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Appetizers. Hors d’oeuvres. Starters. Nibbles. Snacks. Whatever you call pre-dinner eats, you can be sure that they will make a meal, offering your dinner guests early tastes and textures and a sneak peek of what’s to come in the later courses. As the spring season winds down, invite friends and family over to celebrate the warmer weather and serve a simple, quick-to-prepare spread of first-course munchies. Food Network’s no-fuss appetizers below are ideal for relaxed, casual entertaining, and include charred lemon-scented shrimp, velvety deviled eggs and bacon-wrapped veggies. Check out our recipe selections and tell us what you’re cooking up this weekend.
Robert Irvine’s Antipasto Platter With Grilled Vegetables (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is a go-to pre-dinner pick when you’re pressed for time or if guests stop by unexpectedly. This tray can be customized to any size party or taste preference, though some staple snacks include a mixture of hard and soft cheeses, buttery prosciutto, fresh vegetables, crusty bread and more.
A no-fuss marinade of orange and lemon juices, fresh thyme and garlic infuses Cooking Channel‘s Grilled Shrimp and Citrus Skewers (pictured left) with a refreshingly light flavor. String medium-sized shrimp on a wooden skewer separated by juicy citrus segments and grill them until charred. Once you put these quick-cooking beauties on the grill, try to not walk away from them — if overcooked, shrimp can become chewy and dry quickly.
Food.com’s traditional Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus recipe boasts a complementary combination of salty, smoky and clean flavors, with crunchy asparagus spears tucked inside decadent bacon blankets. Just 20-25 minutes in the oven is all that’s needed to turn out a tray of these eat-with-your-hands nibbles.
Kelsey Nixon’s Curried Deviled Eggs (pictured right) from Cooking Channel are a party must-have, made with smooth mayonnaise, tangy mustard and a mixture of cayenne pepper, paprika and warm curry powder. A final sprinkling of chopped chives completes these two-bite starters, made from start to finish in just over 40 minutes.
Simple to prepare, moist and richly golden brown, Ellie Krieger’s Crisp Crab Cakes from Food Network Magazine are bursting with succulent lump crab meat, bell pepper, scallions and panko breadcrumbs. A splash of Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and a dusting of Old Bay Seasoning (a store-bought seafood spice) allow this meaty mixture to stick together and hold its shape when being seared. Portion this recipe into appetizer-sized servings of one cake per person.
Visit Food Network’s Spring Entertaining Guide for more seasonal recipes, menus and ideas.