For the French, meals are always very organized. All meals are important for them and they follow a particular pattern while planning and eating their food. You will be surprised to know, that appetizers are eaten by the French, even when they are grabbing a quick lunch at home or work. It is immaterial, whether the person is eating alone or in a group. The French call them entree. Entree, translated into English, stands for entrance. No doubt that they are indeed an entrance to the meals. However, for most Americans, an Entree stands for the main course. Most French find it difficult to adjust to this concept, when they are visiting the United States of America.
An appetizing drink is served at the beginning of the meal which is known as aperitif. It is often an alcoholic drink which aims to increase the appetite of the person. The drink is accompanied by some light snacks. Normally, nuts or olives are served. We will now see some recipes, which are easy to prepare.
Asparagus with Yogurt Dressing
Slender stalks of asparagus with yogurt make a great combination. Once you make this quick dish, your family members will be left asking for more.
- Asparagus, 1 lb.
- Basil, (coarsely chopped) ½ cup
- Yogurt, ¾ cup
- Olive Oil, 1 tbsp.
- Unsalted Butter, 2 tbsp.
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, as per taste
- Bring water to boil in a large pan.
- Add salt to the water.
- Now place trimmed asparagus in the salt water, for a minute. Let it blanch.
- Separate 4 spears of asparagus and place the remaining in a bowl of ice water.
- Once they are chilled, remove them from ice water and let them dry.
- Chop the reserved 4 spears.
- In a bowl, mix chopped asparagus, basil, and yogurt. Mix them well.
- Add salt and pepper to the yogurt mixture and keep it aside.
- In a skillet, melt butter and add blanched asparagus to it.
- Sauté for about 3 minutes till they are light brown in color.
- Season the sautéed asparagus and drizzle with olive oil.
- Spoon yogurt dressing on the asparagus and serve.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
This is one of the classic recipes. If you have a number of guests coming over, then you can serve this cold dish, which is very easy to prepare.
- Medium Size Boneless Chicken Breast Halves, 5
- Semi-soft Cheese, (garlic and herb), 1 can
- Fully Cooked Ham, (very thinly sliced), 2 ½ oz.
- Bread Crumbs, ½ cup
- Parsley, 1 tbsp .
- Milk, ½ cup
- Butter, 1 tbsp.
- Nonstick Spray Coating
- Wrap the chicken breast in a plastic wrap with the boned side up.
- Pound the meat pieces lightly to ¼ inch thickness.
- Remove the plastic wrap and spread cheese on the chicken pieces.
- Place ham on the chicken breast. Cut it into pieces, so that it fits on top of the chicken breast.
- Fold the meat pieces into a roll and secure the chicken pieces with a toothpick.
- In a bowl, mix bread crumbs with parsley.
- Dip the chicken rolls in milk and immediately dust them in the bread crumbs mixture.
- Spray nonstick spray in a baking dish.
- Put the chicken rolls in a baking dish with the seam side facing down.
- Drizzle butter on the chicken pieces.
- Let the chicken bake at 400 °F for about half an hour, till it is tender and lightly brown in color.
- Let the chicken rolls come down to room temperature and then place them in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. They can also be kept in the refrigerator for as long as 24 hours.
- Slice the roll crosswise and serve chilled.
Along with these dishes, you can serve different spreads and dips. Serve French toast along with the spreads and dips. Some dishes can be served on a toothpick or skewer. Meat pieces can also be combined with different fruits or vegetables.