When you are assembling your appetizers, you can create a really fun spread by getting creative. Simple appetizers can be dressed up so easily to create an elegant twist on a old favorite. Shrimp cocktail is a classic appetizer. To elevate this a notch, try shrimp cocktail in a puff pastry cup. The same can be done with traditional caprese appetizer by assembling it in mini tart shells. Another standard appetizer is crudite. Instead try slicing your cucumber into rounds and decoratively piping on a cream cheese based dip using a frosting tip. You can even dress up a glass of white wine and create a simple Kir cocktail. Kir is a french cocktail made with white wine and creme de cassis (blackcurrant liquor).
RECIPE: Shrimp Cocktail in a Cup
- Large Shrimp, cooked, peeled & de-veined
- Cocktail Sauce
- Bite-sized Puff Pastry Shells, baked
- Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise.
- Curl into a half moon and place in the puff pastry shell.
- Top with a dollop of cocktail sauce.
Note: You can usually buy pre-made frozen puff pastry shells. If you cannot find them, you buy the puff pastry sheets. Roll it into a 15×12-inch rectangle. Cut into 3″ squares and press them into mini-muffin pans and bake them to make your own cups.
RECIPE: Caprese Cups
- Mini Tart Shells, pre-packaged (usually in the freezer section of the supermarket)
- Mini Mozzarella Balls, sliced in half
- Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half
- Basil Leaves
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
- Place 1 half mozzarella ball and a half a grape tomato into a mini tart shell.
- Tuck in a basil leaf so the point is sticking out.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
RECIPE: Kir Cocktail
- 1/2 oz. Creme de Cassis
- 6 oz. dry White Wine, chilled
- Lemon twist
- Pour the creme de cassis into a the bottom of a wine glass and top with the chilled white wine.
- Gently stir and garnish with a lemon twist.
For more recipes and entertaining tips from Zareen, visit her blog Cooking with Z.