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Need appetizer inspiration

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I recently took an exec position and have rolled out a new fall menu. I have 7 appetizers on the menu currently, most of which have been on the menu for years and are now landmarks that the owner doesn't want me to touch.

Without getting into too much detail I'll explain what I have. Of the seven the goji prawns and fig and goat cheese blintz are mine. The rest must stay:

Ahi Poke - Pantry
Fig and Goat Cheese with Bourbon honey - Pastry
Cheese Beignets - Saute/Pantry
Goji Berry Tiger Prawn - Grill
Crab Cake - Saute
Escargot with cepe butter - Saute
Fried Calamari - Saute/Pantry

Of course my best sellers are the ones coming out of saute and saute/pantry so my saute guy doesn't need anymore headache. So I need something non-cheese and non fish. And because most of what I have is heavy, fried and out of saute, I would prefer it come off grill. I'm having trouble coming up with something really creative and tasty to come off grill. It has to be easy to execute as we're running a 2-3man line with anywhere between 100-250 covers. Was thinking lamb or duck...

Any ideas would be appreciated.
post #2 of 18
To me it looks like you have a hopped up and modern classical thing going with your menu. I have had great luck with a chimi churi rubbed tenderloin grilled carpachio. The bread gets shitaki olive pesto. A chunk of regianno and asiago goes well on the plate for edable garnish. Simple and yum yum.
post #3 of 18
Julianne of Roast Duck Tropical placed on top of grilled blood orange slices with a raspberrry jus and grilled plantain, and Pineapple

Julianne of Duck inside of a scalloped orange with raspberry orange demi.

have done both they are easy to do, all components can be done prior,
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post #4 of 18
I used to coat potabellas in Italian or Caesar dressing and then broil on a flame broiler. Stem side down first and then turn over and fill hollow with any good cheese. Very basic but I'm sure you can expand on the idea and come up with something outstanding. Added bonus; it's vegetarian.
post #5 of 18
Duck Crepes:

All can be prepared a head of time and made to order or in advance.

Bake duck breast with pamagranate sauce to rare temp and chill it, then cut into small matchstick pieces

Matchstick vegetables. carrots, colored pepper, any veg you have the object is to have as many colors as you can. 4 different kinds. purple, green scallion, red, yellow or any

Take a crepe and cut in half then half again 4 triangles. From curved side to point brush in some Hoisan sauce down one side or any sauce. just a strip on one edge. If your kitchen isnt equiped to make crepes you can but them already made.

Put duck and vegetables on side of crepe with out the sauce roll into a cone shape with duck and veg sticking out. the hoison sauce will keep crepe shut so it doesnt fall apart.

Give it to the pantry guy, so saute doesnt walk out on you. Easy prep item look nice on garnished plate.

PS: i may be mistaking, but stuffed prtobella with CHEESE is not vegaterian, CHEESE (milk-cow). or is and is not vegan.Ceasar dessing (egg-chicken)

i use to make for a lot of events in Boston for great catering company I once worked for.
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #6 of 18
The portabellas as described would be vegetarian but not vegan. You are correct about the vegan.
post #7 of 18
I've always loved lamb lollipops- just grill a 1/3 or 1/2 rack of lamb to medium rare, fan out over some greens with a little jus or veal stock, garnish with mint- depending on your clientel. If you want to complete the culinary around-the-world there you could do homus garnished with a bell pepper brunoise, parsley and served with grilled pita bread. Sub cannelini beans if you don't have chick peas. Good Luck
post #8 of 18
Duck confit on tostones with a blackberry merlot reduction. Saute shallots in duck fat, deglaze with merlot, add a tablespoon of good blackberry jam, and reduce to a thick syrup. Tostones can be par fried, smashed, and cooked to order in minutes in the fryer. Duck confit pre made and pre portioned. This shouldn't take more than a few minutes to turn out.
Never trust a skinny cook
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Never trust a skinny cook
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post #9 of 18
Beef Shortribs with a Merlot-Tart Cherry Glaze (huge seller with the fellas)

Thin slices of South Texas Antelope Tenderloin with Tomato/Cumin/Basil Jam
garnished with Rainbow Mix Microgreens (grill off the tenderloin to MR, hold cool, slice to order; the Jam is made by the gallon, holds forever, served warm - this is a slice, ladle, garnish, pass)
(Broken Arrow Ranch in Texas is the best vendor for antelope and wild boar - we've done braised wild boar shoulder to sellout, as well as the antelope in different cuts. Antelope tenderloin (the South Texas species) is an interesting shape, not a cylinder like beef, but more a saddle strap - when sliced the shape is almost a perfect rectangle, which lends itself to a flat presentation, a drape or a roll.

