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Appetizer

An appetizer is a small dish of food meant to be eaten before a meal to stimulate your guests’ taste buds; It may be served hot or cold with a variety of colors and textures; it is often shared by several people. It has been served at dinner parties and gatherings for many years.

Whipped goat cheese flatbreads

Even though an appetizer is not meant to over-shadow a meal, it is fun to elevate it to a new level with the use of modernist techniques. What a great way to help get the conversation rolling for the evening!

Turn basic deviled eggs into chipotle caviar with pulled pork bites, pickled beets and goat cheese or candied bacon and chive air combinations. There are many variations of a Crostini which will start the party off right. Change the texture or thickness of a veggie dip for a fun new twist. Or, you can't go wrong with sous viding a batch of chicken wings. You're only limited by your imagination!

Appetizer Recipes and Articles

Crostini with Caramelized Plantain Butter Recipe

Carmelized plantain butter crostini In this recipe the pressure cooking of the plantains caramelizes them, ratcheting up the sweetness and adding more depth of flavor. Then simply puree them with dark rum and place them on crostini for a great snack!

Easy Aioli Dip Recipe

Aioli Aioli is simply a mayonnaise made with garlic and olive oil. This recipe uses an immersion blender to make the process super-easy and results in a light dip for vegetables or a spread on breads and toast. It's a popular addition to any party fare!

Cranberry Chutney Crostini Recipe

Cranberry crustini Cranberries are a great treat any time of the year. This recipe combines the tang from the cranberries with the smokiness from the ancho pepper. For a burst of flavor place on a crispy crostini and topped with with spices and mint. A great party treat!

Clam Chowder with Smoked Clam Recipe

Clam chowder custardb w For a modern twist on this clam chowder with smoked clams recipe I gel the chowder, cube it, and serve it on a crunchy sourdough crouton with a smoked clam on top. A tasty and talked about party treat!

Roasted Parsnips with Carrot Froth Recipe

Roasted parsnips with chipotle froth Roasting parsnips gives it an almost nutty taste, which holds up well to a topping of chipotle-carrot froth. The modernist ingredient of xanthan gum is used in the froth to help it retain the bubbles generated in the whipping siphon. This is a fun dish to serve as an appetizer or starter plate.

Chipotle Caviar and Crispy Pulled Pork Recipe

Develied eggs   pulled pork This recipe combines crispy pulled pork and savory deviled egg with a burst of spicy chipotle flavor into one of the more unique combinations. The crispy pulled pork can be used as a garnish for many dishes, and a topper for fish or salads.

Homemade Lox and Cream Cheese Noodles Recipe

Lox This crostini recipe moves the traditional deli food of lox and cream cheese on a bagel into fancy modernist bites. The cream cheese is turned into gelled noodles that are served on toasted bagel rounds with pickled red onion. An easy to pick up and deliciously flavorful party food!

Upscale PB and J Recipe

Upscale pbj For a PB and J dessert worthy of a party, I make a home-made cashew butter to replace the peanut butter and then turn some fresh raspberries into a flavorful fluid gel for the jelly. I serve it with a sliver of dark chocolate for richness and a lemon twist to add brightness. When served open face it better highlights the flavors.

Halibut with Citrus Pudding Recipe

Halibut citrus pudding close I really like how the halibut goes with the sweet and tart citrus pudding. This is a simple dish but one that is full of subtle flavors. The orange and lemon help complement the halibut and the basil adds just a hint of spice to it.

Chicken Recipe with Teriyaki Froth

Teriyaki froth2 This recipe takes a traditional teriyaki chicken dish and elevates it with a modernist twist. However, even pickier eaters enjoy this teriyaki froth entree!

Sous Vide Chicken Wings Recipe

Chicken tenders Tender crispy chicken wings are always a big hit at any party! Using sous vide to prepare them helps eliminate most of the guess work which always results in crowd pleasing chicken. Since the frying process is now just used to crisp the skin, it can be done at a hotter temperature, resulting in an even crispier yet tender wing.

Pea Pesto Recipe

Pea pesto dip This recipe makes a clean and fresh tasting pea pesto dip that works great with just about everything, especially grilled sourdough bread, carrot and celery sticks, as well as roasted vegetable chips. This party favorite is quick and easy to put together and can be made with defrosted frozen peas - however, if you have access to fresh spring peas it'll be even better!

Tikka Masala Coated Chicken Recipe

Tikka masala coated chicken cubes Tikka masala is a traditional English dish at curry houses. With this recipe I reimagined it as a modernist dish by turning the sauce into a gelled coating; it's s a fun play on a old classic!

Chicken Piccata with Lemon-Caper Air Recipe

Chicken piccata Chicken piccata is a light Italian dish that uses salty capers and acidic lemon to complement breaded and fried chicken. In this recipe I use sous vide to ensure the chicken is super moist and fully cooked. For a fun modernist take, I turn the lemon caper juice into a delicate air with an immersion blender.

Pork with Roasted Apple Pudding Recipe

Roasted apple pudding The combination of apples and pork are a classic pairing in Irish cooking. For this recipe, I roast apples and use the modernist ingredient of agar to turn them into a fun pudding topper for pork. By sous vide cooking the pork, you can consistently serve an extra moist and tender meat entree.

Mussels with Curry Foam Recipe

Curry mussels with curry foam For this recipe I make a foam instead of using the normally thin liquid associated with a dish of mussels. After removing the mussels from their shells, I serve them individually with the curry foam on top. This exceptional mussel bite turns a messy meal into an elegant and easy to eat party food.

Blackberry-Peach Wrapped Pork Recipe

Blackberry wrapped pork The star of most of my parties is meat and this blackberry-peach wrapped sous vided pork offering is no exception! It makes a fun presentation besides the additional sweetness and flavor from roasting the fruit complements the pork perfectly.

