Fab Food Friday Fotos: Easy, Frugal Holiday and Super Bowl Party Food, Festive Hors D’oeuvres, & Yummy Appetizers, Plus Recipes
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on December 17, 2010
‘Tis the season for family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, and lots of fab festive eating.
FOOD. GLORIOUS PARTY FOOD.
Woo hoo! Time to par-tay.
Party foods are different than most other foods. More often than not, they’re finger foods, kids tend to love them, and they’re fairly fast and simple to prepare. Party food is FUN.
Whether you’re hosting or bringing a dish to a Christmas, New Year’s Eve, birthday, special-themed, or Super Bowl party, or just want to serve something different and delicious for your family’s lunch or dinner, these creative edibles should be easy on your limited time and strained food budget.
And, oh, yeah, once again — they’re FUN. Fab, frugal party food photos to gaze upon or to consider making — a welcomed, brief pause from the craziness of the busy-busy holidays.
When available, recipes will accompany the “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one recipe — most preferably a frugal recipe — will always be included.
This super-easy recipe for the bacon-wrapped dates was provided by photographer Fuzzy Gerdes at the FuzzyCo website:
Cut bacon slices in half or thirds (depending on how bacony you want them).
Wrap dates in bacon and skewer with toothpick.
Broil in the oven for 6 minutes, flip dates, and broil for another 6 minutes or so, until bacon is crispy.
There was no information provided on making these adorable penguin appetizers, but they look fairly straightforward to copy. Likely whipped cream cheese was used to fill the black olives and notched raw carrot medallions form the feet. It appears that a bit of carrot is inserted in the top olive to form the penguin’s beak, but a tiny rectangle of cheddar cheese could also be used. A long inserted toothpick appears to hold it all together.
Photographer/cook Margielynn wrote this explanation about making the octopus hot dogs:
I served this Octopus Hot Dog and Tuna Salad at a Luau Party for my grandkids. They loved them, they quickly disappeared. Just slit them up and leave a head, drop in boiling water and you have your Hot Dog Octopus!
Photographer/cook Alyssa provided the Epicurious recipe for these baked cheddar olives and wrote this:
I was going to a party and was asked to bring appetizers. I came across this recipe in a Gourmet cookbook. Ruth Reichl said that these were a staple of 1950s bridge clubs but they should be brought back because they’re great. They were pretty easy to make and everyone loved them.
Baked Cheddar Olives
* 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
* a 3-ounce jar small pimiento-stuffed green olives (about 24), drained and patted dry
In a bowl combine the Cheddar and the butter, add the flour and the cayenne, and blend the dough until it is combined well. Drop the dough by tablespoons onto wax paper and wrap or mold each tablespoon around each of the olives, covering each olive completely. Bake the wrapped olives on a baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden, and serve them warm.
It can’t get much simpler than this… for these easy banana snacks, photographer George Ross listed the three ingredients he used to make them: Nilla wafers, vanilla pudding, and banana slices.
Kids should love eating these and even young ones can help make them.
These marinated wild mushroom canapes are a little more complicated and expensive than the other party dishes showcased on this post, but WOW… how deliciously fabulous they look. Perfect, too, for vegans.
The recipe is provided below by photographer Justin Marx and is also on his MarxFood food blog, with accompanying photos to help illustrate how to prepare the canapes.
Marinated Wild Mushroom Canapes Recipe
Makes about 50 servings
* 2 lbs. wild mushrooms (chanterelles, hedghogs, porcini, black trumpets or a mix)
* 1 leek, thinly sliced
* ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
* 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
* ½ stalk celery, thinly sliced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 teaspoon ground coriander (or 2 tsp. whole)
* 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or Ritrovo Black Currant Vinegar
* 1 sprig fresh thyme, whole
* 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
* 1/3 cup chicken stock
* 2 baguettes, sliced crosswise into ½ inch-thick rounds
* Salt & Pepper to taste
* 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Clean mushrooms and chop in ¾ inch pieces.
2. Add mushrooms to a large pan, heated to medium-high and coated with olive oil. Add teaspoon of salt. Saute for about 10 minutes or until most of the water released from the mushrooms has evaporated.
3. Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Leave oil in the pan.
4. Add leek, carrot, celery and onion. Saute over medium heat until the vegetables are golden brown.
5. Add bay leaf, thyme, garlic and coriander (wrapped in sachet if coriander is whole). Return mushrooms to the pan. Stir and let sauté for three minutes.
6. Add vinegar and sauté for 1 minute.
7. Add chicken stock. Bring to a simmer for 1 minute.
8. Turn off heat. Transfer to heat resistant bowl. Add 1/3 cup olive oil.
9. Let sit for 2 hours.
10. Adjust seasoning with salt and fresh lemon juice.
1. Slice baguette crosswise into ½ inch thick slices.
2. Lightly brush slices on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt.
3. Lay out on a sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees, until golden, about 8 minutes per side.
Lay toasts out on a plate and, using a spoon, place marinated mushrooms on the toasts.
Serve and Eat.
Photographer Fotoos van Robin gives a detailed description of this sesame-crusted tuna appetizer created by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, and the recipe to make it is available at the Epicurious website.
Notes from photographer/cook Stephie189 — the website she mentioned for the croissant appetizers isn’t specified, but likely it’s the Pillsbury website:
These are canister type croissants that I doctored up (tips from their website). Some onion, bacon, shredded cheddar, roll, cut, bake…and here you have the result. Yum! I froze two good sections of this and each baked up just as good.
