Whether it’s an awards show fête you forgot you were hosting or an impromptu girl’s night, last minute entertaining can be stressful. While it’s easy to pop open some champagne or uncork a bottle of wine, planning hors d’oeuvres requires decidedly more effort.

Don’t fret! We’ve got two simple ideas for party starters that are not only delicious but also (and possibly most importantly) very impressive.

Quail’s Nest

Quail's Nest Appetizer

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 dozen quail eggs
  • 6 thin slices of prosciutto, sliced in half
  • 1 bunch of arugula
  • 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Optional: shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss arugula with balsamic vinegar and plate.

Spray 12-cup mini muffin tin with olive oil. Carefully tuck a slice of prosciutto into each cup, making a “nest” for the egg. Crack an egg into the center of each. Bake for 6 minutes or until egg whites are set.

Remove from pan and place on arugula salad. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired. Season lightly with white pepper.

Tip: Quail eggs have tougher shells making them harder to crack. Gently poke a knife edge into the shell and work the knife around in a circular fashion. Then pop the top off.

Smoked Salmon Brioche

Smoked Salmon Brioche

  • 6 slices of brioche
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ pound thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • ¼ cup crème fraiche
  • 1 bunch of chives, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice brioche into squares. Melt butter in pan. Add brioche to the pan to coat. Place brioche on sheet pan and bake for 6 minutes or until toast edges are golden brown.

Remove toasted brioche. Top with dollop of crème fraiche and a slice of smoked salmon. Sprinkle with chives.

Discover more entertaining inspiration here.