Click Click hors d'oeuvres Basics
1st Impression! Appetizers Set the Tone for Your Meal This is the first impression guests have for the food they will be eating at the event Effort of making a good impression is apparent through appetizers Traditional function of appetizers is to stimulate the appetite for the meal to come. Learning to create elegant and tasty appetizers can take your entertaining skills to a new level.
1st Impression! • When creating hors d’oeuvres, keep in mind their intended function • If they are to precede a meal, serving too many appetizers can backfire by making your guests too full to appreciate the meal. • As party food, be sure to have plenty on hand as you don’t want to run out too soon.
What to Consider? • First, consider the meal you’re planning. • Will your appetizers lead to a heavy main course? • Will the main course be light? • Will there even be a main course? • Will you want guests picking up bites and popping them into their mouth, or will you offer plates and cutlery?
Appetizer Lesson No. 1: Variety is your friend • Mix options of: • Hot, cold, salty, sweet, soft, and crisp • Make them easily held in one hand while skillfully balancing a drink in the other (never make your guests work too hard to eat).
Appetizer Lesson No. 2: Consider Your Quantity Needs • Next is knowing (roughly) how many of those mouthwateringly delicious bites each person will likely eat. • A good rule of thumb is that if appetizers will be your meal, folks will eat between 5and 6pieces. • If they are served as a starter to a full dinner, assume 2 to 3bites per guest.
6 Essential Tips • 1. Balance the menu: offer hot pieces alongside room-temperature dips, rich flavors next to low- fat options, and spicy foods beside delicate palate tastes. • 2. Provide at least one vegetarian option! • 3. Consider your kitchen equipment. If you have only a standard range, don’t limit yourself to stovetop dishes—serve a combination of stovetop, baked, raw, room-temperature and cold foods.
6 Essential Tips • 4. Choose a few “make- ahead dishes” so there’s less to do on the day of the party. • 5. Stay away from dips if you’re worried about staining and spills • 6. Decorate platters with edible garnishes. People have even been known to eat strictly decorative pieces…
The Math of Entertaining • How many different appetizers should you serve? • Less than 12 guests: 2 to 3 types of appetizers • 12 to 20 guests: 4 to 5 types of appetizers • Over 20 guests: 6 different appetizers or more • How many appetizers should you make? • Breakfast, Lunch, or Afternoon: 1 to 3 pieces per person per hour • Evening Event Followed by Dinner: 2 to 3 pieces per person per hour • Evening Event without Dinner: 5 to 6 pieces per person per hour
Math Planning Tips • People eat more during the first 90 minutes of any event. • Don't worry if your food seems to be disappearing, as the consumption will taper off. • Young people eat more than old people. • People eat more at casual affairs than formal ones. • Buy more food for a buffet than for passed around hors d'oeuvres. • When serving themselves, people tend to pile on their plates.
Example: Super Bowl Party • Number of Guests: 20 (4 to 5 types) • Time: 7-10 p.m. (Evening Event without Dinner: 5 to 6 pieces per person , per hour) • Items to Prepare: 5 pieces x 20 people x 3 hours = 300 pieces Menu: • 60 Caramelized Onion, Roasted Pepper, and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Spread (Vegetarian option) • 60 Loaded baked potato skins • 60 Smoked salmon and cream cheese crackers • 60 buffalo wings • 60 Marshmallow Fudge Sandwiches
Your Turn! Work with your group to plan 4 different parties. You need to have the correct amount and variety of appetizers based upon 3 things: • How many people are there? • How many hours is the event lasting? • What type of event is it? • Breakfast/ lunch, evening event with dinner to follow, evening event with no dinner to follow. **Make food meal-time appropriate!