Food from the Hart

Ultimate No-Cook Cocktail Party

In Features on February 25, 2011 at 10:51 am

Having a party is fun but can also be a lot of work. The reality is most of us don’t have the time or space to organize an elaborate spread.  Don’t let that stop you from inviting friends and family over for a get together.  Here are some ideas for easy and delicious hors d’oeuvres that you can whip up in mere minutes – even in the smallest of kitchens.

Artichoke Dip

Drain a can of artichoke hearts and roughly chop. Mix with Boursin cheese.  Microwave in 45 second increments, stirring in between, until warm.  Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips.

Bruschetta

Slice a baguette 1/2 inch thick pieces. Rub with a piece of garlic and brush with olive oil.  Toast in the oven on 250 degrees. Dice plum tomatoes and basil.  Mix with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Serve on top of the garlic toasts. Garnish with fresh parmesan cheese.

Caprese Skewers

Push a cherry tomato, boconccini (small ball of mozzarella), and a folded basil leave on a skewer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with good extra-virgin olive oil.

 

Antipasto Skewers

Think antipasto platter favorites served on a skewer.  This is one of those hors d’oeuvres you can really customize.  Try a combination of roasted red pepper, provolone cheese, salami, and an olive. Or marinated artichoke, feta and proscuitto.  Whatever the combo might be, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

Cream Cheese Spread

Cover a 5 oz block of plain cream cheese with your favorite jelly or chutney. Serve with crackers or apple slices.

Crostinis

Cut a baguette in 1 inch slices.  Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Then toast in a 250 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Cover the pieces of bread with assorted toppings like salami and ricotta, pesto and mozzarella, white beans and capers, goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. The possibilities are really endless so be creative!

Endive Leaves

Fill leaves with a store-bought olive tapenade, roquefort cheese, hummus or goat cheese and walnuts.

Tortellini Skewers

Cook fresh, store-bought tortellini according to the directions on the package. Drain and push one or two tortellini on skewers.  Serve with a warm Marinara or Alfredo sauce.

Sausage

Heat store-bought sausage in a sauté or grill pan.  Slice and serve with spicy or Dijon mustard.

Salmon Pinwheels

Spread a thin layer of cream cheese over a piece of smoked salmon. Roll up – jelly roll style and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm then cut in 1/2 inch thick slices.  Serve on a toothpick or skewer with pieces of cucumber.

Prosciutto and Melon

Cut melon into 1 inch cubes and wrap a piece of prosciutto around each.  Serve with a toothpick.

Crudities

Elevate this classic by adding some unique veggies to the usual suspects like carrots, celery, bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, etc.  Try jicama, sugar snap peas, edamame, radishes, orange, green or purple cauliflower.  When putting together the tray, think about contrasting colors.  Put celery next to carrots and radishes next to purple cauliflower.  Avoid putting all the green veggies next to each other.  Serve with a dip of your choice.

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