Make Hot Appetizers

Appetizers are served as the first course of a meal, while hors d'oeuvres are small bites of food served before the meal or at a separate reception. Many people use the word appetizer to mean a wide range of foods served before the main course. This could even include items such as soups and salads. Appetizers are designed to stimulate the appetite. Ingredients can come from every food group. This section will emphasize, or point out, how to prepare and arrange hot appetizers.

Appetizers can be passed, plated, or part of a buffet line, such as Swedish meatballs or cocktail sausages. It is important to include a variety of foods and flavors. Make sure that they complement the taste of the main dish.

Presentation is key in serving appetizers. If appetizers are served buffet-style, arrange them so that they seem to flow toward guests. If plated, use plates and trays with interesting shapes and sizes. Notice how the appetizers look on the plate. Do not pack them in. Be sure to leave some open space on the plate. Add a small garnish for presentation.

Types of Hot Appetizers

Appetizers are often served before the soup. At a classical dinner, hot appetizers are served after the soup. Hot appetizers can be created from almost any ingredient.


A combination of meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables served on a small skewer is called a brochette (bro-'shet). The items are marinated, then baked, broiled, or grilled. Brochettes, sometimes called kebabs (ks-'babs), often come with a dipping sauce, such as teriyaki or peanut.

To make brochettes, cut all items into consistent shapes and sizes so that they are proportional, or about the same size, when skewered. Before assembling, soak the bamboo skewers in water to help keep them from burning.

Filled Pastry Shells

This appetizer uses shells made from puff pastry, called a bouchée (bu-'sha). It may also use dough formed into a small boat-shaped shell, called a barquette (bar-ket) or tartlet.

Appetizer Presentation Appetizers such as shrimp can be presented in many attractive ways. What other garnishes could be used to present this appetizer?

The shells are baked ahead of time, then filled before serving so that they do not become soggy. Fillings can include cheeses, stews, meat, poultry, and vegetables.


Meatballs can be made from ground beef, poultry, veal, or pork. They are usually served with a sweet and sour, mushroom, tomato, or cream sauce. Swedish meatballs are always a crowd pleaser. A Swedish meatball is made with ground beef or pork and onions, and is served with a gravy.


Appetizers that are made of blanched bacon that is then wrapped around vegetables, seafood, chicken liver, meat, poultry, or fruits are called rumaki (rs-'ma-ke). Sometimes rumaki are brushed with a marinade or sauce before they are cooked. The rumaki are then fried, baked, or broiled.

Stuffed Potato Skins

Stuffed potato skins are made from hollowed out potatoes that are filled with a combination of ingredients such as cheese, bacon, and chives. They are then baked or broiled. Sour cream and onion are often added to stuffed potato skins before serving. Salsa is often served on the side.

Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are dipped in a spicy coating of seasonings and then deep-fried. Their spicy flavor ranges from mild to extra hot. Chicken wings can also be served sweet, baked, or roasted in a honey barbecue or deviled sauce.

Sometimes, only the meatier section of the wing is served in place of full chicken wings. These portions have more meat on them, but may still be called chicken wings on the menu.

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