Hors d'oeuvres (pronounced or-DERVS), although a term that can be somewhat difficult to read, are immensely easy to find in both hot and cold forms that will appeal to any crowd. Hors d'oeuvres are simply small appetizers that are often served before the main dish of a meal. They can be made of any kind of food and are appropriate for a fancy dinner party as well as a backyard barbecue.
Hot Meat & Fish Hors D'oeuvres
For hot meat and fish hors d'oeuvres, try a mixture of warm seafood dishes such as mini shrimp quesadillas, shrimp and crab skewers, shrimp spring rolls, shrimp brochette and mini crab cakes. For hot beef and chicken hors d'oeuvres, use mini chicken and cheese quesadillas, small pieces of sausage or boneless chicken on toothpicks, fried chicken tenders, chicken empanadas or buffalo wings. These are best served with dipping sauces like honey mustard, ranch dips and salsas. You can also mix in an assortment of peppers and other veggies to accent the meat and fish.
Hot Vegetarian Hors D'oeuvres
For hot vegetarian hors d'oeuvres, serve small vegetable or tofu egg rolls with soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce. Utilize cheese in a variety of hors d'oeuvres, such as cheddar stuffed jalapeno peppers with dipping ranch, spinach and feta cheese pitas, and mini cheese and pepper pizzas. Other options are breaded broccoli and cauliflower, hot veggies and ranch, spinach balls, mini rice balls, broccoli and spinach quiche, small cups of vegetable-based soups, mini grilled cheese sandwiches cut into triangles and seasoned fried potatoes on toothpicks.
Cold Meat & Fish Hors D'oeuvres
Oriental foods and seafood make delicious cold meat and fish hors d'oeuvres. Serve a variety of traditional sushi rolls, artichoke hearts with a curry chicken salad, or mini wonton cups with a chilled Asian chicken salad for an oriental flair. Cold seafood hors d'oeuvres include shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon and other small fish dishes, and crab ceviche with tortilla chips. Mini croissant bites with regular chicken salad also make appropriate hors d'oeuvres.
Cold Vegetarian Hors D'oeuvres
Cold vegetarian hors d'oeuvres are usually a great choice for parties because they easily stay fresh for a longer period of time. Try serving platters with an assortment of cheeses and fruits, or small pasta and pesto salads. Serve toasted or grilled pita triangles accompanied by fresh hummus, vegetable relish and roasted red pepper dips. Portobello mushrooms can be paired with roasted red peppers and placed on toothpicks. Vegetarian spring rolls with tofu and various croissant sandwiches stuffed with cheese and tomatoes also make delicious cold veggie hors d'oeuvres.
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Kelsi Johnston has been writing short stories and assorted articles since 2008. She has experience in news writing and technical writing and her work has appeared in various online publications. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from Auburn University.