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Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook [Hardcover]

Martha Stewart
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 30 1999
No one knows better how to give a party than Martha Stewart--and as she proves in this comprehensive and visually dazzling handbook, great parties begin with great hors d'oeuvres. Three hundred all-new recipes, each photographed in full color, show why Martha Stewart is still America's style authority and most trusted party host.

It was fifteen years ago that Martha Stewart first turned her creativity and talent for teaching to this subject, when she defined the look and flavor of party appetizers for professionals and home cooks in Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres. Since then, America's tastes have evolved and Martha's own approach to food has expanded to encompass flavors from around the world, seasonal ingredients fresh from the garden, and  innovative preparations all presented with an unsurpassed eye for beauty.

In this book, after laying out the basic foundations and techniques, Martha presents chapters on different hors d'oeuvre categories that are brimming with new ideas--Layered and Stacked; Wrapped, Rolled, Filled, Folded, and Stuffed; and Skewered and Threaded. Whether a classic cocktail party food reinvigorated with her wit and style--chicken salad tea sandwiches turned on their sides and encrusted with sesame seeds, for example--or deliciously decadent dips for crudités and seafood updated with Indian dhal or white beans and mustard greens; tiny toasted breadboxes filled with Welsh rarebit; or savory sips of soups in edible cups, these impeccable jewels are as exciting as anything Martha has ever invited her readers to serve on the buffet or tea table or pass among guests.

Reflecting Martha's favorite way to entertain now--informal and relaxed--there is also Bites and Pieces, a chapter packed with simple recipes for parties that please the guests without undoing the host. Marinated olives, spiced and seasoned nuts, handmade cheese crackers, and spicy cocktail ribs can be prepared quickly and easily in advance and arranged before the doorbell rings. Even the drinks have been provided: classic and contemporary cocktails, imaginatively garnished, are accompanied by a guide to stocking the bar and serving champagne.

Everything about Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook has been considered to create a book that is easy to use. The size was chosen to comfortably fit in the hand, in the cookbook holder, or on the kitchen counter. Color photographs in the front of the book help cooks select which hors d'oeuvres to combine for their own parties; the cross-referenced recipes in the back have been tested in Martha's own kitchen and in the test kitchens of Martha Stewart Living; and two place-marking ribbons keep track of both picture and recipe. And every detail has been covered--tips on techniques and ingredients, serving ideas, menu suggestions, recipe variations, advice on party planning, and even a glossary of equipment, special ingredients, and supplies, with a guide to finding them. With its range of recipes, its wealth of ideas, its lavish photography, and its innovative format, Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook is simply the most instructive, inspirational, and indispensable guide to hors d'oeuvres ever compiled.

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From Amazon

With Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook, Stewart, along with Martha Stewart Living food editor Susan Spungen and photographer Dana Gallagher, has created not just a handbook but a dream book. The first 225 pages consist entirely of beautifully photographed, exquisite nibbles, tastes, and bites--and the following 270 pages give you the recipes and instructions to re-create them at home. Pink and orange ribbons bound into the book allow you to easily mark photos and recipes. Only Martha and her staff would come up with something so beautiful and practical.

You can browse the photos for inspiration, or dive right into one of the chapters, all organized by presentation, such as "Layered and Stacked"; "Wrapped, Rolled, Filled, Folded and Stuffed"; "Skewered and Threaded"; "Bites and Pieces"; and "Sips and Drinks," just to name a few. Having a few friends over for cocktails before the show? How about Crispy Asparagus Straws, a delicious combo of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and phyllo and sprinkled with Parmesan? The sophisticated flavors belie the ease of preparation. Have a little more time to prepare? The Jicama and Green Papaya Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce are tasty and beautiful.

