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The Simple Lettuce Trick For Hiding The Ice Under Cold Appetizers

Shrimp cocktail on bed of lettuce
Shrimp cocktail on bed of lettuce - Thomas M Perkins / Shutterstock

Keeping cold appetizers nice and cool for an outdoor picnic or even for a group gathering indoors can be a challenge, especially if you've created an aesthetically pleasing presentation. The common-sense approach of simply using ice to keep your deviled eggs or cold crab dip chilled can quickly result in a sopping-wet mess that floods your food.

Instead, you might want to try this simple trick involving lettuce and a freezer bag filled with ice that's either cubed or crushed. Set the sealed, ice-filled bag at the bottom of a large bowl or serving dish and cover it with a few large lettuce leaves. Arrange your cold appetizers on top of the lettuce and marvel at your restaurant-worthy display. The bag effectively acts as a barrier between the food and the ice, preventing your snacks from getting waterlogged, and the lettuce preserves the presentation. This method ensures that the appetizers remain fresh and visually appealing throughout the event, allowing your guests to fully enjoy both the taste and appearance of the spread.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Other Ways To Keep Food Cool For Group Gatherings

People taking picnic food
People taking picnic food - Lindasphotography / Getty Images

Another trick for keeping food cool for serving involves aluminum foil pans or trays. Like the bag of ice, this trick is a clever way to keep food items cool without letting them get waterlogged. By filling a large, aluminum foil pan with water and freezing it, you create an ice brick that will effectively cool down the bottom of another, smaller deep-dish pan placed on top of it. This method ensures that the food remains chilled without making direct contact with the ice, preventing any unwanted water accumulation.

This trick would be particularly useful, for example, during outdoor gatherings or picnics on hot summer days when refrigeration options are limited. By utilizing the "ice brick in aluminum foil pan" trick, you can keep salads, fruits, and other perishable items cool and refreshing for an extended period, allowing everyone to enjoy the food without worrying about it spoiling in the heat.

Cold Appetizers That Will Wow Your Guests

Watermelon salad with feta
Watermelon salad with feta - Juefrateam / Shutterstock

When the time comes to impress your guests with cold appetizers, the opportunities are endless. From gazpachos to dips to salads, there are plenty of ways to simultaneously wow the crowds and beat the heat. Put a modern twist on a classic shrimp cocktail with a shrimp cocktail salad, featuring plump shrimp, avocado, and lime. You might also consider caprese skewers with pesto for the perfect bright, flavorful bite of mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes.

For those wanting to experiment with different flavor profiles, a Thai-inspired lemongrass and peanut slaw is the perfect swap for regular old coleslaw. The dish pairs a cabbage and carrot slaw with green chiles and a delicious marinade of rice vinegar, soy sauce, lemongrass puree, sesame oil, and sugar. Of course, you can always keep it old school with slices of fresh watermelon, or add some pizzazz with a sprinkle of feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.