Whether it's an impromptu get-together with friends or a formal cocktail party, these 20-minute recipes will whet the appetite.
Oysters with Pink Peppercorn Mignonette
Even appetizers fancy enough for a black-tie New Year's Eve party can be made superfast. Raw oysters are delicious enough on their own, but this light dressing elevates them into the stratosphere. The subtly sweet acidity of champagne vinegar, fruity spice of pink peppercorns, and licorice-like herbalness of tarragon contrast with and highlight the briny, sweet, and mineral elements of the raw oysters. For an extra elegant presentation, freeze the mignonette on a baking dish, then scrape with a fork as for a granita and top the oysters with the icy shards just before serving.