case 22

SECTION II
APPETIZERS

GENERAL

Appetizers are used primarily to whet the appetite and to stimulate the flow of the gastric juice, not to satisfy hunger. To accomplish this function, appetizers must be attractively prepared, temptingly flavored, and properly served. Since many appetizers are tidbit morsels made up of any type of food that is pleasing to the taste there are not many standard recipes for them. Much is left to the talent, ingenuity, and taste of the dining facility personnel and to the food supply. The appetizers served in dining facilities are generally classed as cocktails, fruit juices, stuffed celery and soups. An appetizer may be served in many forms such as cocktails, canapés, hors d'oeuvres, as long as it performs its primary function. (Note. Soups, which are usually appetizers, are described in another lesson of this subcourse.)

 

COCKTAILS

Cocktails may be the juice of fruits or vegetables served in small, well-chilled glasses (A, fig. 2). The juice should be bright in appearance end tangy to the taste for the purpose of perking up the taste buds. Cocktails may also be fruit or seafood, usually served well chilled (B, fig. 2). They must have a fresh appearance and a uniform arrangement for attractiveness. The following are some helpful suggestions for preparing and serving cocktails:

  1. Serve crackers, pretzel sticks, or heated potato chips as accompaniments to juice cocktails.
  2. Arrange all ingredients in n attractive fashion, using natural food colors to create eye appeal.
  3. For melon bells, cut melon into complete balls; incomplete balls detract from the appearance.
  4. Garnish all cocktails with an item that will enhance the appearance and, if possible, improve the flavor.
  5. Serve all cocktails well chilled.

 

CANAPÉS

Although canapés are not usually listed on the daily menu of the dining facility, the food service sergeant may train personnel to use imagination in preparing canapés from leftovers. The canapés may be served as snacks or as appetizers Canapés are thin pieces of bread or toast spread or topped with cheese, anchovies, or other appetizing foods. They are usually cut into various, small shapes and are highly decorated to make them eye appealing. Crackers are sometimes used as a base, although toasted bread may be more desirable because it does not absorb the moisture of the spread too quickly, and because it can be cut into more interesting shapes. Canapé spreads can be prepared from leftovers or from small amounts of food accumulated from other meals. Several different kinds of bread should be used to give a variety of taste and color. Canapés should be chilled thoroughly before they are served, unless they are to be served hot. Hot canapés are made in the same manner as the cold variety but are not garnished a highly. They are heated in the oven or under the broiler and served immediately. The following suggestions should help to obtain success:

  1. Mix all canapé spreads to a consistency that can be applied or spread with ease.
  2. Keep all canapé spreads refrigerated until just before using them.
  3. Select an extra sharp knife for trimming and cutting canapés.
  4. Spread canapé base with a thin film of softened butter to prevent the canapés from becoming soggy.
  5. Work systematically using an assembly-line technique--make one kind of canapé at a time.
  6. Decorate canapés with an item that improves the appearance and enhances the taste.
  7. Arrange items artistically on the serving tray, with the darker colors on the outside.
  8. Cover the canapés with a damp cloth, and keep them in the refrigerator until serving time.
  9. Replenish a tray when it is about two-thirds depleted. Partially depleted trays should be taken back to the kitchen for replenishing; they should never be replenished at the serving table.
  10. Serve canapés and hors d'oeuvres on the same tray if desired.
  11. Do not serve hot and cold canapés on the same tray.

 

HORS D'OEUVRES

Hors d'oeuvres are small portions of highly seasoned food. They are often called finger foods, since they are bite size to be eaten with the fingers or are secured on cocktail picks for easy handling. Varieties of meats, seafoods, and cheese may be shaped into bite-size croquettes or balls and fried, baked, or broiled and served as appetizers. Small cubes of cheese, sausage meat, and cocktail sausages, shrimp, and other foods may be secured on cocktail picks and served. Pickled vegetables, stuffed e.g., and stuffed vegetables such as celery (C, fig. 2), olives, and mushrooms are forms of hors d'oeuvres. Hors d'oeuvres may also be the cooks own creation. Listed below are some suggestions for use in preparing hors d'oeuvres:

  1. Mix egg yolks in a ricer or in a china cap, for a smoother, creamier, deviled-egg mixture.
  2. Place freshly stuffed deviled eggs in the refrigerator to set and become firm before covering them with a damp towel.
  3. Cover a sheet pan with a towel before arranging pieces of celery to be stuffed. This procedure will keep the celery from slipping when the crevice is filled with cheese or other mixture.
  4. Coat the palms of the hands lightly with salad oil to facilitate the rolling of meat bells and to prevent sticking.

 

CENTERPIECES

An appropriate centerpiece placed in the center of a tray and surrounded with colorful appetizers is always attractive. Be it an elaborate ice carving or a leafy head of cabbage, an attractive centerpiece always contributes to enjoyment of the meal. The following suggestions for centerpieces are limited to food items usually available in dining facilities:

  1. Cut a cantaloupe, grapefruit, orange, apple, or other round fruit in half, and place it with the cut side down in the center of the tray. Stick hors d'oeuvres on cocktail picks into the fruit, and surround the fruit with an assortment of attractive appetizers.
  2. Make roses from white potatoes, turnips, beets, and similar food items.
  3. Spear cubes of cheese, ham, pickle, or other food items in a pineapple.
  4. Shape an unsliced loaf of bread into an attractive form for a centerpiece, brown it in the oven or in deep fat, and use it as in a above.

 

GARNISHES

Garnishes for appetizers are usually devised from other foods and should be edible. The keynote to any food garnish should be naturalness and simplicity. The size of the garnish should be in proportion to the food item being decorated; for example, a tiny sprig of parsley no larger than the tip of the little finger is suitable for the top of a dainty canapé. Garnishes should be used in a way that expresses individual creativity. The following suggestions may be used in garnishing appetizers:

  1. Garnishes are used to make the food more attractive, not to hide it.
  2. A sprig of mint, a spot of whipped topping, or a sprinkling of candied fruit is an attractive addition to fruit cocktails.
  3. Paprika sprinkled on deviled eggs, stuffed celery, and other hors d'oeuvres adds a touch of color.
  4. Vegetable coloring may be added to butter to achieve an additional coloring for canapés. The coloring should harmonize or contrast with the main food item.
  5. Watercress, parsley, and nutmeats may be sprinkled over cheese appetizers to add color and variety.
  6. Garnishes for the serving tray may be made by slivering or cutting pickles into a fan shape, by cutting oranges or lemons into rings or wedges, and by cutting fresh apples into cubes, rolls, and rings and rolling them in paprika or finely chopped parsley.
  7. As a general rule, fruits are garnished with fruits, vegetables with vegetables, and meats with meats. However, vegetables like parsley, lettuce, and celery are often used to garnish all three classes of foods.