Fast, Make Ahead Cocktail Party
White-Bean and Prosciutto Bruschetta
Jason Travi wraps prosciutto around persimmon wedges and roasts them until the meat crisps and the fruit turns tender and sweet.
These luscious little tarts are filled with fresh ricotta. The trick to making the cheese silky is to puree it before spreading it on the flaky pastry and topping it with oven-roasted tomatoes.
Philly Fish House Punch
Bartenders mix batches of cocktails like this potent Fish House Punch, transfer them into empty wine bottles, then let patrons pour drinks for themselves.
To create these wonderful tapas, Spanish chef José Andrés makes a batter with crunchy nubs of chopped cauliflower florets, fries spoonfuls in a skillet and then tops the fritters with yogurt sauce and a dollop of caviar. Skip the caviar to keep this supereasy dish budget-friendly.
Maple-Soy Snack Mix
Savory snack mixes are typically flavored with soy sauce, Worcestershire and butter. Grace Parisi prepares her crunchy mix with a little maple syrup for sweetness and Thai curry paste for heat.
Italian Spritz Punch
Mixologist Agostino Perrone created this simple sparkling punch. “It would be a great aperitif for a large dinner party,” says Wayne Collins; he recommends serving it in teacups.M.o<
Boiled Shrimp with Spicy Mayonnaise
Mustard and white pepper amp up the heat in this homemade mayo for shrimp.
Matt Lewis is enamored of fondue—in fact, he had a special pot made for dessert fondues at his former Manhattan shop, Chocolate Bar. His terrific cheddar-Jack cheese fondue includes whiskey, which adds a great kick.
Easy Hummus with Tahini
Hummus can do more than cling to a carrot stick. Grace Parisi’s sublime version adds nutty flavor to potato salad, eggs and soup.
This fresh cocktail recipe is perfect for a crowd.
Blue-Cheese-and-Walnut Dip with Waldorf Crudités
With walnuts, mayonnaise, apples and grapes, this recipe is a riff on classic Waldorf salad.
Crab Rolls with Lemon Aioli
New Orleans chefs often drown seafood in rich, spicy sauces, but here, chef Jason McCullar simply dresses sweet crabmeat (a Louisiana staple) in lemon-scented aioli. The crab salad is wonderful piled on hot dog buns like a New England lobster roll or arranged delicately on small rolls as hors d’oeuvres.
Buckwheat-Cheddar Blini with Smoked Salmon
As a nod to their Norwegian heritage, Sophie Dahl and her family ate blini (mini pancakes) topped with smoked salmonevery Christmas Eve. Now Dahl makes the blini with wonderfully earthy buckwheat flour and serves the salmon-topped hors d’oeuvres at parties throughout the year.
This puckery drink is prepared with rum and fresh mint like a classic mojito, but New Orleans chef John Besh makes it holiday-worthy by topping it with a splash of Champagne.
This recipe is based on the Arabic lamejun, a thin piece of dough topped with minced meat, then baked. Here Grace Parisi flavors ground lamb with cumin, mint and pine nuts.