Daniel Boulud's Favorite Hors D'oeuvres For Chill Hosting

If you're hosting a dinner party soon, you might be flipping through cookbooks or browsing the Internet to figure out what hors d'oeuvres to serve your guests. The small bites can set the tone of your party before your guests sit down at the table for the main course. Remember, you don't want to keep your guests hungry while they wait for the main event.

To help you decide how to kick off your meal, Daniel Boulud, the French chef and restaurateur who owns several world-renowned eateries (including Daniel in New York City, which currently holds two Michelin stars), talked with Food & Wine about his rules for hot hors d'oeuvres for an easy hosting experience.

Boulud's favorite is surprisingly straightforward: He said it's "white, rye, or pumpernickel bread, cut into 1 1/4-inch rounds, toasted and topped with caviar, pâté, mousse, cheese, or cured meats or fish." Another option is to top the bread with "seeded and finely diced tomato mixed with crème fraîche, Tabasco, minced fresh chives, and salt." It sounds simple, right? But sometimes simple is the way to go for a delicious bite, especially if you're enjoying the rich and salty flavors of caviar, pâté, or fresh tomatoes from the garden.

More tips for serving hors d'oeuvres

Considering they're just the start of your meal, hors d'oeuvres should be easy. To help your dinner party remain chill (especially for you, host!) Daniel Boulud has a few other expert tips. To start, he shared how to determine how many hors d'oeuvres your party needs. The expert chef said you should prepare six to eight servings per guest per hour, when it comes to portion sizes. Unless you're planning a full-on wedding reception, we bet one hour's worth will be more than enough.

Perhaps the reason Boulud suggests so many servings per person is because of the size of the starters. They're really meant to be bite-size — one reason why having more than one option is ideal. You should serve them with napkins because they're typically passed around on a tray and your guests won't have forks or plates at this point (unlike a traditional appetizer that's served at the table.) In fact, hors d'oeuvre are typically meant to accompany cocktails — so it's a good way to keep hunger under control. It also helps slowly soak up some of that booze without making your guests too full before the main meal.