Fun and fantastic flavours add culinary flair to holiday gatherings. Here they are in spades, with old-time favourites such as shrimp, wings, dips and spreads, with fresh twists and new ideas — all you need to make your event unforgettable and the toast of the town.
No matter what kind of party, there's always a crowd around the classic shrimp and cocktail sauce. We'd never think of eliminating this combo from party menus, but believe that four new sauces (all of which can be made up to two days ahead) would bring more buzz to the scene.
Dip and spread
No party is complete without a dip and spread surrounded by crackers, crisp breads, chips and vegetable crudités. Here are two fabulous selections to add to your repertoire.
Everybody loves wings and you can make absolutely fabulous ones better than you can buy or order. For economy, buy whole wings and remove the tips yourself (freeze and save them for the stockpot); but many stores sell the bottom two joints already separated. All these (except the Spanish Paprika Wings) would rate medium-hot on a pub scale, so for lovers of hot or "suicide" wings, double the spicy ingredients (hot pepper sauce or flakes, cayenne pepper, jalapeño or chipotle peppers). For timid palates and parties with kids, you'll find a milder version with each recipe.
The inspiration for these toppings comes from Spanish tapas bars. There, patrons snack through the day and evening on tasty nibbles, often served on sliced baguette to accompany a glass of wine, cider or beer. Our tapas are easy to put together and offer a wide range of flavours that you can modify by your choice of toppings and garnishes. One baguette (or French stick) makes approximately 30 slices, which you can toast if desired by broiling until golden, about 1 minute per side.