Keep Party Hors D'oeuvres Chilled With A Genius Ice And Lettuce Trick

From stuffing cherry peppers to making vegan deviled eggs, you've put in some solid effort to create beautiful hors d'oeuvres for tonight's dinner party. The only issue is that you know they would be much better if served chilled. Instead of risking soggy ingredients and bowls of melted ice, a little hostessing strategy can go a long way in keeping presentations pretty and morsels tasting fresh all night long. 

Just before serving, fill a shallow dish with ice cubes and lay lettuce leaves on top to build a fresh, cool bed of green for your culinary creations. When assembling your icy platters, opt for sturdier greens that can withstand colder temperatures without wilting: Iceburg lettuce, kale, romaine, and butter lettuce can serve as cool platforms for the shrimp cocktail and sliced cucumbers you have ready to set on the kitchen counter. For helpful cleanup — or should your party run later than expected — you can fill sealable plastic bags with ice before draping lettuce over them. Unless they look, no guest will know what is hidden beneath the fresh layer of produce.

More than meets the eye with this easy hostessing hack

Use this same hidden ice technique to keep fresh sauces and creamy dips chilled. You can also use the cool base to rest silverware that is meant to be spooned into colder dishes like ice creams and desserts. Delicate salads, cold meats, seafood dishes, and fresh fruit will stay crisp while resting on the concealed platforms of ice, and the pop of green that the lettuce offers will add an aesthetic touch to your dinner party presentations. 

Create variety by using different-sized dishes and bowls or stack plates to build levels within the hors d'oeuvres platters you've assembled. Though covering ice with lettuce is a simple addition to your list of hostessing duties, it is a professional one — and an essential tactic if you're looking to keep cold food at optimal temperatures and your hors d'oeuvres looking sharp until the last guest leaves.