As gorgeous as this cookbook is, don't dismiss it as coffee-table cooking--several helpful photos show technique as well as finished product, and Martha's tips and notes are sprinkled throughout the text. For example, a lengthy sidebar on purchasing and preparing shrimp shares how to buy shrimp (the high quality of flash-frozen shrimp these days makes it perfectly acceptable), how to cook it (use kosher salt in your cooking water), and how best to peel and devein the little treasures. Similarly, reading the note on preparing phyllo will encourage even a novice cook to try her hand at Phyllo Triangles with Feta and Spinach or Curried Walnut Chicken. If you're planning a party and need fabulous finger food, you needn't look any further than Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook. --Rebecca A. Staffel

From Publishers Weekly

In her second book on the subject (after Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres: The Creation & Presentation of Fabulous Finger Food, 1984), Stewart seems to have enjoyed the collaboration. This is a wonderfully produced compendium, with exhaustively detailed recipes to suit a wide range of palates, budgets and culinary skills (though not intended for neophyte cooks). Following the introduction are more than 300 color photographs (not seen by PW), cross-referenced to the recipes in the book's second half. The first chapter, "Building Blocks for the Best Hors d'Oeuvres," includes Stewart's typically painstaking instructions for making such foundations as Pattypan Squash Cups, Miniature Flour Tortillas and Green Tea Crepes. The next five chapters are organized by type: "Layered and Stacked" offers pizza variations and imaginative terrines; "Skewered and Threaded" has Moroccan Salmon Skewers and Figs in a Blanket; "Bites and Pieces" features Classic Crab Cakes and a section on marinated olives. "Classics" contains previously published recipes, including Phyllo Triangles with Wild Mushrooms. Throughout, helpful sidebars discuss such topics as dumpling wrappers (paper-thin sheets of dough); selecting, preparing and serving oysters; or the best hors d'oeuvres to bring to a potluck party. Advice on party planning, menus, lists of suppliers and an index top off this well-stuffed volume.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
This is the ultimate Hors D'Oeuvres handbook -- the best I've ever come across.
In this massive tome, Martha covers all types of hors d'oevres. In addition to easy-to-follow instructions, every "finished product" is beautifully photographed and labled. All you have to do is flip through the photograph section at the beginning of the book, select the hors d'oevres you would like to make, mark it with one of the attached silk book holders, and flip to the recipe in the back of the book.
Here are a few notes:
1.) Included in the back of the book is a good index (This is helpful if you want to search for a specific main ingredient -- like if you have 10 lbs. of asparagus you need to use up.) and a resource guide (This is great for those who don't have a gourmet supermarket within driving distance. Almost all ingredients and tools can be ordered either via the internet, by phone, or mail.).
2.) As is typical with Martha's books, the recipes are high on presentation and low on portability. These delicacies are best suited to an at-home cocktail party, as most of the items to not travel well due to their sometimes elaborate construction.
3.) A nice feature is the classic recipes section featuring party favorites such as stuffed mushrooms. (These recpies are great, as my guests are not always in the mood for nori or endive.)
4.) While I appreciate the design choice to put all of the photos at the beginning of the book, I would have preferred the pictures be featured with each recipe. Expect to flip back and forth a bunch of times.
Functional Note:
You'll need bookweights or a cookbook stand to hold this open, as the pages are packed pretty tightly.
Bon appetit!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Martha Stewart's Hors D'oeuvres handbook May 17 2000
By A Customer
I have used this book several times, made me want to have a party to try out these wonderful recipes. Full-color photos which show you what the food is supposed to look like; and well labeled -- telling you what page the recipe is on. Such creative ideas for snacks and treats, "why didn't I think of that?". Recipes are well detailed, easy to follow, good print (making it easy to read) with special notes on pages telling you where to get "hard to find items" and techniques explained. I think this book is not necessarily for beginners, but, those who love to cook and love to take time and pride in their cooking. Everytime I have made something from this cook book I get "waves of praise". The back of the book has "the Guide" which gives additional information from planning a party to taking Horsd'Oeuvre to a party. Equipment and ingredients are explained, as well as, a source list. I recommend this book to anyone, again, who loves to cook. It is right up there with the other Martha Stewart cookbooks, great!
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By A Customer
