Posts Tagged ‘finger food’

by Sarah Steimer

I made a similar sandwich for our grilled cheese guide last year, but this dish uses both a different cheese and herb. What really took this to another level for me was rubbing the bread with garlic. It really cuts back on the grapes’ sweetness and gives the meal a more robust flavor.

I’m keeping the ingredient measurements open-ended. You can pretty much guess how much of everything you’ll need depending on whether you’re just making this for lunch or as an appetizer for company. If you would like me to be more specific, just say so in the comments and I’ll happily oblige.


  • olive oil
  • grapes, rinsed and sliced in half (not necessary to slice, but it keep them from rolling off the bread)
  • thyme leaves (pulled from the stem), plus a few springs for garnish
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • bread
  • 1/2 piece of garlic
  • goat cheese or other spreading cheese

Heat enough olive oil in a small pan to just cover the bottom. Over low heat, add the grapes, thyme, salt and pepper. Be careful when adding the grapes, the natural juices from the fruit will cause the oil in the pan to spit a little. Sauté the grape mixture until the grapes have browned some and softened.

While the grapes are cooking, toast the bread. Rub the garlic half over the toasts generously, then spread with the goat cheese — try to keep it within 1 tablespoon per piece of bread, you don’t want the cheese to overpower any of the other flavors.

Top the goat cheese toasts with the cooked grapes and add sprigs of thyme, if desired, as a garnish.

Recipe adapted from: Mango & Tomato

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by Sarah Steimer

Deviled eggs are great to take to a party - but fancy deviled eggs are even better.

To hard boil eggs

Place eggs in a medium or large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover eggs by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let stand 13 minutes. Drain and transfer eggs to ice-water bath until cold.

Roasted red pepper deviled eggs

  • 12 eggs
  • 5 roasted red peppers – from a jar or from scratch
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cook eggs according to directions above. Once cooled, slice in half and remove the yolks, mixing with a fork until smooth.

In a food processor, chop the red pepper into very small pieces. Using the tines of a fork, drain most of the liquid out.

Mix the pepper with the yolks, garlic powder, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Fill the egg whites with the mixture and refrigerate.

It's nice to balance something hot/spicy (wasabi) with something milder (red pepper) so you can please different tastes.

To garnish, slice very thin pieces of the roasted red pepper and place on the filling of each egg.

Makes 24 deviled eggs.

Wasabi deviled eggs

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 or 2 teaspoons of wasabi paste (depends on how hot you like it)
  • 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice-wine vinegar
  • 2 large scallions, minced (3 tablespoons), plus extra for garnish
  • salt

Cook eggs according to directions above. Once cooled, slice in half and remove the yolks, mixing with a fork until smooth.

Combine the yolks with the wasabi paste (start with less then add more as you taste), vinegar, scallions and salt. Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture.

Garnish with the extra scallions.

Makes 16 deviled eggs.

Both recipes adapted from: Martha Stewart (red pepper and wasabi)

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by Sarah Steimer

Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts are a gift from the holiday party gods.

  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • about 8-10 pieces of bacon
  • soy sauce and/or teriyaki sauce – whatever you use, shoot for reduced sodium as you’ll get enough salt from the bacon
  • sugar

I’m not sure if this is the norm, but the water chestnuts I’ve been finding are sliced and not whole. If this is the case, stack slices three at a time and place in any dish or pan that has sides – i.e. a cake pan, cooking dish, etc.

These are absurdly good. I don't even know what to say. They're easy to put together and they make your home smell great and you'll eat 15.

Add either the soy sauce and/or teriyaki sauce (I actually had both so I combined the two) so the sauce(s) come about halfway up the chestnuts. Place in the refrigerator and let sit for about 30 minutes.

Roll the chestnuts in sugar to coat. Wrap with bacon and trim the excess bacon off – you should be able to wrap about two chestnuts with each strip of bacon. Skewer with a toothpick and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. The cooking time varies depending on the bacon. I used a thicker cut so it took more like 20-plus minutes.

Allow the chestnuts to cool slightly before serving.

Makes about 20.

Recipe: Jacob Yundt via Emily Wolfe

*Throughout December, “Merry and Bites” will feature finger foods with seasonal flair. All of them can be found here. Happy holidays!

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by Sarah Steimer

These potatoes are stuffed with gouda, roasted red pepper and caramelized onions. By the way - those dots on the napkin aren't grease, it started raining while I was shooting.

  •  20 fingerling potatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded gouda
  • 1 small-medium roasted red pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Pierce the skins of your potatoes and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough to easily insert a knife. Do not turn off the oven.

While the potatoes are in the over, caramelize the onions in a pan with olive oil. Set aside.

Once the potatoes have cooled so you can touch them, slice off the top 1/4 of the spuds, length-wise. Scoop out enough potato from the remaining 3/4 so you are left with about /14-inch before you reach the skin. Careful not to scrape all the way through. I found it’s actually easiest to sort of stab the insides of the potato with a fork to loosen it up before scooping.

Place what you cut off/scooped out of the potatoes into a bowl. Add the cheese, yogurt, peppers, onions, salt and pepper. Mash together using the tines of a fork.

Scoop the filling back into the potato “shells” and bake in the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the top is golden.

Everything can be assembled  – except for the last baking – the day before the party and kept in the refrigerator. Right as the party starts, place the potatoes in the oven for their final 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 10 if everyone takes two.

*Throughout December, “Merry and Bites” will feature finger foods with seasonal flair. All of them can be found here. Happy holidays!

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by Caitlin Saniga

Heat up the marinara sauce while the wontons are frying. That way everything is warm when you take your first bite of crispy, ooey-gooey awesomeness.

  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup roasted red and/or orange peppers (from a jar or from scratch), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 scallion, green part chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 20 wonton wrappers
  • canola oil
  • water
  • 1 cup marinara sauce

It's OK if one or two spoons of this stuff make their way to your mouth instead of the wonton.

In a small bowl, toss together the cheese, pepper, scallion, parsley and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread out the wonton wrappers on a dry surface, such as a table or counter top. Scoop about a heaping teaspoonful of cheese mixture onto each wonton wrapper.

There's a fine line between too little filling and too much filling. You'll just have to find out what it is on your own!

Fill a small bowl with water. Wet a brush or your finger and use it to moisten the edges of one of the wonton wrappers. Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle, and press the edges to seal it. Repeat until each wonton is sealed.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with about 3 layers of paper towels, and place the baking sheet in the oven.

Just... wow. Enjoy this moment when it comes.

(You’ll transfer your finished wontons to the sheet to keep them warm while you fry the rest.)

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. (Put on an apron and use a large lid as a shield if need be. The oil gets hot and tends to splatter when you add the moistened wontons.) To test whether the oil is ready for frying, dash a couple of drops of water over the oil. If the oil crackles, it is ready. Working in batches, use a slotted spoon to place wontons into the hot oil. (I cooked the wontons 4 at time.) Cook them until the underside is golden, about 1 minute. Flip and cook until the other side turns golden, about another minute. Transfer the finished wontons to the baking sheet in the oven.

Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.

Makes 20.

P.S. Who thinks I should start doing my own instructional videos for simple preparation (like how to roast a red pepper)?

*Throughout December, “Merry and Bites” will feature finger foods with seasonal flair. All of them can be found here. Happy holidays!

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