10 Party-Perfect Hors d'oeuvres

Mini Feta Cakes with Basil and Smoked Paprika
Photo: Johnny Miller

10 Party-Perfect Hors d'oeuvres

01 of 11

10 Party-Perfect Apps

6 Party-Perfect Apps
Courtesy Graham Elliot, Courtesy Wolfgang Puck

These small bites are perfect for the holiday season. As chef Graham Elliot said of his super easy-to-make truffle popcorn (left): "It's the perfect holiday party food because it emanates fallen snow. Place it in multiple colored bowls and glasses around the room guests can nosh on this indulgent snack while sipping drinks before dinner begins." Whether you're going for a five-course meal or a cocktail-only affair, try these star-chef recipes to start the night off on just the right note.

02 of 11

Graham Elliot's Truffle Popcorn

Graham Elliot's Truffle Popcorn
Courtesy Graham Elliot, Jim Colombo


*1 bag of microwaved popcorn
*2 tablespoons of grated parmesan
*1 tablespoon of white truffle oil
*1 teaspoon of salt
*1 teaspoon of black pepper
*1 tablespoon of chopped chives
*1 tablespoon of chopped Italian parsley

Place all ingredients on popped bag of popcorn and shake until ingredients are equally dispersed.

03 of 11

Paula Deen's Family Reunion Deviled Eggs

Paula Deen - Deviled Eggs - Party Recipes
Ben Fink, Chia Chong


*1 dozen large eggs
*1/3 cup mayonnaise
*2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
*¼ teaspoon hot sauce
*Salt and black pepper
*Paprika, for garnish

1. Place the eggs in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and let stand for 10 minutes. Uncover the pot and let the eggs cool in the water.
2. Peel the eggs and halve them lengthwise. Pop the yolks out into a large bowl and arrange the whites on a pretty serving platter.
3. Mash the yolks with the mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, and salt and black pepper to taste until everything is thoroughly combined and smooth. Spoon the filling back into the egg whites and serve lightly dusted with paprika.
4. Makes 24 deviled eggs.

Recipe from Paula Deen's

Southern Cooking Bible.

04 of 11

Julian Medina's Potato Jalapeno Latkes with Horseradish Crema

Latkes - Julian Medina - Holiday recipes
Courtesy (2)


*2 large russet potatoes, peeled
*1 egg yolk
*½ cup matzo meal
*1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*Olive oil for frying

Horseradish Crema Ingredients:
*2 tablespoons freshly grated (or bottled) horseradish
*½ cup Mexican crema (available in Latin supermarkets) or sour cream
*1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
*½ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Using a box grater, coarsely grate the potatoes into a medium-size bowl. Add the egg yolk, jalapeno, salt, and matzo meal; mix well and let cool in the refrigerator for five minutes to allow ingredients to bind.
2. Remove bowl from refrigerator and drain off any excess liquid.
3. Over a medium flame, heat ½ cup olive oil in a 10-inch skillet until hot but not smoking. Take 1 heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture at a time and place into the pan, being careful not to crowd the latkes. Cook each latke until golden brown on both sides (approximately five minutes total).
4. Transfer latkes to a paper-towel-lined plate, add additional salt if desired. Add ¼ to ½ cup of olive oil (if needed) to pan and repeat process with remaining latke mixture.
5. Serve immediately, with horseradish crema (Mix all the ingredients together and serve as a condiment for the latkes).
6. Makes 12 pieces (2 per person)

05 of 11

Michael Psilakis's Tsoutsoukakia (Meatballs with Roasted Garlic, Olives and Tomato)

Michael Psilakis - Meatball recipe - holiday recipes
Daniel Krieger, Michael Harlan Turkell

Meatball ingredients:

*½ lb ground pork
*½ lb ground lamb
*¼ ground beef
*1 onion chopped
*4 garlic cloves chopped
*6 garlic cloves roasted and pureed
*2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
*2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
*Salt and pepper to taste
*1 tablespoons Dijon mustard smooth
*8 slices of white bread crust removed
*1 cup milk
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sauce ingredients:
*3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
*6 pieces of raw garlic
*1 large onion, chopped
*½ cup red wine
*2 cups beef and chicken broth
*2, 16 oz. cans Italian plum tomatoes in sauce
*2 fresh bay leaves

*½ cup of tsakistes olives, pitted and cut in half
*½ cup thassos or kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half
*16 whole roasted garlic cloves, peeled
*Fresh parsley, dill, mint, chopped
*Dried Greek oregano

Sauce Directions:
Place oil in pan over medium heat, saute garlic and onions until golden brown. Deglaze with red wine. Reduce until almost dry. Add stocks and tomatoes crushed by hand a bit, add bay leaf and simmer.

