Comfort Food Starters
Hush Puppies with Green Zebra Tomato Jam
These classic hush puppies get a kick of flavor from a highly seasoned, Indian-inflected tomato jam with ginger, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne.
Lamb Meatballs with Mint
Albóndigas de Cordero a la Hierbabuena are a classic tapa meatball made with the combination of lamb and mint.
Three Cheese Mini-Macs
Anything big made small is always fun for cocktail parties, and these quick, one-bite mac and cheeses are the ultimate example. Cooked in mini muffin pans, the mini macs can be assembled early and baked just as guests arrive.
These lush, miniature appetizers are a take on classic New England lobster rolls.
This recipe is based on the Arabic lamejun, a thin piece of dough topped with minced meat, then baked. Here the ground lamb is flavored with cumin, mint and pine nuts.
Mini Burgers & Crispy Onion Rings
These little burgers are extra juicy because they're made with a mixture of meats, including ground chuck and short rib.
Mini Smoked-Salmon Croque-Monsieur
For Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm, make-ahead recipes are key for holiday entertaining. The night before the party, Jamie spreads a creamy chive-flecked smoked salmon mixture (based on a béchamel, or white sauce, often used in a classic croque-monsieur) between cocktail-size slices of bread. He cooks the sandwiches right before guests arrive. Alison serves the sandwiches with small, disposable wooden forks so guests can keep their hands grease-free.
Caesar Salad Spears
Salads usually require forks, here the classic Caesar is transformed into a clever finger food. Toss chopped endives with a lemony dressing, then spoon the mixture inside elegant endive spears, topping it with cheese and crunchy mini croutons.
Mini Panamanian Beef Empanadas
Ground beef and cilantro fill these flakey, comfort classic savory pastries.
Mini Brioche Lobster Rolls
These rolls, which are a delightful play on the traditional lobster roll, are quite substantial, so one per person is plenty, especially if you're serving additional hors d'oeuvres. Cooked shrimp or lump crab is a fine alternative to lobster.