Dips, Spreads and Pates for an Appetizer Party
Efficient party givers depend on dips, spreads and pates. Many can be made ahead and refrigerated, ready to be put on the table when the guests arrive. And without much attention, they last throughout the party.
Choose a wide assortment of dips, savory, light and wholesome, or rich and creamy. Many of the cold ones team up well with fresh crisp vegetables and chips and crackers.
1-package (10 ounce) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, or about 1-cup cooked chopped spinach
1/3-cup coarsely chopped green onions, including the tops
1/2-cup lightly packed parsley sprigs
1-tablespoon lemon juice
1/2-pint (1 cup) sour cream
1-1/2-teaspoons black pepper
2-cloves garlic, minced or pressed
About 6-cups raw vegetables, such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, red and green bell pepper strips, turnip slices,and whole cherry tomatoes
Drain spinach; then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place in blender or food processor and add green onions, parsley, lemon juice, sour cream, pepper, and garlic. Whirl until well blended. Season to taste with a little salt if desired. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to a day. Arrange vegetables and offer with dip. Can add chopped water chestnuts if desired.
Makes 2 cups.
Shrimp or Crab Dip
1-8 ounce package cream cheese
1/4-cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3-tablespoons thinly sliced green onions, with tops
1/4 to 1/2-teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2-pound small cooked shrimp, reserve a few for garnish
1 to 2-tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
Beat together cream cheese and sour cream until smooth and fuffly. Stir in lemon juice, green onions, red pepper, milk, and shrimp. Season to taste with a little salt if desired. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Just before serving, stir gently, turn into a serving dish and top with reserved shrimp and almonds.
Makes about 2-cups
Prepare as per shrimp dip, omitting red pepper and shrimp; instead, use 1 small clove garlic, minced, and 1/2 pound of crab meat meat, flaked.
Take your choice of shrimp or crab for the dip and surround with artfully displayed cut-up vegetables, such as cauliflowerets,brocolli spears. zucchini slices, carrot and celery sticks, red and green pepper strips and cherry tomatoes.
Green Goddess Dip
The classic salad dressing, Green Goddess, can double as a delicious change-of-pace dip for raw vegetables. It is especially good with small whole mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and spears of romaine lettuce.
1-clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/4-cup each coarsely chopped parsley, green onion, including tops, and watercress
1/2-teaspoon onion salt
1-teasppon each dry tarragon and anchovy paste
2-teaspoons lemon juice
1/2-cup each mayonnaise and sour cream
In a blender or food processor, combine garlic, parsley, green onions, watercress, onion salt, tarragon, anchovy paste, and lemon juice; whirl until smooth. Stir in mayonnaise and sour cream until well combined.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups.
A good way to use up leftover bits from a baked ham.
1-cup chopped baked ham
1-tablespoon grated onion
2-teasppons prepared mustard
Puree ham in a blender or food processor, add the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with assorted crackers.
Also, a good spread to use if making finger sandwiches.
Smoked Salmon Mayonnaise Spread
3-ounces smoked salmon or lox, coarsely chopped
1/-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3-tablespoons salad oil
1-cucumber, thinly sliced
thin lemon slices
In a food processor or blender, combine smoked salmon, egg yolk, and lemon juice; whirl until smooth. With motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream, mixing until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to one day.
Mound in bowl, surround with cucumber slices and garnish with lemon slices.
Makes about 2/3-cup
Serve with pumpernickel bread triangles, or assorted cocktail breads.
The flavors of the popular Japanese hot appetizer, rumaki, shine in this chicken liver spread. Crisp bacon and water chestnuts make it crunchy.
Good served with assorted crackers and cocktail breads.
1/2-pound chicken livers
1-tablespoon soy sauce
1/2-teasppon each onion salt and dry mustard
1/4-teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash of ground red cayenne pepper
1-5oz. can water chestnuts, well drained and finely chopped
6-strips bacon, crisply cooked. drained and crumbled
In a wide frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add chicken livers and cook, stirring, until firm but slightly pink inside, cut to test. Put liver mixture, soy sauce, onion salt, mustard, nutmeg, and red pepper in a food processor or blender; whirl until smooth, stirring as needed. Stir in water chestnuts and bacon. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-hours or up to one day.
For easy spreading, let stand at room temperature about an hour before serving. Garnish with green onions.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups.
Chicken Liver Pate
1-pound chicken livers
1-teaspoon dry mustard
1/4-teaspoon ground cloves
1/2-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and saute until soft. Stir in chicken livers and cook 2 to 3 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring, until they are just cooked, but still rosy inside, don't over cook. Puree' the onions and livers in a food processor or blender. Over medium heat, pour brandy into the skillet and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the liver mixture along with the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Pack into a mold and refrigerate until chilled and set. When ready to serve, unmold and serve with thin pieces of toast and or crackers