Best Hors d'oeuvres Recipes
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Hors d'oeuvres Shopping Tips
Stocking up on no-cook items like cheese, nuts, olives, crackers, and dips will cut down on prep time and help ensure you have enough food for any unexpected guests.
Hors d'oeuvres Cooking Tips
When preparing appetizers try to avoid repetition of similar foods and flavors - aim for variety in textures, colors, and cooking methods.
Crispy polenta is a delicious (and naturally gluten-free) alternative to toasts for your appetizer spread.
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Recipe: Hors d'Oeuvres Provençal
A bumper crop of fresh seasonal vegetables becomes even more delicious when prepared with a touch of Provençal flair.
When the season begins to turn warm, my thoughts and culinary impulses almost always turn to Provence. More than just a tourist destination, the region embodies a state of mind. It is about shopping for fresh ingredients each morning at wonderful local markets, returning home with baskets of just-picked vegetables and herbs, and creating light and tasty meals of simply prepared antipasti.
Last summer, my family and I rented the former home of cooking instructor Simone Beck in Valbonne. She was Julia Child's coauthor on Mastering the Art of French Cooking and, in fact, Julia and her husband lived next door for many years. During our vacation, we enjoyed many picnics and light lunches consisting of vegetable-based hors d'oeuvres, such as the three effortless recipes included here.
I always aim for a range of textures and tastes. The marinated zucchini is delicate and fragrant with an olive oil infused with orange peel, garlic, and rosemary. Rémoulade, made with radishes instead of the classic celery root, is crunchy, peppery, and tart. Meanwhile, the eggplant is stuffed with bread crumbs, Parmesan, and fresh herbs. Add a bottle of rosé and crusty bread, like a fougasse, and you'll quickly find yourself transported to the south of France.
HORS D'OEUVRES PROVENÇAL
4 zucchini, tops trimmed, thinly sliced, preferably on a mandoline
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
In a medium bowl, toss the sliced zucchini with the salt and let it sit for 5 minutes. This will extract the water from the zucchini. Pour the olive oil in a large saucepan and set over medium heat for 4 minutes. Zest the orange and add the zest to the oil. Add the zucchini, red chile flakes, rosemary, and garlic and stir gently for no more than 20 seconds, then transfer the zucchini and oil back to the bowl and let chill, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure the zucchini stays coated and cools evenly. Meanwhile, slice the orange in half and squeeze the juice into a small saucepan. Bring the juice to a simmer and let it reduce by half, then stir it into the marinated zucchini. Serve chilled, or at room temperature.
6 red radishes, cut into small wedges
1 4-inch piece of daikon radish, peeled and coarsely grated
1 medium watermelon radish, coarsely grated
1 T fresh dill, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground white pepper
In a small saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar, water, sugar, coriander, and salt and bring to a boil to create a pickling liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the radishes. Pour the pickling liquid over the radishes and immediately strain them through a fine mesh sieve. (You can keep the pickling liquid in a heatproof glass container and refrigerate for later use.) Transfer the pickled radishes back to the mixing bowl, stir in the mayonnaise, dill, and white pepper, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes before serving.
3 small to medium eggplants (1 lb. or less each)
⅔ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
⅓ cup plain bread crumbs, plus more for sprinkling
2 sprigs each of fresh oregano, savory, and marjoram, leaves only, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel and chop one of the eggplants into ½-inch cubes and set aside in a medium mixing bowl. Cut the remaining two eggplants in half length-wise and use a spoon to scoop out most of the flesh, leaving a ½-inch border set aside. Roughly chop the scooped-out flesh and add it to the cubed eggplant. Combine the chopped eggplant with ⅔ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, ⅓ cup bread crumbs, herbs, and salt and white pepper to taste. Stir to mix well. Arrange the 4 eggplant halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet sprinkle them with salt and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the tops. Generously fill each half with the eggplant mixture. For a nice crust, sprinkle extra bread crumbs and Parmesan over the tops, if desired. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Serve on individual plates, or cut each into thirds and arrange on a platter.
WHAT TO DRINK
"Early summer makes me think of rosé," says Raj Vaidya, head sommelier at Daniel restaurant in New York City. "Its refreshingly fruity flavors are a perfect pairing with these vegetable dishes." For a domestic option, he recommends Sandhi's Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé 2012 ($65), from the Santa Rita Hills in Southern California. "It has a touch of spice that goes with both the dill in the radish rémoulade and the herbs de Provence in the eggplant." To capture the spirit of southern France, Vaidya suggests My Essential Rosé 2014 ($14), left. Made in Provence from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault grapes, "it's savory and aromatic," he says.
22 of Our Favorite Hors d'Oeuvres Recipes
A single baguette, sliced and used as a foundation, yields a host of easy-to-assemble appetizers. Prepare toppings the day before and add them just before serving. Offer guests small plates and forks to scoop up the extras.
The secret to casual entertaining at home? A cocktail buffet filled with finger food. These Asian-inspired shrimp skewers are the perfect appetizer-on-a-stick recipe for your next party.
Simplicity equals perfection in this easy but delicious tart that's ideal for relaxed summer entertaining.
Show off the versatility of wild rice with these thin but satisfying pancakes.
These crispy fritters are a great way to use fresh, sweet summer corn.
This earthy vegetable meets its delicious match in the form of buttery-good puff pastry&mdashturning an iconic side into an easy appetizer.
Smooth ground peas, mint, and feta cheese create a simple, flavorful topping for crostini.
This roasted vegetable, redolent with garlic, shallots, and cognac, top garlic bread to make this spectacular, irresistible dish.
