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Appetizer/Hors D'Oeuvre/Starter Ideas


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Good luck with the new restaurant.  It would be interesting to hear more of menu and concept later on.

thanks much Ludja, i might need it. its my way of curbing my home sickness and bringing a bit of the 'bay' closer to me...we will open in june and when i have time i may start another thread on it...

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  • 8 months later...

I need some help with a cocktail party I'm hosting on Friday. I'm making all kinds of lovely appetizers and desserts, but I need a second filling for one of them.

I am making some gougeres (sp) that are filled with a wonderful wild mushroom/gruyere mixture. Since I really don't have anything "meaty" on the menu, I feel like I need to do half the puffs with a meat filling. I just so happen to have a nice big hunk of leftover pot roast. Could I grind this up to make a filling? The puffs are pretty small, and I'm piping the filling in, so it would have to be pretty finely ground. Would this be gross? I know it will need some onions and herbs to liven it up, and I have some excellent gravy I could use to bind it if necessary. Does this sound at all appetizing? I don't really have any time to experiment (lots more baking to do) so if anyone has any experience doing something like this, I would really appreciate your insight.

I'm thinking it would turn out a little like potsticker filling. That can't be bad, right?

"First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go 'wow, I need this beet right now'. Those are the money beets." Dwight Schrute, The Office, Season 3, Product Recall

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Katie, the idea of ground pot roast leaves me beyond cold. Grey and, well, ground. What about a smoked salmon mousse for something "meatier" (well, fishier), and turning the leftover pot roast into a nice warm soup for some other dinner?

I heard ground pot roast, and all I can think of is that jarred baby junk my friends fed their kids.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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That's kind of what I was afraid of. I'm doing a shrimp appetizer, so I already have something "fishy". I just thought that I should add something meaty, since I didn't really have any other meat on the menu.

I guess I don't HAVE to have meat. There will be plenty of protein, what with the shrimp and the hummus platter and the rosemary mixed nuts I'm making. At least a third of our guests are vegetarians, so I wanted to make sure I had enough for them to eat, but I kind of forgot about the carnivores! Not that meat eaters can't eat veggies.

Maybe I can make just a little of the filling and test it. What about horseradish? I do like the idea of the mustard. If the filling turned out like a Franco potsticker, that wouldn't be so bad, would it?

"First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go 'wow, I need this beet right now'. Those are the money beets." Dwight Schrute, The Office, Season 3, Product Recall

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Katie: Don't put the beef in the food processor...you'll get saw dust...

Emince the beef and combine with some of your jus/gravy and a bit of horseradish and some finely grated aged cheddar. Add some finely minced shallot or chives for a bit more savory flavor. I used to do this with choux paste for parties and they were always well recieved..

Lefty Ruggiero to Donnie Brasco: "Anywhere you go, all around the world, all the best cooks are men."

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Ok, I think I'm just going to scrap the pot roast idea entirely. On impulse, I stopped at my butcher's yesterday just to see what looked good. I ended up buying some gorgeous smoked bacon. They make it in-house, and it even SMELLS great. So I will definitely be making something out of that.

Do I see BACON CANDY in my future? :biggrin:

I know, not exactly meaty, but there's plenty of savory on the menu, and bacon candy is just fun. Plus, no self-respecting carnivore would pass it up. I even got my vegetarian little sister to eat some last night when I was playing with it. :shock:

Has anyone ever rolled up the bacon to do this? I'm thinking it might make prettier little bites that way.

"First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go 'wow, I need this beet right now'. Those are the money beets." Dwight Schrute, The Office, Season 3, Product Recall

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Bacon Candy! This really got me thinking about our New Year's Eve dinner. We were thinking of doing a bacon wrapped date stuffed with parmesan sprinkled with a little cinnamon as our amuse. It's good, and the cheese is a nice addition to the traditional bacon wrapped date, but it seems a little lackluster.

However, I'm wondering what you all think of a piece of bacon candy, slice of cheese (open to suggestions on the kind), with some date or fig spread. Sort of a deconstruction of above.

Any good bacon candy recipes to be had? I searched recipe gullet and didn't see any. I read the bacon candy thread but I'm not sure how people feel about the recipes listed there. I did see a bacon dipped in butterscotch reference on a blog (from their dinner at Alinea). How would home cook (not a professional chef), go about creating that? Cook the bacon, dip in butterscotch when done and let it cool?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello All

I m going to the motherin laws house for christmas eve

Im supposed to bring some appitizers

Any one have a super appitizer recipe,i want to blow there socks off with some good food

any help would be greatly appreciated


PS This is my first post so i hope i did it right

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are you looking for a plated appetizer or something people can help themselves to?

do you have a budget or can you be lavish?

welcome to egullet!!!!!!!

I was hoping for something they can help themselves too

I have a budget,but i would be willing to kick in some extra for the WOW appeal

There will be about 10 adults and 6 children

Thanks Shane

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I've done two apps recently that went over very well. Both were out of my head and I don't have any precise measurements to give. I'm not claiming nothing similar to them existed, they're nothing particularly unusual and I know I've seen things similar to the first one, just didn't use a recipe or anything.

1. pork cubes coated in a mix of callebaut cocoa powder, cinnamon, black pepper, ancho powder, clove, nutmeg and salt, fridged them for a couple hours, cooked them and plated them with ancho chile oil and passionfruit reduction.

