Wondering what to serve before any meal can be stressful. Do people like seafood? Are they allergic to nuts? Will they want chips with guacamole, or just chips and salsa? Or both?
And what if it’s summer and it’s hot outside and people don’t want cooked appetizers?
That’s a word I throw around a lot in Fieldhouse Kitchen. And what I mean when I say relax, is simply that you’re overthinking one fundamental thing: People get excited and are happy at the prospect of any kind of food presented to them. Now it might not be in their wheelhouse, but they’ll be excited about you offering any snack to them.
So here we go. Let’s line up some of my all-time favorite summer snacks.
For the smoked salmon lovers, I’ve got Smoked Salmon Cucumber Canapes (pictured above, recipe at bottom), and Smoked Salmon with Fried Capers on Crackers. For a real crowd-pleaser, Fresh Spicy Guacamole. And for the adventurous seafood lover, Curried Crabmeat Dip… not your average crab dip.
So pick your fancy and let’s get started.
CURRIED CRABMEAT DIP
Here’s what you’ll need for this dip:
- 1 package jumbo lump crab meat
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 3 tablespoons of yellow curry powder
Mix this all together, refrigerate, and serve alongside some of your favorite crackers.
SMOKED SALMON WITH FRIED CAPERS ON CRACKERS
Here’s what you’ll need for these crackers:
- Smoked salmon (a whole standard-size package will make about 40 of these)
- Stoned Wheat Thins, split down the middle
- Bunch of fresh parsley
- Lemon Juice
- Capers (I fry mine in a little olive oil, then let dry on a paper towel so they’re crispy)
- Red onion, diced
Now for the assembly. Split your crackers in half. Place pieces of smoked salmon on top. Sprinkle with diced red onion, capers and a drizzle of lemon juice. Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley and you’re done.
FRESH SPICY GUACAMOLE
Here’s what you’ll need for this homemade guacamole:
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- Bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cracked red pepper flakes
Mash all the above ingredients together in a bowl and serve chilled alongside your favorite chips. You can adjust the amount of cilantro and red pepper flakes to your taste. I like to sprinkle some extra flakes on top as a garnish.
SMOKED SALMON CUCUMBER CANAPES
(pictured at the top)
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 1 package of smoked salmon
- Cream cheese or Boursin (depending on preference)
- Freshly chopped dill
- Lemon juice
Ready to assemble? Dice your cucumbers in thick slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Smear the cheese of your choice across each one. Top with a little piece of smoked salmon, and a drizzle of lemon juice. Garnish with some fresh dill and cracked black pepper.
Now get out there and enjoy the party. Don’t forget about the drinks. That’s key.
And for serving, I love wooden cutting boards. They’re rustic and simple. And they look good just about anywhere.
Who says summer has to be so formal?