Has fear of hors d'oeuvres stymied your instinct for entertaining? Then give three cheers for the editors at Britain's DK Publishing, the lush, informative books they produce, and the writers that bring to press the highest level of cooking instruction and encouragement. Please welcome Hors d'Oeuvres
by chef and Le Cordon Bleu cooking instructor Eric Treuille and caterer Victoria Blashford-Snell. Together they will put to rest whatever hors d'oeuvres anxieties you might have, and then ignite in you a passion for preparing gorgeous little nibbles.
The book is divided into sections on ingredients, equipment, recipes, techniques, and "The Party." The recipes section, in turn, is divided into chapters such as "Nibbles, Dips, and Dippers," "Tops and Bottoms," "Sticks and Skewers," "Wraps and Rolls," and "Stacks and Cases." In "Nibbles," you'll find recipes for several variations of spiced party nuts, Triple Chocolate Biscottini with Hazelnuts, Mini Gougeres, Parmesan and Anchovy Palmiers, Honey Mustard Chicken Wings, Spicy Peanut Dip, and Roasted Red Pepper, Feta, and Mint Dip. It all looks absolutely irresistible.
"Tops and Bottoms" leaves your basic blini way behind. Take one Parmesan shortbread, then build on top with the likes of roasted cherry tomatoes and feta. Or how about a cocktail-size corn cake topped with spicy mango salsa? You get the idea--something below, something above, all of it bite-sized. Love to grill? "Sticks and Skewers" introduces delicious morsels like Grilled Tuna with Spicy Roasted Tomato Dip, Curried Coconut Chicken Sticks, and Mint-Marinated Lamb Kebabs with Tahini and Honey Dip. "Wraps and Rolls" includes Crab and Papaya Rice Paper Rolls with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce, Cucumber Nori Sushi Rolls, and Crispy Wonton with Gingered Pork and a Chili Soy Dipping Sauce. "Stacks and Cases" runs along the lines of Filo Tartlets with various ingredients, Corn Cups with Tuna, Mango, and Lime Ceviche, and Quail Egg, Caviar, and Chervil Croustades.
But words hardly come close to what it all looks like in the usual gorgeous DK layout and photos. From there to the kitchen to the coffee table, it's a matter of a few graceful dance steps. And then you can kiss your hors d'oeuvres anxieties goodbye forever. --Schuyler Ingle
--This text refers to the