This roundup will give you all the inspiration you need to keep your guests coming back for more. After all, a party is only as good as its food (in our opinion).
We’ve covered all our bases, from dips to bacon-wrapped things to seafood, there’s so much to choose from. Curate your own hors d’oeuvres bar or make one dish to let it shine alone. Either way, we guarantee you won’t have leftovers.
Angeli Caffe’s Focaccia
Evan Kleiman, the chef and owner of Angeli Caffe (see Family Style) in Los Angeles, gave us this recipe for Italian flat bread, which she tops with ‘nduja, a spreadable Italian cured meat. You can buy ‘nduja from the San Francisco-based pork store, Boccalone.
Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip
Carrots are roasted with rosemary and garlic until tender and slightly caramelized before being puréed with cannelini beans and coriander to make a vibrant, sweet, and earthy dip for raw veggies or pita chips.
Empanadas de Carne (Beef Empanadas)
The classic Argentine empanada is shaped like a half-moon, but the pattern of its seal differs to indicate the unique flavors inside. This recipe, with a braided crimp and a spicy beef filling, is baked rather than fried in Argentine style.
Lemon Parmesan Dip
Creamy and bright-tasting, lemon parmesan dip makes for an excellent accompaniment to a chip or crudité platter.
Flatbreads with Two Toppings (Laganes)
In Greece, these flatbreads are traditionally cooked on a hearthstone set over hot coals (a cast-iron skillet on the stove works well, too) and served with tomato sauce or sautéed zucchini and feta.
Yankee Fish Cakes
These lemon-and-dill-flavored fish cakes are a favorite of northeastern Massachusetts.
Montasio Cheese Crisps
Lidia Bastianich, who owns New York’s Felidia and operates a restaurant, called Frico, with her son, grew up eating this irresistible fried-cheese snack in her hometown of Pula, Croatia (once part of Italy). Frico may be stuffed with a variety of fillings. When making this simple version, we added a little flour to help the frico to hold its shape. Get the recipe for Montasio Cheese Crisps »
This dish is based on the crab-stuffed jalapeños found on menus throughout southeast Texas. We found that chilling the chiles after stuffing them makes them easier to coat with bread crumbs and fry.
Hot sauce and worcestershire sauce season the cheesy filling for this dish.
Caramelized Green Beans
This recipe is borrowed from cookbook author Anne Willan, who developed it at her cooking school, La Varenne, in Burgundy, France. Willan calls them “burnt beans” in her book From My Chateau Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, 2000), noting that they are “a revelation to those familiar only with crisp beans”.
Italian Stuffed Clams
Foriana sauce makes a great alternative for the bread crumb stuffing often used on baked or broiled clams.
Patience is the key to making this flavorful pate. Before it is assembled, the ingredients should marinate overnight, and the finished pate should set for at least a day after it’s cooked so that the flavors meld.