Finger Foods

When we think finger food, we think sliders, nachos and pigs-in-a-blanket. Finger foods are great for parties, since utensils aren’t necessary, and since they’re usually small portions, you can try a little but of everything. One of our favorite finger foods is arancini, rice balls stuffed with mozzarella and peas. Fry them until they’re golden and crisp all over, and sprinkle with a little salt before serving. For an upgrade of a classic finger food, this version of pigs-in-a-blanket uses spicy Andouille sausage instead of hot dogs and is served with sweet mustard chutney. Whether you’re looking for an appetizer for a crowd or a kid-friendly snack, F&W’s guide to finger foods has recipes for every occasion.

Most Recent

Lunar New Year Dumplings

Plump and tender dumplings symbolize longevity and wealth. As part of her Lunar New Year spread, Lucky Chow producer Danielle Chang fills hers with a fragrant and flavorful blend of garlic, ginger, scallions, and Chinese chives bound with tender ground pork. Store-bought wonton wrappers may be substituted for freshly made dough. Gently steaming the dumplings in bamboo baskets lined with cabbage leaves helps them keep their pleated shape without tearing and renders the filling juicy and the wrappers supple. For an extra dash of color and heat, drizzle them with with hot chile oil and sprinkle them with with pungent Chinese chives before serving them with dipping sauce.

Southern Sampler with Chicken Liver Mousse

When I tucked into the Southern Sampler at the Rice House Restaurant in northwest Georgia, I swear could taste chef Evan Babb’s whole life story right there on one plate. The way the tart muscadine jam played off the velvety chicken liver mousse, the perfectly crumbly Peaceburg cheddar pimiento cheese, and those deviled eggs crowned with little salty pops of local Siberian sturgeon caviar! I couldn’t help but wonder what inspired these perfect little bites. Fortunately, the chef was very happy to indulge my curiosity.“My mama is the only person I’ve ever known who eats fried chicken livers and eggs for breakfast,” Babb explained, tracing the legacy of his Southern Sampler to his childhood growing up in nearby Armuchee, Georgia. He mines those memories then refines them through a gourmet lens to inspire the dishes he crafts as the chef for the Barnsley Resort, just miles from his hometown. A generous teacher, Babb was eager to share the secrets that make all of the components of his Southern Sampler sing. The mousse is probably dearest to his heart. Chicken livers begin their transformation with an overnight bath in Tabasco and buttermilk, an auspicious beginning if there ever was one. Babb uses butter three ways in his mousse: he fries the livers in clarified butter, then processes them with cold unsalted butter to impart a fluffier texture before finally capping the finished mousse with a layer of nutty browned butter to provide a perfect counterbalance to the flavors of brandy and lemon. In one bite, it’s both nostalgically down-home and ultra-luxe.When it comes to the deviled eggs, Babb's are traditional with a twist. He folds in a little Dijon mustard and a bit of the juice from a jar of pimiento-stuffed olives. But he likes have fun with an eggs-on-eggs here riff here, topping each with a spoonful of caviar he sources from nearby University of Georgia in Athens, where they’ve pioneered the aquaculture of the Siberian sturgeon. “This is the most local caviar I can get—not too salty, and real buttery; it brings a nice umami-ness to the deviled eggs.”While there’s certainly no wrong way to enjoy the Southern Sampler, Babb showed me his preferred take: slather a slice of toasted baguette with that luscious mousse and then top with a dollop of muscadine jam that he makes from fruit gathered on property. The flavors check every box—bright, smooth, crunchy, and most of all, delicious. In between mouthfuls, I asked him what his mother thinks of his take on her breakfast standard. He got quiet and then a little wistful, telling me that she cried after tasting his food and that he had surpassed her talents in the kitchen. “You know, you can have all kinds of achievements and win all kinds of awards,” Babb said, “but when you hear your mama say something like that? Wow.”—Christiana Roussel

