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Appetizer/Hors D'Oeuvre/Starter Ideas


Malawry
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7 hours ago, Bernie said:

I think you get arrested these days for tampering with a tart...🤫

 

Not if you have negotiated the appropriate fee in advance. Or so I'm told!

 

I really think you can't beat smoked fish as a starter. My preference is smoked sturgeon, bu tpretty much any smoked fish.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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  • 7 months later...

Of course, starters should whet the appetite, but also compliment the main course (I refuse to call it an entrée).

This one was rather robust in flavour but I felt worked with the main.

 

烟熏牡蛎 (yān xūn mǔ lì) - smoked oysters, 裙带菜 (qún dài cài) - Undaria pinnatifida or in Japanese, ワカメ (wakame), 玉环菜 (yù huán cài) - Chinese artichokes (pickled).

 

oysters.thumb.jpg.e16c805232f34f63a8c6ba22206a8908.jpg

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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3 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Chinese artichokes, aka crosnes

 

Yes. I wrote about them and their history in this post. I first ate them in my French grandmother's kitchen in southern France a very long time ago. I've eaten them in Crosnes, too!

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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The combination of smoked oysters, wakame and pickled artichokes has to be one of the stranger amalgamations I have seen on these boards as of yet.  Won't knock it till I try it though.....not sure when that might be, though....lol 🤣

 

For a upcoming 40th celebratory meal I am planning (a tasting menu) I am concocting a smoked duck bite - crisp toast, smoked duck breast slice, and a counter point - most likely a sweet and sour tomato/chili jam of some sort....though I am still playing with ideas.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, TicTac said:

pickled artichokes

 

The Chinese artichokes aren't actually artichokes. More here. The acidity of the pickles does cut the robust smoky taste of the oysters well, though. I agree it's not an obvious pairing, but I like it!

Would love to hear about your smoked duck starter when you finalise it.

 

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Toasted sourdough bread, local ricotta, spritz of olive oil, radish slices, pea shoots and nigella seeds.  This is something I make frequently with different toppings atop the ricotta, a drizzle of puréed preserved lemon in oil is lovely for a simple topping. This is a larger one requiring a knife but smaller slices of toasted baguette are easier to eat by hand.

7047C421-7F46-4E39-8401-9808F624ABC3.jpeg

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The other 'starter'(s) I am doing (though I suppose with a tasting menu of small bites, each one can be considered a starter!) that I know of -

 

Tuna tar tar - 2 ways in this case.

 

1, marinated in bonito infused soy (a prep we had at a great sushi spot in Vancouver)

2, avocado/lime/chili/sesame oil

 

If I can find them, I will do a fava bean/ricotta gnocchi/porcini bite -

 

 

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20 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Of course, starters should whet the appetite, but also compliment the main course (I refuse to call it an entrée).

This one was rather robust in flavour but I felt worked with the main.

 

烟熏牡蛎 (yān xūn mǔ lì) - smoked oysters, 裙带菜 (qún dài cài) - Undaria pinnatifida or in Japanese, ワカメ (wakame), 玉环菜 (yù huán cài) - Chinese artichokes (pickled).

 

oysters.thumb.jpg.e16c805232f34f63a8c6ba22206a8908.jpg

 

What an interesting combination. So what was the main?

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14 hours ago, OlyveOyl said:

Toasted sourdough bread, local ricotta, spritz of olive oil, radish slices, pea shoots and nigella seeds.  This is something I make frequently with different toppings atop the ricotta, a drizzle of puréed preserved lemon in oil is lovely for a simple topping. This is a larger one requiring a knife but smaller slices of toasted baguette are easier to eat by hand.

7047C421-7F46-4E39-8401-9808F624ABC3.jpeg


What an absolutely enticing photo! 

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On 2/20/2023 at 7:10 AM, TicTac said:

For a upcoming 40th celebratory meal I am planning (a tasting menu) I am concocting a smoked duck bite - crisp toast, smoked duck breast slice, and a counter point - most likely a sweet and sour tomato/chili jam of some sort....though I am still playing with ideas.

 

My mind leapt immediately to the pickled cherries I have. I did apple cider vinegar w/ ginger & orange zest, and balsamic with rosemary sprig.

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Maybe it makes sense to define these terms? I know it's murky, but generally hors d'oeuvres means finger foods served with cocktails before sitting down to dinner. Although I don't think "finger foods" is really a good definition, since some cocktail foods are served with little plates and utensils. The main thing is that you are standing up or sitting in the living room or a more casual venue.  Apps and starters are often used interchangeably to refer to the first course of a sit down meal, especially so when you consider restaurant menus.

