Americans have a love affair with appetizers! Whether they’re veggies and dip, elegant canapés, or a handful of popcorn, we love to eat them at parties, at restaurants (ever ordered just appetizers instead of a full meal?) and when sitting in front of the TV. Appetizers answer to a lot of different names and can be light and nibbly or can serve as the beginning to a meal. Here are a few different types of appetizers and several different ways they can be served:
Canapé: Small pieces of toast, bread, crackers or baked pastry topped with various cheeses, an anchovy or some type of spread. They can be hot or cold, easy or elaborate.
Crudité: Raw veggies cut into slices, sticks or pieces, usually served with a dip.
Dips and dunks: These tasty mixtures are the perfect consistency, not too thin or too thick, for dipping chips, crudités and fruit.
Finger Food: Any portion of food that can be eaten with fingers (no utensils required)! Think Crostini or Original Chex® Party Mix.
First Course: One or two appetizers served at the beginning of a sit-down meal. Usually a knife and fork is needed to eat these appetizers.
Hors d’oeuvre: In French, hors d’oeuvre means "outside the work" of the main meal, or bite-size foods, served hot or cold, and eaten apart from the regular meal, often with cocktails. Hors d’oeuvres can range from canapés and crudité to olives and nuts.
Spreads: Spreads are thicker than dips, so you’ll need a knife to spread them on bread or hearty crackers.
Entertaining with Appetizers
You’ll find an assortment of sweet and savory, elegant and casual appetizer recipes in this book. If you’re hosting a party, you can make all your appetizers from scratch or you can head to the deli or supermarket to pick up crackers and cheese, prepared dips and spreads, chicken wings, meatballs, even the cut-up veggies.
Think about serving an appetizer buffet instead of a sit-down dinner. Plan it just like you would a regular meal with a blend of hot and cold, mild and spicy, colors and textures. See Menu Planning Basics.
Host a bring-your-favorite-appetizer party. Provide one or two appetizers yourself, along with beverages. Ask guests to bring the recipes to exchange, too!
From "Betty Crocker's Complete Cookbook, Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today, 9th Edition." Text Copyright 2000 General Mills, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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