Camembert Baked in the Box
This tender, melty cheese bakes in its box to keep it from collapsing. Be sure to buy Camembert in a box that's stapled, not glued.
Potato Tarte Flambée
For her spectacular vegetarian take on tarte flambee (Alsatian-style pizza with onions and bacon), Julianne Jones layers thin potato slices on French sourdough (levain), adding creme fraiche for extra tanginess. The key to achieving a crisp crust is stretching the dough thin and baking it quickly in a very hot oven.
Arancini with Peas and Mozzarella
My Calabrian grandmother always used plain white rice to make her incredible arancini (rice balls), but I prefer to cook with plump arborio because I think it makes the insides creamier.–Grace Parisi, test kitchen associate
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar gougeres are perfect on New Year's eve with cava.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Roasted Figs
Simple, sweet, and totally indulgent, these figs will be the talk of your party... even though they will be the easiest appetizer to make.
Grilled Antipasto with Garlicky Bean Dip
When Marcia Kiesel grills vegetables, she likes to add unexpected accompaniments, like grilled marinated mini mozzarella balls (called bocconcini) wrapped in anchovy fillets, and garlicky white bean dipped. Served with grilled country bread, this antipasto becomes a light main course. The bocconcini should be eaten hot off the grill, while still soft enough to spread on the bread. To prevent sticking, lightly oil the grate before grilling the bocconcini.
Baked Camembert with Pears
A splash of pear brandy plus maple syrup and Spanish almonds put a modern spin on baked Brie.
Quinoa Balls with Cauliflower and Chees
Bloggers Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley mix quinoa with grated cauliflower, salty halloumi cheese and chickpea flour to make crisp, fluffy little balls to serve as an hors d'oeuvre or with tomato sauce as a main course. Soaking the quinoa overnight before cooking makes it more digestible.
Bacon-Wrapped Cherry Peppers
These genius hors d'oeuvres from Colby Garrelts (an F&W Best New Chef 2005) call for just three ingredients. The recipe can be made ahead of time, so it's great for parties.
These light and cheesy fried potato croquettes are breaded twice: They're dredged in bread crumbs, dipped in beaten eggs seasoned with mustard and garlic, then dredged in bread crumbs once more. The payoff is a supercrisp, flavorful crust for the filling of soft mashed potato and melted cheese.
Butternut Squash Turnovers
Jeremy Sommer often hosts the cooking club at his furniture company's warehouse. His buttery squash turnovers make a perfect fall lunch alongside a big green salad.