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Hors d'oeuvre

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

This coming week i am helping cater a board of directors meeting for a group of chefs. I am hoping to impress them, any tips, ideas, or recipes out there? Any and all of the above are greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 24

What, exactly, will your responsibilties be as a helper? Will you actually have the chance to showcase your skills, or just act as a gopher? And who is determining the menu?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

I will be searving and making some of the hors d'oeuvers. There will be two events that week that we will need them for. We are thinking about doing a scallop,shrimp,and pinapple skewer and searving it with a mango sauce. What do you think?

post #4 of 24

That combination is begging for some kind of smoked pork IMO.

post #5 of 24

If you want to impress with those skewers make darned sure the seafood is cooked perfectly! That will be the key to success with what has become a fairly commonplace hors d'oeuvre.

 

I'm thinking for a group like that I would want to go with something that has the following criteria:

 

1. Simple to prepare, especially in quantity.

2. Visually pleasing as well as tasty.

3. Seasonal.

4. Local ingredients.

 

Nothing fits that bill, IMO, better than grilled, rolled zucchini ribbons. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into strips no more than 1/4 inch thick (here's one of those times a mandoline comes into it's own). Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and grill until just tender and grill marks appear.

 

Spread the cooled ribbons with an herbed goat-cheese mixture (maybe add some chopped piquillo peppers for color and additional flavor), roll up like pinwheels, and tie with a wilted chive. Serve these standing upright, garnished by standing a sprig of herb (whatever you used in the cheese) or chive flower upright in the center of each pinwheel.

 

Another meeting those requirements would be cucumber shooters. Cut cukes into sections about 2 inches long. Peel them decoratively (i.e., leave thin strips of skin in vertical or diagonal stripes). Hollow them out, leaving at least a quarter inch on the bottom. Fill with a gazpacho made with heirloom tomatoes. Maybe stand a sprig of baby celery upright.

 

Anyway, those are the directions I'd be taking.

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 24

I think that these days, if you want to "Wow" a Chef, one bite "Amuse Bouche" is the way to go.

The advice about making them visually pleasing is right on and I might add that the use of various colors adds to the eye appeal.

Making spoons with which to eat the bite is also really cool. They can be made from things like wonton skins, or a simple batter,

or a fried potato chip, better yet a fried sweet potato chip. There are endless ideas out there.

Sushi one biters are also a real treat for Chefs, because some rarely get to work with fresh fish and seafood.You can create some really cool combinations just utilizing what's in your leftover trays.

post #7 of 24

i like that zuccini roll KY might have to steal that one if u dont mind.

Chef it up errrrday!!!
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Chef it up errrrday!!!
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post #8 of 24

Be my guest, Skatz. It's a fairly standard approach all over the Med, with only the filling changing.

 

Although I haven't tried it, as yet, I'd bet a varient, using Japanese eggplant, would be great.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 24

Jolie, a variation of Chef Ross's idea would be to make crepe cups. Basically that means making small crepes, fitting them into mini-muffin tins, filling, and baking. Not something you see every day. But kind of time-consuming.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 24

BTW, Jolie, one thing you never provided was any discussion about budget and number of guests. That can have a serious effect on what you serve.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 24

Shy away from anything that can be overcooked by holding in heat like scallop, shrimp. I like the sushi route as mentioned by someone above. The key to this whole gig to chefs, is presentation and color . Your Hors D can be presented on an artist palate or different type of staging

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #12 of 24

So, Jolie, how'd it all go?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

It went good, we ended up doing the goatcheese pinwheels you suggested also brushetta and cucumber cups. thanks for all the help i really apreciated it!

post #14 of 24

Glad it worked out for you.

 

So, let me ask this: As a culinary student, what lessons do you think you learned from working on the project?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

well i learned im not a fan of goat cheese:) Also a whole new emphasis was put on how important plating is and how adding a little garnish can take a plate from ok to awesome.

post #16 of 24

You are in culinary school and you only just found out that you don't like goat cheese?  I give you a bad grade for that.

 

KY those zucchini pinwheels sound awesome.  Can't wait to try those.

 

I recently went to a really nice cocktail party and one of the passed hors d'oeuvres was a platter of crispy fried bait fish with a lovely dipping sauce.  Spectacular.

