Sunday, November 10, 2013

Amuse Bouche, Hors d'oeuvre, Appetizers, Small Bites - Creative Cooking Crew Challenge.

I make hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of appetizers a year. I am always trying to come up with new ones that are both efficient to make, eye catching and above all delicious. 
My newest one is this - a mini scallion pancake with smoked duck, caviar limes and basil seeds with a drop of hoisin. Simple, complex flavors and visually striking - this is the first time I have made these so I will tweak them a bit more before I am completely happy. Below you will see the myriad of appetizers I can make for you - if you want a recipe or a process for any individual one you see leave me a message in the comments and I will certainly oblige you.
Potato Cup with Tuna Tartare
Fig and Goat Cheese Tart
Smoked Duck Quesadillas
Sesame Crab Salad in a Tart Cup
Polenta Bites with Wild Mushroom and Sundried Tomato
Mini Beggars Purse with Pea Pesto (Gluten Free)
Assortment of Mini Savory Tartlets
Quesadilla with Green Apple
Herbed Cream Cheese and Fig Tart
Cucumber Bites with Tuna Salad
Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Cream and Huckleberry Coulis
Caprese Spoon - Grape Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Olive Oil Powder
Beets with Smoked Salmon and Scallions on Endive Leaves
Sweet Goat Cheese and Figs 
Herbed Goat Cheese and Figs
Potato Crisp with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche
Mini Crab Cakes with Remolaude 
Zucchini Involtini
Latkas with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche
Grilled Peach Tart with Manchego and Pine Nuts
Spring Pea Soup with Carrot Puree
Potato Samosas
Grilled Plums with Pistachio and Manchego Tart
Mini Lobster Rolls
Chicken Satay with Spicy Mango Salsa
Mini Burgers
Spring Rolls
Zucchini Involtini
Figs with Herbed Goat Cheese and Mint
Grilled Yam and Plantain with Creme Fraiche and Maguey Sweet Sap
Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta
Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta
Coconut Shrimp with a Pineapple Mayonnaise 
One Simple Shucked Oyster with Mignonette


LaDivaCucina said...

Just a couple of appetizers...! Haha! I see all of this hard work and am glad you have help. I especially like how you plated and "coned" the quesadillas. I like your new idea of the smoked duck and scallion pancake. There is always so much to think about when considering what to serve as an appetizer as it's different to have them catered vs. making them yourself. I like to make things ahead of time so I'm not in the kitchen while my guests are here but I do love when things come hot out of the kitchen. Love the feta watermelon in the spoons! HA! So much easier than trying to create perfectly square picks! Great ideas, thanks.

Christo Gonzales said...

I don't always have help - anything less than 40 people I do it ALL myself - and that is often - for 40-75 people I bring in one more and so on - so for every 40 or 50 people more I hire an extra person for the service - the prep I will do with me and two others for a big party - I alone get a lot done! As for "make aheads" a lot of these can be made in advance and even frozen ready to pop in the oven when you are ready -

LaDivaCucina said...

Yes, agreed about the help me too, though I don't cater for a living like you, only once in a while. I always get help for the 150 plus guest NYE party I do. Give me an idea of what of these you could freeze? I know you can freeze little vessels like tart cups and such but am curious. Making appetizers for a catered party is so much more work than serving a roast, a pasta, salad....

Christo Gonzales said...

crab cakes, quesadillas, samosas, satays, zucchini involtinis (in fact I freeze these every time so they keep their shape) the tart cups not so much since the cup itself can get soggy when it defrosts if its already filled -and the soups can be made well in advance and you can either let your guests help themselves to a little demi- tasse or you can serve them. Well not only do I make these appetizers I also serve the roast the pasta and the salad :)

LaDivaCucina said...

Wow, I'm surprised that some of those freeze so well, like the involtini and the quesadillas. Good to know, thank you.

Christo Gonzales said...

oh - the beggars purses freeze well too :)

Barbara said...

Haven't visited you for a while....I can see you've been busy! :)
A very tasty post! Love all the ideas, thanks.

Unknown said...

some great ideas for planning my wedding menu! yum :)

Deana Sidney said...

You know, there are a lot of fireworks in this challenge with great dishes, but you are like the blast at the end when you pull out all the stops. Amazing variety -- a catering menu anyone would be proud of. You must have a lot of happy friends if they get this all the time. So many brilliant ideas... thanks for being so generous with your prodigious talent.

Christo Gonzales said...

Thank you for your kindness Deanna and Shannon if you want more ideas or if you want to brainstorm a little drop me an e mail - :) - thanks for stopping in Barbara!

Jennifer Kendall said...

oh my gosh, i'm in in love with ALL of these appetizers - so creative and delicious looking!

angela@spinachtiger said...

I wouldn't know where to start. The oyster, the latkes with salmon for sure. All look fabulous. I'm not so good or patient making appetizers, not clever, but these are great ideas. Love the spoons too.

Unknown said...

would love recipes for the amuse bouches. they look amazing! and would love to feature some on our new website, BeautifulNow ( . We are running a post about beautiful amuse bouches the week after next, so if you can get recipes to us soon, we can include some.

shira said...

would love recipes for the amuse bouches. they look amazing! and would love to feature some on our new website, BeautifulNow ( . We are running a post about beautiful amuse bouches the week after next, so if you can get recipes to us soon, we can include some. you can email me at

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