For the Meatballs:
1. Put everything in a mixing bowl with the exception of the bread and milk. In a separate bowl, soak bread in milk until saturated and soft. Remove bread from milk, squeezing to drain off extra milk, add to meat mixture and mix well to thoroughly incorporate.
2. Form football shaped meatballs, dredge with flour, and pan-fry in until brown on all sides, then transfer to a paper towel. Once all meatballs have been browned, add them to the pot with the tomato sauce and braise for an hour. Season. With salt and pepper.
3. Right before serving, add the olives, roasted garlic cloves, fresh herbs and dried Greek Oregano to the meatball/tomato mixture. Stir to combine and serve.
4. Serves 4-6 (6 meatballs each)

06 of 11

Wolfgang Puck's Pizza with Smoked Salmon and Caviar

Wolfgang Puck - Pizza with Smoked Salmon - Holiday recipes
Courtesy Wolfgang Puck, Courtesy Amanda Marsalis


*Pizza Dough (you can buy it at your supermarket, or ask your favorite pizzeria for dough)
*16 ounces smoked salmon, sliced paper-thin
*¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
*1 medium red onion, cut into julienne strips
*¼ bunch fresh dill, minced, plush 4 small sprigs for garnish
*1 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
*Freshly ground pepper
*4 heaping tablespoons domestic golden caviar
*4 heaping teaspoons black caviar

1. Before you are ready to bake the pizzas, preheat the oven with a pizza stone inside for 30 minutes to 500 degrees F. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven.
2. Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times to form a smooth, even, firm ball. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes.
3. To prepare each pizza, dip the ball of dough into flour, shake off the excess flour, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Press down on the center, spreading the dough into an 8-inch circle, with its outer rim a little thicker than the inner circle. If you find this difficult to do, use a small rolling pin to roll out the dough.
4. After the dough has been rolled or stretched into four 8-inch circles, place the pizzas on a lightly floured wooden peel. Brush the center of each pizza to within 1 inch of the edge with olive oil and sprinkle it with some of red onion. Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake 8 to 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
5. Mix the dill with the sour cream or creme fraiche and freshly ground pepper to taste. Transfer the pizzas to heated dinner plates and spread them with the sour cream mixture.
6. Divide the salmon, and arrange decoratively over the cream.
7. Place a spoonful of golden caviar in the center of each pizza, then spoon a little of the black caviar into the center of the golden caviar. Cut each pizza into fourths and serve immediately.
8. Makes 4 pizzas

07 of 11

Manuel Trevino's Coney Island Crab Cakes

Manuel Trevino - Crab cake recipe - holiday recipes
Courtesy Manuel Trevino, Frances Janisch


*1 lb peekytoe crabmeat
*¼ cup green onion, finely chopped
*¼ cup roasted red peppers
*¼ cup mayonnaise
*1 egg
*1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
*1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
*juice of ½ lemon
*1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
*1 teaspoon chives, chopped
*Breading to coat (see recipe)

Breading Ingredients:
*1 cup potato chips, crushed
*1 cup Snyder's pretzels
*1 cup Ritz crackers

1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except breading. Gently toss mixture until well combined.
2. Form into ½ oz cakes and bread.
3. Pan-fry for approximately two minutes on each side in blended oil.
4. Makes 24 crab cakes.

08 of 11

8-Inch Pizzas

8-Inch Pizzas
Christopher Baker

Potato, Arugula, Pecorino amp Mozzarella

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 tbsp grated pecorino cheese
u lb. mozzarella, sliced
1 small (about u lb.) cooked potato, thinly sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cups baby arugula

Prepare dough. Sprinkle garlic, pecorino, mozzarella, and potato slices onto two dough circles. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil on each. Carefully remove hot baking sheet from oven. Drizzle 2 tbsp oil onto preheated sheet. Use parchment paper to slide formed dough onto sheet, then discard paper. Pierce dough with fork several times. Bake 10–12 minutes or until crust is crispy. Remove and top with fresh arugula.

