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Good hors d'oeuvres can move people--literally. Guests may look as if they're sipping their cocktails and making chitchat when in fact they are discreetly maneuvering themselves toward the hors d'oeuvres tray. Some partygoers are less subtle. They boldly claim positions near the kitchen door, ready to pounce on the tray when it emerges.

If you're ready to take the consequences, try the 12 simple hors d'oeuvres that we've collected from such top caterers as The Upper Crust in Manhattan, Sage & Swift in Durham, North Carolina, and Jackson and Company in Houston. Some of the recipes, like the sweet potato cakes with cranberry relish, emphasize seasonal ingredients. Others, like the seared tuna served on a potato slice to form a bite-size salade niçoise, are variations on classic combinations. We've also included two low-fat choices--proof that temptation isn't all bad.

Published December 1995
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