French Appetizers Recipes

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Stuffed Potato Appetizers (Bolognese Potatoes) Recipe

Our family loves potatoes, any kind of potatoes. They're filling and delicious, especially when they're baked. Personally, I love the crunchy exterior and creamy inside. Today, I played with white-fleshed sweet potatoes (Japanese sweet potatoes), purple-fleshed potatoes (Okinawan sweet potatoes) and regular Yukon Gold potatoes, respectively from the sweetest to the least sweet variety.

I wanted to make sure that the entire family could enjoy the trio of bite-sized potato appetizers I made, so I filled them with soy chorizo. If you're a meat lover, you could replace it with ground beef. I topped the potato bites with a cheesy crust. They took some time to assemble, but it literally took half a second for our family to inhale them all!


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Easy Party Appetizers: Foie Gras Stuffed Prunes with Almond Tuiles Recipe

Foie gras stuffed dried plums are my guilty pleasure. The dried plums (prunes) are baked with maple syrup, and to enhance the texture and flavor, I add a pinch of fleur de sel and a sprinkle of crumbled almond tuile cookies. These little appetizers will definitely be served by the dozens during our New Year Eve's dinner.

I know this recipe might raise some eyebrows on several levels. I've always loved,  perhaps worshipped, the French culinary delicacy called foie gras. If you've never tasted foie gras before, it's like eating a piece of intensely flavored, semi-softened butter. Some people think it's an abomination and constitutes cruelty to animals. I believe that in Chicago for a time there was even a ban on foie gras and that the sale and production of foie gras is still illegal in California.

The other thing you might find odd is that I chose to use prunes in an elegant appetizer. I was surprised to learn from Lulu that in America, prunes are marketed as digestive aids and have a rather negative stigma. That is not the case in France. Prunes are often served as a snack for children, and just yesterday I saw them on a fruit and cheese platter at the end of a lovely meal we had at my friend's home. They’re now marketed in the U.S. as dried plums, not prunes, because there was so much negativity associated with prunes as a laxative.

I hope this recipe will inspire you to try new ingredients, or perhaps old ingredients in new ways.


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Potato Blini with Quinoa and Smoked Salmon Recipe

Potato blini appetizers would make an attractive addition on any Thanksgiving table. The true beauty of this dish, though, is its flavor. Atop each potato blin I placed a generous portion of quinoa, a caviar look-alike, which I mixed with homemade tapenade for added flavor. I topped the mixture with a dollop of crème fraîche, a piece of smoked salmon (optional) and garnished the little bites with dill.

Unlike cutlets (Indian version of the potato bite), potato blini contain eggs and flour (no bread), so the appetizers don't fall apart when your guests pick them up. The result is an edible piece of art that is almost too pretty for your guests to eat. 


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Gougere Recipe (Savory Cream Puff Appetizers) Recipe

Gougères are savory choux pastry (pâte à choux salé in French) appetizers made with cheese. For this version, I made a light pastry dough with Parmesan and Triple Cream cheeses, baked them to form hollow puffed balls and filled them with pistachio pesto flavored cream cheese, mushrooms and red bell peppers.

We hosted a dinner party this evening and these cute little bites were perfect finger foods. Next time you host a cocktail party or buffet, you might want to prepare savory cream puffs. They can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last minute. Enjoy!

Savory Cream Puffs Recipe with Picture


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Pesto Palmiers (Basil Pesto Elephant Ears) Recipe

Pesto palmiers are quick and easy appetizers for an elegant party. I made these pesto palmiers bite-sized so that they would work well at a dinner party we're hosting tonight. I have to thank Rianne from Art of Dessert for her post that reminded me of how to make them. As she said, palmiers look incredibly fancy, but in reality are quite easy to make. On top of that, the puff pastry "logs" of palmiers can be frozen for later use. If you're storing frozen pesto cubes as I've suggested in the past, this is a recipe that you can whip up whenever you're in a pinch, and no one will be the wiser!

Pesto Palmiers


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