Finger foods are served at parties for a variety of reasons. Some finger foods are served for standing cocktail parties or cocktail receptions or guests can help themselves to finger foods are more casual parties as well. Since finger foods rely solely on the hands for serving, choose your foods wisely when developing your menu--avoiding anything too difficult to eat or food that is messy. Finger foods can also be inexpensive to prepare to help keep you within your party food budget and help you create a menu that may contain food small in size, but big in flavor.
Plan a menu that reflects either your own culinary preferences or heritage. Wonton wrappers can be found at almost any grocery or Asian specialty market. They can be stored in the freezer before use, but put them in the refrigerator for a couple hours prior to cooking. Filling choices are abundant. Beef, tofu, pork, soy sauce, cream cheese, crab, chutney and green onion can be used. Prepare your filling in advance. Take each wrapper and carefully wet the edges by using your finger with egg whites. Take 1 teaspoon of filling and place in the middle. Close the edges and press. You can either fry them or steam them.
Another idea is kabobs. Thread your kabobs with chicken, onion, pineapple and green pepper. Marinate in a Ponzu sauce and lime juice. Grill or bake in the oven. Grilled lime or lemon rind are completely acceptable to include and are delicious. For a quick vegetarian finger food, take 1 pound of frozen edamames (or soy beans) and mix with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Serve in a bowl and finish with some sea salt.
Twist on Classics
Most people love classic traditional dishes, but many times you just want a couple of bites. Finger foods solve this problem with miniature-sized dishes such as turning macaroni and cheese into bite-size macaroni and cheese bites. For example, make your favorite recipe for macaroni. Mix into the finished product enough bread crumbs to make it firm. Heat your oven to 350 F. Spray each cupcake liner with a baking spray such as Pam. Spoon in the macaroni mixture. Be sure to press down the mixture so it takes the shape of the liner. Place into the oven for 20 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan on top.
Many people remember pigs in a blanket as a classic childhood staple. Instead of simply rolling with hot dogs, use a spicy chorizo sausage (Mexican sausage), jalapeno and Mozzarella cheese. Your guests will eat up your spicy treats.
Inexpensive High End Finger Foods
You don't have to spend an arm and a leg on finger food. The Italian appetizer bruschetta makes a delicious and inexpensive finger food. Boil tomatoes in water in for two minutes. Take out and peel skin. Store in refrigerator until cooled. Cut up one loaf of French bread and toast in the oven. In a bowl mix 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 handful of fresh basil, and 3 tablespoons of oregano. Mix in tomatoes and serve on bread.
Gourmet tacos may be another finger food option to impress your party guests. Rather than using ground beef, grill up some shrimp instead. Make a fancy coleslaw (see References) to serve in the middle and you'll have something that truly wows guests and isn't as messy as beef tacos may be.