Need to whip up a tray of appetizers -- five minutes ago? Even if you don't have time to devil eggs and stuff figs, you can turn out fabulous-looking, flavor-tastic hors d'oeuvres in a matter of minutes. Here are a few no-cook, no-blend, no-toothpick masterpieces that'll leave you time to prepare a more important party presentation: Your happy, relaxed self.
Wasabi Crab on Endive
To serve 16, you'll need 16 medium-size endive leaves (about 3 heads), 6 ounces of cooked wild-caught crab, 4 teaspoons of wasabi mayonnaise, a bunch of cilantro and a couple of limes. Top each leaf with 1/4 teaspoon of wasabi and just under half an ounce of crab meat. Garnish each one with a cilantro sprig. Cut the limes into wedges and add them to the platter.
Proscuitto Wrapped Dates
Wrap each date in a slice of prosciutto, and top with fresh-ground black pepper. Or, if you've got 15 minutes and are serving guests at your home, try this amazing date, goat cheese and prosciutto hot appetizer.
Beef Wrapped Bells
To serve 16, thinly slice 4 ounces of red and/or yellow bell pepper. On a slice of thick-cut, free-range organic roast beef, spread one teaspoon of Boursin cheese. Add the pepper slices and roll the whole thing up. Repeat. Cut each roll in half if you like.
Cut fresh bread into small pieces and butter each one, then add a piece of ham or prosciutto and a bread-and-butter pickle.
A classic. To serve 16, you'll need 16 slices of "party size" pumpernickel bread, a half cup of horseradish cream, 16 slices of smoked salmon and 16 sprigs of dill. Top each slice of bread with a dollop of horseradish, and place the salmon so it stands slightly upright. Add a dill sprig for garnish. Make sure you use wild-caught, organic salmon.
For 16, you'll need 16 organic, sulfite-free apricots, 8 teaspoons of blue cheese, 2 ounces of shelled pistachios and a little honey. Top each apricot with about a half teaspoon of crumbled cheese. Chop the pistachios and sprinkle them over the top with a drizzle of honey and a dash of fresh ground black pepper.
image: Richard Munckton.