French cuisine is a benchmark in many ways and the preparation of appetizers is one of them. They are those small but very tasty dishes that are served before the main course.
Appetizers are usually part of lunch or dinner. They are small portions with a rich aroma, rich taste and attractive appearance.
In this way, they fulfill their purpose to whet the appetite. French appetizers are an important element of any exquisite menu, and due to the country’s affiliation with the Alpine countries, many of them are part of Alpine cuisine.
Types of appetizers
Appetizers are generally divided into two types – hot and cold. Cold starters are served with temperature 12-14 degrees, and warm – with temperature 70-75 degrees after heat treatment. According to the products used, the appetizers are vegetable, meat, fish, cheese or eggs.
They usually precede the main course, but can also be served on their own as snacks and at receptions. In addition to the pleasant sensation on the taste buds, they are important for the body by causing the stomach to start secreting juices and thus preparing for the full absorption of food.
Many of the recipes are the same for main dishes and appetizers, and the difference is only in the weights. For example, the omelet can be served both as an appetizer and as a main course. If there are both types of appetizers, the cold ones are served first, followed by the warm ones. They are consumed with different drinks – aperitifs, wines, beer.
There is a misconception that cold appetizers have not undergone heat treatment. This statement is only valid for some of them, such as those involving fresh vegetables, sausages, cheeses or caviar. However, many cold appetizers are prepared by thermal processes and then cooled.
These are cold cooked or smoked meats, smoked fish and others. Especially attractive in ** French cuisine ** are jelly appetizers and snail dishes.
Typical French appetizers include different types of pâtés and terrines.
Pâtés are usually made from chicken, duck, goose and turkey livers, as well as pork or beef, lamb or beef liver and various game meats. In the pate are added cream, mushrooms, fruits, wine and brandy, herbs, nutmeg and other spices.
French terrine can also be served as a cold appetizer. It is prepared from minced meat and spices and resembles pate. Terrine can be prepared from minced meat from domestic animals or game, seafood, vegetables.
The products are usually cut in bulk. Terrine is most often baked in a rectangular dish in a water bath. Serve cold or at room temperature, cut into slices.
In the case of hot appetizers, the variety is also great and includes heated, croquettes, puddings, roasted or grilled vegetables, hot sandwiches, appetizers of meat and offal, fish and fish products, appetizers of eggs or cheese. they also use potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower and other vegetables.
Among the most popular French hot appetizers is souffle, based on eggs. The secret of good souffle is in whipping the egg whites and baking.
In order to be airy and puffy, the proteins must be very well broken down. Souffle products can be vegetables, minced meat or fish, cheese.
The whipped egg whites should be carefully added at the end to the other ingredients. Pour the mixture with a ladle into baking dishes, pre-greased with oil, leaving space near the edge so as not to overflow the souffle. The souffle should be placed immediately in the oven so that it does not fall out.
Bake on moderate heat, and the temperature below should be higher. It is recommended to distribute the souffle in separate bowls, which are arranged in a large tray and baked in a water bath.
Another typical French warm appetizer is the omelet. It is also made from eggs, but they should not be so well broken. Rather, they are mixed with a fork and should not form foam. Add milk, salt and pepper.
Fry the omelette in butter on one side, then roll it up or fold it. Before folding the omelet, stuffing can be added to it. It can be made of sliced mushrooms, pieces of ham and grated yellow cheese, white cheese with spinach, green onions, etc.
Recipes for French appetizers
- 500 g lamb liver or other liver of your choice
- 1 head of red onion
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 mushrooms mushrooms
- 1 tsp grated lemon peel
- 150 g butter
- 50 ml. liquid cream
- 100 ml. Red wine
- 50 ml. brandy
- Spices: parsley, thyme, black pepper, bay leaf
Clean the skins and wash the liver, then cut it into small pieces. Saute the finely chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms in a small amount of heated fat. Add the liver to them and stir. Add the spices without the bay leaf, and continue stirring until the liver is fried on the outside and still a little raw on the inside.
Add the cream and when it starts to thicken, remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into a blender and pour the wine and brandy into the pan. Put a bay leaf and leave the liquid on low heat, until it is half, then add it to the liver. Add most of the butter.
Beat the mixture in a blender and pour it into a dry jar or other container. Pour the melted butter you left on top. The pate needs to be refrigerated for a few hours to harden. Serve as a cold appetizer or as a breakfast with toast.
Omelet with snails
- 500 g of snails
- 500 ml. White wine
- 6 eggs
- 1 tbsp. vinegar
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- feathers green onions
- fresh parsley
Wash the snails and boil them in equal parts water and wine with a spoonful of vinegar. Take them out of the pan and drain them. Then take them out of the shells, cut them and salt them. Prepare two omelets by first beating 3 of the eggs with a fork. Add to them half the snails and two green onion feathers.
Fry in hot olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Then fry the second omelet with the remaining products.
Roasted tomatoes in Provencal style
- 4 hard tomatoes
- 1-2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 4-5 tbsp. bread crumbs or breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ground black pepper
Baked tomatoes are a delicious summer snack. They are also great as a side dish to roast meats.
Turn the oven to 200 degrees. While heating, mix the garlic and chopped parsley with breadcrumbs and 3 tbsp tablespoons olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in two halves, and if they are larger, cut them into thick circles.
On top of each piece put the parsley mixture. Grease the pan with vegetable oil and place the tomatoes close together. Sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake in the oven 20-25 minutes until a golden crust forms on top.