Hors d’oeuvres for a Feast

photo 4

Two hundred appetizers for a friend’s party.

I volunteered to help a friend create a friendly, social, upscale atmosphere for a party, by making passed hors d’oeuvres. I prepared four kinds of crostini, and truffled popcorn.

First, some advance prep work: roasted red bell peppers, saute’d mushrooms, and a lot of dicing: sliced cornichons, minced parsley, and minced chives.


Roasted red bell peppers are fun: you set them directly on the burner until they’re blackened, let them cool, then peel and dice them.


For the mushroom spread, I finely minced portabello and crimini mushrooms with a bit of garlic, and saute’d them in butter.


Here’s my mise en place, in the little space I had to work with – just enough room to assemble.


I pre-cut and brought 150 portions of baguette, which we sheet-panned and toasted in the oven. As they came out, they were assembled as follows.

photo 1

The first two batches were chicken rillette (which I failed to photograph — someone remind me and I’ll write this up. It’s pretty much the recipe from Mission Chinese), with cornichons, parsley and chive; and mushrooms, goat cheese, and bell pepper.

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The second round was smoked ham rillette with the bell pepper relish (not in the picture), and homemade nduja with microgreens and sour cream.

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I also made truffled popcorn, which is embarrassingly easy considering how delicious it is. It’s just air-popped popcorn with butter and truffle salt.

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It’s so good, it just flew off the plates and I couldn’t make enough of it.
I sent out 50 of these little paper cups full — all the cups I brought. Turns out that one batch in my air popper makes exactly 12 cups which is just what fits on a sheet pan, a happy coincidence!

Hors d’oeuvres for a Feast

Chicken rillette crostini
baguette, sliced and toasted
chicken rillette

Assemble. Remind Bruce to post the rillette recipe.

Mushroom, goat cheese, and bell pepper crostini
baguette, sliced and toasted
1 bell pepper
1 portabello mushroom
4-5 large white mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
goat cheese

For the roasted bell pepper relish: Set the bell pepper on a gas burner, turning every few minutes until charred on all sides. Let cool. Under cool running water, rub off the burnt skin. Then dice finely. Set aside.

For the mushrooms: dice the mushrooms finely. Mince the garlic. Combine mushrooms, garlic, and butter and cook over medium-low heat until the mushrooms release their liquid and it all cooks off. Set aside.

Assemble as in the photos.

Nduja crostini
baguette, sliced and toasted
sour cream

Remind Bruce to post the nduja recipe. Spread nduja on the crostini. Stem the microgreens by pinching them with your fingers, and add a few to each. Pipe a healthy dollop of sour cream onto the center of each.

Smoked ham crostini
baguette, sliced and toasted
smoked ham rillette
red bell pepper relish (see above)

Spread some ham rillette on each crostini. Top with a healthy portion of the red bell pepper relish, to offset the heavy, smoky rillette.

Truffled Popcorn
1/3C popcorn
1/2 stick butter, melted
truffle salt

Pop 1/3 C popcorn in an air popper. Spoon the melted butter over the popcorn, stirring it as you go to coat the popcorn evenly. Sprinkle on a healthy dose of truffle salt.

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