Top 10 Easy Finger Foods
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
March 21, 2011
Filed Under Food
Contributed by Cindy McKie, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Got a crowd to feed, but don’t have the time to whip up complicated hors d’oeuvres? Some of the tastiest finger foods are also the easy finger foods.
It’s not how hard you work to make them, but how smart you are about pairing the right ingredients. So forget the complicated, multi-step appetizers and fall in love with these simple, but scrumptious, treats.
Here are my suggestions for the top ten easy finger foods:
Proving that good things come in small packages, mini slider burgers are just as fun to make as they are to eat. You can make your own mini hamburger patties or buy them pre-made to really keep things simple. Little bison burgers give your cocktail party a high-end attitude. Grill your mini burgers on medium-high heat for two to three minutes a side and place on a platter. Set out mini buns (lots of bakeries off these now), along with an assortment of the usual condiments. If you want to get fancy you can offer a flavored mayonnaise or two. The really great things about sliders is they’re heartier than most finger foods, so two to three per person should be plenty.
Keep them traditional with cheese, onions and chillies, or put a fruity twist on an old favorite by spreading the shells with cream cheese and filling them with thinly sliced apples, pears or other similar fruits. Once assembled, place the quesadilla in an oiled frying pan on medium-high heat and warm for three to four minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Cut the heated quesadilla into small, pie-shaped pieces and serve with either sour cream and salsa, or a caramel dipping sauce.
8. Cream cheese wontons
Sometimes the best easy finger foods are the ones that pair unlikely ingredients. In this case, wonton wrappers are filled with softened cream cheese and fried for a crispy, yet creamy, mouthful of bliss. Simply place a small dollop of the softened cream cheese onto the center of the wonton wrappers. Moisten your finger with water and run it along the edge of the wonton wrappers. Press firmly to close and pop those bundles of joy into a heated deep fryer. Remove when they turn golden brown and serve immediately.
7. Cucumber finger sandwiches
Finger sandwiches: who doesn’t love them? These are the original easy finger foods because absolutely no cooking is required. Just mix up 4 tbsp. of softened butter with some chopped dill, diced scallions and 1 tbsp. of prepared horseradish. Mix together thoroughly, and spread on four pieces of white bread (cut the crusts off first, if desired). Spread a layer of thinly sliced cucumbers over the butter mixture and cut into four equal sections. Top with a little garnish if you’re feeling fancy.
6. Easy bruschetta
With the help of your barbecue, this version of bruchetta is ready before you can say, well, “Where’s the bruchetta?” Heat your barbecue to medium heat. Meanwhile, cut a baguette in half, lengthwise, and spread store-bought pesto on both halves. Place both halves, crust side up, onto the grill. Let the bread grill for two minutes, then remove. Spread ricotta cheese over the grilled side of the bread and sprinkle with chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Serve hot and enjoy.
5. Stuffed cherry tomatoes
These little gems look impressive, but take very little effort to make. With a small pairing knife cut the tops off several cherry tomatoes and gently scoop out the seeds. In a small bowl mix together some ricotta cheese, finely chopped chives and a dash of salt and pepper. Fill each tomato with the ricotta mixture. You can serve them cold, by refrigerating them for at least half an hour before serving, or bake them for eight minutes at 350 F and serve them hot. Grow your own delicate cherry tomatoes and these will be a regular offering at your cocktail parties.
4. Date and prosciutto wraps
Tickle your taste buds with these savory, yet easy, finger foods. Take a dozen slices of prosciutto and spread a thin layer of mascarpone cheese onto the meat. Lay a single, fresh basil leaf, horizontally, across the top of each slice of prosciutto. On top of the basil lay a fresh, pitted date. Roll the prosciutto around the date until completely wrapped and slice the roll in half, vertically, to make two bite-sized rolls. The combination of sweet and savory will have your guests begging for more.
3. Star puffs
Here is an easy finger food that lets you be creative. You’ll need two sheets of puff pastry (the pre-rolled logs are the easiest to use) and a star-shaped cookie cutter. Lay out the puff pastry, while it’s still a bit cold, and cut as many star shapes as you can out of each sheet. Place the stars on a cookie sheet and top with whatever strikes your fancy. Grated parmesan cheese, garlic butter or dried herbs work well. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed up and the tops are slightly golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.
2. Chicken wings
If fussing with the preparation of little finger foods just really isn’t your thing, the tried and true chicken wing has got your back. This crowd favourite is as simple as placing store-bought wings on a baking sheet and baking them for 20 minutes at 425 F. If serving spicy chicken wings, serve with a blue cheese dressing as dip. If you went the sweet route instead, try a honey or citrus-based dip instead.
1. By the dozen
Sometimes the classics are the best. As long as there are no seafood allergies to worry about, why not try the king of all easy finger foods: oysters on the half shell. Sure, you’ve got to shuck them first, but once you get the hang of it even that’s fairly simple. To protect your hands wear heavy-duty kitchen gloves and use a small, sharp knife. Insert the tip of the knife into the shell, just beside the hinge. Now run the knife along the edge of the shell until you reach the other side of the hinge. Pry the shell open with the knife and remove the top shell, being careful not to spill the delicious liquid. Run your knife under the oyster to cut the connective tissue holding the oyster on the bottom shell. Lay your open oysters on a bed of crushed ice (a large platter or roasting pan works great) and set out a bottle of hot sauce and lots of lemon wedges.