Artistic Cookery - Hot Hors D'œuvres - 1870

Hot hors-d'oeuvre are any light dishes served at dinner, immediately after the soup or fish. Dry 'hors-d'oeuvre', such as: fries, 'croustades', cases, 'croquettes', and patties, are generally dished up on a folded napkin, placed on a dish.

Sometimes, however, they are put in cups, corbeilles, or on small. stands, according to their form or their nature. In general, simplicity agrees best with these dishes, which from their composition require but little preparation.

In a dinner where only one hot 'hors-d'oeure' is served, the several species composing it are sometimes mixed up on the dish. It is true that this method is not generally adopted; but in Italy, and in Russia, a dish of 'hors-d'oeuvre' is seldom served without being composed of several species of fries, or of patties.

This method forms no contradiction at all to culinary rules; and I recommend it, as being very practical, and incontestably more agreeable to the guests, who by this means have a greater choice.

If it be true to say, that hot 'hors-d'oeuvre' are not indispensable in all dinners, it is equally exact to affirm, that the introduction of these dishes, for the most part light and delicate, produces an agreeable diversion at table; and they are the more acceptable to 'amphitryons', as they in no way disturb either the harmony of the dinner, or that of the table; since they are flying-dishes (plats-volayits): that is to say, they belong to that class of dishes, which are presented to the guests without being placed on the table, even at a dinner served à la Francaisc.

Cooks are the more willing to introduce 'hors-d'oeuvre' into their bills of fare, as these dishes generally require neither any great dressing, nor the employment of expensive materials.

On the other hand, hot 'hors-d'oeuvre' have this real advantage, that in simple dinners, small in number, they may be served at the same time as the hot entrees, and sometimes even take their place. From all these considerations it evidently results, that the study of these dishes ought not to be neglected by cooks, since they may be utilized in every respect.

2. Filets de Bécassines en caisses (Fillets of Snipes in Cases)

3. Petits Pates à la Financière (Patties a la Financière)

4. Mauvettes en Croustades (Larks in Croustades)

5. Souffle de Perdreaux en Caisses (Souffle of Partridge in cases)

6. Attereaux a la Moderne (Attereaux a la Moderne)

7. Petites Bouchées à la Reine (Bouchées à la Reine)

8. Croquettes de Foie Gras (Croquettes of Fat Liver)

9. Cotelettes d’Écrevisses (Crayfish Cutlets)

10. Boudins de Faisan (Boudins of Pheasant)

11. Fritto Misto (Italian Fries)


Small cases of folded paper may be purchased everywhere, either of round or oval shape. Taper cases must be oiled previously to being garnished; if their garnish consists of moist materials, the cases can be double.

To prepare this 'hors-d'oeuvre', the fillets of seven or eight snipes must be removed, trimmed, and placed in a 'saute'-pan to be cooked with clarified butter.

A puree is prepared with cooked legs of snipes, a few poultry-livers, a small part of the giblets (or inwards, entraillcs) of game, some boiled rice, a little sauce, and a piece of butter.

The fillets are cooked, just before sending to table; the puree is wanned without ebullition, and the cases filled up with the latter. On the puree, a fillet of a snipe is placed, then masked immediately with a little good brown sauce, reduced with /timet of game.

The cases are ranged on a baking-sheet, to be kept a few minutes at the mouth of the oven, in order to give brilliancy to the sauce, covering the fillets. The ' cases are afterwards dished up on a folded napkin.

A hot Ihors-d'oeuvre' may with propriety be made to figure at any dinner, as it is the most distinguished dish that can be served. But the little cases ought to be very clean and white, and carefully piled up in the form of a pyramid. Fillets of snipes ought to be masked with a sauce, covering them completely.

This sauce should be transparent, pure, and of a nice color. To afford greater support to the pyramid, the napkin may be folded round a piece of wood, previously fixed on to a dish. In the centre of the lower circle, the one resting on the napkin, a small 'bouquet' of fried parsley is placed, so that the second circle may not be left without support.

In a dinner where there are several hot entrees, this dish can, if required, take the place of an entree; especially in one. where there are no hot 'hors-d'oeuvre'.


Moulded patties, garnished with some ragout or other, are seldom required, the louchees are preferred to them. In my opinion this is a mistake, as these patties make a very pleasing variety, and in fact are as good and as pretty, as the puff-paste patties (pdtls feuilletts).

To render these hot patties acceptable to an epicure, they ought to be prepared with a good short paste, 'pdte brtsie, melting in the mouth, and well baked. The outside of the patties ought to be of a nice brown, and the inside be filled with a well-chosen garnish, mixed with a good sauce. If thus served,
this hors-d'oeuvre cannot but be highly appreciated.

These patties are dished in a pyramid on a napkin; but in order that this pyramid may be firm, a foundation of bread should be gummed to the dish.

The space, where the circle of patties rests immediately on the napkin, ought to be filled up with a bouquet of fried parsley.

The patties, which are represented in the drawing, are formed with good short paste in moulds with hinges, to be purchased everywhere.

