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.
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.
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.
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.
These elegant appetizers come from Wolfgang Puck’s Los Angeles restaurant Spago. Laurie Ochoa wrote about the groundbreaking chef in “The King of LA,” part of our special Los Angeles issue (March 2010).
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 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”.
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.
These banana leaf-wrapped tamales are covered with an outer layer of foil, which ensures that they stay closed when steamed. Alternatively, the foil may be omitted and the tamales tied with kitchen twine. (Parchment paper may be substituted for the banana leaves, as well.) Get the recipe for Guatemalan Tamales with Ancho Chile Sauce »