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Nautical Party

Distinctive Nautical Hors d'oeuvre Recipes

Seafood and fish are naturals for nautical, but we've come up with three distinctive hors d'oeuvres to make your party really stand-out. In addition to these recipes, check out our hors d'oeuvre recipe section for more ideas. Here are our suggestions for a nautical-themed party:
  • Marinated Shrimp with Snow Pea Sails
  • Life Rings & Crab Buoys
  • Phyllo Flag Triangles with Spinach
And for the bar add a bowl of goldfish, Life Savers, or gummy fish.

Marinated Shrimp with Snow Pea Sails1
Marinated Shrimp with Snow Pea SailsAdvance prep:  1-2 days before the party (required)
Last-minute prep:  Add snow pea sails up to 4 hours before.
Makes 30 Hors d'oeuvres

  • 1-1/2 lbs large shrimp (30), peeled & deveined
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 15-20 snow peas
Steps to prepare:
  1. Cook shrimp in boiling water until pink, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Drain shrimp and immerse in cold water to cool & prevent overcooking.
  3. Drain again and put in a glass or stainless steel bowl.
  4. Whisk together vinegar, oil, garlic, ginger, salt & pepper.
  5. Pour over shrimp and stir to coat.
  6. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 days, stirring at least every 8 hours.
  7. Up to 4 hours before serving, string the snow peas and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds.
  8. Drain and immediately immerse in ice water to chill.
  9. Drain well.
  10. Cut each snow pea in half crosswise to create two pieces that look like sails.
  11. Insert a toothpick from the cut end along the straight edge of the snow pea to peak out of the top like a sailboat mast.
  12. Insert a snow pea sail into each shrimp and serve.
Life Rings & Crab Buoys
Life Rings & Crab Buoys Hors d'oeuvresAdvance prep:  Prepare spread the day before party
Last-minute prep:  Assemble 2 hours before.
Moderate difficulty
Makes 30 Life Rings & 30 Buoys

  • 30 slices of white bread, left out 2 hours to slightly harden
  • 3 artichoke hearts
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 oz crab meat
  • 3  green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Roasted red peppers, unsliced
Steps to prepare:
  1. Combine artichoke hearts, crab, onions, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until chopped small. Add cream cheese and puree until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Cut out a round from each slice of bread approximately 2-3/4 inches in diameter using a biscuit cutter, and store until ready to serve.
To serve:
  1. Spread crab mixture to completely cover each round. If necessary, refrigerate until crab mixture is firm for cutting out the center.
  2. Cut the center out of each round using a 1-3/8 inch biscuit cutter to create a ring and small round.
  3. Cut the roasted red pepper into 4 rectangles approximately 1/2 inch wide and slightly longer in length.
  4. Position the red pepper rectangles equally spaced around the ring.
  5. Cut the roasted red pepper into 3 strips approximately 1/4 inch wide with one strip about 1-1/2 inch long and the other two about 5/8 inches in length.
  6. Position the longer strip across the center of the small round, then place the smaller strips on each side and perpendicular to the longer strip.  It should look like a red X on the small round.
  7. Use blue paper instead of white doilies on your serving tray to look like water.
  8. Serve at room temperature.
Phyllo Flag Triangles with Spinach1
A wink to Popeye the Sailorman
Advance prep:  Up to 2 days before the party.  May be frozen, do not thaw.
Phyllo Flag Triangles with SpinachLast-minute prep:  Bake 10 minutes.
Moderate difficulty
Makes 50 Hors d'oeuvres

  • 1/3 cup Olive Oyl
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 2-1/2 lbs spinach, washed & dried or 2-10 oz frozen spinach, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 1/2 lb feta cheese, drained & crumbled
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb phyllo pastry
  • 1 lb unsalted butter, melted
Steps to prepare the filling:
  1. Heat the oil and saute the scallions until soft.
  2. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, stirring often.
  3. Put the mixture over a bowl and press out the liquid.
  4. Boil down the liquid to 2 tablespoons.
  5. Mix the spinach, liquid, parsley, dill, feta, eggs, salt and pepper until well blended.
  6. Cool completely.
Steps to prepare the triangles:
  1. Thaw the phyllo dough overnight in the refrigerator, if frozen.
  2. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a flat surface and brush with butter.
  3. Top with 2 more sheets, buttering each. Don't worry about small tears
  4. Cut the sheets crosswise into 6 strips.
  5. Spoon a teaspoon of filling onto the end of each strip.
  6. Form a triangle by folding the right-hand corner to the opposite side, like folding a flag.
  7. Fold the triangle straight-up by folding the left-hand corner parallel to the left side.
  8. Next, fold the left-hand corner to the opposite side, continue to the end, and cut off any excess phyllo.
  9. Repeat the process until all the filling is used.
  10. Refrigerate triangles until ready to serve, up to 2 days, or freeze for longer.  Do not thaw before baking.
To serve:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place triangles on a buttered baking sheet and brush with melted butter.
  3. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
1This recipe was modified from Martha Stewart's The Martha Stewart Cookbook.