Chile Foam Crostini Recipe

Chile pepper oil foam This crostini recipe infuses the heat, smokiness and flavor of dried chiles into canola oil, which is then thickened into a foam. It is also a good topping for grilled meats or as a spicy spread for fresh bread. The process of infusing oil with flavors before thickening it leads to countless variations you can adapt to any dish.

White Bean Puree with Rosemary Oil Recipe

Rosemary oil2 This recipe is a great crostini topping for any party, especially if some attendees might be less adventurous eaters! It resembles a more traditional dish but it have a subtle modernist touch. Garnishing the white bean puree with lemon zest pulls in even more highlights to the food.

Garlic Crostini Base Recipe

Red pepper pesto crustini This recipe uses the extra flavor of garlic to turn a simple crostini base into a tasty explosion by itself. It's a great way to add depth of flavor to dishes without having to add the garlic to the topping. Even though a baguette or ciabatta is the traditional bread used, let your imagine run wild to create a variety of Italian party favorite appetizers!

Basic Crostini Base Recipe

Cranberry crustini Crostini are one of my most popular finger food Italian appetizers for parties. Basically they consist of small toasted bread slices with toppings on them. Even though a baguette or ciabatta is the traditional bread used, let your imagine run wild to create new and interesting tastes.

Purple Pickled Beet and Goat Cheese Recipe

Devilled eggs purple pickled These tangy reddish-purple deviled eggs are made with pickled beet brine. This recipe aims for some color without an overpowering flavor so the eggs are only soaked for 12 to 18 hours. Topped with a dab of goat cheese, a pecan and a slice of pickled beet - they are always a crowd pleaser!

Melon Soup Spheres Recipe

Cantaloupe melon soup party spheres This recipe makes fresh cantaloupe and honeydew melons into a simple flavorful soup, then turns it into little spheres that my guests can pop into their mouths. By using a modernist spherification technique and the modernist ingredients of calcium lactate and sodium alginate, you too can make a fun take on this favorite summer food!

Roasted Poblano, Corn and Bacon Bite Recipe

Roasted corn custard poblano pudding bites This great party snack use a crispy bacon base topped with a creamy corn custard and a spicy poblano chile fluid gel to make a rich and complex one-bite snack.

Honey Goat Cheese Recipe with Port-Infused Figs

Whipped goat cheese flatbreads Honey goat cheese is already light and airy but in this recipe it gets a modernist cooking twist by using a whipping siphon to turn it into creamy clouds. I serve it on small flatbreads with port-infused figs for a fun texture and taste combination!

Basic No-Knead Flatbread Base Recipe

Whipped goat cheese flatbreads This basic flatbread recipe is easy to make and has great flavor. Be adventuresome when adding garnishes to the dough, or as toppings either before or after cooking! Flatbreads are always party favorites!

Seared Tuna Squares Recipe

Seared tuna with pickled pear relish and asian accent sauce side By using the basic modernist ingredient of xanthan gum this recipe turns tuna into an upscale party favorite for any gathering. I serve the tuna squares with a pickled pear relish and an Asian accent sauce for a pop of flavor.

Candied Bacon with Chive Air Recipe

Devilled eggs chive foam bacon Deviled eggs with bacon and chives are a common party food but this recipe takes it up a notch by using modernist cooking techniques to make it candied bacon and chive air! Your party guests will enjoy the crispy, sweet, spicy and smoky flavors of the candied bacon while the chive air adds a fresh onion flavor with a hint of sweetness. A fun treat for your family and friends.

Basic Deviled Eggs Base Recipe

Deviled eggs Deviled eggs are a classic party food. This simple base recipe is tasty by itself, but it is fun to add interesting toppings, internal garnishes and spices to excite your taste buds!

Deep Fried Sweet Potato Chips Recipe

Sweet potato chips My wife loves the taste of sweet potatoes so I always try to work them into dishes for her. When I'm having people over and serving finger foods I often make these sweet potato chips.

Mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole Bites Recipe

Marshmallow   sweetpotato mollases This modernist dessert is a take off of an old fashioned sweet potato, brown sugar and marshmallow casserole. Here I take crispy sweet potato chips, top them with a fresh orange and brown sugar marshmallow and finish it with a drizzle of molasses for extra flavor. This treat is a hit at every party!

Habanero-Peach Dip Recipe

Peach habanero dip This dip recipe combines the spicy heat of habanero peppers with the sweet taste of fresh ripe peaches. The resulting tangy dip is great on vegetables or even meat. By altering the amount of peppers used, you can raise or lower the heat to suit your guests.

Apple Cider Agar Gel Cubes Recipe

Apple cider gel cubes2 These gel cubes are super easy to put together and they make a great small bite for people to enjoy. The quality of the cider you use will directly relate to how good the gels turn out.

Salmon Bites with Tomatillo Agar Fluid Gel Sauce Recipe

Tomatillo agar fluid gel pudding These Mexican inspired salmon bites pack a lot of flavor in a little package. The acidity from the tomatillos compliments the salmon perfectly and the crunch from the fried tortillas adds great texture.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Recipe

Red pepper crustini top Not all dishes that use modernist ingredients have to be super fancy in-your-face dishes that look like they came from Alinea. This red pepper pesto crustini is a great example. It is a simple, hearty snack that is great when served as an appetizer or set out as hors d'oeuvres.

Sous Vide Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Sous vide shrimp cocktail square I love a good shrimp cocktail and adapting it to be a sous vide recipe makes the whole process so easy. It only takes a few minutes to put together but it results in a fantastic appetizer that you and your guests will love.

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