 

One of my favorite appetizers that stems from my southern background (I guess) is hot smoked sausage bites.  Just use your favorite spicy sausage (boarshead for me) and grill or roast.  Cut into 1/2 inch rounds and place each on a small square piece of sourdough bread.  Top with a cream cole slaw. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #17 of 24

Jolie, sounds like the event was a good learning experience for you. I'd have thought a greater awareness of prep time was something you'd have taken away from it as well. Everything takes longer than you think, especially when it's a whole bunch of small things you have to get done.

 

KK, you'd be surprised how many people in this country, some of them pretty good cooks, go their entire lives without being exposed to goat cheese. Just means more for you and me.

 

What are bait fish, in this context? Could that be what the British call whitebait, and we call smelt? Small fish, breaded and fried whole?

 

I rather enjoy those sausage bites myself. But if I had to choose, I'd guess  the more common Southern canape would be sausage balls. Every hostess serves them at, it seems, every party. Not that I'm complaining; I love the things, and could make a meal out of them.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 

I became aware of time management last year when i did a competition in high school. It was a great learning experience but we never placed. We had an hour to make an appetizer, entree, and dessert. We had no electricity and only had two butane burners. We had to work everything down to the second to get it all done. I was in charge of making a blackberry sorbet. Sadly i left the seeds in they were not so pleased with it. Needless to say i will always get rid of the seeds:)

 

Also i think the main reason i hate goat cheese is because of the after taste. My neighbor had goats and they always smelt way bad. So when i ate the cheese i felt like i was licking a goat. Also we used to get goats milk from my neighbors, i hated that and was then very hesitant to try the cheese. No excuse but that is why i hate it.


Edited by Jolie4686 - 7/23/10 at 10:25am
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post


What are bait fish, in this context? Could that be what the British call whitebait, and we call smelt? Small fish, breaded and fried whole?

 

 

I enjoy fried smelt.  My wife doesn't, so I rarely cook them.  But when the occasion arises, I go for it.

 

I just rinse them, let dry a bit, dust with seasoned flour and fry in generous quantities of oil.  Heads, guts and all,  They basically end up like fish flavored french fries. As for sauces I've had them with various wing sauces, mayo and ketchup mix, teriyaki style sauces, sriracha style hot sauces, I'm easy.

 

I usually eat more than I should, but they are tasty.  I may be wrong, but I believe that fresh sardines and anchovies are very similar and can be prepared in the same fashion.

 

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 #20 of 24

Glad the event went well :) Jolie.  Love some of the suggestions above, especially the pinwheel.

 

I hooked into this thread after the event, so can't help you there with suggestions.  Although I like the use of whitlof as a fillable, edible "teaspoon" for an amuse bouche.  They are a little bitter, so an added bit of sweetness to the filling may be preferred.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #21 of 24

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atherina_boyeri 

 

KY, in greece they are called Atherina.  I have heard them referred to as smelts in english.  The link should help.  They're teeny weeny little guys salted and dusted with flour and then fried in olive oil.  They're eaten whole.  It's the greek version of popcorn shrimp.

 

What on earth is a sausage ball?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #22 of 24

Probably similar in taste, KK, but those are a different fish from smelt.

 

Smelt are in the family Osmeridae, and are slightly larger than the ones you linked to. Smelt are more like sardines, and range up to 7 or 8 inches in length.

 

In the Lake Michigan region, smelt fishing is a rite of spring for many people. The fish travel in vast schools, on their own spawning runs, following the shoreline. Thousands of them are taken by area fishermen, using either dip nets or gill nets on trolley lines. A hallmark of the run is to prepare the fish right there on the beach or pier, fresh from the water.

 

What on earth is a sausage ball?

 

A little bit of heaven in your fingers!

 

Every Southern housewife has her own version of these delectible finger-foods, each of them varying only slightly. Here's my favorite:

 

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

Heavy pinch cayenne

3 tbls shortening

1/2 pound bulk pork sausage meat

10 oz grated cheddar

1 cup toasted, finely chopped, pecans

 

Put the dry ingredinets in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cheese and sausage and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl.

 

Add the pecans and use your hands to squeeze the mixture until well combines. You'll wind up with a crumbly sort of dough.

 

Using a small disher, tablespoon, or your hands, form the dough into balls about an inch in diameter. Place them, an inch apart, on a parchment-paper-lined sheet pan. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until browned, 20-25 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

 

When I make these I use a 2-tbls capacity disher, and the recipe makes 30 sausage balls.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #23 of 24

I'll have to remind myself to try these when I get back to the states.  Thanks!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #24 of 24

Didn't realize you were back home, KK. While you're there, I can use some olive oil, and kasseri, and dried favas, and......

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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