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Toast Masters

How to stretch party appetizers for a crowd

Cocktail parties are appealing, because they’re relatively low lift: Put out a couple of bottles and a plate of casual snacks, and you’re good to go.

But around the holidays, friends of friends and that guy you knew from work 10 years ago are bound to materialize, threatening to uproot your light-touch approach.

Don’t be a Scrooge. The one trick to remember when you need to stretch party appetizers for a crowd? Put it on toast. That’s right: Most apps, from Swedish meatballs to stuffed mushrooms to pickled shrimp, get extra oomph and heartiness when served on a thick slice of really good toasted bread. You may just have to rethink them a bit, but the elements of a delicious toast are all there.

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Take deviled eggs: With just a bit of reimagining, they become spicy egg salad crostini with fresh horseradish. Sounds luxe, no? Your friends will think it’s a Christmas miracle.

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Deviled Eggs:

6 eggs + 3 tbsp mayonnaise + 1 tbsp Dijon mustard + 1 tbsp lemon juice + 1 tbsp sour cream + hot sauce + kosher salt + sweet paprika + grated fresh horseradish, for garnish

Place the eggs in a medium pot of boiling water. Bring the water back up to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Strain and place in a large bowl of ice water until completely cool.

Peel the eggs and slice each one down the center lengthwise. Carefully remove the yolks from the whites and place the yolks in a medium bowl. Add the mustard, lemon juice and sour cream to the bowl, and season to taste with hot sauce and salt. Pipe the mixture into the crevice of each egg white.

Place a piece of paper about two inches away from the deviled egg and cover half of the egg lengthwise. With a fine–mesh strainer, dust sweet paprika over the paper, then add a pinch of grated horseradish. Repeat with the remaining eggs and serve.

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Spicy Egg Salad Crostini with Fresh Horseradish

6 eggs + 1 baguette + ¼ c olive oil + kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste + ¼ c, plus 2 tbsp, mayonnaise + 3 tbsp Dijon mustard + 2 tbsp lemon juice + 2 tbsp grated horseradish, plus more for garnish + 1 tbsp sour cream + 1 tbsp lemon zest + hot sauce + ¼ c finely sliced chives, for garnish

Place the eggs in a medium pot of boiling water. Bring the water back up to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Strain and place in a large bowl of ice water until completely cool.

Preheat the oven to 400º. Slice the baguette in ¼-inch slices and lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the crostini are completely crunchy and golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to completely cool.

Roughly chop the eggs and place them in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the horseradish and chive garnishes, and season with salt and pepper. Scoop small spoonfuls of the salad over the crostini, garnish with grated horseradish, sprinkle with thinly sliced chives and serve.

Crate and Barrel provided the product featured here and sponsored this post.

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