I love appetizers. But I have to admit that I get tired of the same chips and dip and cheese platters. But how do you avoid making the same, frequently used appetizer recipes for every gathering? And what about the parties that offer 'heavy hors d'oeuvres'? Some of those can be a bit awkward to eat if you aren't sitting down. That's when it hit me. We all have a list of "go to" recipes for dinner, right? Why not find the ones that would lend themselves to becoming a starter?
That's right... starters, hors d'oeuvres, or appetizers that are a twist on favorite dinner foods. This is not simply about shrinking the portion of a slice of meatloaf and serving it as an app. The solution here is about beginning with the dinner idea, shrinking it down, then adding an element that helps it to present as an appetizer.
The concept requires more chopping or extra prep to make these tasty bits easier for guests to eat. A little bit of extra work goes a long way to satisfying cravings. Dinner-as-appetizers is great for when you're having a party that is too large to seat dinner guests, but you don't want people nibbling on a vegetable platter and scooping up chips and salsa all night.
Ideas to start
OK, are you with me? I am thinking about making the best mac-n-cheese ever (lots of different cheeses, topped with Panko bread crumbs) but then serving it in little quiche cups. Let's keep going. Do you love Italian food? Make bite sized pieces of Chicken Parmesan (pound flat, then cut up and bread the chicken before sauteeing and baking with toppings) then serve atop a small piece of garlic bread. How about Asian stir-fry tucked inside a wonton wrapper?
Often at parties the thing I miss most are flavorful, cooked vegetables. Aside from the cold crudites plate mentioned above, how often do you get your veggies in an appetizer? If the food set out at a cocktail party winds up being your dinner, wouldn't you want to have a well-rounded appetizer meal? If so, there's a way to incorporate favorite vegetables, too. Roasted vegetables and a piece of roast beef baked inside a pouch made from biscuit dough is reminiscent of pot roast. Just munch on some sautéed spinach and goat cheese rolled up in a piece of chicken and skewered into a bite-sized treat – it's a meal in a bite.
So forego the chips and dip, the tired bruschetta, and the pigs-in-blanket and serve a mini meal on each platter. Scour through your favorite dinner recipes, crank up your imagination, and turn your favorite meals into appetizer recipes.