Patties, that is to say, cases of paste, may be cooked filled with flour, or with common force-meat.

A moment before serving, they are emptied and filled anew with a ragout composed of fat liver, cocks'-kernels, cocks'-combs, and truffles. This ragout is thickened with a good 'sauce Espagnole' reduced with port-wine or madeira. The patties are dished up 'en buissori on a folded napkin.


The small crouslades for hors-d'oeuvre may consist of paste or household-bread; in the latter case, they are cut with a knife into a round or oval shape, with a slight circular incision on the top, then fried and emptied. It is best to fry them only a short time before serving.

When the croustades are emptied, they are immediately masked at the bottom, and all round with a little stewed force-meat or some game puree. Then a lark, boned, stuffed, cooked, and trimmed according to the shape of the croustades, is set on the puree, just on the hollow of each of the croustades.

The larks are masked with a cover of well-worked brown sauce; kept for two minutes at the entrance of the oven, only to give the sauce a little brilliancy, and then dished-up 'en butsson' on a folded napkin.


Small sou/file's, of whatever materials they are made, require infinite care in their preparation. They form a very distinguished hors-d'oeuvre, but they must be avoided when there are many guests at dinner, as the cooking of them must be done with such perfection, that when the dinner is numerous and complicated, it is not always possible to hand them round the very moment they are ready. Should there be any delay, the souffles will either be overdone, or they will have to be put into the hot closet, when they will inevitably sink.

Souffles therefore must never be introduced into a bill of fare, except when there is a certainty that they can be served the moment they are taken from the oven. Sensible epicures will not be annoyed at having to wait a few minutes for a dish, the cooking of which ought neither to be hastened, nor retarded, by a single minute.

The foundation for souffle consists of cooked meat of partridges,* pounded with a little rice equally boiled, a little sauce, well reduced, a piece of butter; then seasoned, and passed through a fine sieve. This preparation is placed in a basin, and a few raw yolks of eggs mixed up in it. Six yolks of eggs are needed for a tumbler of the preparation.

Twenty minutes before serving, the whites of the yolks, incorporated in the puree, are well beaten and mixed with the preparation. The inside of the cases is then slightly buttered with the aid of a paste-brush, dipped into clarified butter; the cases are filled with the preparation, set on a baking- sheet, covered with paper, and baked in a moderate oven. When taken out of the oven, they are dished-up 'en buisson on a folded napkin, then covered with a warm cover (cloche), and served without delay.


The alter eaux dished in the way represented in the drawing, make a very pretty hors-d'oeuvre, agreeable to the eye. But that the effect may be good, it is absolutely necessary, that the allereaux should be of the same size and thickness.

They must also be fried with the greatest care, of that beautiful color, so characteristic of all fried meats, and which makes them so attractive. Besides these primary essential conditions, the slices must be fixed on the dome, with great regularity, and very firmly; as there must be no chance of their falling, or becoming disarranged, while they are being carried to table; for in such a case this dish, usually so pretty in appearance, would lose all its charm.

All accidents of this kind ought to be foreseen and avoided. The second of those real slices, is fixed on to a small gradin, fastened on just above the dome. The centre slice must likewise be put on this gradin, only higher than any of the rest.

The attereaux represented in the drawing, are pricked into a fried-bread croustade, stuck in the center of the dish, and masked with a coating of force-meat; the force-meat is poached at the entrance of the oven.

As soon as the attereaux are arranged, they are surrounded with a circle of boudins of force-meat, in the shape of rings.

Attereaux may be fat, or lean; they are prepared with oysters, or lambs' sweetbreads, or ox-palates, etc. These meats may be alternated with truffles, mushrooms, or pickled tongue. To obtain attereaux of a regular form, they must be mounted in round tin-moulds similar in form to the hatelet-mould.

A small wooden skewer is passed through the meat alternately, then masked with a 'Villeroy sauce' and put into the moulds to cool on ice. To take the attereaux out of the moulds, these must previously be dipped into hot water.

Then the attereaux are bread -crumbed, egged, bread -crumbed again, and fried to a nice color in plenty of hot hog's-lard. The wooden skewer is then removed, to be replaced immediately by a silver one. The silver skewer is inserted in the croustade, and the attereaux surrounded with the boudins.


The bouchees represented in the drawing, are dished-up 'en buisson on a small bread croustade, either plain or masked with paste. The circle surrounding the croustade may be formed of small breadcrumbed boudins of force-meat, or some slices of calf's sweetbreads, also bread-crumbed, and cooked in a sautoir with clarified butter.

The bouchees are composed of puff-paste with five turns and a half; commonly they are cut with the aid of a channeled tin-cutter; as soon as cut, they are set on a baking-sheet upside-down, to be egged; and a circular incision is made on the top of each, with the aid of a plain tin-cutter, dipped each time in hot water: a light but neat cut should be made in the paste.

The hollow in the circle is then stripped with the point of a knife, and the bouchees are put into a live oven; fifteen or eighteen minutes will be sufficient to bake them; they should be of a nice yellow color, and entirely dry. As soon as taken out, they are removed from the baking-sheet, to be opened, reserving the cover; then emptied, garnished, and dished-up.

