at a loss for an app

foodonastumpSeptember 14, 2013

I'm going to a friend's later today for a small gathering and have been asked to bring an app. For some reason I'm at a loss. Dinner is grilled chicken, hostess doesn't like seafood or else I would have made a cold shrimp dish like "ceviche" (in quotes because I would have cooked it). I want to take something more than like cheese and crackers which she'll already have, a veggie platter which will not go well with this group, and finally would like not to have to cook it there, at most quick reheat in the microwave. I think it's going to be about 5 adults plus 7 kids who I'm less concerned about but I'd like for it to be something they may at least try. For some reason I'm drawing a blank, and threads that I've searched seem to emphasize seafood (which she is fine with, said she'll have other stuff to eat, but I'd prefer not to do that.) Any ideas? Time is at a premium, hopefully something I can throw together within an hour.

As I'm typing this I'm thinking of Ann_T's chorizo app which wouldn't have to be piping hot...but would love other suggestions. Thanks!

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That chorizo app is really good and can be served just warm and not piping hot. Another one like that is the grill peppers with Italian sausage. You can roast the peppers on the grill at the same time you are grilling the sausage.
Serve with pita or slices of baguette or ciabatta.

Roasted Peppers And Italian Sausage Antipasti
Red pepper
Green peppers
Yellow peppers

4 Italian Sausage (hot or sweet)

Kalamata olives

Olive oil


Hot red pepper flakes (Optional)

Regianno Parmesan Cheese

Good Italian Bread or pita bread cut into wedges.
. Roast peppers, peel and cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch strips.

Grill Italian sausages

Mix olive oil with finely minced garlic (add red pepper flakes if using)

Place roasted peppers strips decoratively on a nice platter.

Slice sausages on the diagonal and place between the pepper strips.

Decorate with olives.

Drizzle olive oil and garlic over everything and shave some parmesan
cheese over top.

Serve as an appetizer with bread and a good Italian Red Wine.

These little tarts, using frozen puff pastry can be made a head and served at room temperature.

Blue Cheese Tartlets
Source: Williams-Somona

8 ounces tart pastry dough (or frozen puff pastry)
3 ounces spinach or Swiss Chard
1 egg
2/3 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Emmenthaler Cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
3 ounces Blue Cheese (Roquefort, Gorgonzola, etc.)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
. If using tart pastry, prepare the dough and refrigerator 30 minutes
before you are ready to roll it out. If using commercial puff pastry
defrost in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to
a boil. Plunge the spinach or Swiss Chard into the boiling water and
cook for 30 seconds. Immediately drain in a colander and rinse with
cold water to halt the cooking. Drain again, pressing against the
greens to force out as much water as possible; set aside.

Break the egg into a bowl. Add the cream, Emmenthaler cheese, nutmeg
and salt and pepper to taste and beat with a fork until completely
blended. Coarsely chop the spinach or chard and add it to the bowl;
stir well.

On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out as thinly as possible.
Sprinkle the Roquefort or other blue cheese evenly over the dough.
With a fluted pastry cutter about 1 1/4 inches in diameter, cut out 18
dough rounds. Use the rounds to line 18 individual tartlet pans or
wells in tartlet trays or miniature muffin pans. If using the former,
arrange the lines pans on a large baking sheet. Fill each lined pan
with some of the egg mixture and scatter a few pine nuts on top. Place
the tarlets in the oven and bake until the filling sets and the crust
is golden, about 15 minutes. Serve Warm.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Taco dip is always a hit with adults and with children...easy and reasonably healthy. I use the scoopable tortilla chips with it.

Taco Dip
16 oz sour cream
1 pkg Ortega taco seasoning mix
1 can diced black olives (2 1/4 oz can, use about 1/3)
1 green pepper, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Shredded cheddar cheese

Mix taco seasoning and sour cream and spread on bottom of dish as first layer. Then sprinkle the olives, green pepper, tomatoes and cheese on top.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:03PM
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I make this with jarred roasted pepper if I don't have time to roast them. It's really fast! And good.

Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip


2 medium red bell peppers, stemmed, halved lengthwise, and seeds and white pith removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)


Heat the broiler to high and arrange a rack in the middle. Place peppers on a baking sheet cut side down, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Broil until blackened and charred, about 15 minutes, rotating the pan as necessary.
Transfer peppers to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit until cool enough to handle, at least 20 minutes. Remove peppers from the bowl, reserving any liquid.
Peel peppers and place in a blender. Add feta, reserved pepper liquid, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Serve with toasted pita wedges or assorted crackers.

I'm linking a 5 layer Greek dip because it's too hard to copy the text. It's also easy and fast to make...and good!

Here is a link that might be useful: 5 Layer Greek Dip

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:17PM
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I'm leaning toward hummus, because I like it. (grin)

I'm sure your hour is already passed, but I could suggest the cheese thumbprints filled with hot pepper jelly for the adults, with raspberry or apple for the kids, or with nothing. Cheese straws are nice too. Stuffed mushrooms are good even at room temperature and a savory cheesecake topped with hot pepper jelly and served with crackers can be done at room temperature too.

I make a small reuben type cream puff thing, and I know Ann T and Sharon both do gougeres, which is the cheese version. They can be eaten by themselves or filled with something.

You could do the Lavern and Shirley thing and just have Reddi Wip on Oreos, LOL.


So, what did you do?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 4:55PM
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I've just made little sausage rolls for a picnic. I rolled out the pastry very thin, then spread a little caviar de tomate before the sausage then baked.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 3:56AM
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Great ideas - thanks everyone! (Yes, Annie, you were late but thanks!) I ended up making the blue cheese tartlets. Easy and very we all liked them a lot - a definite repeat. The only preformed shells I could find were filo and they worked well. Next time when I have more time I'll use puff pastry.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 9:47AM
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