Backyard cookouts, frequent weekend get-togethers and festive dinner parties are the delicious events we anticipate for summer. Nibbling tasty little appetizers before the main course - or simply enjoying an array of small bites as the main course - help whet the appetite for engaging conversations and warm weather relaxation amongst family and friends. Here are three party food recipes from the recently released Food & Wine Cocktails '09, a thirst-quenching compendium of over 130 cocktail recipes, including 25 appetizers that no cocktail should be without.
Maple Glazed Peanuts & Bacon
Makes about 4 cups
Recipe courtesy of Meg Grace of The Redhead in Manhattan. These sweet and salty nuts have become so popular at The Redhead, the New York restaurant now sells them online in packs of three (8-ounce) mason jars. However, this recipe is easy to make and keep on hand for parties or everyday snacking poolside.
2. Scrape the nuts onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring once, until the maple syrup has thickened. Let the peanuts cool completely, stirring frequently to break up any large clumps. Transfer peanuts to glass jars or a large bowl and serve.
Make ahead: The peanuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Caramelized Onion Dip
Makes about 4 cups
Recipe courtesy of Michael Schwartz of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami. Schwatrz's ode to Lipton's famous onion soup dip includes rich, sweet caramelized onions, which add a lovely contrast of flavor to the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. Serve with thick-cut potato chips, crackers, or crudités or smear on party toasts.
2. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth. Beat in mayonnaise and sour cream. Fold in onions and season generously with salt and pepper. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.
Tuna Tartare Crisps
Recipe courtesy of Lee Hefter of CUT in Las Vegas. For his clever twist on tartare, Hefter tops baguette with sushi-grade tuna, avocado, pickled ginger and dollop of wasabi mayonnaise.
2. In a medium bowl, gently mix the tuna with the soy sauce, avocado, cucumber, scallion and ginger. Spoon a dollop of the wasabi mayonnaise onto each toast, top with the tuna tartare and serve.
More party food and cocktail recipes