Original Egg Rolls

Instead of using standard egg roll wrappers, Wu bundles the filling in egg “crêpes,” then dips them in batter before frying. Slideshow: More Takeout Recipes 

Hot Dog Nachos

Rating: Unrated
1
These next level hot dog nachos from Food & Wine’s Paige McCurdy-Flynn are drizzled with sharp cheddar beer cheese that takes less than 2 minutes to cook in the microwave. Slideshow: More Nacho Recipes 

Charred Shishito Peppers with Furikake

At Staplehouse in Atlanta, chef Ryan Smith makes his own version of the Japanese spice blend furikake that includes a housemade scallop powder and dried fermented mushrooms. A store-bought blend, however, will work perfectly here. Look for one without wasabi, as that flavor can be a bit intense on these shishitos. Slideshow: More Pepper Recipes 

11 Celebrities’ Dream Nachos

Celebrities: they’re just like us. And they love nachos. ¡Buenos Nachos! by Gina Hamadey (Dovetail 2016) collects nacho recipes from actors, musicians and celebrity chefs to demonstrate the surprising versatility of the cheese-on-chips model.Dessert nachos? Check. Breakfast nachos? We’ve got those, too. Check out the book for an extended love letter to this classic, and feast your eyes on a selection of beautiful nachos dreamed up by some of our favorite celebrities. —Hannah Walhout

More Finger Foods

East Bay Buritto Nachos

Rating: Unrated
3
Jorma Taccone, of the comedy trio The Lonely Island (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping) and writer-director Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) both grew up in the East Bay of San Francisco, but didn’t meet until they were in college at UCLA. The first time they were back home together, they headed out for a burrito, but fought about where to go. “We ended up at Ramiro and Sons, in Alameda, so I could convince him it’s the best,” says Heller. It only took her 15 years. “It hurts my heart to admit that I might like Ramiro more,” says Taccone, a diehard fan of Gordo’s in Berkeley. “My friends would kill me if they see that in print.” So what makes an East Bay burrito so great? Simple ingredients, says Heller, whose brother, Nate, has been helping them perfect this nacho recipe in homage. To mimic the way the tortillas are steamed with cheese, they bake cheese slices on tostadas before layering on the burrito ingredients. Heller, a lifelong vegetarian, skips the carnitas and swears it’s just as good. One important thing: “No fucking lettuce,” says Jorma.Slideshow: Outrageous NachosReprinted from ¡Buenos Nachos! by Gina Hamadey. Copyright © 2016 by W&P Design. Published by Dovetail (www.dovetail.press)

Breakfast Nachos

Rating: Unrated
1
“Growing up in Southern California, nachos were something of a weekly craving,” says Tiffani Thiessen. The actress who played Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell and Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills, 90210 is now a food and entertaining personality with a show (Dinner at Tiffani’s) on the Cooking Channel. Here, she’s reimagined her childhood craving into a breakfast-worthy dish that tends to disappear “within three to four minutes after serving.”Slideshow: Outrageous NachosReprinted from ¡Buenos Nachos! by Gina Hamadey. Copyright © 2016 by W&P Design. Published by Dovetail (www.dovetail.press)

Holy Guacamole Nachos

Rating: Unrated
3

Colin Hanks, star of the TV show Life in Pieces and director of the documentary All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records, expresses his undying love for guacamole in these nachos. “There is nothing I do not like about guacamole. I could live off of chips and guac,” he says. “In fact, I have tried on numerous occasions. I just want to put it on everything.” Indeed, these nachos are not only served with Hanks’s favorite guacamole recipe (page 139), but they’re also layered with that recipe’s deconstructed ingredients—tomato, red onion, avocado, cilantro, lime and his secret weapon, pureed chipotle peppers in adobo, which lend a smokiness to the guacamole and distribute the heat better than the more common chopped jalapeño or serrano peppers.Slideshow: Outrageous NachosReprinted from ¡Buenos Nachos! by Gina Hamadey. Copyright © 2016 by W&P Design. Published by Dovetail (www.dovetail.press)