These appetizers only take a few minutes to make

Call it whatever you like — appetizer, appetizer, or finger food — you can never have too many tricks up your sleeve when it comes to partying. And you don’t have to prepare all week (or even all day) to put together a wonderful range of hand-held treats. Take the four recipes below, for example. The ingredient lists are short, the preparations simple and the presentations stunning.

From tender pieces of glistening pork in a sweet and savory frosting to juicy steak bites covered with honey, soy and spicy garlic, meatballs flavored with cumin and sprinkled with onion, garlic, parsley and garlic. Mint with creamy cucumber and dill yogurt and crispy buttery phyllo shells filled with creamy hummus and roasted peppers, all of these snacks deliver a burst of flavor with every bite and can be whipped up in minutes.

I’ve also provided tips on how to do them ahead of time, if that’s more your style.

Feed a crowd? Simply double or triple the recipe as needed.

Recipe: Hoisin Glazed Pork Bites

Easy appetizers allow you to spend more time enjoying your guests.

Hoisin sauce is a salty-sweet blend of fermented soybeans, garlic, chili peppers and spices. It’s as thick as molasses and is often used as a frosting or stir-fry sauce. Look for hoisin sauce next to soy sauce at your favorite grocery store.

Preparation tip: This dish is best served right after cooking, but you can cut the pork into bite-size pieces and refrigerate for up to 24 hours to save time.

Portions: 6-8 as an aperitif

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • Slurry: 1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup of water
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for serving

Preperation:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until golden brown on all sides. Season the pork with salt and pepper and add the garlic. Cook 30 seconds longer.
  2. Add the hoisin sauce and mirin and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cornstarch paste to the pan and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  4. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Recipe: Honey Garlic Steak

Easy appetizers allow you to spend more time enjoying your guests.

Preparation tip: The soy sauce mixture can be made up to 24 hours in advance. To save time on the day of the party, cut the steak up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Portions: 6-8 as an aperitif

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of lean steak of your choice, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped green onions for serving

Preperation:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, water and garlic. Put aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook until golden brown on all sides.
  3. Add the soy sauce mixture and butter and cook, 3 to 5 minutes, until the steak is cooked through and the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  4. Garnish with green onions and serve.

Recipe: Mediterranean Meatballs with Tzatziki

Easy appetizers allow you to spend more time enjoying your guests.

Roast the Meatballs: This recipe couldn’t be easier as the oven does all the work as the meatballs cook perfectly, with all sides caramelized, as excess fat drains off. Even cleaning is a snap.

Preparation tip: Meatballs can be shaped in advance and refrigerated up to 3 days before roasting. Tzatziki can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Portions: 6-8 as a starter

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Tzatziki:

  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup diced seedless cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped or grated
  • Juice of one lemon

Preperation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. To make the meatballs, combine the beef, onion, garlic, parsley, mint, cumin, oregano, ½ teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of black pepper in a large bowl .
  3. Mix well and shape the mixture into 20 to 24 meatballs. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared skillet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the tzatziki, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  5. Serve the meatballs with tzatziki on the side.

Recipe: Vegetarian Hummus Cups with Roasted Red Peppers

Easy appetizers allow you to spend more time enjoying your guests.

Look for phyllo shells next to puff pastry and regular phyllo dough in the freezer aisle of your favorite grocery store. Have fun with hummus: Choose your favorite hummus flavor or try something different, like roasted garlic or roasted red pepper.

Advice to take in advance: this aperitif is best served soon after assembly. The hummus softens the filo dough at the bottom of the cup and over time it can become mushy. That said, these mugs can sit for up to an hour before serving.

Portions: 6-8 as an aperitif

Ingredients:

  • 15 frozen fully cooked phyllo shells
  • 5-6 tablespoons of hummus, prepared of your choice
  • 3-4 tablespoons diced roasted red peppers
  • Chopped fresh chives

Preperation:

  1. Cook the phyllo cuts as directed on the package.
  2. Fill the cups with about 1 teaspoon of hummus each. Garnish with roasted red peppers and chives.

Questions or comments? Email the culinary team at [email protected]