Doing an all hors d’oeuvres party has and continues to be trendy, and for good reason! Guests are adventurous, and love to try little bites of everything, so why fight that? Keep the peace and encourage tastings by serving a variety of hors d’oeuvres instead of the traditional meal. Here are some tips that will help to make your heavy hors d’oeuvres party as successful as possible:
Serve a variety of foods: Imagining your hors d’oeuvres as different components to a general meal will enable you to have a great variety. Just like on a standard dinner plate, you should have an equal amount of starches, vegetable or fruit centered dishes, protein heavy options, as well as both hot and cold foods. Groovin’ Gourmets recommends serving your guests 5-6 different hors d’oeuvres. For reference, here’s a great sample menu: Thai chicken skewers, pepper seared beef tenderloin bites, tomato and mozzarella caprese skewers, fruit and cheese platters, sweet potato biscuits with roasted ham and apple butter, and wild mushroom strudel with saffron aioli.
Order the correct amount of food: Unless you have commercial sized freezer, you don’t want to go food crazy and have enough leftovers to feed a small country. On the flip side, you also definitely don’t want anyone leaving hungry. Here’s the ideal amount to serve for multiple situations:
A party centered around a mealtime: Your guests will be hungry, so planning on 12-15 total pieces or servings per person will leave them with full and satisfied.
A party in between meal times: Allotting 8-10 pieces per person is usually sufficient, as your guests may only be peckish and want things to nibble on.
Parties with alcohol: Plan to serve enough for each guest to have an additional 1-2 pieces, as alcohol can often whet the appetite.
Long parties: For parties lasting longer than 4 hours, be sure to provide a touch more food; 2 additional pieces per extra hour should be adequate.
Allow for dietary restrictions: Make all your guests feel loved by being sure to include at least one vegetarian and one gluten-free option. Many people these days are adhering to these particular diets, and they’ll be forever grateful if you cater to their needs. At Groovin’, we offer plenty of awesome hors d’oeuvres that will accommodate them, including unique items like crispy asparagus with asiago, and corn and basil fritters that every single one of your guests (dietary restrictions or not!) will go crazy for.
Keep it simple: You don’t want your food options to feel like a spice cabinet explosion; that wouldn’t be a good look. To keep the menu refined, include an even balance of bold flavored dishes and fresher, simpler ones. As a rule of thumb, have half of your dishes be on the bolder side, and the other half a bit more understated. For example, balance coconut curry chicken skewers with a grilled vegetable platter. The simpler dishes will complement the bolder dishes, and make the entire meal even more enjoyable.
Include plenty of plates, napkins, and flatware: Unlike a normal dinner party, guests tend to grab food at a slow rate, and in multiple batches when hors d’oeuvres are served, so it is helpful to provide extra plates, napkins, and utensils. To plan for this, order or purchase enough of these items for all your guests to have at least 2-3 of each.
By following our guidelines, you can sit down, relax, and feel confident that your next hors d’oeuvres party will be one for the books.