hors d'oeuvres course in french classical menu
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Hors d'œuvre(s), pronounced "or-derve", also known as appetizer(s), refer to the food served before or outside of (French: hors d') the main dishes of a meal (the œuvre).
The purpose of the hors d'œuvre is to whet the appetite;hence the presentation and taste is very important. Simplicty should br the watchword; if there is a long waiting period between when the guests arrive and when the meal is served (for example, during a cocktail hour), these might also serve the purpose of sustaining guests during the long wait.
Although most hors d’oeuvres are served cold they are also hot hors’doevres.
Antipasto is the Italian word for hors d'œuvre, meaning "before the meal".
Asperges au beurre fondue (asparagus)
Asparagus rack placed on an oval platter. Asparagus tongs placed on the right side of the cover. Hot/cold joint plate with a joint fork placed underneath to collect the melted butter so that the tips of the asparagus will remain dipped in it. Finger bowls and spare serviette.
If served hot-hollandaise sauce or beurre fondue.
If served cold-sauce vinaigrette
May also be served as a legume course.
Asparagus is a member of the Lily family.
Asparagus spears grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils.
Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10" in a 24-hour period. Each crown will send spears up for about 6-7 weeks during the spring and early summer.
The outdoor temperature determines how much time will be between each picking. Early in the season, there may be 4-5 days between pickings and as the days and nights get warmer, a particular field may have to be picked every 24 hours.
An asparagus planting is usually not harvested for the first 3 years after the crowns are planted allowing the crown to develop a strong fibrous root system.
A well cared for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted.
The larger the diameter, the better the quality.
Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in Folic Acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.
Caviar (roe of the sturgeon fish)
Beluga, sevruga and osetra
Caviar knife or fish knife on the right side of the cover. Cold fish plate.
Hot breakfast toast or Blinis (Russian pancakes) with butter, segments of lemon, chopped shallots, parsley. Sieved hard boiled eggs (yolk and white separate). Served in a tin in a soup plate or welled dish on a bed of crushed ice. Served in portions of approximately 30 gms each.
Caviar is the processed, salted roe of various species of fish, most notably sturgeon. It is commercially marketed throughout the world as a delicacy and is eaten principally as a garnish or spread, as with hors d'oeuvres.
The name caviar comes from the Persian word خاگآور (Khag-avar) which means "the roe-generator". This name in Persian is actually used to denote the sturgeon itself and its product, the roe. Russian uses an unrelated name, ikra.
In recent years the aquaculture of sturgeon has been increasing, especially in France, Uruguay and Southern California.
Nowadays, paddlefish and hackleback caviar have gained in popularity. These lower priced caviars are also from the sturgeon family. Recently the amount of allowed wild harvesting is being reduced, driving the price upward.
Today the best caviar comes from sturgeon fished from the Caspian Sea by Iran and Russia. Some of the highest prices are paid for Beluga, Ossetra, and Sevruga varieties (note that the large-grained Beluga caviar comes from the Beluga sturgeon and has nothing to do with the Beluga whale).
The rare, golden Sterlet caviar was once the favorite of czars, shahs and emperors, but the species is now nearly extinct.
Dwindling yields due to overfishing and pollution have resulted in less costly alternatives, processed from the roe of whitefish and North Atlantic salmon, and are becoming more popular.
The word "malossol" on the label means "little salt" in Russian, and indicates that it has been processed with a minimum amount of salt.
Commercial caviar production normally involves stunning the fish (usually with a club to the head) and extracting the ovaries, although a number of farmers are experimenting with surgical removal of the roe from live sturgeon, allowing the females to produce more eggs during their lifespans.
Caviar is an animal product and not considered to be vegetarian for this reason.
However there is a soy based caviar that is vegetarian on the market.
Caspian sea beluga-World's finest and most prized caviar. Large gray grains with wonderfully delicate flavor and finish
Caspian Sea Osetra ranging from golden to dark brown, Osetra is the only variety of caviar with a unique, nutty flavor.
Caspian Sea Sevruga-Sevruga has a smaller grain than other species, is grayish in color, and has a stronger yet very delicate flavor.
Blinis-Lightly toasted, these little bulgur wheat pancakes are traditional accompaniments to caviar
Iranian Imperial Osetra-Hues of light to golden brown make this caviar a rare and unique treasure, while its large grain, creamy texture, and nutty finish will entrance osetra connoisseurs.
Iranian Sevruga-One of the world's finest delicacies, from the southern waters of the Caspian Sea where colder temperatures produce a richer, cleaner flavor.
Les huitres (oysters)
Soup plate or welled sliver dish filled with crushed ice and placed on an underplate. Oyster fork. Finger bowl with doily on side plate placed at the top left hand corner of the cover. Spare serviette.
Oyster cruet; cayenne pepper, peppermill, chilli vinegar, Tabasco sauce. Half a lemon served in the oyster dish on a bed of ice along with brown bread and butter. Served only six at a time. For another six a fresh service will have to be laid. Oysters are served in the deep half of the shell.
The hard, rough, gray shell contains meat that can vary in color from creamy beige to pale gray, in flavor from salty to bland and in texture from tender to firm.
