History of Appetizer
Appetizers were originally introduced by the Athenians as a buffet in the early third century B.C. They would serve sea urchins, cockles, sturgeon, and garlic. However they were unpopular to start as these tiny meals weren’t followed up with a main course, leaving everyone hungry and wanting more. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that appetizers truly caught on, as meals evolved into more of a structured ordeal.
Aperitifs came about by the Romans and were classified as a liquid appetizer that typically contained alcohol. In addition to inciting hunger like food appetizers, the purposes for aperitifs were also meant to help with the imminent digestion process. These drinks would be shared from a single glass and passed around the table to all members of the eating party. Aperitifs are still utilized today, typically with the company of food appetizers.
The word itself, “appetizer,” as being used in the Americas and England in the1860s, is more of a local flavor than “hors d’oeuvres.” For a time, appetizers are served between the main course and dessert as a refresher, but by the twentieth century they had taken their place as a precursor to the main course. On the other hand it is said that appetizers are the dishes that can truly be considered Filipino because we are best known for using our hands to eat the small finger foods that come with the first course. Appetizers can include anything from fish to meat, nuts and chips. They are often served before dinner or at large family lunches.
Learning Outcome 1
Mise’ En Place is a French term which means “set in place” that is you have everything ready to cook and in its place. These are advance preparation that you need to perform to save time. You should be able to identify and prepare all the needed tools and equipment as well as all the ingredients to make the preparation and cooking easy.
The following are the tools and equipment needed in preparing appetizers.
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
1. Ball Cutter – sharp edged scoop for cutting out balls of fruits and vegetables.
2. Rubber spatula – used to scrape off contents of bowls.
3. Channel knife – small hand tool in making garnishes.
4. Spatula – used for manipulating foods like spreading.
5. Wire Whip – used for mixing thinner liquids.
6. Zester – used to remove zest or citrus peels in thin strips.
7. French knife – for chopping, slicing and dicing.
8. Paring knife – used for trimming and paring fruits and vegetables.
9. Butter curler – used for making butter curls.
10. Cutting board – board for cutting fruits and vegetables.
11. Kitchen shear – cutting device for ingredients like scissors.
12. Potato Masher – designed to press potato and cooked vegetables.
13. Chiller – for keeping cold foods chilled for service.
14. Oven – for baking
Other Tools and Equipment used in Preparing Appetizers
1. Measuring spoons – are used for measuring dry and liquid ingredients in small quantity.
2. Measuring cups – is used to measure dry ingredients. They come in various sizes and volumes.
3. Glass measuring cup – container which is usually transparent. It is smooth in the inside with the graduation mark on the outside to read. This is used for measuring liquid ingredients like water and oil.
4. Mixing bowls – these containers have smooth, rounded interior surfaces with no creases to retain some mixture.
5. Mixing spoon. – is used for mixing ingredients. It is made of wood in different sizes and different length of the handle.
6. Paring knife- is used to remove the skin covering of fruit and vegetables.
7. Fork is used to combine ingredients.
8. Container of different sizes and shapes.
9. Cooking range/stove
Appetizers are foods which stimulate the appetite, through their attractive appearance, fragrance or appealing flavor. It is a small pieces or portions of highly seasoned food, usually served before a meal to induce and stimulate one’s appetite. It gives appreciation to the food we eat.
A good appetizer, whether hot or cold should be light and served in small quantities, Fresh vegetable and salads, fruits, or meat or even fish can be made into appetizers.
Classification of Appetizers:
1. Cocktails– are usually juices of orange, pineapple, grapefruit or tomatoes served with cold salad dressings. It may be in the form of a fruit or vegetable juice mixed with little alcoholic beverage or seafood like shrimps, crabs, or lobsters served with slightly seasoned sauce.
2. Hors D’ Oeuvres-refers to small portions of highly seasoned foods. It is a combination of canapés, olives, stuffed celery, pickled radishes, and fish. It is served on individual plate when guests are seated. Sometimes this is simply placed on a platter and passed around. Hors d’oeuvres are served cold or hot.
3. Canapé– are made out of thin slices of bread in different shapes. The bread may be toasted, sautéed in butter or dipped in a well-seasoned mixture of egg, cheese, fish, or meat then deep-fat fried. It is a finger food consisting of three parts: a base, a spread or topping and garnish. They could be served hot or cold. There are no set recipes for the making of canapés. You may create your own combination of several different colored items on the cut pieces of bread, toasted or fried and biscuits etc. The larger canapés are termed as ZAKUSKIS after the Chef Zakuski.
4 . Relishes/Crudités– are pickled item which are raw, crisp vegetables such as julienne carrots or celery sticks. Relishes are generally placed before the guest in a slightly, deep, boat shape dish.
5. Petite Salad– are small portions and usually display the characteristics found in most salad.
6. Chips and Dips- are popular accompaniments to potato chips, crackers, and raw vegetables. Proper consistency in the preparation is important for many dip. It must not be so thick that it cannot be scooped up without breaking the chip or crackers, but it must be thick enough to stick to the items used as dippers.
7. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – are the simplest appetizer. Fruits are good appetizers because they give an attractive appearance, fragrance, appealing taste and delicious flavor. For example, you could serve a platter of thinly sliced cucumbers, chunks of red bell pepper and baby carrots. For a fruit tray, consider serving red and green grapes, as well as chunks of mango with toothpicks inserted in them. Since appetizers should always easy to pick up with the fingers, it should never be drippy or messy so you need to avoid certain fruits or veggies (for example, chunks of avocado or watermelon are probably not the best appetizer choices).
