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Easy Appetizers Wanted

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

My GF is going off for a long weekend with some friends in a couple of weeks.  They are renting a house and will be doing some cooking with everyone having a specific responsibility.  GF is in charge of appetizers.  I've given her a few recipes and ideas such as marinated cheese, a marinated garbanzo bean salad, some easy individual pizzas made with tortillas.  Ideally she'd like something she can prepare ahead, that will keep in the fridge for at least a few days, and that is easy to transport.

 

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Schmoozer
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Schmoozer
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post #2 of 19

How about semi-make ahead? That is, she can prep the components, then do final assembly or fast cooking on site. Things like:

 

Shrimp & Cantaloupe Balls w/Mayonaise Charles.

Filled, shaped gougere.

Crab cakes.

Cucumber/gazpacho shooters

Any of the myriad Asian dumplings.

Various crostini (goat cheese & caramelized red onions is one of my faves)

 

Are they an adventurous group? What about things like squid escebeche? Or octopus in vinaigrette?

 

Shellfish, particularly mussels, don't take much time to prepare.

 

Anything wrong with the old standbys:

 

Baba ganoujh.

Hummus.

Dates stuffed with blue cheese.

Cherry tomatoes with flavored cream-cheese fillings

 

The list just goes on and on.

 

Sit down with her and any book about tapas or mezze and I'm sure you'll come up with a dozen quick possibilities.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

She doesn't want to cook - she wants things quick, simple, and easy.  She doesn't even want to make hummus - I make the hummus for us.

 

Let's see - cantaloup and other melons are not in season, and we don't buy imported produce.

 

Cougere requires cooking and baking.

 

Likewise crab cakes.

 

What's a gazpacho shooter?  A drink?

 

Dumplings require cooking and often a fair amount of prep (by her standards).

 

We talked a little about escabeche ... that might work.  Ceviche may be a better idea although the timing could be a problem.

 

Crostini might work although I doubt she wants to spend time caramelizing the onions.  That chore may fall to me and I'm not sure I want to help her make the items for this project, although I'll help with suggestions and preparation ideas.  She  like goat cheese very much.

 

Stuffed dates and stuffed tomatoes .... hmm ... might be some ideas there with the tomatoes.

 

All ideas are welcome - I don't usually make appetizers.

 

Just so y'all understand, she's a pretty decent cook but she's tired of cooking.  For fifty years she cooked three times a day for her family, and that included five kids and an ungrateful husband.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

How about semi-make ahead? That is, she can prep the components, then do final assembly or fast cooking on site. Things like:

 

Shrimp & Cantaloupe Balls w/Mayonaise Charles.

Filled, shaped gougere.

Crab cakes.

Cucumber/gazpacho shooters

Any of the myriad Asian dumplings.

Various crostini (goat cheese & caramelized red onions is one of my faves)

 

Are they an adventurous group? What about things like squid escebeche? Or octopus in vinaigrette?

 

Shellfish, particularly mussels, don't take much time to prepare.

 

Anything wrong with the old standbys:

 

Baba ganoujh.

Hummus.

Dates stuffed with blue cheese.

Cherry tomatoes with flavored cream-cheese fillings

 

The list just goes on and on.

 

Sit down with her and any book about tapas or mezze and I'm sure you'll come up with a dozen quick possibilities.

Schmoozer
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Schmoozer
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post #4 of 19

a simple crudite platter, with celery, carrots, olives, cauliflower, peppers and dips is easy to make and can be stored ahead of time. the fastest and easiest would be a selection of bread and cheeses and sliced apples. i would store the apples in cold water with a bit of lemon juice to keep the color up.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #5 of 19

You need to be a little clearer up front, Schmoozer.

 

All that stuff about her may be true. But it's certainly not implied by "Ideally she'd like something she can prepare ahead, that will keep in the fridge for at least a few days, and that is easy to transport."

