Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quick and Easy Appetizer Ideas

Think the holidays are over? Think again!

There are only four more days until New Year's Eve and more parties so I've compiled a quick list of some super simple appetizer and finger food ideas that are great for serving a crowd. A lot of these can also be partly or fully prepared ahead of time so you aren't spending the whole day in the kitchen.

Honey Blue Cheese Rounds
Cut a baquette into thin slices and broil just until golden in color. Top each slice with about a little crumbled blue cheese and drizzle some honey on top. Put back in the oven to broil for another 1-2 minutes or until cheese is starting to melt and bread is golden.

Jalapeno Bites
Cream cheese is mixed with jalepeno and other ingredients to create a bite-sized popper style appetizer. Click here for the recipe.

Italian Meats and Cheeses
Simply slice some cured Italian meats and cheeses (such as fresh mozzarella, provolone cheese, salami, capicola, prosciutto, mortadella, or soppressata) and place on a platter.

Marinated Artichokes
Marinate artichokes in oil and a few other ingredients for a simple and elegant appetizer. Drain and serve with thinly sliced bread and other antipasto items on the side. Click here for the recipe.

Wrapped Asparagus
For an elegant but simple finger food, steam asparagus spears until tender crisp and wrap each in a slice of prosciutto. Sprinkle with coarse kosher/sea salt if desired.

Loaded Mashed Potato Bites
Mash up some potatoes and load them full of cheese, green onion, and bacon. Roll them in breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown.
Click here for the recipe.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Stuff cherry tomatoes, that have had the seeds scooped out, with ricotta cheese and top with a little salt and pepper.

Tomato Bruschetta
Fresh tomatoes are mixed with garlic and herbs to make a fast and easy bread-topped appetizer. Drizzle with a balsamic glaze to add some sweetness and tang. Click here for the recipe.

Fried Ravioli
Dip fresh meat or cheese ravioli in a beaten egg mixed with 1/4 milk, coat with breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet to freeze for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil to 350. When ravioli are frozen and oil is ready, fry a few at a time until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Crescent Pinwheels
Unroll a can of crescent rolls (or sheets) and top with a mixture of veggies and cheese or pretty much any other combination of ingredients, roll it up, slice them into 1/2" rounds and bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until the crescents are golden brown. Click here to see my Veggie Pinwheels recipe.

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