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What food is appropriate to bring to a cocktail party?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
We live in a neighborhood that is under construction. There are six houses currently occupied. One neighbor has invited everyone over to meet and have a few drinks. Their invitation states they will provide wine, beer, liquor and heavy hors d' oeuvres. The invitation also states "Please bring anything else you would like." Besides a nice bottle of red and white, what else would be appropriate? I make a killer "Death by Chocolate" brownie, but a dessert type food just doesn't seem to fit the mood. I usually don't eat brownies while drinking a martini. The wife has put the kibosh on spiced nuts, or blanched vegatables with a green goddess dip. I am at a loss. I want to show the host that we put forth some effort, without trying to go over the top. I know that whatever we bring, it should not require anything of the hostess except a place on the table or counter. Suggestions please.
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey
We live in a neighborhood that is under construction. There are six houses currently occupied. One neighbor has invited everyone over to meet and have a few drinks. Their invitation states they will provide wine, beer, liquor and heavy hors d' oeuvres. The invitation also states "Please bring anything else you would like."

Besides a nice bottle of red and white, what else would be appropriate?

I make a killer "Death by Chocolate" brownie, but a dessert type food just doesn't seem to fit the mood. I usually don't eat brownies while drinking a martini.

The wife has put the kibosh on spiced nuts, or blanched vegatables with a green goddess dip. I am at a loss. I want to show the host that we put forth some effort, without trying to go over the top.

I know that whatever we bring, it should not require anything of the hostess except a place on the table or counter.

Suggestions please.
Homemade bread or some other bread product (rolls, crackers, etc.) If you're feeling ambitious, you can supplement that with a homemade dip or flavored butter. Or you could pick up a nice artisanal cheese.
Less "neutral" food can be tricky because you want something that will neither clash with whatever the style or theme created by the hosts is, nor show them up. But you could do something finger-foodish like stuffed mushrooms, dolmas, spanokapita, etc.
post #3 of 28
Four words for you sir; Crisco + Slip and Slide. The bottle of red wine should be fine. Your gift should be for the host, I say give them brownies later on in the week to say thank you for fun a night.
post #4 of 28
That is great advice.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey
The wife has put the kibosh on spiced nuts

What is Kibosh? Does it taste good on spiced nuts?

I would second lawyerdad's suggestions.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
What is Kibosh? Does it taste good on spiced nuts? I would second lawyerdad's suggestions.
I am happy to have mirth; not talking anymore about nuts.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad
Homemade bread or some other bread product (rolls, crackers, etc.) If you're feeling ambitious, you can supplement that with a homemade dip or flavored butter. Or you could pick up a nice artisanal cheese. Less "neutral" food can be tricky because you want something that will neither clash with whatever the style or theme created by the hosts is, nor show them up. But you could do something finger-foodish like stuffed mushrooms, dolmas, spanokapita, etc.
Both Mark Bittman and Joy of Cooking have good recipes for cheese straws, which pair well with booze. I want to make something, and you never know who will eat dolmas. I once bought these at Dean & Deluca. My wife bit into one and made the most horrible face. I like them, but they aren't for everyone. Also where would I buy grape leaves out in the sticks where I live? I don't want to carry a warm plate down the street so stuffed mushrooms and spanokapita are out. Thinking about buying some Comte, but again I worry that may be lost on most. I would rather serve more adventurous foods in my own home, but the key is to know the likes of most guests. A neighborhood meet and greet calls for something more generic. A cheese straw made with quality Parmigiano Regianno should do the trick. Thanks for the nod towards bread.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey

Thinking about buying some Comte, but again I worry that may be lost on most. I would rather serve more adventurous foods in my own home, but the key is to know the likes of most guests. A neighborhood meet and greet calls for something more generic.

Good point. I remember the spouse of a friend once making a most delectable salmon and smoked salmon terrine for a pitch-in (imagine gorgeous layers of several tones of pink), and most people wouldn't touch it because it was fish.
post #9 of 28
Spinach and cheese dip in a bread bowl is one of our favorites to take to things like this...

Recipe is on the side of the Knorr soup box.
post #10 of 28
I make a pretty mean wing - basically one part ginger, two parts garlic, 4 parts honey, 8 parts soy sauce, cover wings, bake for 3 or 4 hours. people love them, but they are a little messy. I take them to parties.

for people who you don't know, and if you don't want to take something hot, cheese and bread.
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Now leaning towards making a cheese bread recipe I found in a Cook's Illustrated. Who doesn't like cheddar and who doesn't like bread? If you are avoiding carbs, you shoul also avoid alcohol.
post #12 of 28
This is so simple, and a huge crowd pleaser. Patak brand Indian sauces, etc, are very widely available. Buy a jar of the mild curry and a jar of the mango chutney. Take a bag of chicken tenders, marinate for a few with the curry, then grill them. After cookin, toss with more of the curry. Place the tenders on a skewer AFTER grilling, and arrange on a nice serving platter with a condement dish of the chutney.

I guess it's a "satay" dish...but not really. Irregardless...they are sooo good, and easy! People LOVE them!
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey
I am happy to have mirth; not talking anymore about nuts.
Isn't that what the three wise men brought for the baby Jesus: kibosh, mirth, and nuts?
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford
Spinach and cheese dip in a bread bowl is one of our favorites to take to things like this...

Recipe is on the side of the Knorr soup box.

"Wanna know how I know you are gay? One time I watched you make spinach dip in a sourdough bread loaf"
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey
Now leaning towards making a cheese bread recipe I found in a Cook's Illustrated. Who doesn't like cheddar and who doesn't like bread? If you are avoiding carbs, you shoul also avoid alcohol.

I'm going to assume that this is the same cheese bread recipe that my girlfriend's mom got from Cook's Illustrated. If so it is fantastic.
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