Small Wonders

With these chef-endorsed items, you can whip up any number of smart dishes.

What: A tangy syrup made from the juice of Italian wine grapes
How: Drizzle over vanilla ice cream, prosciutto-wrapped bread sticks, or bite-size chunks of Parmesan.
Where: $22 for 250 ml;

What: Sweet-and-smoky fire-roasted whole chilis from Spain's Navarra region.
How: Stuff with goat cheese. Mince and mix with mayo. Later on toast points topped with canned tuna or cured meats.
Where: $13 for 7.6 oz;

What: A robust Moroccan favorite cured in lemon juice and salt.
How: Mince a rind and whip into crème fraîche. Stir slivers into couscous. Add to a dish of green olives.
Where: $20 for 24 oz;


3 Dishes to Delegate to Your Guests

When pals pitch in, the recipe is an all-around winner.

Fresh ingredient from your guest: Chicken-liver pâté
Nonperishables from your pantry: Cherry preserves and pistachios
THE DISH: Spread pâté on toast points and top with a dollop of preserves and coarsely chopped nuts.

Fresh ingredient from your guest: Burrata
Nonperishables from your pantry: Sun-dried tomatoes and capers
THE DISH: Cut burrata into wedges. Finely chop tomatoes and capers, moisten mixture with olive oil, and spoon over the cheese.

Fresh ingredient from your guest: Brioche
Nonperishables from your pantry: Coffee ice cream and cocoa nibs
THE DISH: Toast thick slices of brioche until golden-brown, top with ice cream, and sprinkle on nibs.


21st-Century Dips

With these three recipes adapted from restaurant sauces, you can create crowd-friendly condiments that will one-up any guac.

1. Chorizo Aioli Served With Slices of Garlic Toast
Our Inspiration: Corton's Roasted monkfish and quenelle of chorizo aioli topped with charred tomato and anise-hyssop jus
Recipe courtesy of Corton, New York

2. Anchovy Butter Served With Fresh Radishes
Recipe courtesy of Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, Ore.

3. Peanut-Yogurt Dip Served With Gulf Coast Cocktail Shrimp
Recipe courtesy of Emmer & Rye, Seattle

Platters by Mud Australia; from $95;
Paper boat serving bowl by Sagaform and Form Us With Love; $25;