If you are hosting a dinner party, then you want to start the evening off right by offering hors d'oeuvres that impress your guests. Remember that the hors d'oeuvres are just a precursor to the main meal, so while they should be tasty, they do not have to be substantial because the main dish is yet to come.
If your guests are seafood lovers, then you can make an easy hors d'oeuvres that is sure to impress by serving roasted shrimp. After purchasing uncooked, shelled shrimp (frozen or unfrozen), preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray and place the shrimp in a single layer on the tray. Drizzle the shrimp with olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook them in the oven for eight to 10 minutes, or until bright pink. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and place on a platter. Serve alongside cocktail sauce to your guests.
Devils on Horseback
If your guests love both sweet and savory flavors, then treat them to this appetizer made of dates, bacon and bleu cheese. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Next, soak toothpicks in a bowl of water. Open your package of pitted dates and make a slice lengthwise into each one. Fill the slice with bleu cheese. Next, wrap a half-piece of raw bacon around the date. Secure the bacon with a toothpick, and place on a baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the bacon is cooked through. Allow to cool for five minutes and serve. This is a great appetizer to place in the oven the moment guests arrive. After enjoying a cocktail, the hors d'oeuvres will be ready to serve.
If you are hosting a Mexican-themed dinner party, then serve nacho bites to your guests. They allow your guests to experience the flavor of nachos without having to endure the mess. Place your oven on broil. Spray a cooking sheet with non-stick spray. Place nacho chips in a single layer on the cooking tray. On each nacho, place a small dollop of refried beans, followed by a Mexican blend of cheese. (Monterey Jack, mild cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheese.) Broil in the oven for one minute or until the cheese is melted. After removing from the oven, top each nacho bite with either sour cream, fresh salsa, or guacamole and serve.
If you and your guests are fans of brie, then this is the appetizer for you. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Lay out puff pastry flat on the tray. Place a wheel of brie on the pasty. (Sizes vary, however they are usually available from a half to one pound.) Spread raspberry or fruit jam on top of the brie wheel. Cover the top of the brie with more puff pastry. Fold the edges of the puff pastry so they are together, completely encapsulating the brie. Drizzle maple syrup on top. Place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving your guests. Remember, the brie is quite hot when it comes out of the oven!
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