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cold, autumnal appetizer

I'm looking for an appetizer -- maybe even more of an amuse bouche -- to kick off an elegant autumn dinner party. It's for a lot of people who head south for the winter, so I'd like to give them a taste of some cold weather food before they go. The main course is Pork Diane.

The catch is I only have so many burners and so much oven space, so the appetizer has to be served cold. Can you chowhounds think of something that would work? It can have an infinite amount of prep time, just as long as it goes out cold. Ideally it would have a nice presentation and be cocktail-hour friendly (ie, finger food), but I am open to all suggestions.

I've been kicking around the idea of a ham, apple and blue cheese skewer (sort of an autumnal twist on the classic melon and proscuitto) but I'm worried that will be too much like the main course.

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  1. Smoked trout on a very thin piece of crostini with a sprig of arugula, sliced granny smiths & horseradish sour cream...

    2 Replies
    1. re: dbug31

      This sounds wonderful. I usually don't like this sort of overly precious app., but the combo of ingredients sounds amazing.

      1. re: oakjoan

        They are wonderful! You can either roughly flake the fish or make a quick mousse.

    2. May be a pumpkin bisque (served cold) served in shot glasses. You can top the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds.

      Anyone that I can think of is some sort of pear appetizer (since pears are super sweet in autumn). May be thin slices of pear with gorganzola cheese with drizze of truffle honey.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kobetobiko

        Maybe some roasted pumpkin or squash in phyllo cups? Both could be prepared in advance and served at room temperature.

      2. On the same lines as what you're thinking, you could do prosciutto wrapped persimmons.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowser

          two bruchetta ideas: you could do a white bean puree with kale or a butternut squash puree top with kale. you could go either savory or sweet with the butternut squash.

        2. A really nice combination is small slices of a really good nut-raisin-wheat bread, with a slice of Machego cheese and a dab of fig jam. Very simple and very elegant.

          1. I've been subliminally influenced by your name...what about slices of fingerling potatoes with creme fraiche and caviar? I know it's a little typical, but if you get great local fingerlings it's definitely seasonal, and certainly elegant. I wonder if you could do a couple of different toppers...one with caviar, one with blue cheese, one with a smoked fish? sounds like a lovely party!