Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cocktail Party Week.....Day 1....Crostini 6 Ways

It's that time of year.  Party time.  There are the office parties, neighborhood parties, your kid's playgroup parties, tennis parties, the dreaded impromptu-drop-in-visitors-that-turn-into-a-party party, etc., etc.  So everyday this week, I'm going to give you my favorite, most delicious go-to party dishes.  

I'm going to start with crostini because the possibilities are endless, they're filling and are a consistent crowd pleaser.  And even better, most of the time you've got all the ingredients already on hand.

Refried Beans and Pepper Jack Cheese

Mix canned refried beans with canned chopped green chili's.  Spread on crostini and top with shredded pepper jack cheese.  Pop under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and browned and top with chopped fresh cilantro.

BBQ Chicken and Pickle Relish

Shred rotisserie chicken and toss with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Heat and then spread on crostini and top with pickle relish.  I prefer sweet relish but hubs likes dill relish.  Whatever floats your boat!

Mascarpone Cheese with Chopped Grapes and Bacon

Spread mascarpone cheese on top of crostini and top with chopped grapes and and bacon.  (This is one of my favorites....the salty bacon is fabulous with the sweet grapes)

Tuna with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Finely chop sashimi-grade tuna and marinate in toasted sesame oil.  Mix wasabi paste with mayonnaise to suite your taste.  Spread wasabi mayo onto crostini and top with chopped tuna.  (I kept looking at this after I  made it and knew it needed a finishing touch but damn if I wasn't brain dead.  As I started to type this I thought that toasted sesame seeds would be perfect here.  Duh!)

Chopped Grapes and Prosciutto

Sprinkle chopped grapes on top of crostini and wrap with a slice of prosciutto.  (Does it get any easier than that?)

Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream Cheese

Combine chopped fresh dill with softened cream cheese.  Spread onto crostini and top with a slice of smoked salmon.  (I usually garnish these with a sprig of fresh dill but this time I was an idiot and forgot to save any.  Typical!)

So there you have it.   I got these ideas from the Food Network website and there are tons more where these came from.  I like to make my own crostini because it's simple and much cheaper.  Slice a baguette loaf in slightly diagonal slices.  Brush on a thin layer of olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop them under the broiler until toasted.  That being said, most grocery stores now sell pre-made toasts in their bakery department.

Up tomorrow:  Baked Pizza Dip

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