 

I think most people, like me, would read "prepare ahead" as as meaning "cook stuff", albiet simply---especially with the examples you provided. How is making pizza, no matter what the base, any more or less work than, say, making gougere?

 

It would also be courteous, when making a request like that, to list any food biases you may have. You don't buy food produced in other countries, but, apparently, find canned chick peas OK. Would have been nice to know all that before spending time composing a list, most of which turns out unsuitable because of unstated problems.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 19

Tuna salad, chicken salad, roasted vegetable couscous are good for make ahead. To turn them into nice apps, I put them in a variety of vegetables like cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber/zucchini slices, celery, blanched cabbage leaves, endives, etc. Meatballs are also great. Make them ahead, heat up right before serving and serve with a few different dipping sauces.

 

This may sound cheesy, but a cheese fondue is fun as an app. Have some bread, cooked meats (sausages are great), vegetables and fruits. Queso fundido is easy to make and delicious.

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmoozer View Post


 


 If I give you a list of ideas will you rudely relist them and tell me how they will not work for you?  If your lady friend isn't prepared to do any kind of work whatsoever then ChefBazooka's idea seems the most appropriate for the situation.  There are some great frozen appetizers that I have used in the past.  Oh wait wait, I just remembered a super easy bean dip to make that I mentioned in another thread today.  Take a can of refried beans, a packet of cream cheese, and a baggie of pregrated cheddar cheese.  Combine in a casserole dish and bake in the oven for 20min.  Serve with tortilla chips.  This is not my own recipe so you can insult it freely.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 19

If she likes goat cheese, maybe make some goat cheese pastry puffs. It'll be easy to do by being the cheese and maybe some herb on store bought puff pastry and baking them.

post #9 of 19

I would also go for some pre-made puff pastries. So easy to do and to reheat or be eaten cold!!! I suggest reheating, no dought.

You can go with puff pastry; A. filled with ricotta/egg base + "stuff" - B. filled with cream/egg base + "stuff".

A. will always be a little grainy and dry - B. is in fact a quiche, always delicious!

 

For appetizers, use individual portions, made in muffin trays. Buy some good puff pastry, cut rounds out, using a saucer. Gently push in the tray. Don't cut the overhanging pastry, it will look all the more homemade and above all, form a nice crunchy bit.

 

Base for the filling is a mixture in a ratio of 200 ml cream + 1 entire egg.

You need "stuff" to be put in the mixture. I'm not going to mention many, be creative and think of your own stuff. You don't need all that much, just a good tablespoon per cup.

Grated cheese is a must, all kinds of chopped veggies and onion, chopped bacon!, salmon, crab......   etc.... You must soften veggies first and to fry bacon. Kool it first before use in the pastry.

Fresh or dried herbs. I like salmon/dille/shalllot/mascarpone. Fill the pastry with 1 tbsp of "stuff", cover with the cream/egg mixture. Don't forget p&s+ nutmeg, put it in the cream/egg mixture before filling.

 

Preheat oven to 200°C, bake for 40 minutes. The pastry must be "done"!

Make all kind of different fillings. Great for the ambiance: people are going to taste each others portion. Present with a simple salad (mixed with a vinaigrette at the very last moment).

For the record; I'll be 61 in december.Sixty is the new thirty, only if the health keeps contributing.

 

krabRicotta1web.jpg


Edited by ChrisBelgium - 10/20/10 at 3:00am
post #10 of 19

Sweet Jaysus, Chris. I haven't even had my coffee yet, let alone breakfast, and you post that picture. Not fair!!!

 

I suspect, however, that they're more work than Schmoozers friend wants to put in. The key to all this was expressed in his rant (which, apparently, the mods have removed). What his GF wants is appetisers that have the appearance of having taken a lot of time and effort to prepare, but she doesn't want to actually put in that time or effort.

