New Year’s Eve party? We’ve got an app for that

, Detroit Free Press
(Photo: Jessica J. Trevino Detroit Free Press)

(Photo: Jessica J. Trevino Detroit Free Press)

Let’s say good-bye to 2015 and usher in 2016 with a party.

Nothing says ringing in the New Year like an array of terrific appetizers. We’re here to help with a crowd-pleasing and easy-to-make spread.

This, our 18th annual round-up of fast and fabulous appetizers, will help you get a jumpstart on planning your party — less than a week away — and give you inspiration for bringing a few nibbles to share. We take our appetizers serious because nothing shines at holiday parties more than a tray of scrumptious bite-size snacks.

Our collection of 10 crowd-pleasing and easy-to-make appetizers offers something for everyone. There’s spicy Thai-inspired shrimp to mini-pull apart lobster rolls to cheese-covered grapes. And it wouldn’t be an appetizer round-up if we didn’t include something with trendy bacon. For that we have bacon-wrapped chicken bites seasoned with spicy black pepper and brown sugar.

These appetizers are also festive looking from the whipped Feta topped with a mix of tomatoes and parsley to the simple Italian Skewers with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil. And finally, say what you want about deviled eggs, but there are never any leftovers of this classic. Today’s twist is the addition of pimento and Dijon mustard for a tangy flavor.

So we hope you enjoy this year’s selection.

Happy noshing!

Appetizers: Spicy Thai-inspired Shrimp

(Photo: Jessica J. Trevino Detroit Free Press)

(Photo: Jessica J. Trevino Detroit Free Press)

Spicy Thai-inspired Shrimp

Makes: 36 / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 1 hour

Chili paste and fish sauce give these shrimp a Thai-inspired flavor. Both are available in the ethnic food aisles at most grocery stores.






1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 3 to 4 limes)

1 tablespoon Asian chili paste (such as sambal oelek)

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro, optional



Vegetable oil

36 large shrimp (about 3 pounds), peeled and deveined (tails left intact; optional)

Coarse salt

18 wooden skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes to prevent charring


To make the sauce: Bring sugar and lime juice to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lime zest, chili paste and fish sauce. Season with salt, and stir in chopped cilantro if using.

Preheat the grill to high or preheat the broiler. Brush grill grates with oil. Thread 2 shrimp onto each skewer; season with salt. Divide sauce in half; reserve half for serving. Grill or broil the shrimp for 1 minute; brush with sauce. Flip, and grill for 1 minute more; brush with sauce again. Flip, and grill, brushing occasionally with sauce, until opaque, 1 to 3 minutes more or until shrimp are cooked through. Serve with reserved sauce.

Adapted from “Martha Stewart’s Appetizers” by Martha Stewart (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, $27.50).

Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

Nutritional information not available.