8. Finger foods– are variety of appetizers wherein the only requirement is that you keep everything small enough to be picked up with the fingers and eaten with little mess. If you want to serve your favorite homemade sausages, cut them into small pieces, wrap them with a small piece of pastry shell and bake. Or, serve your favorite baked sweet potato fries with a mayonnaise-based dipping sauce. Individual quiches filled with ham and cheese is another good option.
The following are examples of appetizers including the materials/ingredients on how to prepare them.
Canapés – bite-size open faced sandwiches consist of tiny portions of food presented on bases of bread, toast, or pastry easily handled and eaten.
Canapés Consists of Three Parts
1. Base – holds the spread and garnish. Crackers and toasts are firmer and give a pleasing texture and crispness to the canapes.
2. Spread – placed on top of the base so the garnish sticks to it without falling off.
Three types of spreads
a.)Flavored butter – made from softened butters with flavorings.
b) Flavored Cream Cheese-made from flavored butters, except cream cheese is substituted for the butter. Mixture of cream and butter can be used.
c) Meat or Fish salad spreads – made from finely chopped meat or fish that are spreadable. Seasons should be checked carefully to make the spread more stimulating to the appetite.
3. Garnish – any food item or combination of items placed on top of the spread which usually gives color, design, and texture or flavor accent to the canapé.
Food items used to decorate canapés
a) Vegetables, pickles and relishes
Radish slices Pickled onions Tomatoes Olives Chutney Parsley
Pickles Asparagus tips Capers Cucumber slices Pimiento
Smoked oysters Smoked
Caviar Tuna flakes Sardines Lobster chunks or slices
Ham Salami Roast Beef Chicken or Turkey
d) Cheese, hard cooked egg slices
Guidelines for Assembling Canapés
1. Good mise en place is essential.
In making canapés especially for large functions, all bases, spreads and garnishes must be prepared ahead of time so that final assembly may go quickly and smoothly.
2. Assemble as close as possible to serving time.
Bases quickly become soggy, and spreads and garnishes dry out easily. After placing them in a tray, cover them lightly with plastic and held for a short time under refrigeration. Safe food handling and storage must be observed.
3. Select harmonious flavor combinations in spreads and garnish such as:
Mustard and ham
Lemon butter and caviar
Pimiento cream cheese and sardines
Tuna salad and capers
Anchovy butter, hard cooked egg slice and olive.
4. Make sure that at least one of the ingredients is spicy in flavor.
A bland canapé has little value as an appetizer.
5. Use high quality ingredients.
Leftover can be used for canapés, but they must be carefully handled and stored to retain freshness.
6. Keep it simple.
Simple meat arrangements are more attractive than extravagant one. Be sure that canapés hold together and do not fall apart in the customers hands.
7. Arrange canapés carefully and attractively on trays.
Each tray should carry an assortment of flavor and textures, so there is something for every taste.
Cocktail appetizers are made of seafood or fruit, usually with a tart or tangy sauce. These appetizers are always served chilled, often on a bed of crushed ice.
Kinds of Cocktail Appetizers
1. Oysters and Clams on the half shell
6.Firm flaked white fish
Relishes are raw or pickled vegetables cut into attractive shapes served as appetizer.
Relishes include two categories:
1. Raw vegetables with dips
This are known as crudités (croo dee tays). Cru in French means “raw”.
Common bite size, cut raw vegetables served with dips are:
Green and Red pepper Zucchini ,Cucumber, Carrots , Cauliflower, Broccoli florets, Broccoli Stems, Cherry Tomatoes Scallions
Dips – accompaniment to raw vegetables, and sometime potato chips and crackers. Any mixture of spreads can be used as dips. Proper consistency is important to any dip. It must not be so thick that it cannot be scooped up without breaking the cracker. It must be thick enough to stick to the items used as dippers. Thin or soften them by adding mayonnaise, cream or other appropriate liquid. Sauces and salad dressings can be used as dips.
2. Pickled items. Includes variety of items like cucumber pickles, olives, watermelon pickles, pickled peppers, spiced beets, and other preserved fruits and vegetables.
Miscellaneous hors d ‘oeuvres
These are variety of food both hot and cold served as appetizers. The serving is smaller in unit size or portion size that can be eaten with forks from small plates or with fingers.
1. Antipasto – Italian Appetizer. This includes the following:
Cured meats – Salami, prosciutto, bologna, boiled ham
Seafood items-Canned items like sardines, anchovies, and tuna
Cheeses – provolone, mozzarella
Hard cooked egg and stuffed eggs
Relishes – raw vegetables
Mushrooms and other vegetables
2. Bruschetta – slice of Italian bread that is toasted, rubbed with brushed garlic, and drizzled with olive oil, served with toppings like canapés.
3. Tapas – a small food item intended to be eaten with wine or other drinks usually in bars. They are served in a small portion intended to be eaten immediately.
4. Caviar – salted roe, or eggs, of the sturgeon. Any product labeled caviar must come from sturgeon. Roe from any other fish must be labeled as such (white fish caviar)
5. Amuse Bouche (ah mews boosh) – a tiny appetizer or hors d’ oeuvres offered to guest seated at their tables either before or after they have ordered from the menu. It is an opportunity to showcase an aspect of the chef’s cooking style and talent and to welcome the guest.
Anything that can be served in a tiny portion can be served as an amuse bouche like salads, soups, and little portions of meat, fish or vegetables with the few drops of sauce and garnish. The chefs don’t use a separate category of recipe for these items but just give a different presentation, garnish or sauce.