It's Friday. You've made it. Feel free to celebrate with fun finger foods.
Smoked salmon pizza: Try the smoked salmon pizza from Morton's Steakhouse. Top a prepared pizza crust with a little sour cream and smoked salmon, along with chopped red onion, fresh dill and capers. It takes all of 15 minutes to whip up.
Deviled eggs: Deviled eggs are so simple to make. Halve some hard-boiled eggs and scoop out the yolks. Mash the yolks up, fold in a little sour cream or mayonnaise, a little mustard, some chopped herbs or seasoning, and maybe a dash of Worcestershire. Dollop the filling back in the shell -- or pipe it in if you're feeling fancy -- and you've got stuffed eggs. To devil them properly, add a little heat with a dash of hot sauce or a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.Or shake things up a little by adding minced fennel, smoked salmon, red onions and capers to your base. Place snipped chives over the finished eggs as a final garnish.
Peel 'n' eat shrimp: If you don't mind getting your hands dirty at dinner you can't go wrong with the peel 'n' eat shrimp recipe David Lentz of the Hungry Cat shared with us a few years back — large Mexican white shrimp steamed in a spicy beer reduction. They take an hour or two to marinate, so you'll need to plan ahead, but once you get the dish cooking it comes together in about a half-hour, plenty of time for you to lay out the newspaper over the table and ready a stack of napkins!
Ginger soy chicken wings: These Asian-inspired chicken wings are a tempting take on the classic finger food. The crunchy, deep-fried wings are glazed in a sticky-sweet soy reduction that gets its tang from fresh ginger. No dipping sauce necessary. You can find the recipe below.
GINGER SOY CHICKEN WINGS
Total time: About 1 hour
Servings: 4 to 6 appetizer portions
Note: Adapted from Beacon restaurant
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup mirin
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1. Combine the chicken broth, mirin, sake, soy sauce, sugar and ginger in a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
2. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup. Remove from heat and reserve.
Vegetable oil for frying
12 whole chicken wings (about 2 pounds), separated at the joints and wing tips removed (save for stock or another use)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup soy-ginger glaze
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish
1. Fill a large, heavy-bottom saucepan with enough oil to come 3 inches up the side. Heat the oil until a thermometer inserted reads 350 degrees.
2. Season the wings with the salt and pepper, then dredge with the cornstarch. Fry the wings, a few at a time, until lightly golden and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain the wings on a rack.
3. When all the wings are fried, heat a wok or heavy sauté pan over high heat. Add the reserved ginger-soy sauce and bring to a boil, then add the wings, stirring to coat. Cook the wings in the sauce, stirring constantly, until the sauce reduces enough that it coats the wings in a thick, syrupy glaze.
4. Remove from the heat and toss the wings with the sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Each serving: 355 calories; 18 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 22 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 51 mg. cholesterol; 1,377 mg. sodium.