WRITTEN ON December 5th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Appetizer, Holiday, Potato, Vegetarian

I am an hors d’oeuvres junkie. My favorite kind of parties are cocktail parties, and not just because of the copious amounts of booze. That’s right, folks, I’m the girl who follows the food passers around eating all the nibbles off their trays. I’ve even been known to stand strategically near the kitchen doors so I get first dibs.

I’m totally non-discriminatory, too. Mini-hot dogs, smoked salmon, tuna tartare, gazpacho cups…hell I’d eat a tray of Bagel Bites if you served it to me with a cocktail napkin.

Over the next couple weeks I’m going to post several easy holiday cocktail snacks. It’s the time of year when people are opening their homes and their hearts, and filling their bellies with good food and cheer. There’s nothing better than a December filled with cold nights, hot toddies, and a plethora of canapes. Here’s one that’s simple, pretty and delicious. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. If you feel like going the extra mile, try it with a dollop of caviar on top of the creme fraiche. Slightly smaller budget? You could also sprinkle it with some crumbled bacon. That said, it’s super tasty as is. Make sure not to skip the lemon. It adds a brightness that’s just a bit unexpected. Kind of like that teeny, tiny box that’s stuffed in the back of your boyfriend’s sock drawer (he went to Jared)…no peeking!

Hot Potato
Hot Potato

Colorful Potato Cups (makes 30 canapes)
15 red, purple and white baby potatoes
1 cup creme fraiche
1 bunch chives, minced
Zest of 1 lemon, cut into thin strips
Salt and pepper to taste
Maldon salt for finishing
Preheat oven to 400. Halve each baby potato horizontally. You may need to trim them so that they are similar in height. Cut a small amount off of the rounded end of each half, so that they sit flat. Using the small end of a melon baller, scoop out just enough of the flesh in the cut side to make a very small indentation. Season with salt and pepper, place them, flesh side down, onto a baking sheet. Roast in oven until cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. In the meantime, stir together chives, creme fraiche, a bit of salt, pepper, and a couple drops of lemon juice. Place into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip (if you don’t have this you could just chill it in a bowl and use small spoons to fill the potatoes). Chill in fridge until firm. Both of these steps can be done a day in advance. When ready to serve, warm potatoes in hot oven for about 1 minute. Top with a dollop of creme fraiche, a lemon curl, and just a flake or two of Maldon salt. Serve immediately.

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