Party Dishes: All-American Appetizers
Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip
Natchitoches, Louisiana, is renowned for its meat pies. Kelly English serves his mini version with a dipping sauce that combines two quintessential Southern ingredients: buttermilk and hot sauce.
Caramelized Onion Dip
This homemade onion dip is far better than the storebought version.
Peel-and-Eat Shrimp with Barbecue Spices
During his visit to Savannah, Bobby Flay ate as much Gulf shrimp and barbecue as humanly possible, then came back to New York and created a recipe that cleverly combines them both. He loves to rub large peel-and-eat shrimp with a barbecue-inspired blend of paprika, chile powder, sugar and cumin before sautéing them.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings
Most of us think of Buffalo wings as bar food, but with their accompaniment of celery sticks and creamy blue-cheese dressing, they make a fine casual meal. These wings are hot, but if you like them incendiary, pass extra Tabasco sauce at the table.
These lush, miniature takes on classic New England lobster rolls are a staple of this sleek South End lounge and restaurant, one of the few places in Boston that serves great food late at night.
Three-Cheese Mini Macs
Anything big made small is ultrafun 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.
Crab Cakes with Horseradish Cream
These classic crab cakes are easy to make, as is the tangy horseradish cream.
Pimientos are large, sweet, heart-shaped peppers that are typically used for canning. Pimento cheese—the simple combination of grated cheddar cheese with mayonnaise and pimientos—is a Southern staple often served on crackers or vegetables. The key to making the best pimento cheese is top-quality sharp cheddar.
Oven Fries with Roasted Garlic
Skin-on potatoes, like the ones used for these crispy, low-fat fries, are high in vitamin C and potassium; they're also a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin B.