It’s about the time of year that everyone begins to think about Christmas: the work party is coming up, you begin to see decorations down the street, and you may even be beginning to think about hosting your own little soiree. If that last one is you then this post is right up your alley.
I’ve collected my top picks for canapés from the archives to help make catering a breeze. There’s a couple of classics like turkey burgers (always a hit) or salmon gravlax (surprisingly easy), as well as a few vegetarian options to make sure everyone has a good time.
W/ BRIE AND CRANBERRY SAUCE
500g turkey mince
500g chicken thighs
4 slices white bread
2 tbsp garlic salt
2 tbsp olive oil
30 half size dinner rolls*
200g brie cheese, at room temperature
275g jar cranberry sauce
- Remove crusts from bread and dice into small cubes. Cover with hot water and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes. Drain well, transfer to a clean tea towl and squeeze out excess water.
- Place chicken thighs in a food processor and process to a smooth paste.
- Combine chicken, turkey mince, bread and garlic salt. Shape into 30 mini patties and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and fry patties in batches until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Keep warm.
- Spread each dinner roll with a little brie and cranberry. Top with a meat pattie and serve warm.
*Half size dinner rolls or golf ball rolls can be pre-ordered from Bakers Delight or any good bakery.
W/ ROAST BEEF & HORSERADISH CREAM
150g unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
200g plain flour
6 eggs + 1 extra
2 tbsp milk
ROAST BEEF FILLING
15 slices rare roast beef, cut into small pieces
200ml sour cream
2 tbsp horseradish from a jar
100g snow pea sprouts, stems removed
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Combine butter, salt and 375ml water in a large pan (I used a 26cm casserole dish) over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil, then add flour and stir until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan in a ball.
- Remove pan from heat. Whisk in 6 eggs, one at a time until beating after each addition, you have a smooth mix.
- In batches, drop 50 x 4cm balls of mixture onto lined trays, leaving room to expand. Beat milk with remaining egg and brush a little over each. Bake for 20 minutes until puffed and golden. Place puffs on a rack and cool completely. Keep choux puffs in an airtight container for 1 day or freeze ahead and reheat in oven, allowing to cool before filling.
- To serve, split choux puffs through the centre, not all the way through.
- Combine the sour cream and horseradish and season to taste. Spread choux with aioli, top with roast beef, and finish with a few snow pea sprouts.
SALMON GRAVLAX W/ DILL SAUCE
100g caster sugar
1/4 cup salt
1/2 tbsp white pepper
1.3kg-1.5kg salmon fillet, skin on, bones removed*
1 bunch fresh dill
toast to serve
1 cup mayonnaise (I like Kraft Original)
1/2 cup honey wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp dry dill
- Combine sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Cut salmon fillet equally in half.
- In a large, deep dish, place 1/4 of the dill. Place one half of the salmon fillet, skin side down on the dill.
- Sprinkle 1/3 of the sugar/salt mix over the salmon. Top with 3/4 of the remaining dill.
- Sprinkle 3/4 of the remaining sugar/salt mix over the dill, before placing the second half of the salmon fillet, skin side up, on top.
- Top with remining sugar/salt mix and dill.
- Cover with aluminium foil, and weigh down with a light weight (I use 4 cans of beans on a tupperware lid). Leave to cure for 2 days, turning every 24 hours. Taste the liquid the salmon seeps out for seasoning (you may want to add more sugar or salt according to taste).
- FOR DILL SAUCE: In a large jar, mix together all the ingredients. Store in the fridge, dolloping a little over the gravlax when needed.
- To serve, cut thinly on the angle, away from the skin. Serve on toast with the dill sauce.
*Ask your fish monger to cut off the tail end of the fillet, so that it is an equal thickness the whole way through.
Serves 12 as an hors d’oeuvre.
500g frozen peas, thawed
1 small Spanish onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 cup fine breadcrumbs
oil for frying
- In a food processor, process peas, Spanish onion, garlic, herbs, flour, baking powder, and spices until well combined (you might need to do this in two halves depending how big your processor is). Add breadcrumbs and pulse to combine. Season to taste.
- Roll mixture into small balls about 3cm wide.
- Heat oil to 180C in a saucepan, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Fry felafel in batches until golden. Remove from oil and drain on absorbent paper before serving warm or cold.
Makes 30 approx.
1 bunch silverbeet with large leaves
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup long-grain rice
1 cup tinned chopped tomatoes
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
- Wash the silverbeet thoroughly and cut away stalks. Cut leaves into 10cm x 10cm squares, reserving the leftover scraps. Line a deep pan with the leftover pieces. Put silverbeet squares in boiling water until completely softened. Refresh under cold water and leave to drain.
- Make the filling by combining the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
- Lay a piece of silverbeet flat, and place 1 tbsp of mixture in the center. Roll up the silverbeet square halfway, fold in the edges, and then roll up completely. Repeat with remaining rolls.
- Put the rolls in the lined pan. Pour over enough water to just cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cook through. Remove from heat and remove rolls from the pan. Allow to cool before serving.
Makes about 20.
500g haloumi cheese, sliced into 3mm slices
1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Heat a pan over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Fry haloumi for 1-2 minutes either side until well browned. Remove and serve warm with lemon wedges.
Serves 8 as a starter