Oops. Sorry- I see you beat me to sharing Kenji’s link. I got so excited- it’s changed my whole experience of eggs.
Appetizer ideas that can stretch my dollar (and are company worthy!)
this is ruth reichl’s (among others) virtually foolproof method for easily peeled hard cooked eggs:
let eggs come to room temp. place eggs single layer in a pan cover with cold water, bring to boil. turn off heat, cover pot for exactly 12 minutes. place eggs in ice water.
whether i peel them immediately or later, i’ve never had a problem. very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel, so use older ones.
That’s a sizable group!
To make a large volume of apps while maintaining your sanity consider larger items that you can cut smaller:
Flatbreads- use pizza dough, make large rectangles with different toppings that fare well room temp like pesto plus mushrooms, a simple olive oil/roasted garlic with tomato sauce, etc.
cut into small squares or rectangles for serving tray
Baguette sandwiches- bagna cauda, roasted veggies with avocado, ham and cheese; slice into cute mini sandwiches and pin together with decorative toothpick (amazon those)
Savory mini muffins- corn with green onion, cheddar jalapeno, etc (also use mini muffin pan to bake brownies)
Quiche/veggie eggy strata- bake in large casserole and cut in cubes after chilling
Pinwheel sandwiches- best with lavash if you can get it, thin layer cream cheese, chopped fresh herbs, roll tightly and slice. Pimento cheese, flavored cream cheese, hummus, etc all work
Spiced popcorn, best served preportioned into little cups (cute muffin pan liners work)
Puff pastry parmesan twisted “straws”
Platter of roasted veggies- arrange by color on serving tray for a pretty presentation
Homemade potato chips (pain in the ass but stupid cheap and crazy popular), same goes for beet chips, carrot chips, parsnip chips- a friend with a fry daddy you can borrow would be ideal
Greek salad skewers
Prosciutto and melon
Bacon wrapped dates
Chunky marinated vegetables
I am not one who usually suggests other links, but this was a report on CH by TorontoJo. Her pictures of the food she served were great , that I had to save it for future reference and have used the Caprese skewers with great success. They are real easy , only 3 ingredients, tomato, cheese & basil, obviously all pre-purchased at, in my case Costco.
You can use a slow cooker or multi compartment crockpot.
deviled eggs always get hoovered when i make them, but i wouldn’t want to do them for 50 people. you’d need to peel at least 75 eggs and regardless of whatever “foolproof method” you choose, you will lose some soldiers along the way, so unless you have help that is simply too many eggs to peel. i agree with others who suggested frittata or perhaps a savory bread pudding for an egg-based dish.
spanakopita or any savory greens “pie” rolled into phyllo. for parties i do these log style which slice easily into rounds.
potato croquettes are dirt cheap to make. they can be made and frozen and simply warmed up in the oven.
salmon cakes also freeze well and reheat easily. (use tinned salmon)
a “salad” of chickpeas, tons of parsley, mint and cilantro;couscous, tomato confit and feta cheese
retro cheese balls – a billion recipes on the web
I see lots of good ideas here, so I will just put in a plea – as a frequent attender of large gatherings that involve having a wine glass in one hand and no place to sit, and wearing nice clothes – the plea is that you give a priority to finger foods that can either be eaten gracefully in one bite or, if they take more than one bite, will hold together without spillage and drips.
So small sandwiches with sticky fillings, bite-sized proteins on toothpicks, savoury mini-muffins are great. And don’t neglect plenty of raw veg. There are those of us who end up at more than one such event several days running and we really appreciate the low cal raw veg offerings. You can serve them with dip for people who want more zip and fat in their lives.
could not agree more about NOT serving drippy, saucy foods or anything that requires more than a fork to eat.
am also not a fan of dips/chip spreads for large groups. yeah, they are easy and cheap but look gross after just a few people have been through it.
Problem for me is that I usually have a beverage in one hand, and unless I can find someplace to sit with a table, food that needs a fork is logistically impossible. If the host/hostess is counting on the idea that people can sit and put a plate on their knees, then make sure the plates are plastic rather than paper (and that is not cheap!)
If dips for raw veg get too repulsive, maybe divide the dips into lots of small bowls/cups and set them in more than eating area? If you keep each veg bite sized, there isn’t a problem with double-dipping. Baby carrots, broccoli/cauliflower floret, small chunks of celery, not whole sticks, date tomatoes.
i don’t mind veg/dips all that much - i specifically said chips. and stuff like 7-layer dip winds up looking like vomit in almost no time. blech.
Sorry, I guess deviled eggs for 50 people is not feasible. I take it all back
over 20 ppl is too many deviled eggs in my book.
I’ve only made the ceci/chickpea one but it’s super. And vegan if that matters.
THANK YOU for this reminder. It’s definitely a walk around and mingle/open house type party… so I will definitely take this sage advice to heart.
You’ve received a lot of good suggestions. I would add puff pastry roll ups–see puffpastry.com for specifics. You roll out the pastry, layer with spinach/cheese, cream cheese/pesto/roasted red pepper, etc. Roll up and stash in the freezer. Before serving thaw a few minutes, slice and bake. Also good at room temp.
“Crabbies”…crab meat (cheaper kind, not lump) mixed with Kraft cheese in a jar (I know), spread on English muffins, quarter and bake. Can be frozen before baking.
1-2 cans mushrooms, drained and chopped finely
1 can pitted black olives, drained and chopped finely
1 stick of pepperoni, chopped finely
a whole bunch of grated mozzarella
a drizzle of olive oil
a can of tomato sauce
pepper and oregano.
mix this up, spread on baguette slices, and bake 8 minutes or so at 375. people will ask for the recipe. quantities are vague because you can figure out how much you like of each.
I know, canned mushrooms sounds vile, but it works! of course, the mix can be made ahead.
Personally it’s relative. If you are comparing it against buying, cooking, and peeling fresh eggs, I would agree it is more expensive to buy them done but compared to other proteins it is less and it can give you a very easy appetizer and shorten your invested time.
Too late the damage is done.
very much seconded on the bruschetta – try rubbing a raw garlic clove on the toasted bread beforehand.