Hors d’oeuvre variés

Hors d’oeuvre variés

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Hors d’oeuvre means ‘outside the main body of work’, that is, outside the main part of the meal. The term is the French equivalent of ‘appetisers’: small portions of savoury food served at the table to introduce a lunch or dinner, or in another room with drinks before the meal. In English-speaking countries hors d’oeuvre are usually associated with a party or special occasion. But in France, the midday meal almost invariably begins with a slice of pâté, egg or fish mayonnaise, cold meat dressed with a piquant vinaigrette or les hors d’oeuvre variés – a plate of mixed hors d’oeuvre which displays the skill of the cook at transforming small quantities of food, including leftovers, into a delicious and thrifty first course.

These cold hors d’oeuvre can be a mixture of little salads which you have prepared yourself, such as those given below, and other foods from the kitchen cupboard or delicatessen – smoked fish such as eel, tailor, mackerel; good tinned or pickled fish; meats such as salami, ham, sausage, liverwurst; fresh, pickled or tinned vegetables; eggs; feta and other cheeses. Leftovers of meat, fish or vegetables can be combined with vinaigrette dressing or mayonnaise to add to the platter. Garnish with olives, capers, chopped herbs or fresh herb sprays, watercress or tiny lettuce leaves, tinned pimiento, cherry tomatoes or tomato wedges, sieved hard-boiled egg, lemon slices or wedges. Serve with fresh crusty bread and butter.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Egg mayonnaise: Halve hard-boiled eggs lengthways and arrange, rounded sides up, on a serving platter. Coat with mayonnaise and garnish with drained tinned pimiento, cut into strips and arranged trellis-fashion, and with a pitted half of black olive in each square. Scatter with parsley and serve at room temperature.
  2. Fish mayonnaise: Follow recipe for egg mayonnaise but substitute about 75 g poached or tinned fish, skin and bones removed, broken into large flakes for each egg, and capers for black olives.
  3. Salade de boeuf (beef salad): Very lightly mix together equal quantities of diced, cooked beef and diced, cooked new potatoes. Add a little finely chopped onion and peeled, seeded and diced tomato. Moisten with mustard vinaigrette, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover and chill lightly. Dress neatly in a shallow dish and sprinkle generously with chopped parsley just before serving.
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