favorite appetizer recipes?

Dear blogosphere-

I’m hosting a small birthday get-together at my house this Saturday. Being a poor grad student, I can’t go too crazy with the food, but I still would like to provide some nice snacks for our guests (plus, I need an excuse to cook! I miss it.)

Last year’s birthday was my tapas blow-out. While it was delicious, there’s no way I can put in that much time, money, and effort again this year. So, I’m asking you: do you have any favorite recipes small plates/ hors d’oeuvres you’d care to share? Caveats: it shouldn’t have ingredients that are too difficult to source or crazy expensive; it should be fairly quick to make with no majorly complicated steps (no making meringues or anything!).

Help! If all else fails, I’m busting out my new Lee Brothers cookbook and going crazy with that.


Posted on January 21, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I always go with gougeres – fun, “fancy,” and super cheap. I use Julia’s recipe from Vol 1 of Mastering. You can learn it so easily, that you can then make gougeres from memory while entertaining and you will look like a magician! And a genius!

  2. I’ve made this in the past and it always goes over well: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Olive-Cheese-Appetizers/Detail.aspx
    Another fave of mine is melon and prosciutto, taken from Jacques Pepin’s “Fast Food My Way.” It’s super quick and simple: 4c. melon cut into 1.5 in pieces (I like cantaloupe) fresh lemon juice, coarse salt (preferably fleur de sel) coarse ground black pepper & 3-4 oz. of thinly sliced prosciutto. Sprinkle the melon pieces with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, wrap each melon piece in a bit of prosciutto & secure it with a toothpick. Very tasty.

    CURTIDO (pickled cabbage):
    julienne, blanch and drain

    .5 – 1 head of cabbage (i like purple simply for color, but you can use any kind you want, really)
    2-4 carrots (optional)
    .5-1 onion (optional)

    mix with

    1c water
    1c vinegar (i like to use apple cider vinegar sometimes)
    1-3tsp sugar
    dash of salt

    refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving

    mix until you get a firmly solid, but not too mushy consistency
    (qty depends on the masa and how many pupusas you want, so i never measure this; just eyeball it)

    masa harina

    form into round hand-holdable pancake pieces about 1″ thick (or .5″ if you are closing with another piece or want it thinner) then add

    any left over chopped meat you have
    shredded cheese of your choice (i like mozarella)

    close with another pancake-sized piece or close original piece like an empanada and reform to pancake-shape
    cook each formed “pancake” in a dry pan on medium/medium-high heat approximately 2-3 minutes on each side or until edges are golden brown (or until you see the cheese oozing out to your preferred consistency)
    best served warm with cold curtido. yum!

  4. oops! WordPress says, “Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments.”, but I must not have used the right commands as my XHTML commands to indent and bullet did not appear. sorry!

  5. My new go to:

    Chiles con Ajo

    Jalapenos, seeded and sliced into long strips
    Garlic, coarsely chopped
    Oil, just a smidge for sauteeing
    Soy Sauce

    Combine all ingredient into a hot pan and cook over high heat until just barely softened. The longer you cook the peppers the less spicy they become (which is much milder than you would expect.) Serve with toothpicks or the like.

    As for proportions, I just guess. Maybe 12 jalapenos for every 4-6 people? And roughly 1 clove of garlic per every 2-3 peppers or so. It’s ridiculously cheap (as in $1 for the peppers and $1 for the garlic) and I’ve only gotten rave reviews so far.

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