 

I just don't understand that. If you don't want to make an effort, or can't for physical reasons, then just buy some pre-made appys in the frozen food section, pop 'em in the nuke, and be done. Why is it necessary to pretend?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 19

It appears my post got removed as well. Too bad, because I was serious about the suggestions at the bottom. So I will say it again, cheeses, fruit, and cured meats. Maybe some serrano ham with figs, or an assortment of salami with cheeses. I think it's a great way to have something different, and if you have a good deli, you won't have to do anything but put it on a plate.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #12 of 19

Okay, if she doesn't want to do anything resembling real preparation,  why not just haul her over to Costco or Sam's Club and pick up a variety of frozen appetizers?  Some of them don't even need to be heated,  just thaw and serve. 

"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #13 of 19

Sounds like our friend Schmoozer is going to have his hands dirty too! They are so easy to make, to transport in the muffin trays and to put them in an oven for 15 minutes at a lower 180°C. But hey, I understand if it's not possible.

 

Or go for Tyler's suggestion: nothing wrong about some charcuterie and cheese.

post #14 of 19

 I have to agree.. if she just wants to have a vacation where she doesn't have to do alot of prep work before or after, getting some frozen appetizers from Costco (or even the supermarket... some of them have a great selection of little nibbles) would definitely work. 

 

When is she going to be serving the appetizers?  Is it going to be part of a meal or just as a snack? Knowing when it would be served would definitely help with suggestions. 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #15 of 19

 Here are a few suggestions for you:

 

 

Soups- very easy to prepare ahead of time, keeps well.  I would suggest freezing the soup if she decides to go with it, and let it thaw in the fridge when they get to their rental. 

 

Stuffed mushroom caps

 

I saw that you don't purchase imported produce, and I'm not sure where you life and what's in season there so here are some other suggestions:

 

zucchini sticks

 

stuffed potato skins (I made this for a stag party my husband hosted and it went over very well... I have made them since and again.. very well received)

 

devilled eggs

 

canapes-- lots of variety with this one and again alot of the time, you can prep the spread ahead and then assemble to serve

 

pate served with crackers and other toasted breads - it is very simple to make but if she'd prefer good quality pates are available in the supermarket. 

 

bruschetta

 

marinated mushrooms

 

If any of the above items interest you or her, I will happily post the recipes.  None of them (except for the marinated mushrooms) are my "own" recipes but taken from a very well used/much loved  cookbook that I have had since I got married. 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #16 of 19
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #17 of 19

Try this one:

 

Mango Spring Roll

 

 

"This refreshing appetizer will provide an unusually sweet note to the beginning of your meal. It can also be served as a fun dessert!"

107763.jpg

Ingredients

  • 15 (7 inch square) egg roll wrappers
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 mangos - peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 4 cups canola oil for deep frying

Directions

  1. Place an egg roll wrapper on your work surface with one corner pointing towards you. Smear a teaspoon of mayonnaise halfway between the bottom corner and the center of the wrapper. Place some of the mango strips on top of the mayonnaise. Fold the bottom corner snugly over the filling, then fold in the left and right corners. Moisten the remaining edges with egg white, then continue rolling the spring roll to the top corner to form a tight cylinder. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  2. Heat canola oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Fry the spring rolls, a few at a time, until they float and turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the spring rolls over halfway through frying to brown evenly. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate before serving.
post #18 of 19

Sounds like a fun time.

 

A couple of my favorites that you can make ahead of time and bring up in a glad container is this dip. It is wonderful served with vinegar potato chips.

http://www.chili-everyway.com/chip-dip-recipes.html

 

This 3 bean dip is also very good and easy to make ahead of time

http://www.chili-everyway.com/easy-dip-recipes.html

post #19 of 19

Two easy things that fly off the serving dishes when I put them out:

 

Celery sticks with a mixture of cream cheese, blue cheese, and a little cracked black pepper piped into them.

 

Stuffed dates.  Spread some mascarpone cheese on waxed paper and freeze.  Simmer dates in port until the skins come off easily.  Cut the cheese into slivers and stuff into the dates.  Roll in finely chopped nuts of your choice.

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