Entertaining advice and hot hors d'oeuvre recipes (right) from chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud.
Q: How many types of hors d'oeuvre should I serve?
A: For fewer than eight people, one or two types of hors d'oeuvres are fine. For eight or more people, serve four kinds, with one from each of the following categories: fish or shellfish, cheese, vegetables and meat.
Q: How many should I make?
A: A good rule of thumb is 6 to 8 pieces per person per hour.
Q: How big should they be?
A: Bite-size is ideal, especially for crumbly or delicate hors d'oeuvres. The exceptions are things that can be dipped, like endive spears.
Q: What are your favorite "instant hors d'oeuvres"?
A: 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; or with seeded and finely diced tomato mixed with crème fraîche, Tabasco, minced fresh chives and salt.
Q: Do you have any tips for serving hors d'oeuvres?
A: Don't mix different types of hors d'oeuvres on one platter. Be creative: Instead of using doilies, use a bed of mixed dried spices with different colors and shapes, such as star anise, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and juniper berries. Arrange cheese canapés on a bed of shelled almonds, walnuts or pecans, or on grated Parmesan; seafood canapés can go on a bed of very coarse sea salt or seaweed.