Muffin Toppers, I Need Help

I am hosting a reception/party at my house on Thursday night. I’m expecting 40+ people. My anchoring items are two poached salmons from Market Hall Caterers. I need to round it out with a big salad (I can manage that; will make spinach salad with homemade candied pecans, blue cheese, red onions and raspberry vinaigrette) and a lot of appetizerish kind of things and dessert. It needs to be elegant but not too expensive or complicated. I have a few teen helpers who will be walking around with trays of appetizers. What would be impressive, yummy and fun? And what kinds of desserts? (I am thinking about Christine’s creamy lime bars, and maybe something chocolatey)

10 responses to “Muffin Toppers, I Need Help

  1. hrm. I think this may be a job for Martha Stewart hors d’oeuvres! I’m looking through her “Great Parties” books right now and thought the fig and prosciutto sandwiches sounded good, and fairly simple: figs, prosciutto, mascarpone (or cream cheese), mint leaves, and whole grain bread!

  2. off the top of my head:
    people always love melon balls with prosciutto de parma–super simple (and you can wrap and hold them with a toothpick).

    also good are meatballs for appetizers (very simple, and you can serve them with toothpicks)…they also heat up well so you can make them ahead of time and heat up right before serving.

    of course, cheese and crackers! (served with grapes and marcona almonds)

    maybe little chicken wings, too? i made a bunch of honey glazed chicken wings, they were quite a hit once.

    for dessert, you may also want to supplement with cookies, they are so easy, hand held, and everyone loves cookes!

  3. Yes, i was going to suggest prosciutto/melon and cheese as well! Also, tomatoes are just starting to come in season. you could spear them (sliced, or cherry) with mozzarella di bufala (slices or those mini balls) and basil. Don’t forget to drizzle with olive oil. If you don’t have a starchy dish, armenian potato salad is the bomb. You take boiled (and sliced) potatoes and toss them with lots of lemon, olive oil, parsley, onion and mint. It can be served warm or cold.

    For handheld desserts, well, I happen to love rice krispy treats. I’ve never heard anyone turn one down. A friend of mine “kicks it up a notch” by adding chopped semisweet or dark scharffenberger so that it melts into the marshmallow goo before stirring in the cereal. It’s heaven! But everyone seems to be loving cupcakes nowadays. You could leave the cupcakes “naked” and allow your guests to pick from from a few varieties flavors/frostings/sprinkles so they can decorate their own.

    If you have a lot of time on your hands (i.e., nothing to do from right now until Thursday) and wish to dazzle, there are Parisian almond macarons.

  4. What about doing little hollowed out cucumber cups (super easy to make with a melon baller) with a bit of curry crab salad inside? Totally easy stuff.

    Halved and hollowed cherry tomatoes with a tiny bocconcino, basil leaf, fresh pepper and a drizzle of balsamic?

    Dried fig, halved with walnut stuffed inside and drizzled with lavender honey?

    Just off the top of my head…

  5. You guys ROCK. Thank you so much. I am going to have to contemplate (quickly) all these great options. I was going to make asparagus-wrapped-in-prosciutto-with-goat-cheese
    and yes, teriyaki chicken wing drummettes.

    Eric: what is bocconcino?

    And – I think it is time to buy a melon baller.

    Christine, maybe I should make the salt and vanilla cookies!

  6. i think melon balls wrapped in prosciutto would be great alongside your asparagus-prosciutto-goatcheese! the sweetness of the melon is quite refreshing against the saltiness of the prosciutto and the asparagusprosciutto combo wil give your guests a savory flavor around the prosciutto as well!

    go for some cookies as well as the lime bars and such. and i love connie’s idea of rice krispy treats!

    my personal goal in preparing for a party is to figure out how much i can get away with NOT using a burner on the stove, or the oven. and how much of these dishes can be prepped ahead of time, leaving one main “highlight/show off” dish. sounds ylike you already have that in the salmon!

    my other favorite appetizer is this wonderful fried date thing i had once, but it’s probably too much of a hassle, though you could fry them ahead of time and serve them at room temperature. you stuff dates (the sweet kind, not dried, but not fresh either), stuff them with goat cheese and nuts, coat them in egg and flour, and fry!

  7. bocconcino – a tiny tiny mozzarella ball. Think the size of a curled index finger (in italian it literally means “little mouthful”). They’re usually freshly made, which makes them very soft and light on the palate.

  8. So this is what I ended up with: asparagus & prosciutto roll-ups. Fancy cheese & sliced baguettes. Artichoke/parmesan toasts. And THEN I had the brilliant (!) idea to go to Chinatown and get a ton of dim sum, which I steamed in bamboo baskets and looked just lovely: shrimp wrapped in bacon YUM, pork siu mai, BBQ pork in flaky pastry, shrimp in peapods. I just heated those up and served. People went NUTS. It turned out great. For main food, I had two poached salmons with cucumber yogurt sauce, and a huge homemade spanakopita (I made). Plus a salad. For dessert, I made Christine’s key lime bars, some chocolate-chocolate chip brownies, and NY Cheesecake. I think it was a huge success.

  9. Dim sum WAS a brilliant idea! Yum…

  10. dude, i love it! it’s like melanie griffiths’ character in “working girl” when she has the dim sum appetizer party idea!

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