While no recipe was provided for these whimsical baby mummies, they look fairly easy to make. Either cocktail wienies or hot dogs that are cut in half are wrapped in dough (I’m going to try using refrigerated biscuit dough that I’ve rolled out and and cut into “mummy strips” for wrapping). When wrapping, leave about 1/2 inch to an inch of the wienie uncovered for the baby mummy’s face. Bake per the directions on the biscuit container, or until golden brown, then use small dots of yellow mustard for their eyes. This is variation of the old-time favorite pigs in a blanket.
Update — found this recipe from photographer/cook Amy Ross:
Use Pillsbury crescent rolls. Squeeze the triangle perforations together and cut the rectangles into ten long strips (40 total). Wrap each strip around a hot dog and a narrow slice of cheese. Bake at 375 deg F for 13-17 min (until dough browns). Create eyes/faces with mustard.
Recipe for these colorful, inexpensive, and easy-to-make Caprese Skewers appetizers was provided by photographer/cook Alysa and is also posted on the Inspired RD website:
Only a few ingredients and no mess, they are the perfect finger-food. Look for mini heirloom tomatoes to make this dish even more colorful.
* 16 oz. mini heirloom tomatoes (can also use grape or cherry tomatoes), rinsed and dried
* 1 bunch fresh basil, rinsed and dried
* 8 oz. tub of Ciliegine Mozzarella packed in water
* 1 T. olive oil
* Salt & Pepper
Skewer one basil leaf, one mozzarella ball and one tomato onto each toothpick.
Arrange onto a plate then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Here is the recipe link for the mooncakes with azuki beans, and a brief explanation from photographer Steven Depolo:
We went to a Chinese Moon Festival party at the house of Caroline’s friend. We had Mooncakes.
A recipe for mooncakes, the Chinese snack traditionally served during the Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival.
Recipe for Spicy Grilled Shrimp provided by photographer/cook Chris Schlosser… the recipe calls for 1.5 pounds of peeled, deveined shrimp, but there’s no information on how many people this will serve. Educated guess, based on the photo, would be 6 – 9 people.
Schlosser’s Spicy Shrimp Recipe:
* 1/2 cup Orange Juice
* 1 teaspoon Ancho Chile Powder
* 2 teaspoons Cayenne Chile Powder
* 1 Teaspoon Hot Paprika (Make sure you get the good smoky kind, not the inferior supermarket stuff)
* 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
* Salt to taste
* 1.5 lbs Peeled and Deveined Shrimp
Combine all ingredients and marinate shrimp for 1 hour prior to grilling. Put shrimp on skewers and grill; don’t overcook.
Finish with chopped cilantro.
This recipe (serves 12) for the 100 percent vegan, zucchini sushi is also available on the CreatiVegan website and was provided by photographer / cook Vegan Warrior:
Zucchini Sushi Recipe
* 200 g rice
* 1 zucchini
* 1/2 red pepper
* 1/2 green pepper
* 1 bay leaf
Cook rice with salt and 1 bay leaf 10 minutes or until it’s “al dente”. Cut zucchini along, into thin slices. Chop finelly peppers.
Spread some rice along the zucchini and roll it. Serve with the peppers on top.
Variation: you can spread some olive oil and roast 10 minutes at 180º C at oven.
Sauces: you can serve it with soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, veganaise (mayonaise made with soy milk), etc.
I’ve always loved chicken livers, and I’m eager to give this unusual appetizer recipe a try. Chicken livers have little to no waste and are a thrifty purchase — of course, many people are squeamish about trying organ foods. The recipe is provided by Chef Daniel Orr at the Earth Eats website with the Indiana Public Media — on the website is also a video demo on how to prepare this hors d’oeuvre.
For many folks, offal just sounds awful. But in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, Australia and the Middle East, offal is not only accepted – it’s prized. The Brits are in love with the stuff, too. They even serve their eggs with blood pudding for breakfast.
Working in France and Belgium, I learned the tricks of the trade about offal. Working for Sir Terence Conran opened a window to a storm of new recipes, from steak and kidney pie to Scottish haggis.
Chicken Liver Crostinis Recipe
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large sprig of rosemary, leaves removed from stem, plus 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
* 3 cloves garlic- very thinly sliced (so they may be fried for garlic “chips”)
* 1/2 cup finely minced red onion
* 3 garlic clove, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* ½ teaspoon New Regime Spice Blend (recipe follows) or Chinese 5 Spice Powder
* 8 ounces (about 1 cup) chicken livers- cut into small pieces
* ¼ cup Madeira
* ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley
* 12 baguette slices, toasted
1. Line a plate with paper towels for draining rosemary and garlic chips and set aside.
2. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add rosemary leaves; sauté until crisp, about 30 seconds. Using slotted spoon, transfer sautéed rosemary to paper towels.
3. Quickly add garlic slices and cook until just golden and crisp. Do not over-cook or they may become bitter. Add to plate with rosemary.
4. Quickly add red onion to same skillet; sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper and spice powder. Add the minced garlic, liver, and 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary. Cook until liver starts to color then turn. Continue cooking and turning until all sides are lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
5. Deglaze with Madeira, and cook until wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add chopped parsley and toss. Taste and season as needed.
6. Spoon onto toasted baguette slices and sprinkle with crispy garlic and rosemary to garnish.
New Regime Spice Blend
* 3 tablespoons coriander seed
* 2 pieces star anise
* 1 tablespoons fennel seed
* 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
* 1 teaspoon ginger powder
* 1 stick cinnamon (1/2″)
* 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
* 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
* 3 bay leaves, dried
* 1/2 teaspoon whole mace
Grind in a spice grinder. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
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