The Kentucky Derby, the most talked about horse race of the year, is this Saturday. I like to use it as an excuse to gather friends for a little party. The race starts at 6 p.m. on the East coast and 3 p.m. on the West coast. The ideal time to throw a party is before the race; have guests come at 4 p.m. (East coast) or 1 p.m. (West coast) and serve a spread of upscale Southern-inspired appetizers. Blackened shrimp with roasted garlic aioli will have your guests licking their fingers and hungry for more. Deviled eggs go glam with the addition of tangy goat cheese and chunky chutney.
Crunchy fried green tomatoes add an element of necessary fried goodness to the menu. Mini grilled cheese and ham sandwiches are a crowd-pleasing classic. If you're hosting a Kentucky Derby shindig, I highly recommend you check out these recipes after the break.