I hope to have some practical guide and recipes on hors d'oeuvres, but then how many of them in Martha's book can be actually used again and again? Many of them require special ingredients that are costly, require special tools that are also costly and has to be prepared right before the party. Come on, I cannot possibly do 8-10 kinds (yielding 2-3 bites per person) 2-3 hours before the party by myself!! (some of them even required to be served immediately). She doesen't even include the planning for the preparation of her menus (On The Asian Dumpling Party menu she mentioned,"dumplings... are the ultimate make-ahead food" -- but steaming dozens of dumplings 7-10 minutes before the party needs 3-5 bamboo steamers and pots and pans... not practical at all, certainly not make-ahead at all). Whereas for her "real" make ahead food such as crudites or pretzel bites, you don't need her costly book for the recipes. Besides that, the photos are tantalizing. But for the price of her book, I'd rather keep up with her website where she has some recipes for free. Also check out the Bon Apetit Magazine's web site for detailed planning and scheduling for any party menu they presented. This is only for those who has a lot of $dough$ to keep up with her costly ingredients and tools, plus has a lot of helping hands like Martha's own cooking crew on her studio.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Martha is the Queen of Hors D'Oeuvres! Nov. 11 2000
When I am ready to don my apron to prepare for a cocktail or dinner party, this is the first book that I pull off the shelf. I flip through the beautiful and tantalizing photos in the front third of the book, find what I want to try, and then go on to the correlating how-to page. The recipes are easy to follow, some more involved than others, but depending on how much time you have, it's easy to make a choice on what to serve. The last chapter entitled The Guide is filled with a wealth of information - menus, an index of culinary utensils, description of uncommon and exotic foods and spices, equipment and food sources and a directory of specialty shops. I also like the built-in fabric book markers - great to mark favorite recipes.
This informative book has been a welcome addition to my cooking library and I recommend it to anyone who loves to entertain. It will also make life easier for those who are sometimes forced to entertain whether they like to or not!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes but
The book had a musty door which diminishes its appeal. The recipes are classics and the content comprehensive. It's a go to book for appies.
Published 9 months ago by Beryl Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars great reference
Martha Stewart has style and the ability to find the best of the best. She can take something ordinary and turn it into something amazing. Read more
Published on May 6 2010 by lafleurpetite
1.0 out of 5 stars Just dreadful. Buy B. Smith's cookbook
We planned a little soiree but the canapes in this book were just dreadful. I sold this book at our local library book & bake sale for AIDS for $1.00.
I switched to B. Read more
Published on June 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this book
i go back to this book time and again for perfect and impressive hors d'oeuvres. not only are they beautiful, they are just delicious. Read more
Published on May 28 2004 by RJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, but demanding
This book is full of great ideas and has a beautiful photo section taking up much of the first half of the book. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by "astrosweetgirl"
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for all Entertainers!
The Hors D'Oeuvres Handbook by Martha Stewart is filled with creative appetizer recipes and spectacular pictures that make you want to run to the kitchen and start cooking. Read more
Published on March 9 2003 by Elena Hernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Martha Stewart Book
No matter what personal troubles may ail Martha, she cannot be faulted for this book. As with all her books, it's excellent! Beautiful photographs. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2003 by Donna Rogers
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful book. Took me hours and it did not work
I tried a few of her recipes and they came out like dog food.
Try the Betty Crocker on Hors D'Oeuvres book. The Le Cordon Blue series of cook books are much better and easier. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.....
Had high hopes.....not anything much appealing or original.....*yawn*....most recipes are quite involved, and considering the results, I just don't like this one..... Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars More like a reference book but that is okay...
I really liked this book... It had a WEALTH of options for appetizers both simple (some VERY simple) and complex for things that could be used at a cocktail party... Read more
Published on June 21 2002 by T. Reinhardt
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