Tried and Tasted: Canapé 101

As part of my life long mission to become hostess with the mostess I am throwing a couple of parties over Christmas. In collecting my canapé recipes, I thought I’d share what I’ve already tried, tasted and bookmarked along with a few tips.

Canapé Do’s
– Pass them around. You’ve made them so don’t leave them sitting in the corner!
– Use labels or tell friends what each canapé is as you’re passing them around. People get surprisingly polite once you start serving posh snackettes and don’t just throw anything into their gobs like they do usually!
– Have a mix of meaty, fishy and veggie canapés. Something bready also goes down well along with one or two dips. Carrot/celery sticks or homemade vegetable chips (parsnips, sweet potato and beetroot) make good dippers. You can also serve dips in hollowed out peppers (less washing up and looks fab!).
– Offer friends a napkin! This means less hung-over hoovering the next day.

Canapé Don’t’s
– Eat them all before your guests arrive.

I think that’s it! So here’s my pick of the web for canapé recipes (some tried and tasted, some waiting to be), along with a couple of recipes of my own.

Meaty

Chorizo, Manchego and Quince Cocktail Bites pictured above. I’ve made these for a while now, and they go down really well. Buy Delicias Dona Natalia Quince Paste from the Waitrose deli counter – it keeps it’s shape well and is of good-quality. Make plenty.

Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Rare Beef and Horseradish and Mustard Crème Fraiche Sauce men love these. Meat and Yorkshire puddings, I don’t think they’ve ever wanted anything more.

Parma Ham, Mozzarella, Pesto and Fig Parcels these are really easy to make and have a great flavour. Take a slice of the ham and place a quarter of a fig, a pea size blob of pesto and a mozzarella pearl at one end. Wrap up into a little parcel and secure with a cocktail stick or a sprig of rosemary if needed. As Gordon would say DONE.

Fishy

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Blinis with Dill just take a blini or make your own and pile a square of smoked salmon, blob of cream cheese and a sprinkle of dill on top. If you’re feeling flash then whack some caviar on there too. Serve with a wedge of lemon on the side. Simples.

Prawns with Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce marinate prawns in garlic infused oil for a couple of hours in the fridge before frying them and serving with some sweet chilli dipping sauce. Mix 100ml of water will 60g of sugar and 4 tablespoons of rice vinegar in a pan on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved at which point just turn up the heat and boil for a few minutes before mixing in a couple of chopped red chillies, a couple of tablespoons crushed, roasted peanuts and 30g each of thinly sliced cucumbers and shallots.

Thai Fish Cakes these Rick Stein ones are really easy to make and are full of flavour.

Baked New Potato and Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream this is from The Six Senses cookbook, details on where to purchase can be found on this previous post. Roast new potatoes in a 180 degree oven for 30 minutes and when cool, cut off the tops and then concertina a strip of smoked salmon on top and secure with a skewer. For a dill cream dip on the side, mix together 200mls of whipping cream with 5tsp lime juice, 8 dill sprigs, 2 chopped spring onions and a tsp of salt.

Dippy

Aubergine Dip when you’re making this yummy dip, make sure you pierce the aubergine well. I once opened the oven and an aubergine exploded in my face.

Hummus I remember serving hummus to my Granddad once. I explained to him what hummus was but then had to tell him what a chickpea was too! Serve with strips of pitta bread or veggie dippers.

Walnut, Watercress and Ricotta Pesto a yummy, chunky pesto which you can also use as a pasta sauce.

Veggie

Goat’s Cheese Truffles I haven’t made these yet, but a ball of goat’s cheese in various coatings sounds good to me. I’ll tweet a finished picture.

Red Onion and Brie Tartlettes these look Christmassy and taste delicious too! 

Courgette Polpette really easy to make – Hugh even roped in his young son to make these on TV so I might even delegate this task to Mr. B. Then again…

Fried Halloumi and Chilli Bites speedy and cheesy, make lots as they’re popular too.

Arancini Mafioso guests LOVE these ;-)

Peppadew Peppers – so many things you can do with these. Stuff them with cheese and/or olives!

Bready

Two ideas for homemade or bought puff pastry – Prosciutto Dijon Gruyere Puffs and/or Sun Dried Tomato and Rosemary Palmiers you can create your own flavours by following one of these basic recipes. You could try prosciutto or Parma ham with mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and feta or red and green pesto for something Christmassy.

Parmesan and Poppy Seed Lollipops another Lorraine Pascale inventive gem of a recipe! Yet to enjoy, will tweet a pic when I do!

Big Fat Salt and Pepper Breadsticks my sycophantism of all things Lorraine Pascale continues here. Who doesn’t love a breadstick?!

Whole Wheat Garlic Knots I’ve been bursting for an occasion to make these!

I hope you have an army to feed! Happy entertaining!

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