It’s time to think about those holiday parties and dinners. When invited out, I have always appreciated a few special bites served while guests arrive and drinks are being prepared. Yet, when entertaining at home, appetizers were often an afterthought for me – prepared frantically, and usually a bit of a disappointment when compared to the dinner dishes that I’d carefully planned and prepared. Hoping to learn a bit more about appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, I came across this book from Fine Cooking, one of my favorite cooking publications. The first 15 pages talk about setting up and preparing for entertaining. That alone, makes this a worthwhile guide. I liked the book so much that I’ve decided to share copies with my readers. More about that in a moment.
How many times have you attended a gathering where you must set your drink down in order to serve up an appetizer? Things get dropped, drinks spilled, wonderful foods get passed by. Cardinal rule #1: Try, as much as practical, to serve appetizers that can be eaten with one hand. This is not always possible but always think about how your guests will negotiate their appetizers and drinks. Little bites can be skewered on toothpicks, cheeses and cured meats already sliced, dishes and serving utensils appropriate for the comestible, sturdy little plates at the beginning of the line, napkins at the end. Use high quality ingredients when preparing appetizers – this will be your guest’s first opportunity to sample your wares, they should be impressed and enthusiastically anticipating the main event. If you have an especially wonderful delicacy by all means serve it up as an amuse-bouche singly, on individual plates, presented to the guest by the chef.
I have five copies of of this wonderful book that I would like to give away to my subscribed followers. Subscribers to JFCooks receive notifications of new posts by email. To become a subscriber click on the HOME button in the menu bar near the top of the page and look for the “Subscribe to JFCooks” section. I will draw five names at random from the list of subscribers on Wednesday, December 3, 2014. If you are already a subscriber you are automatically entered. If you would like a chance to win a copy please follow the instructions above and join my group of dedicated chefs and entertainers. I derive no financial gain from a subscription but I really enjoy knowing that people who like to to cook and entertain are sharing with me in the preparation of bonnes bouches – undeniable delicacies.