and deviled eggs, along with a few celery stalks and endive leaves to hold seafood something. The classics live!

                                  2. boogiebaby Nov 13, 2013 04:46 PM

                                    French Onion dip and devilled eggs were the first two things that came to mind.

                                    1. s
                                      sweetpotater Nov 13, 2013 02:15 PM

                                      Relish tray with fat black olives, radishes, celery.

                                      1. Atomic76 Nov 13, 2013 12:40 PM

                                        I recalled seeing some hideous looking savory Jello molds formed in bundt cake pans in my moms old cookbooks. They had like Spanish olives and lunch meat in them. They probably taste like crap, but would be funny to include.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Atomic76
                                          d
                                          dfrostnh Nov 14, 2013 09:57 AM

                                          I have an old Jello recipe pamphlet. The savory recipe relied on Jello flavors that are no longer available but I bet a good duplicate could be made using Knox gelatin and broth. I see one recipe uses lemon jello and v8 juice for an aspic.

                                          But I don't think the jello molds were served at cocktail parties. It was things more like wedges of bologna spread with a creamed cheese filling.

                                        2. Veggo Nov 13, 2013 12:40 PM

                                          Crab Rangoon

                                          1. c
                                            Coribdx Nov 13, 2013 12:38 PM

                                            Swedish meatballs, deviled eggs

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Coribdx
                                              t
                                              Ttrockwood Nov 13, 2013 07:19 PM

                                              Made a LOT of the swedish meatballs- everyone goes for seconds!

                                            2. f
                                              femmevox Nov 13, 2013 12:33 PM

                                              Onion dip--Lipton's packaged stuff combined with sour cream and/or cream cheese

                                              Shrimp on toothpicks with that ketchup/horseradish cocktail sauce

                                              Rumaki--chicken livers with water chestnuts, wrapped together in bacon, then grilled

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: femmevox
                                                o
                                                OaklawnKaren Nov 13, 2013 07:23 PM

                                                Rumaki! Betty Draper on Mad Men made it.

                                              2. k
                                                kcshigekawa Nov 13, 2013 10:55 AM

                                                Chicken livers wrapped in bacon, skewered with toothpicks, and cooked under the broiler.

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: kcshigekawa
                                                  s
                                                  sandylc Nov 13, 2013 01:25 PM

                                                  Don't forget the slice of water chestnut inside.

                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                    prima Nov 13, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                    AKA Rumaki!http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ch...

                                                    1. re: sandylc
                                                      k
                                                      kcshigekawa Nov 14, 2013 11:04 AM

                                                      I don't think my mother ever knew that water chestnuts existed! But it does sound good.

                                                      1. re: kcshigekawa
                                                        s
                                                        sandylc Nov 14, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                        All of the rumaki that I ate in the sixties had water chestnuts in them...

                                                    2. re: kcshigekawa
                                                      John E. Nov 30, 2013 08:26 PM

                                                      Rumaki...

                                                      I had a negative childhood experience with Rumaki. I was about 7 years old and my family traveled to Minneapolis to attend a Minnesota Vikings game in December. The game was played at the old Met Stadium and it was cold (I remember wearing 2 snowmobile suits.)

                                                      Anyway, my father owned a radio station that broadcast the Vikings games and there was a cocktail party for the broadcast affiliates in the hotel at which we were staying.

                                                      The Vikings GM had a conversation with my father at the cocktail party, and when he found out my father's three boys were upstairs in a hotel room, he had a tray of hors d'oeuvres sent to our room. I saw the tray of food and got excited about the bacon speared with a toothpick. I was excited until I actually put it into my mouth.

                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                        s
                                                        sandylc Nov 30, 2013 08:50 PM

                                                        What was wrong with it?

                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                          John E. Nov 30, 2013 09:30 PM

                                                          You might remember the Vikings GM during the early glory years of the Minnesota Vikings. The GM was Jim Finks. The game in question was in the early 70s at the height of the Purple People Eaters.

                                                          Anyway, I did not like chicken livers then, and I'm not a fan of them now. I looked at the bacon on a toothpick and thought "bacon!" and was rewarded with chicken liver and water chestnuts.

                                                          I remember the guy sitting in front of us had a Schmidt beer bottle 'popsicle'.

                                                          I just looked it up, the temperature was 18 above, but the windchill was 3 above. The memory I have makes it seem colder than it really was.

                                                          What I do remember were the Vikings scarves, stocking caps, ponchos, and other paraphernalia we got to keep.

                                                          1. re: John E.
                                                            s
                                                            sandylc Nov 30, 2013 09:37 PM

                                                            Great memories, despite the horrible liver...!

                                                            Don't remember anything Vikings - I actually didn't grow up here! And, not a football follower....

                                                            Snow predicted for three days this coming week.

                                                            1. re: sandylc
                                                              John E. Nov 30, 2013 09:52 PM

                                                              I forgot that you were a Hoosier during the Purple People Eater years. Although I was quite young, I remember those failed Super Bowls to this day.

                                                              The only other story I remember from that game is that another broadcaster had a thermos with brandy in it. The owner of that thermos asked the waitress at the hotel to put hot water into the thermos (hot toddies?). Anyway, when the guy opened his thermos at the game when the windchill was 3 degrees, he discovered the waitress rinsed it out.

                                                              The lines at the restrooms were quite long as well.

                                                    3. j
                                                      jammy Nov 13, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                      I'm sure you'll find something here:

                                                      http://www.lileks.com/institute/galle...

                                                      1. t
                                                        treb Nov 13, 2013 10:09 AM

                                                        Oysters Rockefeller.

                                                        1. f
                                                          FriedClamFanatic Nov 13, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                          There's always that grapefruit that is made into a porcupine with all those feathered toothpicks with cheese,meat and maybe a grape on them. Be authentic.use Spam!.lol

                                                          And ..GAWD forbid!.....anything in Jello!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                            KaimukiMan Nov 15, 2013 07:00 PM

                                                            Oh, I've never seen a grapefruit done that way. Only pineapples, and what a disturbing sight it is too. olives and celery stuffed with various cheese and dips, wrapped in bacon and broiled, then skewered and jammed into a pineapple.

                                                            Also stuff on crackers. Cheese wiz on spam with another olive or cocktail onion nestled on top. And dip made with sour cream, cream cheese and onion soup mix. Finally there is the all time classic chex mix. Yes, we used to make that from "scratch" instead of buying it already mixed.

                                                            One thing that was common, but not so much any more that I do miss is a good relish tray. This was before they called them crudities. Of course there must be a bowl of the lipton onion soup dip in the middle.

                                                          2. carolinadawg Nov 13, 2013 10:01 AM

                                                            And here's a couple of existing CH threads that may help...

                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/790193#6607881
                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3988...

                                                            1. hotoynoodle Nov 13, 2013 09:48 AM

                                                              http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecad...

                                                              1. c oliver Nov 13, 2013 09:45 AM

                                                                Here are a TON of links:

                                                                https://www.google.com/search?q=1950s...

                                                                Show Hidden Posts