Everyone loves caramelized onion dip, but this holiday season, change it up by using a brother to the onion, the leek! Leeks are more mild in flavor, but once mixed with a crunchy bacon and tangy goat cheese, they make a delicious dip. The best part of this dip: it can prepared one day in advance, so you don't have to fret over it the day of your dinner party. Just be sure to set it out an hour or two before to bring it up to room temperature before serving. I served it with thinly sliced french baguette and tortilla chips for a little more crunch, but a crudité platter would also be a wonderful accompaniment. Top it with a smidgen of chives to add a little more color and even more flavor to the dip. Keep reading for this simple and scrumptious recipe.
Lamb chops, cut from a frenched rack of lamb, are a great appetizer. Not only do they cook in a couple of minutes, but they're also elegant finger food that impress most foodies. Although I've never met a lamb lollipop that I didn't like, my current favorite recipe is this Southwestern-inspired variation.
The lamb chops are coated in a thick paste-like chipotle and roasted garlic marinade. Since the resulting lamb is slightly fiery, I served it with a cooling homemade crema to counteract the heat. If you have access to an outdoor grill, definitely throw these chops on it; the charcoal will impart a delicious smokiness to the meat. Interested in the recipe? Keep reading.
Classic shrimp cocktail is one of the world's greatest appetizers. The traditional recipe involves boiled shrimp, but during the Summer, why not use the grill to impart a smoky flavor on the shellfish? That's what this incredible recipe does! The shrimp are seasoned lightly with smoked Spanish paprika before being charred on the grill. Chili sauce and horseradish are combined with seasonings and finely chopped celery for a quick and easy but super flavorful and almost spicy cocktail sauce. When I served these plump, succulent shrimp, they were gone in five minutes. I recommend making a double batch! Get the uncomplicated recipe now.
Not so long ago, I fell in love with mini twice-baked potatoes. Naturally, I just had to try another recipe for a bite-size potato; this time I made potatoes topped with tomato-avocado salsa. These potatoes are less labor intensive, but just as delicious. The potatoes are roasted until they're browned and a little crunchy, then topped with the fresh salsa and a dollop of a sour cream.
My guests enjoyed them both warm and at room temperature, so don't worry about serving them right away. Short on time? Pick up prepackaged salsa and guacamole; you only have to roast and assemble. With Summer right around the corner, these small spuds are great for a potluck party or barbecue — no one is able to resist them! Get this easy vegetarian appetizer recipe by reading more.
I just returned from the islands of Hawaii, where the proliferation of just-caught seafood is enjoyed in a bevy of raw fish preparations, from ceviche to poke. Although it's available stateside, I've longed for the chance to enjoy glistening cubes of crudo for a reasonable price at just about every meal.
For a little taste of what I've been missing, I created these soy-glazed rice crackers topped with luscious ruby jewels of tuna tartare. Unlike the standard caper-and-lemon tartare mix, this version is Asian-inspired, but lacks the traditional soy sauce that characterizes a Hawaiian poke. That's where the Japanese rice cracker base, which gives the fish a textural contrast, comes in! Want the fast, easy, healthy recipe for your next party? Then read more.
I've never met a crostini recipe I didn't like and this one with fresh fava beans and pecorino romano cheese is like taking a bite of Spring. It's light, salty, and herbaceous. Although it takes some time to shell and prepare the beans, once you've completed this step, it's easy to combine the ingredients and slather on crispy toast. If you can't find pecorino, substitute parmesan. Serve with sparkling rosé or crisp white wine and you've got the ideal hors d'oeuvre for any seasonal celebration. To check out the uncomplicated recipe, keep reading.
Whenever I pick up hummus from the grocery store, I buy the spicy red pepper varietal rather than the regular kind. But while I've made the regular many times, I've never made red pepper hummus at home. Until recently! With the help of a food processor, it's super easy to assemble. You simply blitz everything and then season to taste.
In this version, there are three kinds of peppers: roasted red peppers, which provide sweetness and color, jalapeño peppers, which add fiery spice, and for a rich smokiness, chipotle peppers in adobo. Don't be afraid to use my recipe as a guide and adjust the heat to your liking. Do serve with homemade pita chips! Get the quick and crowd-pleasing recipe here.
This year, several friends and I started an informal dinner party club. Each month, we take turns hosting; the hostess makes the entrée, and everyone else is assigned a supplementary dish like a salad, appetizer, or dessert. Most recently, I was assigned the appetizer to go with a baked cheese and sausage ziti.
What to serve, I pondered, with a hearty pasta and a rich frozen dessert? The answer turned out to be a hot, creamy spinach dip, made healthier with the addition of reduced-fat sour cream and a greater proportion of spinach. Light yet indulgent, it was a nice, green start to what would be a filling meal. I can't wait to serve it again during March Madness playoffs. Want a killer app that's at once both sinful and guiltless? Just keep reading.
Twice-baked potatoes are an iconic American dish that's often served as a side, but why not make them mini and offer as an appetizer? These bite-size twice-baked potatoes are similar to their larger counterparts, yet don't require a fork and knife. Assembling these tiny taters can be a bit of a hassle, however with the right tools (a melon baller or stainless-steel scooper), making them is a breeze.
This indulgent recipe — with sour cream, parmigiano-reggiano, and bacon — is so delicious, if you don't want to make minis, feel free to use the recipe with regular-size potatoes. These are easy to make ahead and bake for the second time just before serving, perfect for your next dinner party or potluck. Miniaturize twice-baked potatoes and keep reading for the recipe.
There are certain dishes that I'm obsessed with. Among them are shrimp appetizers and crostini, so imagine my delight when I came across Giada de Laurentiis's recipe for a shrimp crostini appetizer! The most important part of this dish is the bread; select a loaf that's sturdy and can hold the gooey thick topping. It's a mixture of plump pink shrimp, vibrant peppery arugula, and juicy fresh tomatoes. There's a slight creaminess thanks to the addition of mascarpone cheese that also provides a great richness. These finger-licking good hors d'oeuvres are excellent with a glass of crisp white wine. Ready for the recipe? Read more.