When bouchees are served-up to epicures, care should be taken to do so, directly they are cooked; for warmed- up puff-paste is not liked.


The croquettes represented in the drawing, are made in the form of a pear, and are either dished-up 'en buisson' in a corbeille or basket of paste, or are merely masked with nouille paste, decorated, egged, and dried. Round the base of this corbeille there runs a circle of bread-crumbed and fried boudins of force-meat, or else of bread-crumbed scollops of lamb's or calf's sweetbreads, fried in clarified butter.

The preparation of croquettes consists of salpicon of cooked fat liver, with an addition of about the same quantity of truffles. To prepare this salpicon, some good 'Bechamel- sauce' must be reduced in a sau/oir, continually stirred, and melted meat-glaze gradually added to it.

As soon as the sauce is succulent and quite consistent, it is removed from the lire; and it is only at this moment, that the salpicon is mixed up with it, for the meats require no more cooking.

The difficulty of the operation is to introduce into the salpicon exactly the quantity of sauce it requires; a superfluity of sauce would render the preparation difficult to manage, for admitting that the croquettes might be moulded, they would certainly lose their shape in cooking.

As soon as the preparation is well mixed, it must be spread in a thick layer on a baking-sheet to cool on ice; the croquettes are then shaped with the hand, breadcrumbed, and fried. When well drained, a fillet of truffle or of pickled tongue is fixed at the pointed end of each croquette.


The cutlets represented in the drawing, are dished -up in a circular form on a small tambour forming steps, and provided with a support in the centre. This tambour forming gradins, or steps, may be of baked paste or merely masked with nouille-paste. Its base is surrounded with small timbalcs of fish force
meat, poached in buttered tfarw/e-moulds, sprinkled with truffles cut in the shape of small dice.

The cutlets are prepared with a salpicon, composed of crayfish-tails and mushrooms, taking a smaller quantity of the latter than of the former. The salpicon is mixed with Bechamel, reduced with the liquor of the mushrooms, and finished with a piece ofcrayfish butter.

This preparation is constitated in the same conditions as that of the croquettes; it is left to cool on the ice, and then divided into equal parts. These parts are rolled-up on a bread-crumbed table, and shaped into a cutlet. They are then dipped in beaten eggs, bread-crumbed again, and plunged into a very hot fry (friture).

When they are of a nice gold color, and well-drained, each of them may be ornamented with a crayfish -claw, fixed with its pointed end, and then arranged circularly on a bed of fried parsley. The dish is garnished with small limbales, and a bouquet of fried parsley set on the top of the column.


The boudins are prepared with a raw pheasant force-meat; this force-meat may be used, either .plain, or well mixed with a salpicon of cooked truffles. To obtain delicate boudins, all the force-meat must be wrapped in a buttered paper, and formed into a thick, straight, and regular roll of an oval shape.

This roll is poached in salted water, but it must not boil. It is then removed and left to cool, then divided into slices of equal thickness; these slices are afterwards dipped in beaten eggs, bread-crumbed, and colored in clarified butter.

After being well drained, the boudins are set in a circular form on a support of bread, fried, or masked with paste, and set in the center of a dish. The hollow of the second circle is garnished with fried parsley.


Fried dishes are generally highly esteemed in Italy. The '/ri//o mis/o' especially, occupies an important place in Italian gastronomy. Moreover the cooks of this country prepare it with so much care and taste, that they have succeeded in attracting the notice of gourmets. Few people, who have spent some time in Italy, will fail to relish this national dish.

The fritto misto may be prepared fat or lean; in either case, the more the materials with which it is varied, the more it will gain in estimation. Scollops of lamb's or calfs sweetbreads in thin slices, or else some croquettes of chicken, game, or fat liver, and some rissoles, may be introduced into fat fritto misto.

Besides these substances, the fritto misto contains some pumpkins cut in fillets, small flowerets of cauliflower, egg-plant in fillets, and also some 'pan dorato .

All these different substances are prepared according to their exigencies, then fried on a hot blaze. Italians generally use lard for their frying.

Lean fritto misto is composed of small fish, egg or rice croquettes, soft roes of carp, and anchovy fritters, also of the vegetables that the season affords, artichokes in quarters, egg-plants in slices, pumpkins in fillets, and lastly the indispensable 'pan-dorato ', which is nothing but slices of bread, soaked in raw cream, pressed, dipped in beaten eggs, and then fried. All these substances, in this particular case, are fried in oil.

All in all, the fritto misto' is an indefinite mixture of all substances fit to undergo the operation of frying. The physiognomy of this dish is modified, according to the season, and the place where it is prepared.

The fry represented in the drawing, is dished-up in a croustade of paste, formed into a border and a few compartments; but it admits also of being simply dished-up on a napkin like other fries.

To prepare and serve this dish in the best conditions possible, several frying-pans should be at hand, and they should work together, so that the various substances may be fried, dished, and served together, immediately on coming out of the frying-pan. Gourmets will never approve of fries, that have lost their heat.

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