Appetizers are dishes that we serve prior to the main course to whet our appetites and also to set the right tone for the main meal.
‘Appetizer’ specifically refers to building an appetite. Hors d’oeuvre, another word for Appetizer, literally means “outside of the masterpiece”.
The varieties of appetizers are limitless. They could be preparations of raw or cooked, marinated meats, fish or vegetables served hot or cold in small portions. They require little to no preparation, even simply served as roasted nuts, brined or raw cut fruits or vegetables.
Popular Appetizers around the world:
Appetizers in Italy are called “Antipasto” or “Antipasti” means “before the meal”, these include a selection of marinated mushrooms, artichokes, sliced salamis, smoked sardines, stuffed olives and roasted red peppers.
Appetizers in Spain are called “Tapas”. The actual meaning of “Tapa” is to cover or lid. In Spain this has now become a style of food and is popular the World over. Tapas are a wide variety of hot & cold preparations of olives, cheese, tomatoes, sweet and chili peppers, maize (corn), potatoes etc.
Tea sandwiches as they are popularly known are traditional to British cuisine. Other common appetizers are based on ham, cheese, eggs and other ingredients. Some common appetizers are, Angles on Horseback, Devils on Horseback etc.
A popular appetizer presentation method in Sweden is called, “Smorgasbord”, meaning bread & butter table. Smorgasbord is popularly made of shrimps, pickles, meatballs, asparagus, mushrooms, smoked salmon, fresh water cod and caviar.
The Japanese term for Appetizer is “Zensai”, which may include, simple soups, sushi, sashimi and other items that might be steamed, deep fried, vinegared or dressed.
- Greece & Middle East
In Greece & the Middle East, appetizers are called “Meze”, which may be served hot or cold and popularly includes tiny meat balls, chickpeas paste called “Hummus”, roasted eggplant dip called “Moutabal” etc.
To learn more about the different kinds of Appetizers, you can go through the introductory lesson - Appetizers for a Great Start.
Appetizer Recipe of the Day - Buffalo Chicken Wings
About Buffalo Chicken Wings
Until recently chicken wings were considered as the least desirable of cuts of the chicken, commonly a thrown away part which was only used to make chicken stock.
Teresa Bellissimo the owner of Anchor Bar in “Buffalo” New York State, USA, introduced this dish in 1964 and it all started with a delivery mistake of chicken wings instead of the neck as ordered.
To avoid wasting the wings, Teresa made the chicken wings into an interesting bar appetizer, resulting in the world famous “Buffalo Wings” as we know it today.
In Buffalo, New York, wings are still eaten the way it was originally created by Teresa, served in either hot, medium or mild Buffalo sauce with blue cheese and celery. Nowadays, the popular Buffalo sauce has gone beyond the wings, it is frequently used along with boneless chicken fingers, pizzas and even Pringles!
Buffalo Chicken Wings are deep fried chicken wings tossed in a Buffalo sauce and are served with a refreshing blue cheese dip & chilled celery sticks. The dish works well because of the contrast between the crispy wings, spicy hot sauce and the cooling dip.
Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)
|Chicken wings (cut in half, discard winglets)||30 pieces|
|Cooking oil||for frying|
|Cayenne pepper||1 tsp|
|Black pepper powder||½ tsp|
|Worcestershire sauce||1 tbsp|
|Hot sauce (Tabasco)||3 tbsp|
|Garlic (minced)||2 cloves|
|Blue Cheese Dip|
|Blue cheese||4 tbsp|
|Cream cheese||4 tbsp|
|White vinegar||2 ½ tbsp|
|White pepper powder||a pinch|
|To Serve With|
|Celery sticks (Jardinière)||1 whole|
Method of Cooking
- Start with cutting the celery into jardinière sticks and place in the fridge to chill.
- For the Blue Cheese Dip: in a mixing bowl, mix the blue cheese, cream cheese, cream, white vinegar and season with salt & pepper. Mix until smooth and then place in the fridge to chill.
- To make the Buffalo Sauce; in a sauce pan, melt the butter then add the minced garlic and sweat. Add the hot sauce, ketchup, honey and Worcestershire sauce; stir and simmer for a minute, take of heat and set aside.
- Seasoning the flour: In a bowl, season the flour by mixing cayenne pepper, black pepper powder, paprika, cinnamon and salt, mix well. Coat the chicken wings with flour mixture. Make sure the excess flour is dusted off; else it will burn in the oil.
- On high heat, heat the cooking oil in a deep frying pan/ deep fat fryer until hot to deep fry chicken wings.
- Deep fry coated wings for 8-10 minutes (until golden brown) using a spider/slotted spatula, lift the fried wings from the oil and drain on a paper towel to remove excess fat.
- Toss the chicken wings in the Buffalo sauce to coat.
- Serve with blue cheese dips and celery sticks on the side.