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Snacks and Starters

So, you've been thinking about appetizers, and maybe you figure your guests are looking for trendy creations with a gourmet spin. But you might be surprised to find that more often than not they want original, comfortable, hand-held items that hearken back tot he good old days.

The need for familiarity and simplicity is pushing chefs to meet these cravings for food that's easy to make, fun to reinvent, shareable and affordable...


Classic blue cheese-stuffed olives are
the inspiration for these onion rings at
Brennan’s of Houston.

O-rings and frites
Onion rings is another food item with a hazy
past, but there’s no denying its American origin. Danny Trace, executive chef at
Brennan’s of Houston, pays homage with
his blue cheese olive and onion rings (five
large rings, $7, 50% food cost).

His inspiration came from the classic
blue cheese-stuffed olives. “We took the
classic martini garniture of onion, olives
and blue cheese and turned it into an
appetizer,” he says. “Comfort food has many
interpretations for us. This dish hits many
elements of that. It certainly brings back
memories for me of eating olive salad on
a muffaletta. This dish is an appetizer that
would be comforting to anyone who bellies
up to the bar for a snack.”