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Help with appetizers for dinner party

We have been invited to dinner Friday night. The menu is heavy, guy-food: fish and chips and macaroni and cheese (don't ask). I have been tasked with bringing appetizers. I want to bring something light enough to be a counterpoint to the carbs and cheese and fried stuff, and I'm completely drawing a blank. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

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    1. re: coll

      Yes, shrimp cocktail. I took this to a party of 16 this week. I served it chilled in a large pottery bowl with very small Dixie cups and plastic forks alongside. It was very well received and simple to do.

      1. re: Gail

        I never have any complaints when I bring a platter along, even if it's a surprise ;-)

    2. Go to BJ's and buy a tray of cut up, bite size vegetables with ranch dip. Pick up some humus, Pineapple salsa with some cut up apples and pears.

      1. I love anything in an endive spear.
        I have put roasted sweet potato, bacon and creme fraiche
        Beet hummus and feta and nut
        Blue cheese pear apple
        Caesar salad
        Smoked salmon and dill sauce

        Eggplant caviar with pita chips
        Tuna tartare on cucumber rounds

        1 Reply
        1. re: DowntownJosie

          i was thinking fruit kebabs. or maybe cheese and fruit and crackers. my nephew is smoking some salmon this weekend so salmon pate.

        2. Are you trying to find things that the same people who like the "guy stuff" would like, or things for people who want an alternative to the "guy stuff"?

          1 Reply
          1. re: DGresh

            It's a tough call - these guys are really good cooks, so I'm a bit baffled at the "winter-ness" of the menu for a June dinner. My guess is I could go for the alternative - something creative and light and tasty.

          2. A very light appetizer that is surprisingly good is cubes of seedless watermelon with a slice off ricotta salata on top, held together with a toothpick. A grind of black pepper over all adds some bite.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Fiona

              I bet some salt would be nice too!

                1. re: Fiona

                  That sounds good; another idea is something using nectarines or peaches; this crostini comes to mind: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/peac...

                  1. re: Fiona

                    ...and a sprinkled of chopped fresh mint.

                    1. re: Fiona

                      I was thinking of my version of this. Watermelon cube, but of goat cheese, but if olive tapenade. Very light and interesting and easy to do.

                      1. re: thimes

                        haha - just re-read my post - a few autocorrect issues from my phone - bit of goat cheese and bit of . . . .but I figure you got it.

                      2. re: Fiona

                        Or you could do watermelon, cube of feta cheese, with olive oil, sea salt and mint. So good and summery!

                      3. Take a look at this it was started a few days ago. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/977728.

                        1. We have a Greek/Italian restaurant here that does a trio of spreads with pita wedges. The spreads are traditional hummus, a roasted red pepper dip(or romesco) and an eggplant dip too. You could add some marcona almonds and some castelvetrano olives and it would be a fresh, tasty & colorful spread.

                          1. Caprese salad sticks- use a skewar and thread on cherry tomatoes, mini motzerella balls, leaves of basil. Drizzle them with a basalmic reduction and olive oil.

                            Quick pickled vegetables- carrots with jalapeno, radishes, cucumber spears, green beans

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                              A slight variation on the caprese: before threading the cherry tomatoes onto the skewers, gently poke them once or twice with a paring knife or skewer (at the ends where they will eventually be skewered) and then soak them in vodka. A good friend use to serve these "spiked" tomatoes at most of her get-togethers...

                            2. Crab salad in endive cups. I use the pasturised crab from Costco.
                              some vegetables with hummus

                              1. Looks like the menu is greasy and heavy.... I would bring homemade crunchy veg platter -- cucumbers, carrots, celery, green pepper, grape tomatoes, even steamed asparagus with ranch dressing.

                                1. Two other variations of the same theme. Both veg heavy but still a little "manly" in nature

                                  Blanched asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.

                                  Blanched green beans wrapped in prosciutto - with these I also toss the green beans in a vinaigrette - 6 beans wrapped together (depending on size).

                                  1 Reply
                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                      I miss the minimalist column!! And all of his amazing "101" articles....

                                    2. deviled eggs
                                      dates, nuts, dried apricots

                                      1. I'm including links to easy recipes for salmon mousse & smoked trout mousse. When I need finger foods, especially in warmer weather, I serve the salmon mousse on a cucumber slice with a sprig of dill, and the trout mousse on a radish slice with a sprig of chive.

                                        I've had no trouble finding smoked trout, in the freezer case in the seafood dept of Wegmans, and getting big radishes for slices as big as those from an English cucumber.



                                            1. fresh rolls with shrimp and plenty of veggies and rice noodles. serve with a peanut sauce, or a fish sauce/chili/vinegar sauce to dip. asian pickles (think takuan, pickled cucumber, etc). thai pineapple lettuce wraps with sweet chili sauce. watermelon, red onion, mint, feta salad in citrus dressing. veggies with hummus. grilled corn on the cob - with or without mexican style additions. a veggie+seafood (scallop, shrimp, whitefish, whatever) ceviche with plenty of vegetables and maybe some avocado at the last minute. greek yogurt onion dip with veggies. cheese, pickle and charcuterie plate with water crackers, dried fruit, and roasted nuts. miniature onigiri (japanese rice balls - might be a little carby, but generally not heavy). veggie or tuna or salmon maki sushi (simple sushi rolls - no avocado, mayo, cream cheese, etc.).

                                              1. I just wanted to thank you all for your amazing suggestions! I think I'm going to go with the watermelon/ricotta salata; prosciutto wrapped asparagus and maybe the caprese kebabs.

                                                Many, many thanks again. I really appreciate the help!