The phrase "hors d'oeuvres" is French. Literally it means "apart from the main work" but when it comes to cuisine, it means the food that is served before the main course.
Hors d'oeuvres are usually served in small quantities, sometimes before or after the soup if following a sequence when eating, but always before the main course. The goal is to increase appetite and set you up for the next dish. In some cases, they are served since it may take a while before the main dish is served.
French hors d'oeuvres may be either cold or warm. As a whole, French cuisine puts a high emphasis on cheeses and seafood, which is why they are found in a huge percentage of hors d'oeuvres. Here are some of the most exquisite ones:
Cold cheese plate
Preparation: Arrange the products in a large hors d'oeuvre plate and serve.
Croquettes are a typical French hors d'oeuvre. Essentially they are food bites of mince, cheese or vegetables, shaped into a cylindrical or flat round form, covered in breadcrumbs and deep-fried.
For the sauce: 4/5 cup sour cream, 1 bunch of dill.
Preparation: Crumble the potato chips, grate the cheese. Stir them well with the eggs and black pepper to taste. Shape small croquettes from the resulting mixture, roll them in breadcrumbs and let them sit in the refrigerator for 30 min. Fry on moderate heat until they get a tan. Serve the croquettes with a sour cream and dill (finely chopped) sauce.
Preparation: Fry the finely chopped onion in the butter with the parsley until golden. Add the cream and boil for 1 min. Then add the cheese, 1 spoon of breadcrumbs, black pepper and salt. Boil for a few minutes until the mixture thickens.
Clean the oysters with a brush, open them and remove the meat. Put them back into the washed shells, arrange in a flat plate and pour on the prepared sauce.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and grill the oysters for 2 min. Serve the hors d'oeuvres immediately, since they harden if left out standing.