 

Hors d'oeuvres are something my husband can put out in between making cocktails, while I'm at the stove finishing up my starter, which could be a composed salad, a soup or almost any very small plate. My father in law used to refer to hors d'oeuvres as "pupus," with a nod to Hawaii. My mother's go-to hors d'oeuvre was celery root remoulade, so she served it with little plates and forks but always before sitting down to dinner. My father's favorite was chopped chicken liver on crackers. Both were accompanied by martinis.

 

So what is an amuse bouche? My sense is that it is something the restaurant kitchen sends out to you while you wait for your starter. It isn't on the menu, so there's an element of surprise. I always suspected it was a way to divert your attention if the kitchen was busy and slow to get out the first course. Everyone in the restaurant gets the same one. so it serves several functions at once: a diversion, a signal that the chef is "creative" and the restaurant is "generous."  If it isn't on the menu that means it's "free." All this is not to say it isn't often fun. Okay, nuff a that.   

 

 

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Some random bites, beets with smoked trout and horseradish cream

ScreenShot2023-02-21at8_42_54AM.png.49c4d41a8ce30c847b2291d8d4f4b7cd.png

 

Stuffed squash blossoms before plating

ScreenShot2023-02-21at8_29_48AM.png.845669d71d7e8b428e49a089bc4b8b7c.png  ScreenShot2023-02-21at8_30_05AM.png.6553abc7583ac9386a6fe5bcde39b3d2.png

 

"Pascade", a pancake kind of thing from the Aveyron, topped with fresh mozzarella and salad

ScreenShot2023-02-21at8_25_45AM.png.374028aebb69ffa81c94cdcc03f1d77f.png

 

Pork rillettes and cornichon

ScreenShot2023-02-21at8_28_44AM.png.740b2663e3091b7f5ad4cf464a2ce115.png

 

Curried rutabaga soup with a fried oyster

ScreenShot2023-02-21at8_31_43AM.png.59555484b0ede72cd80d0f12e9436099.png

 

 

Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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eGullet member #80.

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14 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

Maybe it makes sense to define these terms?

 

Always a good idea.

My go to definitions are:

 

Appetizer - Anything taken to create appetite or relish for food; a whet or stimulant to appetite.

 

Hors d'œuvre - An extra dish served as a relish to whet the appetite between the courses of a meal or (more generally) at its commencement. So they are an appetizer. The plural in French is also 'oevre'. No /s/. French rarely uses the term, preferring amuse-gueule,  which also means "amuse the mouth". "' Gueule" is also the origin of 'gullet'.

 

Starter - A dish eaten as the first course of a meal, before the main course.

Of course, in most of the world, 'entrée' means 'starter'. Littré, the major French dictionary, explains entrées as ‘mets qui se servent au commencement du repas - 'dishes that are served at the beginning of the meal'.
 

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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2 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

Maybe it makes sense to define these terms?

I wondered about that myself but decided there was enough overlap in what's actually being served that it might not be necessary.

 

2 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

The main thing is that you are standing up or sitting in the living room or a more casual venue

If the main distinction is your posture and surroundings or the plates and utensils, I'm not sure it's that important to parse out definitions if what we're going to talk about is the food and cooking aspects.

Customs like cicchetti and tapas have their own distinctions regarding posture and surroundings but one could certainly steal a recipe and serve it as a starter at home.  

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On 2/21/2023 at 1:08 AM, liuzhou said:

 

I was waiting for someone to ask that! 麻婆豆腐 (má pó dòu fǔ).

 

mapodoufu.thumb.JPG.02a9b10300f746d097b9094d987e436f.JPG


My fave. Or I should say, the dish I keep trying to duplicate from a particular restaurant where I first had it. Because it was one of those really stunning first taste sensations. 

 But as to whether this is a good combo with your oyster starter, I reserve judgment. I would have to taste the combination first. The only smoked oysters I'm familiar with (my taste buds are familiar with) are the canned variety (always a big treat for our "relish" tray at Thanksgiving and Christmas). 
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Baked Camembert with Armagnac Prunes, Mushrooms and Thyme from Taste & Technique

BF27AA1E-FED7-4722-9DBB-EA395F520050_1_201_a.thumb.jpeg.36ef52f186872497e89460e4568ece69.jpeg

 

I was curious about this combination of savory mushrooms sautéed with shallots and the sweet prunes but it turns out to work quite well. 

Trader Joe's had some little 5 oz rounds of goat cheese Brie from Laura Chenel in Sonoma so I subbed that in for the Camembert. 

Leftovers are shortly to be turned into a grilled cheese sandwich. 

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22 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Baked Camembert with Armagnac Prunes, Mushrooms and Thyme from Taste & Technique

 

Trader Joe's had some little 5 oz rounds of goat cheese Brie from Laura Chenel in Sonoma so I subbed that in for the Camembert. 

Leftovers are shortly to be turned into a grilled cheese sandwich. 

Your substitution sounds great - a little more oomph than the camembert

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  • 2 weeks later...
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