There are both natural and cultivated oyster beds throughout the world. In the United States, there are three primary species of oysters that are commercially harvested-Pacific (or Japanese), Eastern (or Atlantic) and the Olympia. Each species is sold under different names depending on where they're harvested.
Olympia Oysters are rarely larger than 1 1/2 inches and hail from Washington's Puget Sound.
The Pacific Oyster (or Japanese oyster) is found along the Pacific seaboard and can reach up to a foot long. Considered in cooking to be superior to the Pacific oysters are Atlantic Oysters the most well known of which is the Bluepoint.
Others from the Atlantic seaboard-named for their place of origin-include Apalachicola, Cape Cod, Chincoteague, Indian River, Kent Island, Malpeque and Wellfleet. In Europe, the French are famous for their Belon Oysters (which are now also being farmed in the United States) and their green-tinged Marennes oysters; the English have their Colchester, Helford and Whitstable oysters; and the Irish have Galway oysters.
Fresh oysters are available year-round. Today's widespread refrigeration keeps them cool during hot weather.
Les escargots (snails)
Snail tongs left of the cover. Snail fork on the right hand side of the cover. Snail dish served on fish plate with a doily.
Brown bread and butter. Garlic butter. Snail shells are placed in the snail dish with their openings facing the top to prevent the garlic butter from leaking out.
Escargots, in French cuisine, is a dish of cooked land snails, usually served as an appetizer. In France, escargots are typically only eaten on festive occasions.
The French word escargot (meaning snail) is almost invariably used on restaurant menus (especially in North America) to refer to snails as a food item, though in most Commonwealth countries one can also order snails in English.
Not all species of snail are edible, but many (116 different species) are. Even among the edible species, the palatability of the flesh varies from species to species. In France, two species native to France are normally used for preparing escargots. One of these, the "petit-gris"Helix aspersa, is common in temperate climates worldwide.
Because snails eat soil, decayed matter, and a variety of leaves, the contents of their stomachs can be toxic to humans. Therefore, before they can be cooked, the snails must first be prepared by purging them of the contents of their digestive system. The process used to accomplish this varies, but generally involves a combination of fasting and purging. The methods most often used can take several days. Farms producing Helix aspersa for sale exist in Europe and in the United States. Farm-raised snails are typically fed a diet of ground cereals.
Typically, the snails are removed from their shells, gutted, cooked (usually with garlic butter), and then poured back into the shells together with the butter and sauce for serving, often on a plate with several shell-sized depressions. Special snail tongs (for holding the shell) and snail forks (for extracting the meat) are also normally provided.
Mais de naturel (corn on the cob)
Hot fish plate. Corn on the cob holder, placed on a side plate and placed at the head of the cover.
May also be served as a legume course.
Methods of preparing corn on
IN WATER: Choose a pot large enough to hold the amount of corn you want to cook, with room for water to cover the corn. Cover pot and bring water to a boil on high heat. Add husked corn ears and continue to cook on high heat (covered or not) three to four minutes or until kernels are very hot.
IN THE HUSK - GRILLED OR BAKED: Corn cooked this way is steamed and does not taste very different from boiled corn. It is handy to serve in the husk because you can season or butter the corn before it is cooked.
To prepare, pull husk back from each ear of corn, but leave attached at base of cob. Pull off and discard silk; trim off any insect damage, and rinse ears. If you want to butter them pat ears dry and rub with soft butter. Pull husks back up around corn.
If you want the husk to stay snugly against the ear, pull off one or two of the outer husk layers, tear lengthwide into thin strips, and tie them around ear in several places. Just before cooking, immerse the ears in cool water (this keeps husks from burning).
TO GRILL: Husk corn and discard silk; wrap each ear loosely with aluminum foil. Over gas or hot coals, place corn onto a hot grill over medium heat. Cover barbecue with lid, open any vents, and cook fifteen to 20 twenty minutes; turn occasionally.
TO BAKE: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare corn as directed for grilling, but put ears in a single layer, separating them slightly, directly onto the oven rack or onto a baking pan. Bake twenty to twenty-five minutes or until corn is tender when pierced and very hot.
MICROWAVING: Perfect for cooking just one ear of corn. Husk corn and discard silk. Rinse and wrap each ear loosely in a paper
towel. Cook on full power one to two minutes or until ears are very hot to touch.
Fully ripe sweet corn has bright green, moist husks.
The silk should be stiff, dark and moist. You should be able to feel individual kernels by pressing gently against the husk.
Fresh corn, if possible, should be cooked and served the day it is picked or purchased. As soon as corn is picked, its sugar begins is gradual conversion to starch, which reduces the corn's natural sweetness.
Corn will lose 25% or more of its sugar within 25 hours after harvesting it. If for some reason corn is not being used immediately or has been purchased from the supermarket, add sugar to replace that which has been lost. Add one teaspoon sugar for each quart of water.
Between purchasing and cooking, keep the corn moist and cool. Pack in a cooler for the trip home from farm or market and refrigerate corn immediately after taking it home.
By refrigerating the corn it helps the corn stay sweet by not letting the sugars turn to starch.
Use within two or three days.