For something different, consider starting your meal with a tasty bite of fig and ricotta cheese.
Slice a baguette, brush pieces with melted butter, and place them under the broiler until golden. Spread ricotta over the toasted bread, drizzle with wildflower or orange-blossom honey, top with a slice of ripe fig or fresh peach, nectarine, or plum, then serve.
Who knew artichokes could look so scrumptious? Everyone will know you did when this tray is carried into the room.
1 Open-Faced Cucumber Finger Sandwiches
Start with club crackers, and spread with a thin layer of softened butter. Top with thin slices of English cucumber, flaky salt, black pepper, and fresh dill.
2 Radishes With Cracker Butter
Start with 10 crushed woven crackers. Combine with 4 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter. Season with salt to taste. With a large spoon, smear the butter across the bottom of a serving plate. Serve with chilled radishes.
3 Crackers With Cream Cheese and Hot Pepper Jelly
Start with dried fruit and herb crisps. Spread plenty of softened cream cheese on each cracker and dollop generously with hot pepper jelly.
4 Cheesy Cracker Party Mix
Start with 1 cup of cheese crackers. Mix with 1 cup each roasted unsalted peanuts, roasted unsalted cashews, and small checkerboard pretzels. Combine 3 tablespoons of butter, a finely chopped garlic clove, a pinch of cayenne, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and cook over low until fragrant. Toss the butter mixture with all of the goodies and spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in a 250°F oven, stirring occasionally, until dry and toasted. Once cool, mix in a handful of dried cranberries if you like.
5 Creamed Spinach Dip with Cracker Breadcrumbs
Start with 15 crushed saltines. Toss with 4 tablespoons melted butter. Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium, add a finely chopped onion and garlic clove, and cook until soft season with salt and pepper. Mix in a bar of cream cheese, ¾ cup milk, 2 thawed packages frozen chopped spinach (squeezed dry), and a pinch of nutmeg. Transfer mixture to a baking dish, and top with saltines. Bake in a 400°F oven until warmed through and the crackers are golden, 18 to 20 minutes.
Mussels on the half-shell
So if you want an easy appetizer recipe that can really wow them, you’ve come to the right place. Because if there’s one thing we have, it’s appetizer options. Take for example, this recipe for baked mussels on the half shell. Lightly browned, juicy, briny, and most of all—impressive! This easy appetizer recipe will surely impress your guests.
To give you an idea of the recipe, the main time-saving trick is to pre-cook the mussels while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Then you chuck it all together and put them right back into the half shells, sprinkling with a little bread crumbs. The result is golden-brown oceany goodness, straight out of your oven! Check out our easy recipe for Italian-style baked mussels here.
This recipe is also quite flexible: though we gave you an Italian variation, it’s easy to mix it up and add different flavors to match it to the rest of your meal (these are appetizers, remember? We know it can be tempting to just sit down and eat the whole platter, but please, please don’t do that. You have guests coming). For a Thai-style flair, try subbing out the parmesan and parsley for ginger, lime, and sugar. Or maybe go Mexican with some cumin and pineapple. The possibilities for easy variations on this classic appetizer recipe are endless. The world is truly your oyster—or really, your mussel.
Five-Ingredient Party Hors d’Oeuvres
Good hosts keep guests’ glasses full and their appetites satiated, and they pull it off without breaking a sweat. How? By serving easy yet elegant hors d’oeuvres, all made with five ingredients or less (salt and pepper don’t count!).
For more holiday suggestions, check out our other recipe round-ups such as super-quick appetizers, festive vegetable sides, holiday potatoes, Christmas soup and salad starters, five-star roasts like Beef Wellington, plus spectacular layer cakes, bar cookies, fudge, and showstopper holiday desserts. And tell us about your favorite hors d’oeuvres on our Facebook page.
1 40 oz. Box Store brand biscuit mix
Melt 2 sticks of butter for each 9 x 13” pan of bread you want to make. Pour into the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, pour biscuit mix into a large mixing bowl. (Store brands turn out better Fred bread for some reason than Bisquick). Start with about ½ the box for a 9 x 13 pan. Pour buttermilk into the mix, slowly, and stir. You want the dough to be dry enough to roll out onto a floured surface. If the dough is tacky to the touch, pour in a bit more mix. Flour your work surface and press out the dough with your hands until you have a large square of dough that’s about ½ thick. Take a knife and cut the dough into squares. Take each piece of dough and dip into the butter in the baking pan and then turn it over and place in the pan. Continue until you have a filled baking dish of bread. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake at 350 degrees on the top shelf of the oven until brown – about 35 minutes.
These are just the guidelines for how to make Fred bread. Naturally you can vary the recipe by adding more or less butter if you prefer. Also, you may like to add different types of herbs and spices to the top. Fennel or anise seeds are a nice way to vary the recipe.
What is a Canapé?
- A canapé is described as a small piece of bread or pastry with a savory topping.
- There are usually three components: the base (bread), and spread (for flavor and to protect the base), and a main ingredient on top.
- They are typically bite-sized, and are commonly served with drinks at a cocktail party or formal party.
This Cucumber Dill Canapé recipe is always crowd pleaser! They’re light, refreshing, pretty, and packed with flavor — and all in one bite!
Everyone loves them! Really, everyone!
Back in my catering days, before my husband and kids, making hundreds of these at once was no big deal.
I barely keep my head above water some days now, with the kids’ busy schedule, so making a few dozen is often a big deal.
You can easily break down the steps for these cucumber hors d’oeuvres — so party day is relaxing!
This way it’s fun and easy — and so worth the effort!
Appetizers & Hors D'Oeuvres
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