One Bite Wonders: Let the Food Be the Bowl

Messina's salmon mousse appetizer

In these post-COVID days of touchless restaurant menus you access from your phone and boxed lunches in place of buffets, single-serve dishes are more popular than ever.  Done properly, it also greatly reduces waste by removing the need for plate ware.  This post explores those one bite wonders that go way beyond the tried-and-true deviled egg, and can be the tasteful highlight of any New Orleans catered event.

Messina's appetizer toasts

Apply creativity in edible cups

Muffin tins can be the perfect “template” for many things.  It can form the food into its own one-bite wonder like egg cups, or Messina’s famous crawfish cornucopias.  Or, they can be used to help form a cup to hold the food.  Edible cups can be made from everything from shredded potatoes to wonton wrappers.  Wonton cups can be filled with savory dishes such as shrimp fried rice, deconstructed sushi or teriyaki chicken.  You can even use wonton cups to make mini lasagnas that are as pretty as they are delicious. For dessert, pastry cups can be used as a vessel for fresh berries, fruit pies or decadent mousse.

Messina's appetizers

Certain foods lend themselves well to being edible vessels

Zucchini cups hold up well to heat and are a great base for like single-serve meatloaves or miniature squash casseroles.  Likewise, Japanese eggplants are the perfect size for stuffing with the components of eggplant parmesan. Stuffed mushrooms have been on many catering menus for decades, and for good reason.  Mushrooms can be stuffed with a wide variety of ingredients, and their mild flavor provides a nice accent without overpowering the dish.  Don’t forget about the using fruit on your event menu as well.  Raspberries are beautiful when stuffed with a single white chocolate chip.  Smaller apples like Fuji or Macintosh can be cored and hollowed out for a crust-free version of apple pie.

Bread bowls don’t have to be bowls

Small brioche buns can be hollowed out for everything from soup to seafood salad.  Parker house rolls are perfect for sliders, as are mini pretzel bread bites.  When using bread as the bowl, just remember that what’s inside the bread bowl is key to whether it can be used as a passed appetizer or whether it requires a place to sit and consume.  In fact, every event should be planned based on whether or not you want your guests to “grab and go” about their mingling or whether you want them to stop and sit awhile at some point.  The foods you serve and the way you serve them can naturally direct the flow of the party.

It’s easy to miniaturize many our favorite foods

We all love “mini” things.  From sliders to pizza bites, and tartlets to gazpacho shooters, miniaturized items work extremely well at catered events.  Mini foods also allow guests the opportunity to try many different items vs filling up on full-size servings.  Not to mention how Instagrammable anything miniature is!  Your guests will be snapping lots of photos of favorites like bite-sized chicken and waffles, or deviled quail eggs.

Messina's gazpacho

Let the experts do the work

New Orleans caterers like Messina’s Catering and Events are experts in preparing and displaying visually stunning one-bite dishes. They can also help you consider the venue and structure of your event so they can recommend the perfect menu items to compliment it.  They have six decades of experience in preparing and presenting food that is both visually and culinarily appealing, so leave the footwork to them so you can fully enjoy a special day.