One of my biggest sanity savers is keeping a few basic party supplies on hand at all times. That way, if I want to be spontaneous and either invite people over on the spur of the moment, or accept an invitation where I know I’ll be expected to contribute food, I don’t have to panic. The three recipes below are made primarily from fridge, freezer or shelf-stable foods, making it easy to whip them up on short notice. Not only are they a cinch to make, they’re all gluten free! Consider unique ways to serve up these appetizers (like filling celery sticks with them) and people may not ever realize you’re just a three-trick kitchen pony.
Smoked Salmon Paté
75 g smoked salmon
1 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp heavy cream
fresh ground pepper
1 English cucumber
Green onion top, cut very thinly on the diagonal, to garnish
Pulse salmon, butter, cream cheese, chopped green onions, lemon juice, Dijon, cream and pepper together in food processor until thoroughly blended, scraping down sides of work bowl once or twice.
Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, cut cucumber in 1/2 inch slices. With a sharp spoon (a melon baller works well), scoop out a small circle in the centre about 1/4 inch deep. This will help the salmon spread stay in place on top of the cucumber rounds.
With two teaspoons, scoop out 1 teaspoon-sized balls of paté and place on top of cucumber slices.
Garnish each one with a piece of green onion and serve.
Sun Dried Tomato Spread
250 g cream cheese
10 basil leaves
5 sundried tomatoes
1 clove garlic
celery stalks, for serving
Put cream cheese in a small bowl.
Finely mince basil, sundried tomatoes and garlic and add to cream cheese.
Stir to blend well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, cut 3 inch celery sticks and fill with sundried tomato spread mixture.
Easiest Crab Dip Ever
200 g cream cheese
1 cup seafood cocktail sauce
1 can crab meat
Minced parsley, for garnish
Rice crackers, for serving
Spread the cream cheese on a pretty serving plate.
Pour the seafood cocktail sauce over top, spreading it to within a half inch of the edge of the cream cheese (i.e., leave a ‘border’ of cream cheese showing so you can see all the layers).
Sift through the crab meat with your fingers to be sure there are no rogue bits of shell. Sprinkle the crab meat over the seafood cocktail sauce.
Garnish with minced parsley and serve with crackers.
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