While I prepare myself for my upcoming trip to Germany, here is an old favorite snack of mine served a bit different than usual. – Before I get to this I’d like to mention the little story that lead me to write this post in the first place. I was recently invited on a party, which was held at a fairly decent catering hall. Among the appetizers was a crudite platter. A boring platter with carrots, green peppers, celery and cherry tomatoes served with I think was store-bought ranch dressing (which is OK). The platter had no decoration at all. – My question is: Is it so difficult to make a crudite platter more appetizing? Don’t get me wrong there are many chefs and caterers out there who take great pride in serving brilliantly decorated appetizer platters. What I learned in recent years is that caterers have come to the point of dropping this hors d’oeuvre from the menu completely. Yet many customers ask for it. So why not reinvent the old?
An hors d’oeuvre is served to simply whet your guests appetite to what is yet to come. (except on receptions). It is usually served before the actual dinner starts, so guests can mingle and get comfortable. However, in my opinion an hors d’oeuvre as well as the famous amuse-bouche is testament of what the chef & his or her team is capable of. So whether it’s a simple crudite served in shot glasses or platters – as a host it is my job to impress my guest with the very first opportunity. – The Hors D’Oeuvre –
Crudite Shots versus Platters? What is Your Favorite and Why?
Crudite shots are not very useful when drinks are served. Yes they look great, but having two glasses in your hand leaves you with confusion. So it’s important to keep this in mind before deciding of either. I just think crudite shots are fun – dipping, eating and chatting – walking around with your little shot glass. Having someone passing the crudite shots around is another fun way. The colorful little glasses make a nice impression on a party.
To make this old-fashioned appetizer “pop” I added jalapeno peppers and avocados to the ranch dressing. The jalapeno gives it a little zing and the avocado some depth. There are lots of alternatives to add flavors to your dipping sauces. From peppercorns, herbs, cheese, chilies to horseradish, the sky is the limit. However, the foundation is always the same; it’s either mayonnaise or vinaigrette based (there are exceptions). I prefer a mayonnaise based sauce, because it sticks better to the vegetables. I know it’s more calories, but more flavor too.
Unfortunately, I had limited vegetable at hand for my crudite. I usually would add red radishes, button mushrooms and broccoli just to mention a few.
Organic or Not Organic?
I prefer to buy organic produce, because they are free of pesticides. That said organic produce is expensive and I’m not always willing to pay the high price. You can find out more and form your own opinion about organic foods by visiting the EWG (Environmental Working Group). There, you’ll find a ton of information and you might end up supporting them by subscribing to their newsletter. But hold – sign up to receive my blog post first – I would really appreciate it.
Let’s not forget the health factor in these little crudite shots. Organic or not, both produce are nutritional and packed with vitamins and minerals.
Do you like crudite? Do you prefer them served in shot glasses or platters?
Do you think they are old-fashioned ? What’s your opinion?
Organic vegetables or not. Does it matter to you?
I would love to hear your opinion. Leave a comment
- ¼ romaine or iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, cut in 8 – 3 inch long slices
- ½ cucumber cut in 4 -1/4inch thick slices & 8 – 3 inch long sticks
- ½ red bell pepper, cut in 8 – 3 inch long slices
- ½ yellow bell pepper, cut in 8 – 3 inch long slices
- ¼ red cabbage, cut in 8 – 3 inch long slices
- 8 asparagus, cut 3 inch long with head on
- 4 grape tomatoes each on a 4 inch skewer
- 4 – 4 inch long celery stalks with leaves on
- 1 cup ranch dressing
- ¼ avocado, mashed
- 1 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
- Mix avocados, jalopeno with the ranch dressing.
- Fill the shot glass with an inch of lettuce as a bed for the ranch dressing. Spoon about 1 tbsp of the ranch dressing into the glass than add all other vegetables. Add an extra spoon of dressing to it.