Help me make red appetizers
February 7, 2012 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Help me make red appetizers

My wife and I are attending a party this weekend whose theme is 'red.' We've been asked to bring an appetizer suiting the theme. This is a pretty wide-open category, and I'm having trouble coming up with anything canonically red that works in small-bite form. We're pretty competent chefs, so complexity isn't an issue. Ideally we'd be able to do most of the prep work in advance and then assemble it when we get there, but we'll have a full kitchen and an hour or so to work with if anything has to be done at the last second. The food will spend most of a day in a car en route, though it will be cold enough outside that spoilage shouldn't be a problem. Do you have a killer app that fits our color scheme?
posted by Mayor West to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:44 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

There is a sun-dried tomato dip I've made that is easy, portable, and makes everyone who tries it beg me for the recipe. It's at home, and I can memail you the details if you're interested, but it's nothing more than sun-dried tomatoes run through a microwave with some water to reconstitute them, and then run through a microwave again with olive oil, garlic, and oregano. Some of that on canapes should work fine.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on February 7, 2012

Best answer: Another red dip: muhammara.
posted by misteraitch at 8:49 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]

You can do a red dip with red chips. Probably can get them at a sort of upscale grocery? I am certain I have seen red corn chips (though maybe it is seasonal?)

Alternatively, some red food coloring in a pastry type dough, make little pockets and fill with... something delicious and bake!
posted by Glinn at 8:51 AM on February 7, 2012

Pomegranate juice will turn just about anything blaze red.
posted by j03 at 8:52 AM on February 7, 2012

Hot wings
Roasted red pepper mini pizzas
Red pepper jelly with cream cheese and crackers
Chinese BBQ pork
posted by lotus-eater at 8:55 AM on February 7, 2012

There are many alternatives for stuffed cherry peppers, and these little pomegranate philo cups would be quite unexpected.
posted by drlith at 8:58 AM on February 7, 2012

I'd do something that has a background of a colour other than red so that the red really pops. Like caviar (or for more cooking awesomeness points, make beetroot caviar using reverse spherification) against cream cheese on croutons or crackers (Smitten Kitchen's parmesan cream cracker recipe is awesome and really easy and EVERYONE is impressed when you make your own crackers!).

There's also the bruschetta idea - I like that and it always goes over well when I've made it for a party. You could also go sweet. Little pecan pies with red food colouring in the dough would be awesome.
posted by guster4lovers at 9:01 AM on February 7, 2012

Hard boiled egg, dab a little mayo on top, and cap with red caviar. Delicious =c) As an alternative you can try masago, but i don't think it'll be the same.
posted by pyro979 at 9:16 AM on February 7, 2012

Stuffed tomatoes, stuffed red peppers.
red velvet mini cupcakes
tomato salad with cukes and a bit of feta
beet salad with mandarin oranges
bite size caprese on toothpicks?: stacks of thinly sliced tomato/fresh mozzarella/basil
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:16 AM on February 7, 2012

I held one of these! My favorite red appetizer was Muhammara. We started eating it by the spoons, but it is actually a red bell pepper and walnut dip that goes well on bread and dippable veggies. It is very, very red colored.

This NYT version is very similar to what we had (I helped make it).
posted by whatzit at 9:17 AM on February 7, 2012

Go super simple. All you need is radishes, good butter and some good sea salt. Spread a little butter on the radishes, sprinkle some salt and there you go. No fuss, no muss.
posted by friendlyjuan at 9:18 AM on February 7, 2012

I use a (slightly) different recipe than the one misteraitch posted, but I can definitely vouch for muhammara. Most of the people I've served it to (and it's one of my go-tos for entertaining) have never had it before and have seemed pretty excited by it. It's pretty red by itself, but you could serve it with red pepper strips or some kind of "canonically"-red vegetable chip.
posted by wreckingball at 9:45 AM on February 7, 2012

Char siu anything...
posted by jmevius at 10:18 AM on February 7, 2012

Buy some of those little phyllo cups and put a bit of brie in them. Toast in the oven until melty, then top with strawberry or raspberry. They'll come out looking like this Easy, delicious and red!
posted by workerant at 10:50 AM on February 7, 2012

Beets are really the most wonderful thing. It's hard to go wrong with beets.
posted by Pants! at 11:59 AM on February 7, 2012

I think the OP is going for stuff that is "canonically red", or red without food coloring.

I took that to mean, not pink or magenta (ie, beet juice wouldn't be canonically red). I didn't take it to mean you can't use an ingredient that will lend a true red to other ingredients.
posted by vegartanipla at 1:49 PM on February 7, 2012

Serve this white bean and sun-dried tomato dip with slices of red bell pepper and some red tortilla chips.

Shooters of a creamless homemade borscht served in clear plastic would be beautiful.
posted by Orinda at 4:36 PM on February 7, 2012

Response by poster: Follow-up: the muhamarra won the "we can throw all this stuff in a bag and assemble it on-site" tiebreaker, and we made that. It was delicious! I totally had no expectation that something so simple could turn out tasting so complex and rich.

I'm also adding half a dozen other recipes here to my queue. Thanks, guys!
posted by Mayor West at 5:09 AM on February 13, 2012

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