Hors d’oeuvres are to dinner what aperitifs are to wine: a little something before the main event; but can’t they be a meal on their own? They can! Heavy hors d’oeuvre parties are not unheard of and, in fact, we cater quite a few of them. Being the season of entertaining, there are still many parties to be had between now and New Years to prep for, many of which will feature predominately hors d’oeuvres.
Hors d’oeuvre parties are fun and dynamic – just what the holidays need!However, for those hosting at home there are often questions that arise while planning, such as how much is enough? You don’t want to be the host or hostess sending guests home hungry, but you also do not want too much food. Goldilocks and the Three Bears had it right; it takes some trial and error before you really know the right number of pieces per person for different events.For the most part, events follow a basic foundation of 6 pieces per person per hour. With that in mind, depending on the duration of your event and its style, you’ll be able to better decide what types of hors d’oeuvres are best.
Beyond knowing just how many hors d’oeuvres to plan for, selecting what to serve is the next challenge. The options truly are endless. It’s important to provide choices that appeal to the general majority, taking your personal tastes and preferences into account as well. There is still time to go to the store and pick up a few things to begin your holiday hors d’oeuvre preparations for gatherings over the next two weeks. With that in mind, consider some of our favorites for this time of year.
Gooey, delicious cheese is the center of this well-loved hors d’oeuvre. Depending on how you choose to top it can take it from sweet to savory, but the beauty of baked brie is that there are a variety of ways to prepare it. Better yet, wrap your brie in a puff pastry! Here are some tasty ways to top your cheese:
- Sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley
- Spiced figs, walnuts, pistachios and apricot jam
- Raspberries, slivered almonds, honey
- Green apples and vadila onion
Like baked brie, meatballs are versatile and exciting to the taste buds. These are a heavier option, perfect for parties where dinner isn’t being served. Many think of the traditional Italian approach- meatballs served along side a generous portion of spaghetti. However there are other ways to prepare these sans pasta. If serving for a hors d’oeuvres be sure your meatballs are sized for one or two bites. Any larger and you’ll need to break out the silverware.
- Try Mediterranean style: seasoned with garlic, parsley, mint and cumin, served with a tangy yogurt dip
- Stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese and drizzled with pesto
- Sweet and sour meatballs
- Meatball and mozzarella kebabs with marinara sauce dip
Brushetta is one of those middle of the road hors d’oeuvres. It isn’t exactly light, but it isn’t heavy either. Bruschetta is a wonderful option for any type of hors d’oeuvre occasion. It isn’t limited to it’s most well-known form with tomatoes, garlic and herbs either! Regardless of which spread you choose to serve, always be sure you have great baguette to serve with it!
- Traditional garlic tomato basil bruschetta
- Ricotta, pesto and roasted tomato bruschetta
- Pear, parmesan and honey bruschetta
- Mixed olive and feta bruschetta
- Ricotta, lemon, basil, honey bruschetta
It seems the theme here is versatility! Each of these hors d’oeuvres can be prepared in many ways. There is a big benefit to this – you can customize your menu a bit more based on your preferences but still offer items that nearly every guest will devour. Better yet, you can offer a couple different types of brushetta along side a well-planned variety of options.