Bill gets appetizer tips from RPM Italian head chef -


Bill gets appetizer tips from RPM Italian head chef

We're going behind the scenes at Bill Rancic's restaurant, RPM Italian, for some exclusive cooking tips. Chef Doug Psaltis has a few secrets to share about making perfect appetizers.

Bill says, "Whenever I head back to Chicago, two of my favorite things to do is pick up a few food tips from my restaurant partner Doug Psaltis, and of course, eat his food, especially if it's appetizers. My biggest problem with appetizers is that I eat way too many of them and by the time my entrée comes, I'm full and I can't eat my entrée."

Chef Doug Psaltis says, "Yeah, you need a little restraint with appetizers, but I think they are one of the most important parts of the meal because they are smaller, so appetizers should be really bold in flavor, they could be a little bit spicier, a little bit saltier, a little bit more acidic than the other full dishes because you just have a bite."

Bill asks, "When people are entertaining at home, what are some good appetizers that they can make with ease without having to put a lot of time and energy into preparing?"

"I think something as simple as buying great salamis, great baguette and whipping some great cheese to put on there or some fresh ricotta. I think you can buy a lot of marinated artichokes, sliced prosciutto. Even like great nuts and olives, just great things sitting out on the counter so when people arrive and you are waiting for maybe a few other guests, having a glass of wine or champagne, you can start with something," says Chef Psaltis.

"So, three tips for people who are entertaining at home on what they should and shouldn't do when serving appetizers," asks Bill.

"What they shouldn't do is prepare something that is heat or time-sensitive because people are late or people are early, and you don't want to be cooking to-order. So you want to have things you can leave sitting out on the counter or the buffet or table, wherever it is," says Chef Psaltis.

He adds, "Three things they should do is have a great selection, have some really strong flavors that are kind of assertive, so you have one bite but it really satiates you and then making sure you cover the bases. I want something people can take and keeps your fingers clean as well."

"Some appetizers can be expensive," says Bill, "If you are on a budget, what are some good appetizers you can serve?"

"You could just buy a little bit of smoked salmon, probably one slice for four pieces, cut it and mix it with a little whipped cheese, some chives in there, some black pepper so that's really just pennies," says Psaltis, "So you have these stuffed peppers, all you are doing it buying a marinated pepper, a piece of cheese and cutting it. But I would choose a cheese that has really great full flavor like extra sharp aged provolone."

One of the other things is buying stuff at the peak of the season.

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