Blue Cheese amp Roasted Squash
y cup diced butternut squash
u cup diced onion
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
u tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp grated pecorino cheese
4 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

In a large bowl, toss squash and onion with 1 tbsp oil, salt and pepper. Spread vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes; set aside. Prepare dough. Sprinkle pecorino onto two dough circles. Spoon the vegetables evenly onto both pies. Sprinkle each pizza with 2 tbsp blue cheese and 1 tbsp oil. Drizzle 2 tbsp oil onto preheated sheet. Use parchment paper to slide dough onto hot sheet, then discard paper. Pierce dough with fork several times. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until crust is crispy.

Sage, Fontina amp Prosciutto
2 tbsp grated pecorino cheese
8 sage leaves
u lb. fontina cheese, thinly sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto

Prepare dough. Sprinkle each dough circle with 1 tbsp pecorino. Top each with 4 sage leaves and the slices of fontina. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil over each pizza. Drizzle 2 tbsp oil onto preheated sheet. Use parchment paper to slide dough onto the hot baking sheet, then discard paper. Pierce dough with fork several times. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until crust is crispy. Remove and top with prosciutto.

EASY CHEAT! To serve pies without much effort, order in cheese pizzas and top with your own extras: crumbled sausage, fried egg, sauteed broccoli rabe, fresh chopped tomatoes, and marinated artichokes. Pop in the oven to heat through.

09 of 11

Twice-As-Good Grilled Cheese and Tomato-Apple Soup

Twice-As-Good Grilled Cheese and Tomato-Apple Soup
Marcus Nilsson


6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided into 12 equal-size parts
12 thickly cut slices peasant bread
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 cups grated smoked gouda

1. Heat a large, nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Melt one pat of butter.
2. Place one slice of bread in the pan; top generously with equal amounts of both cheeses.
3. When cheese begins to melt, top with second piece of bread. Melt another pat of butter in the pan and flip sandwich with a spatula, cooking until all the cheese has melted and bread is golden brown (about 4–6 minutes).
4. Remove, cut in half, and serve with soup.

Tomato-Apple Soup
Serves 6–8

2 tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 Honey Crisp (or Fuji) apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
y cup tomato paste
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sambal (Huy Fong sambal oelek chili paste, $4/8 oz.; amazon.com or local Asian markets)
y cup dry white wine
2 16 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes (and juice)
4 cups apple cider
¾ cup heavy cream, divided in half
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Saute for 10 minutes until pale and tender.
2. Add apples, tomato paste, mustard, sambal, and white wine. Let wine reduce by half (5–7 minutes).
3. Add tomatoes and cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour.
4. Pour half the soup in a blender. Puree with one part of the cream until smooth. Repeat with the second batch and combine it all together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

10 of 11

Single-Serve Veggie and Dip

Single-Serve Veggie and Dip

Use short drinking glasses to serve single portions of veggies with dip, rather than making guests paw over a huge platter. "My germophobe friends love this idea," says Seattle blogger Heather Christo.

Tip: Keep the glass pristine by squeezing in dip with a pastry piping bag.

11 of 11

Mini Feta Cakes with Basil and Smoked Paprika

Mini Feta Cakes with Basil and Smoked Paprika
Johnny Miller

Makes 18 cake pops

Cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp smoked paprika
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
4 oz. feta cheese (try French feta), cut into small cubes
18 cake-pop sticks (50 included with machine)

1. Preheat cake-pop maker and mist with cooking spray.
2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, and a grind or two of pepper.
3. In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk, and olive oil. Add wet mixture to the flour mixture; quickly whisk until just combined, being careful not to overbeat. Add basil and feta; lightly mix.
4. Place 1 heaping tbsp batter into each hotcake mold and close lid. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes; gently open lid and remove cakes, using a fork to loosen if necessary.
5. Insert cake-pop sticks and let cakes sit for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

THE GADGET: Babycakes cake-pop maker, Select Brands, $25; thebabycakesshop.com.

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