2. shrimp poached in butter and served on a slice of ripe plantain that was fried in butter, seasoned with a mix of sugar, salt, chipotle powder and smoked paprika and topped with a generous pinch of spray dried coconut milk powder.

Both are better warm so that may not be what you have in mind.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I've been cranking these out for parties lately.

Make parmasan foam - 1 pint half and half and 3/4 pound parma (or to your proportions - for 10 I would halve the recipe). Melt over a double boiler. Bring to room temp, then chill. It will be consistency of butter.

Place pancetta in mini-muffin cups sprayed with oil and bake at 400 til they look crispy.

When they cool enough to touch, remove them from the pan.

Top with quenelle or melon baller of parma foam (I've been calling it parma granita to those who don't know better).

Indent foam with chopstick. Drop of balsamic on top (I've been using my 25 year, but any would work)

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I just did a pretty good appetizer for Thanksgiving. It's from another recipe I have that I thought would work in small bites, and it really does. It should be served warm, though, so it may be easier to bring things that can be kept cool or room temp. You would need:

Puff pastry shells (Pepperidge Farm makes some, and you can get them at the regular grocery store. Probably 2-3 packages needed)

Chicken thighs with bone in (about 2 lbs)

Chicken stock (enough to poach the thighs)

Carrots (2), diced

Dried mushrooms (1 or 2 packets) (I think morels taste the best, but use what you like)

Cream (about 1 cup)

White wine that goes with chicken (about 1 cup)

Onion (1 or 2) diced


Flat-leaf parsley

Salt and pepper


Rehydrate the mushrooms in water.

Bake the pastry shells according to the package directions and discard the "lids." You can use the lids if you want, but they have something like "top" stamped on them and it looks kind of weird.

Poach the chicken thighs in the stock until done. Remove thighs shred into small pieces, discard skin and bones, separate fat and keep the stock.

Remove the mushrooms from the water and set aside. Add the mushroom water to the stock. Reduce stock all the way down to about 3/4 to 1 cup. Add white wine and reduce again.

Saute vegetables and mushrooms in butter and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and add to the bowl of shredded chicken.

In your saute/sauce pan, make a brown roux from flour and butter. Add reduced sauce, then add cream, and let it thicken. Season with S&P.

Pour sauce over veg and chicken. Add herbs. Stir everything together to combine, test for seasoning.

Spoon into baked pastry cups, then bake another 5-10 mins to warm everything up.

Note: You can easily make this without the chicken, so that the only "meat" is the mushrooms. That tastes great as well.

Edited by plk (log)
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Or if you're looking for a nice little finger-food munchie type thing: Let some cream cheese and some soft goat cheese soften at room temperature, then beat them together with a mixer to make something that's pipeably soft. If I'm doing this for me and people I know well, I don't use much cream cheese, but for a roomful of students who aren't so into the goat thing, I use about half and half. If the mixture doesn't get sufficiently soft, beat in a smidge of heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time, to save your hands from aching later. For some extra zip, you can add some coarsely ground peppercorns to the mixing bowl. Scrape the cheese mixture into a ziplock bag, press out the air and seal the top. Snip a corner open and use the ziplock as a piping bag to squeeze the contents onto small plain crunchy boring crackers (or cookies if you'd prefer to take this in a sweeter direction, I suppose; tiny gingersnaps might be interesting). Then on top of each, arrange a few pomegranite seeds that you've whacked out of a whole fruit. One pomegranite will give you more than enough seeds for six dozen nibbles. If you want to get really fancy for the holidaze, add a sprinkle of something green, such as chopped mint leaves if you want to go sweet or snipped chives if you want to stay savory, either on top or beaten into the cheese. I don't usually bother because I don't want to detract from the pomegranite seeds.



Oswego, NY

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Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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Parmesan stuffed dates wrapped with bacon on a toothpick served hot are fantastic!!! I have some friends that serve them at their holiday party nearly every year and they are gobbled up in seconds!

I love love love them!

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What is this "spray dried coconut milk powder" of which you speak? Something available to mortals?

What else do you use it for?

It's coconut milk that they dry by some spraying method with a bit of maltodextrin to keep the oil stabilized. It has a very intense and completely natural coconut flavor. It's available to anyone. I get it HERE but willpowder has it as well and there are probably plenty of other sources. I use it anywhere I want a hit of coconut (it has much more coconut punch than even fresh coconut) without adding liquid. I also use it to boost coconut milk to another level of flavor and I've rolled truffles in it before. I've also made a dry thai curry by adding all of the usual suspects in dry forms to the coconut powder and used that to dust things. It's a pretty versatile product that I'm always finding new uses for.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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One of my all-time favorites and a perennial crowd pleaser from Epicurious:

Savory Mascarpone Cheesecake with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Not too difficult to make, spectacular looking and tasting. There's never been a scrap leftover.

Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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  • 10 months later...

What about hors d'oeuvres that don't have to be served hot? Ones that you can bring to a potluck that will fare well as they sit out on a table for hours?I know I can do antipasti, cheese, etc, but I'd like to make something. And I'd like it to be finger food rather than a salad.

All year I've been making a crab-mango salad dressed with a lime vinagrette in wonton cups (these are a HUGE hit), but I've brought that to three neighborhood functions already this year and I need something different. Ideas?

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kiliki...turn it into a chicken salad and serve on belgian endive leaves

actually you can serve lots of fun bites on endive leaves


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers


Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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