Here we are in December already and I’ve been giving you recipes now for over a year! I hope you’ve enjoyed them; I certainly enjoy the lovely feedback I get from class members and teachers who try my recipes and love them.
This month I thought some easy canapes recipes might go down well and I’ve tried to make them reasonably healthy but still tasty. I took them along to my sisters when we were having a family lunch, thinking I had made far too many, but they went down a storm with a glass of fizz. Have a wonderful Christmas; try and get out for a walk or two over the festive period but most of all enjoy being with loved ones and try not to stress about it all. Easier said than done, I know. See you next year!
Let’s start with the easiest recipe of all! We all love a sausage on a stick, especially if you use good quality chipolatas, so I bought lovely herby ones from Waitrose and divided each one into two by twisting it in the middle and snipping with scissors.
Ingredients (makes 24)
12 good quality chipolatas divided into two.
2 tblsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 5. Place sausages on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium, glass basin, mix the chilli sauce, soy sauce and olive oil.
Remove the sausages from the oven and tip into the basin and mix well. Tip the whole lot back onto the baking tray, sprinkle well with sesame seeds and return to the oven for 5 – 10 minutes until golden. Cool and serve in bowls with cocktail sticks. (Don’t forget to scape all the crusty bits of glaze into the bowl too – they are the best bit!)
Avocado and Smoked Salmon Toasts
While the oven is on for the sausages you could start this delicious canape. The hardest bit of this recipe was finding a suitable serving platter!
Ingredients (makes 16 – 24)
2 wholemeal tortillas
1 tbsp oil
A sprinkle of sea salt
1 small ripe avocado
Half a lemon – zested and squeezed
Small packet of smoked salmon
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 5. Cut each tortilla into either 8 or 12 triangles, depending on how big you like your canapes. Mine weren’t very even, but I don’t have time to measure each one!
Brush the triangles with a little oil and a tiny sprinkle of salt and bake on a baking tray for 6 – 8 minutes until crisp, turning them halfway through. (Set a timer for this, otherwise you’re bound to forget). Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Mash the avocado, season and add lemon juice to taste. Spread each cooled triangle with some avocado, top with a little sliced smoked salmon and a sprinkle of lemon zest.
Cucumber and Blue Cheese Ovals
Another easy recipe, but my tip for this one is to make it fairly last minute as the water will start to release from the cucumber and it’s not so nice. You can mix the cheeses together in advance and then get any children at your gathering assembling the canapes, arranging them and then handing them round.
Ingredients (makes 16)
1 cucumber sliced thickly into 16 rounds or circles, placed on kitchen paper to drain.
90g blue cheese, or more to taste. I used Stilton.
90g cream cheese
2 spring onions, finely chopped
To serve, halved red grapes and walnut pieces. And a sprinkling of fresh thyme.
Mash the two cheeses together and then add the spring onions. Taste and adjust the balance of cheeses by adding a little more of either if needed. Chill until needed.
When ready to serve, blot the cucumber with more kitchen paper, add a teaspoon of the cheese mixture to each circle. If you wanted to be really snazzy you could try piping the cheese mix, but I didn’t bother. Top each with either a walnut piece or half a grape. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme, arrange on a plate and serve immediately.
Beetroot and Parma Ham Rye Bread Fingers
Ok, so these are a bit more fiddley and slightly more substantial, but the men in my family loved them and wished I’d made more!
Ingredients (makes 20)
4 tblsp Greek yogurt
2 tsp English mustard
4 slices of German rye bread
3 or 4 cooked beetroot, sliced
A pack of Parma ham (mine had 7 slices in it)
Cocktail gherkins, sliced lengthways to garnish.
Mix together the yogurt and mustard and spread over the rye bread. Top with the beetroot slices. Arrange the Parma ham over the top. I tried to ruffle it a bit to make it look more attractive! Now for the tricky bit – using a sharp knife cut each slice into fingers, I got 5 fingers from each bread slice. Arrange on a serving dish and garnish with a slice of gherkin.
I hope these canapes help with your entertaining this Christmas. Have fun!