Recipe report: Finger foods for holiday catering


As the holiday season kicks into gear, catered events and parties are added to many operators’ workloads. To meet the catering challenge, start with these six recipes for passed appetizers and handheld foods—they’re easy to execute and feature flavors that are crowd favorites.

1. Blue Cheese, Fig and Port Wontons

blue fig wontons

Figs and cheese, a classic pairing, are packaged in wonton wrappers and deep-fried for a portable savory. At Heritage Tavern in Madison, Wis., chef Dan Fox serves these as an appetizer or bar snack, but they are easily adaptable as party finger food.

Click here for the recipe.

2. Beef Tenderloin Grill Stick with Roasted Garlic and Curry Mayo

beef grill sticks

Several global cuisines offer variations of meat on a stick, including Indonesian satays and Turkish doner kebabs. These skewers feature beef tenderloin threaded on sticks with roasted garlic cloves, accompanied with curried mayonnaise for dipping. They are a favorite passed hors d’oeuvres at chef Renee Scharoff’s Blonde on the Run Catering events.

Click here for the recipe.

3. Duck Doughnuts with Apple Honey Sauce

duck donuts

Executive Chef Geoff Kelty of Eddie Merlot’s Prime Beef & Seafood won a grand prize for these savory doughnuts in a recipe contest for chefs. His recipe puts duck in the seasonal spotlight by stuffing it inside biscuit dough along with red onion jam, then drizzling the finished doughnuts with an apple honey sauce.

Click here for the recipe.

4. Texas Twinkies

texas twinkies

Hutchins BBQ gave these stuffed jalapenos the name Texas Twinkies to call attention both to their resemblance in shape to the snack cake and the restaurants’ location in Texas. Heat- and meat-seeking guests will welcome the mix of flavors and ingredients.

Click here for the recipe.

5. Potato Caviar Tacos

potato tacos

Although chefs often pull out caviar and other elegant ingredients during the holidays, the tiny salty fish eggs are showing up more frequently on regular menu items. Here, chef Fuller of Castel Ranch Steakhouse creates petite tacos fashioned from potatoes and topped sparingly with caviar. A little goes a long way.

Click here for the recipe.

6. Tempeh Avocado Sushi Rolls

sushi rolls

Sushi is a natural finger food, but setting out raw fish at room temperature during a catered event can pose a food safety problem. The problem is solved by substituting baked tempeh for fish—a solution that will please vegan guests as well.

Click here for the recipe.

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