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Frequently Asked Questions about Appetizers

Every day, we receive lots of emails from people asking for answers to general questions. For a glimpse of this dynamic exchange of ideas and tips, and for answers to questions about food that you may have had yourself, please have a look at this FAQ! You can also browse other answers at other FAQs pages or look for answers in articles in the services page.

If you still have questions, post it in the recipe forum where other visitors may respond to your request.

 
  
 
 
Q. How do you roast a pepper, or is it on my grocer's shelf, canned?

A.
 To roast peppers, all you really need to do is arrange them on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet on the highest rack in your oven. Broil, turning the peppers to ensure even cooking, until blisters appear on the skin of the pepper. Then take them out of the oven and put them in a plastic bag, or wrap them in plastic wrap, for about 20 minutes so that the skins will soften in the steam, making them easier to peel. Allow the peppers to cool, and then gently peel the skin off of each pepper, cut the peppers in half, cut out the stem and scoop out the seeds and ribs. The peppers are then ready to use in your favorite recipe. Roasted peppers are also available in most grocery stores, canned or in jars.

Q.  Can you recommend some appetizers that can be made in advance?

A.  Appetizers that don't need refrigeration at all, such as candied nuts and snack mixes, are great choices. Dips are often best made at least a day in advance; this allows time for the flavors to develop. Also, there are lots of appetizers that freeze well, and can be thawed in the refrigerator or heated in the oven when you're ready to dig in. To freeze appetizers for later use, just prepare them according to directions, and then freeze them in a single layer on a tray. Once they're frozen solid, they can be packed into re-sealable bags or plastic containers. Baked appetizers, such as mini pizzas and savory pastries, are good candidates for freezing.

Q.  I am looking for appetizers for an Indian cuisine dinner I am planning. Do you have any recommendations?

A.  We have a number of appetizer recipes with an Indian flair, such as  and yogurt dip. You can find recipes for other cooking styles using the Recipe Search in our Appetizer cookbook. If you cannot find what you are looking for, try to post a request in the recipe forum. Your request will then be viewed by fellow users who may submit the recipe that matches your description.

Q.  When I make deviled eggs what can be done to help keep the moisture off the bottom of them until they are served?

A.  The moisture on the bottom of your deviled eggs may be a result of your storage technique. We suggest storing the eggs uncovered until they are chilled, then covering them. Another option that may help is to store a small, zip-closure plastic bag with the egg stuffing. Then just before serving, snip a corner off the bag and pipe the stuffing into fresh egg whites.

Q.  I often find myself adjusting recipes in order to make enough for my family, but it doesn't quite work for some recipes. Do you have any advice for me?

A.  Changing recipes in order to make more or less servings is called "recipe scaling." Whenever you alter the amounts of ingredients for a given recipe, you may also need to adjust the cooking temperature, cooking time, pan size and seasonings. But for food chemistry reasons, recipe scaling simply does not work well for some dishes: delicate foods such as soufflés, baked items requiring yeast such as breads, and recipes for a single large item that is meant to be later divided into smaller portions such as cakes, pies, breads and whole turkey.

Our Recipe Scaling Page will give you a reliable framework for successful recipe scaling: It offers detailed guidelines for recipe scaling.


 

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