The tomato/cumin/basil jam is great with many dishes - have also used it with a mix of crawfish/onion/garlic/creamcheez, formed into a log, pankoed and fried - YUM

King crab leg meat, asparagus & creamcheez rolled in a triangle of puff pastry with ends of veg and crab sticking out, egg washed, hold for bake.

cheers
post #10 of 18
mixed grill...elk sausage, wild boar etc( cherry sauce)... duck quesadillas, crabcake stuffed with shrimp and chipotle aioli or chipotle creme fraiche, crab and daikon spring rolls( rice paper, not wonton) with rosemary ginger dipping sauce, don't know if this is overdone but seared tuna with different sauces( we do a wasabi green onion creme fraiche and a thai sweet chile) just what pops in my mind at the moment
joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #11 of 18
I'm going to give my opinion with all caution, cause i could be far off, being as I"m not an executive chef, i haven't started my formal culinary education and I'm just a line cook...lol

but

looking at your appetizer menu, you're missing one of the most..or if not THE most popular meat...and the meat i see most often on an appetizer menu..and that's chicken...
why not do some sort of wing dish
i typed this into google for you and got this..it's along the lines of what I was thinking:

Grilled Basque Wings Recipe at Epicurious.com

I also like smells goods idea of beef short rib.

when i used to manage and do my own marketing...i'd always try and do some crazy things but in the end my bosses were right
KIS-keep it simple

good luck, let us know what you decide :)
post #12 of 18

"on horseback"

Obviously there are "angels on horseback" but the classic oysters wrapped with bacon on a skewer can be evolved to capture a great variety of flavor combos. I've seen "cherubs" "devils" etc. You were looking for something from the grill so brochettes came to mind first, then given your lean towards the classics this seemed to be an interesting direction to take.

Here's my twist...kings on horseback: Hudson Valley foie gras wrapped with cob smoked bacon and skewered with granny apples in a Cognac marinade.

And kudos for the use of gogi berries, i've been trying to incorporate chinese herbs in my home cooking and gogi are very approachable.
Keep those fires burnin'
 
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Keep those fires burnin'
 
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post #13 of 18
XO Braised Chinese Long Beans and Red Rice salad over Grilled Baby Bok Choy. Cold, fast, healthy and veggie friendly. Can double as a veggie entree if need be.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #14 of 18
If you're looking for grill items, why not introduce a chicken schwarma? I first learned about schwarmas while living in the Middle East (1991-1999). The secret to a good schwarma is to have a really good hummus. Mix sliced grilled chicken with hummus, shredded lettuce, and coarse chopped cucumbers. Roll this in a mini-pita bread and slice at the bias to display the contents.

While on the subject of grilling, why not introduce a Thai satay? This would be accompanied by a tasty peanut relish.
post #15 of 18
You seem to be a bit heavy on the fish. Maybe some grilled pork skewers with a lemon - garlic sauce, or Thai influenced curry, or a tongue-torch Jamaican jerk with grilled pineapple and a cooling yogurt sauce. Maybe some chicken - pineapple concoction with a brown sugar rum sauce?

I'll add another vote for the lamb. I like it with a dippable mint sauce on the side - not that overly sweet, wretched green jelly stuff, but fresh mint leaves heated in vinegar, perhaps some water and with just barely enough sugar to keep your face from twisting into a permanent knot.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #16 of 18
I'd probably throw on a terrine of some sort, or maybe a house made sausage.

Also you can throw a cast iron pan on the grill and do the crab cakes there if you want to alleviate the workload of saute.
post #17 of 18
I'll add another vote for the lamb. I like it with a dippable mint sauce on the side - not that overly sweet, wretched green jelly stuff, but fresh mint leaves heated in vinegar, perhaps some water and with just barely enough sugar to keep your face from twisting into a permanent knot.

mjb.[/quote]






I love mint pesto w/lamb. Kinda '90's but...what's good is good! Green jelly is garbage!!
I've spent most of my money on women and booze, the rest I just squandered!

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I've spent most of my money on women and booze, the rest I just squandered!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...endid=83191838
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post #18 of 18
It seems most of your appetizers are individual and maybe you should think about shared foods. A nice Lavosh with a mix of the items you use would be a nice touch without having to add inventory. Shared foods need to be on all menus in my opinion.
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