I need 2-3 appetizers/starters/hors d'ouevres ideas for partially planned menu for Sunday, help! Menu is loosely Southern U.S. meets Ita

Husband and I are co-hosting a Labor Day gathering at our friends' house, both great cooks. The joint menu planning has been a little haphazard. Friends are making braised pork butts, hoppin' john, a corn salad, and a watermelon-goat cheese salad. I was assigned pies due to my recent pie-baking obsession, and my husband [meaning me] was signed up for appetizers. We are also grilling burgers because some guests eat kosher, also it is Labor Day and also there will be gluttons.

So I'd at least one kosher starter and my mind is blank but I am thinking maybe something with homemade ricotta. I was also thinking a grilled shrimp kebab as a second starter but could be persuaded otherwise. A third idea would be good, maybe vegan? Also I just bought some lovely looking fennel bulbs today. I am thinking finger foods, or self-serve, etc. Many thanks!

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8 Comments

cec75 September 2, 2012
Crisp baquette with bruschetta and whipped ricotta, aged cheddar with tomato conserve
Iceberg wedge skewers (bacon, pear tomatoes, blue cheese)
 
laagarf September 2, 2012
Ok, not kosher, not shrimp, and not vegan (so possibly not helpful), but I loooove David Lebovitz's Involtini recipe. Toll chunks of feta and sage with proscuitto, and marinate in olive oil. Fast, and sooo tasty. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/04/involtini-feta-prosciutto-rolls/

You could do shooters of heirloom tomato gazpacho. Ok, it's Spanish and not Italian, but nice and cool on a hot day, classy, and takes advantage of tomato season.
 
laagarf September 2, 2012
Oh, also, polenta. Make polenta, spread it on a pan and let it cool. Then cut into squares, and top with whatever you want (your homemade ricotta, chives, and pecans or sundried tomatoes; blue cheese mixed with cream cheese, plus some micro greens; figs and goat cheese; sundried tomatoes and sauteed shrimp for an italian version of shrimp and grits for your southern + italy theme).
 
Kaphut August 31, 2012
Buttered Biscuit Sliders with Fried Chicken Nuggets! Serve in shallow baskets lined with festive napkins. Offer Honey and Barbecue Sauce on the side. Skewer each slider with a toothpick and top each pick with a stuffed Olive or Mini Sweet Gherkin. Plain, cold, Beer-Boiled Shrimp with spicy cocktail sauce served in a bowl made of ice, studded with lemon and lime wedges and sprigs of fresh dill.
 
Sam1148 August 31, 2012
These Kafta meatballs are great.
http://www.food52.com/recipes/6207_keftastyle_meatballs_with_grilled_grapes_and_yogurt_sauce

Two versions of that could made one with felafel balls, and tofu creamed like a yogurt for sauce for the vegan option.

A fried okra basket with a dipping sauce of Chive Aioli. Or mushrooms stuffed with quinoa, fennel and the chive aioli dipping sauce.

Steamy Kitchen's. Firecracker shrimp are excellent!
http://steamykitchen.com/72-crispy-shrimp-springroll-with-sweet-chili-sauce.html
Answer image
 
Sam1148 August 31, 2012
Ahhh..image to the shrimp posted above the suggestion. On thinking, maybe adjust that with Cajun seasonings and a remoulade for the sauce for that instead of the Asian flavorings..
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx August 31, 2012
deviled eggs, stuffed cherry tomatoes, chilled fennel & cucumber soup shooters...
 
pierino August 31, 2012
My ears plug up when I read the word Vegan, but Kosher that's different. Braised fennel would make a nice side. For more southern it's hard to go wrong with pimento cheese; cheddar not ricotta. While I would like to suggest something with crab that is totally not kosher.
 
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