So you'd love to have a party during the holidays but think you
don't have enough time? Think again. This hearty appetizer menu
relies on purchased, almost-ready foods. With a few tweaks, they
look like specialties of the house.
Appetizer Party for 12
Brie with Green Salsa
• Gingered Shrimp with Belgian Endive
• Smoked Salmon with Dill
• Sausage Bites with Mustards
• Sugar Snap Peas, Cherry Tomatoes, and Baby-cut Carrots
• Savory Dips
• Selection of Olives
• Seasoned Nuts, Plain and Fancy
PLAN OF ATTACK
The night before: Assemble serving containers, utensils, and ingredients. Measure any ingredients that can stand, covered, at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
30 minutes before guests arrive:
Prepare and bake brie.
Heat sausages and keep warm (in chafing dish with hot-water bath or on electric warming tray).
Prepare shrimp and Belgian endive.
Rinse vegetables. Moisten peeled baby-cut carrots with seasoned rice vinegar to keep fresh-looking. Group vegetables and dips on trays.
Put olives, nuts, breads, chips, mustards, and sour cream in serving dishes.
In addition to the recipe ingredients, you'll need the following.
Sausages: 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ready-to-heat cooked sausages, such as chicken-apple, fennel, or Polish (kielbasa). Use mini-sausages or cut large ones into 1-inch chunks. Heat them in a frying pan, the oven, or a microwave oven. Accompany with two or three kinds of mustard and serve with miniature pocket bread (16 to 24 pieces, cut into halves).
Vegetables: 2 to 3 pounds.
Savory dips: 2 to 3 cups hummus, tapenade, guacamole, or other favorites.
Olives: 2 to 4 cups, such as ascolano, kalamata, manzanillo, and niçoise.
Seasoned nuts: 2 to 4 cups.