Canapes: The perfect party food
Well, I was lucky enough to be invited to a fabulous drinks party at the weekend and cheekily asked the hostess if she'd like to use some of my White Ceramic Platters to serve her wonderful canapés on, oh, and whether I could take some photographs too for my blog... and could I also have recipes for my readers?! (give me an inch and I'll take a mile). So here they are. There were simply too many scrumptious offerings to record them all but I've got pretty decent (iPhone) shots of a carefully chosen selection. I've also written down rough recipes so you can try them at home but haven't included all of them as thought you were best ringing Annabelle Maclay and getting her to cater - she's a wonder.
Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagels
Smoked Haddock Fishcakes with Tartar sauce
- To make the fishcakes you'll need mashed maris piper potatoes, chopped coriander, finely chopped onion that has already been sweated off (that's gently fried for 5-10 minutes in butter), the zest of a lemon (depending on how much potato/fish you've got in the bowl), smoked haddock that has been poached in the oven in milk for 5-10 minutes, mayonnaise and salt & pepper.
- Mix everything together in a large bowl.
- You then need to shape the fishcakes (you can see in the picture they're flattened, bite-size, ball shapes) and then pane (another technical term which means dip into flour, then beaten egg, then white breadcrumbs). Fry each side until golden and then you can pop them into the oven for 5-10 minutes to cook through which makes them a great 'make ahead' canapé.
- Serve on a beautiful platter (think we all know where I'm going with this one) with a bowl of tartar sauce for dipping (Annabelle makes her own but she's a professional. I'm definitely saving time and buying mine at the supermarket).
Parmesan Shortbread with Pesto, Mozzarella & Sunblushed Tomatoes
Mini Beefburgers with French Fries
- You'll need minced beef, salt & pepper, 'plastic cheese' (only kraft slices that have a slight orange tinge will suffice for these kitsch burgers), frozen French fries, dough balls.
- Again, we're making life easy for you here. Annabelle, can conjur up a mini beef burger bun in her sleep but I can't so she's made the rather wonderful suggestion of using dough balls as an easy (and delicious) alternative.
- So, mix the minced beef with salt and pepper - nothing else.
- Shape into small patty shapes (to fit into your dough balls) and fry in a drizzle of sunflower oil for a couple of minutes on each side (depending on how rare you like them of course).
- Cook the dough balls as per the instructions and assemble the burgers with the 'plastic cheese', cut to size, ketchup, gherkins, whatever takes your fancy, and serve with a mini bowl of oven French Fries (squirt the ketchup into the bowl first).
- Sure to impress and with the minimum of effort I'm sure you'll agree.
Chicken Satay served in shot glasses with Peanut Sauce & Coriander
Tacos with Chilli & Guacamole and Margarita Shots
- To make the tacos, mix 1 cup of gram flour (easily found at the supermarket), 1 cup of plain flour, 3 tbsp olive oil and bring together slowly with warm water until you have a firm dough.
- Roll the dough out very thinly and cut out the tacos (you'll need a cutter 4 or 5 centimetres across), prick with a fork and fry in sunflower oil until golden.
- Then simply top with chilli con carne (which I think we've all probably made at some point so won't include the recipe here), guacamole and sour cream.
- For the Margarita you'll need Tequilla, Cointreau, limes, and fine sea salt.
- Pop 2 measures of Tequilla, 1 of Cointreau and 1 of lime juice into a shaker with some ice. Shake!
- Squeeze some more lime juice into a bowl, dip the shot glasses in and then into the sea salt.
- Finally, pour your margarita into the glasses and hey presto, you're halfway to being completely inebriated.
So, that's the canapés covered. I hope you'll maybe try a couple of them at home - if you do, I'd love to see photographs of your finished masterpieces. Don't forget that canapés need to be given the treatment they deserve, so serve them on something beautiful. Have a great party.