Hors d'oeuvres

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Hors d'oeuvresWhere on earth did this name come from?

Definition: Stuff you eat before dinner.

Question: Why?

It seems strange to me that you would spoil your appetite before a great feast unless you knew that you were going to be served pigs feet.

If an Hors d'oeuvre is something that prepares your palette for wonderful flavours, and it is to be served less than 1 hour before dinner, it should be a good wine.  White if you're eating chicken or seafood.  Red if you are having beef or lamb.  Champagne if you are in feast mode.  Spiced apple cider if you are in famine mode.  Maybe a cocktail is in order... a vodka martini or a light, fruity concoction.....

Directly before dinner and in preparation for the feast, and being a part of that feast, (and by this I mean that you are already sitting at the table)... serve shrimp salad, escargot, Coquilles Saint-Jacques or any good salad ... perhaps a great soup...

Then there are parties and cocktails and finger foods.  Cheese and crackers are my favorite, but for this you don't need a recipe.  Just a sense of adventure.  Caviar is my choice of poison ... served ice cold with fresh lemon wedges and good quality crackers.  You don't need a recipe for this either.  Just a winning lotto ticket.  Dips, on the other hand will thrill your guests.  Served as a stay-over when you've invited your guests to arrive earlier that 1 1/2 hours before dinner. Or at parties or evening visits ...

For weddings and other really important affairs when you need little nibbley things that tease the pallet and lure the eye.  You're on the wrong web site ... go see Martha.

 

Black Bean Puree with Marjoram

Classic Spinach Dip

Coquilles Saint-Jacques 

Hot Crab & Cheese Dip

Curried Nan with Yogurt Dip

Pate

Shrimp Dip

Spicy Bean Dip

Escargots