Appetizers offer a mix of taste, texture and trendy culinary accents, to diners within a morsel or two. These small tidbits do not need elaborate preparation. Rather, you can find plenty of easy appetizer recipes, to complement the entree in flavour and seasonality.
Appetizers can be greatly enhanced with the use of seasonal ingredients such as (fresh fruits or vegetables found that time of the year). The freshness of these ingredients adds a unique zest to the recipe and is also less demanding on add-ons such as oil, butter salt. Some of these appetizer recipes include ripe mango rolls, pineapple and walnuts in lettuce wrap and grilled parsnips with caramelised shallots.
Instead of the usual mainstays, unconventional ingredients can be paired to create unique flavours and expand palates, to satisfy cravings in a refreshing first course.
Some of these recipes include noodle pattice with dry coconut dip, broccoli and dried cranberry in basil dressing or skewered vegetables or tofu in peach salsa.
Ultimately, selection of an appetizer should be based in conjunction with main meal. If the entree is spicy, than the appetizer recipe should be bland or savoury, rather than building on the spiciness of the entree. Therefore, when deciding what to serve, choose from different categories of appetizers:
Hot appetizers – these can be cooked well in advance and frozen and stored such as stuffings. While others can be made a few hours before serving, normally these include bread, cheese and fruits.
Cold appetizers – these include a wide range of recipes such as wraps, rolls etc and a variety of dips and spreads.
Dips and spreads are simple mixtures which can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. They can be served cold with finger foods such as crackers, chips. Or at room temperature with hot appetizers.
Some appetizer ideas that can add panache to your catering menus
Cheese being a very versatile ingredient. It can be manoeuvred with the addition of fruits, vegetables, spices and can taste great all by itself too.
Cheese wafers – flavour cheddar cheese with spices and herbs knead to form a log shape.
Cheese bites – add a dollop of ketchup or chilli sauce with cheese cube on salty biscuits and bake.
Apple cheese bites – medley of apples and spices combined with cheddar and cottage cheese toasted on bread and served.
Crisps and chips can be topped with a number of flavoured sauces and served
Tortillas chips with green salsa Guacamole with corn chips
Green goddess dip with chips
Blue cheese onion souffle on potato chips
Mini wraps and rolls can be filled with various stuffings and flavours ranging from sweet savoury to spicy based on a mix of ingredients like vegetables, dry fruits etc.
Jalapenos olive stuffing spiced with taco seasoning in cream cheese
Cottage cheese in Thousand Island dressing and herbs
Vegetables marinated in yogurt, seasonings and mint mix to form stuffing
Appetizer recipes benefit from a variety of flavour, ethnic inspirations and almost every entree, side dish is able to fit into its menu.
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