Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Easy, Inexpensive Party Nibbles

Over the holidays I was looking for some easy and relatively inexpensive ideas for nibbles for an informal evening get-together. I only had half an afternoon to prepare for the party, so speed was important. I also wanted to use somewhat local or seasonal ingredients. Here are a few of the things I settled on.

Homemade French Pâté
Although I regularly make my own veggie pâtés, I hadn't thought of making my own liver pâté until Mark Bittman included his recipe on his blog just before Christmas. Local or organic pâtés can be hard to come by or expensive, and Bittman claimed the recipe would be easy and delicious, so I gave it a try. It was! It also made about three cups of pâté, which was enough for the party with some left over to freeze. (I'll let you know how that turns out in another post!) I served the pâté alongside some crackers, crusty bread and a selection of cheeses. The organic livers were purchased from Boucherie Les Fermes St-Vincent, an organic butcher at Atwater market. For the non-liver-pâté eaters, I made my vegetable walnut pate.

Stuffed mushroom caps
These are always a hit and are really easy to prepare. I don't really have a fixed recipe for these. Basically, I chop up the stems of the mushrooms with about a teaspoon of marjoram, a good scoop of cream cheese, about 1/4 cup of dry bread crumbs, about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, and some ground pepper. I mix everything together, stuff the mixture back into the caps, and then bake at 425F for about 10-12 minutes. If you're pressed for time, you can prepare them in advance and just pop them in the oven.

Horseradish sour cream dip
This dip is great for doing double duty for both chips and veggies. Again, I don't have an exact recipe, but here is the formula: Basically combine a 250 mL container of sour cream with about 5 teaspoons of horseradish (adjust the amount based on the strength of the horseradish), 2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic, a handful of chopped chives, and about a teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Mix everything together and chill for a few hours before serving.


Ros said...

And it was all super-tasty!

(I find that, for stuffed mushrooms, any cheese works fine. I've used feta, cheddar, and gruyere before when I ran out of parmesan, and it all worked).

That pate, though... mmm. :)

Amanda said...

Glad you enjoyed!