The word alone just sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? And try spelling it. After years of preparing the “hors d’oeuvre” I usually end up misspelling it. Okay, I always misspell it. Sometimes I switch the “o” with the “u” and inadvertently insert one of these: ☂ and occasionally one of these: ☞. The damn word confuses me.
Then I just Google it. And voilà!
But the hors d’oeuvre doesn’t have to be intimidating or complicated. I’m a sucker for a good hor d’oeuvre, and I’ve been known to make a light meal out of them, so if you invite me to your party just make sure you have plenty. Have some champagne too, I love champagne.
Here I’ll show you two easy, make-ahead hors d’oeuvres that will be a hit at your next cocktail party.
- 50 large red or yellow cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz. fresh lump crab meat, picked over and drained in a sieve to remove excess water
- Zest and juice from 1/2 of a large lemon
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1/8 tsp Old bay seasoning
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbs sour cream
- 1 tbs fresh chives, finely minced
- 1 tbs fresh dill, finely chopped
- 3 tbs red bell pepper, finely minced
- Slice 1/4" off the top of each tomato at stem end, then make a small slice on the bottom so tomato can stand without toppling over.
- With either a small melon scoop or a demitasse spoon gently scoop out seeds. Invert onto a paper towel to drain excess moisture
- To prepare filling, mix crab and other ingredients until just combined, making sure not to smash up your expensive crab meat
- Fill each tomato with 1 tsp of crab
- Top each tomato with a sprig of dill
- Tomatoes can filled, covered and refrigerated a day prior to serving
For the miniature pizzas, you can go ahead and use a freshly made store-bought dough or make your own, which will yield a much tastier hors d’oeuvre.
There’s no real trick to making these delicious pizzas – whatever topping you use will taste pretty amazing. Unless of course you’re one of the few who enjoy the peanut butter/pork rind combo.
My preparation of choice was the indoor grill pan. Roll out pizza dough on floured board and cut with a 2 1/2″ round cookie cutter. Cook on lightly oiled grill over medium heat for about 1 minute per side. Easy, quick and flavorful. If your kitchen is sans grill pan, just place the pizzas on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a 400° oven for roughly 8 minutes, or until cooked through.
The pizzas dough can be cooked, topped, covered tightly in plastic wrap and kept in the fridge for a day or two before reheating in a 350° oven for 6-8 minutes. One 16 oz. ball of dough, will yield about 25-30 pizzas.
I made two variations of the mini pizza:
Pizza no. 1: Red pepper tapenade, caramelized onion with Gruyère cheese. When pizzas were removed from the oven I topped each one with a tiny bit of micro-greens. You can sub watercress.
Pizza no. 2: Basil pesto, oven roasted balsamic & garlic tomatoes with honeyed goat cheese.
Try them. Yum.