Menu Inspiration

Holiday Hors d’Oeuvres

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Whether presented in a festive party spread or a sharable and small plate menu, hors d’oeuvres are extremely attractive to customers today. Not only do hors d’oeuvres allow guests to customize the “what” and “how” of their dining experience, they allow operators to boost check totals while streamlining work back of house. Find inspiration here.

Efficient Production

Using mini-muffin tins, you can easily appetizer-size all kinds of things from your menu. Comfort-food options include mac n’ cheese bites, spicy pigs in a blanket, even a “spaghetti and meatball” app! Sophisticated yet-small choices also abound, some with meat or seafood, like biscuits topped with prosciutto, or crab cakes, or crisped polenta with bacon, dates and blue cheese. Vegetarian options range from tiny herbed frittatas to potato gratins to goat cheese tartlets.

Vegan is simple, too: as in wonton cups with minced stir-fry veg, or phyllo dough cups with a spinach-mushroom filling and an avocado garnish.

Kid friendly? Try onions rings or mozzarella sticks. Fall theme? Sausage-and-stuffing cups or golden waffle cups with pumpkin-pie filling. Something Christmassy? Cranberry-apple tartlets. You see the endless possibilities this pan can inspire!

Gorgeously Easy

Start with something simple and push it with presentation and flavor. Like rolling goat-cheese logs in orange and lemon zest (grated fine). Other, equally pretty options include chopped mixed herbs, cracked mixed peppercorns or chopped dried cherries and pecans. Another idea: Crisp-fry premade meat or cheese ravioli; sprinkle with salt and grated parm.

It’s personal

With “build your own” such a big draw for eating out today, appetizers can share in the appeal. Toppings are the simplest way. For example, you could offer a range of sauces, from creamy to hot, for Intros® Seasoned Chicken Satay Skewers. For variety and consistency with practically zero labor cost, look to the impressive line of hors d’oeuvres from Intros®. Another idea: Include an array of chopped bacon, fruit and vegetables to dress up mini quiches. What kind of inspiration can you take from a taco bar? Perhaps a “crostini and paté shareable plate” including a mushroom spread.

Menu changeup

When offering heavy hors d’oeuvres as an alternative to a standard entree, decide whether or not you could easily rework items from your regular menu.

  • Turn prime rib or pulled-pork sandwiches into sliders
  • Assemble “tacos” in large, scoop-type corn chips
  • Start with packaged dough and top with unexpected ingredients for mini pizza slices

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