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Room Temperature Appetizers/Entrees


Jen Rehm
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I'm in need of a creativity infusion....

Show stopping appetizers or entrees that can be served cold or at room temperature.

I'm having a board meeting in my office and would like to put together a decent spread of food and wine.

Won't have any access to cooking equipment.

I'm just not coming up with anything that excites me.

thoughts? anyone?

Can you eat that?

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[font="Trebuchet MS"]How about these things?

They're a very simple El Bulli recipe; start with a peeled cherry tomato, add a small basil leaf and finish (on the bottom of the stick) with a melon ball. Top with a squirt of basil oil, salt and black pepper. The only cooking, which can be done earlier somewhere else, is a quick (10 seconds) blanch to get the tomato skins off.

I make them a lot as a lead-in to dinner parties.

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

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On 1302570625' post='1805366, lesliec said:


[font="Trebuchet MS"]How about these things?

They're a very simple El Bulli recipe; start with a peeled cherry tomato, add a small basil leaf and finish (on the bottom of the stick) with a melon ball. Top with a squirt of basil oil, salt and black pepper. The only cooking, which can be done earlier somewhere else, is a quick (10 seconds) blanch to get the tomato skins off.

I make them a lot as a lead-in to dinner parties.



Along the same idea, stuffed cherry tomatoes. You can use a variety of ingredients for stuffing. Tuna salad, pilaf salad with pesto, bay shrimp, bocconcini and basil, etc. Can stuff a variety of vegetables as well, like peppers, zucchini and celery.
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This

4975580663_41b1faaf15.jpg

is a riff on a dish I once had at Landmarc (the original restaurant in TriBeCa, not the one in TWC). Shrimp with chanterelle mushrooms and frisée.

If you'd rather not bother with that kind of presentation, the shrimp prep. lends itself very easily to pasta, like so:

4867311505_864b3ccf5d.jpg

Fettucine with garlic shrimp and heirloom cherry tomatoes

Or serve as is, with toast points. Be sure to double the amount you have in mind, because they'll go quick.

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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you guys are awesome!

All these are perfect. SobaAddict70: that looks like dinner tonight!

I really appreciate the ideas. I'll let you know the final menu

Can you eat that?

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Middle Eastern cuisine may, or may not, be "show-stopping" but is certainly delicious at room temperature: dolmas, tabbouleh and other salads, hummus, spinach & cheese pastries, cheeses, myriad olives...

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Not sure I'd put this in the showstopping category, but this Pea Dip with Parmesan is very good and always a hit when I serve it (I omit or go very easy on the mint). You can serve it with pita chips or on crostini.

Also, I have never made these tomato pesto bites but they are on my list of possible appetizers for the July 4th party that we host.

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I make tiny tostadas all the time that get rave reviews. They're super easy to make but take a little time to assemble. The brightness of the salsa makes them really good at room temp.

I make tortillas that are roughly two inches in diameter. You can do these pretty quickly if you have a big griddle and a second person. One person just needs to press out the tiny tortillas while the other person crisps them on the griddle.

I then top them with a spoonful of salsa:

Shoepeg corn

Red onion

Black beans (I use the preseasoned canned beans if I'm in a hurry)

Jalapenos

Cilantro

Red wine vinegar

Lime juice

S&P.

If you've got a big food processor for the jalapenos and the onion, this takes less than 10 minutes to put together.

I also grill some chicken and top the salsa with a chunk or have it on the side if I know I have vegetarians or vegans.

If I'm doing them for a big party, I make everything the night before and just assemble before the party. The salsa also gets better if it's given 8 hours or more to meld.

Note: If you have vegans, make sure to make the tortillas with vegetable shortening. I was making these one time and forgot not to use lard. I had to whip up more tortillas at the last minute.

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
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This amuse-bouche was so show-stopping, I remembered the topic even though I've never made them. :laugh:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/134227-pitting-cherries-but-leaving-the-stem/page__p__1753250#entry1753250

Since cherries are out of season, maybe substitute olives?

I often bring this starter to parties. It can be made several days ahead. Always popular, especially in winter when people crave the intense taste of tomatoes. Herbed Sun-dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil with Goat Cheese:

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What about baking some puff pastry bites before hand and bringing it onsite? Top with a teaspoon of fig jam and then a bit of speck or some other nicely smoked ham, finish with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

Grace Piper, host of Fearless Cooking

www.fearlesscooking.tv

My eGullet Blog: What I ate for one week Nov. 2010

Subscribe to my 5 minute video podcast through iTunes, just search for Fearless Cooking

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I'd suggest one or more of the following:

Gougères; small pieces of melon wrapped in prosciutto; stuffed olives wrapped with anchovies; paprika spiced almonds; stuffed boiled eggs halves; tuna empanadas (served cold with aioli).

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Charcuterie of all kinds is good, and if you've got a food processor you can make various pates or mousse spreads even without a grinder. Pate de campagne is easy-peasy and tends to impress (most people don't realize you're just serving them cold meatloaf and mustard :wink:). Depending on how filling you want the meal to be a nice spread of pates, dry-cured sausages, hams (prosciutto with melon, as nickrey says, or better yet, figs), various pickled goodies, cheeses, good bread, and simple salad. In fact that is pretty much my ideal picnic spread but it works well as heavy hors d'ouvres or a light meal as well. Added upside to pate is it is often quite rich so one slice is enough for most folks, with accessories, so you can get away with making less.

Come to think of it, I just more or less described my Easter pregame.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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