A Trio Of Canapés

Salut tout le monde! Christmas is done and dusted, now is the time to burn the Christmas tree and unpack the stilettos because NYE is on its way! I think we can all agree that 2016 is a year that nobody wants to remember, and there is nothing I look forward to more than watching it fizzle out with the fireworks on the 31st of December. If there is one way to make sure 2017 is memorable, it’s with these canapés.


They’re ridiculously easy to prepare, and you get 3 for the price of one! You don’t have to follow this recipe to the bone, you’re allowed to be creative here and add whatever you think will taste good here. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar here, a splash of tahini there, this is your chance to go wild.


These are best served to your guests as soon as they arrive as entrées: which comes from the French verb entrer, to enter. They make great amuse bouches or ‘mouth entertainment’ because I can guarantee a festival of flavour for your tastebuds. Pair these with a rocking champagne or prosecco and you’ve got yourself a banging NYE party!

A Trio Of Canapés                                                                                                  makes about 50 

To start you will need:

2 12-inch long baguettes

½ cup of butter, melted (if you like, you can add 1 tsp of crushed garlic to the butter and microwave for 20 seconds)


Preparing the bread:

Preheat your oven to 200 °C/400°F. Start by slicing the baguettes into ¾ inch thick slices. Too thick and your guests will have a wad of bread in their mouths, but if they’re too thin then the toppings won’t hold and they’ll fall apart. Lay the bread slices in a single layer across 3 baking pans.

Drizzle or brush the melted butter evenly across the sliced bread. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bread is lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and once cooled, divide the slices into 3 parts.

Caramelised Onion and Goat’s Cheese 

Ingredients

4 tbsp butter

2 large red onions, sliced thinly

about 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar or vegetable stock or water

¼ cup crumbled/grated goat’s cheese

Method

  1. Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan on high. Melt the butter before adding the red onions to caramelise. DO NOT STIR FOR THE FIRST 10 MINUTES unless the onions are starting to burn, then reduce the heat*. Cook for an extra 30 minutes, stirring as little as possible, I would recommend only turning the onions every 10 minutes. You will notice a dark brown sticky residue building up at the bottom of the pot, this is called the fond and we’ll deal with it later.
  2. At the 30 minute mark, taste the onions to check for degree of caramelisation. If they’re to your liking, then you may continue with the next step but if you want a deeper caramel flavour then cook for another 15 minutes, watching carefully that they don’t burn.
  3. Once you’re satisfied with your caramelised onions, add the 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar/vegetable stock/water to your pan to deglaze it. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the fond up as you do this and mix it into the onions. Fond be gone! This contributes to the overall flavour of the onions. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Top one third of the baguette slices with 2 tbsp of the cooled caramelised onions. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of the crumbled goat’s cheese on top. Before serving, warm for 10 minutes in a preheated oven. These can also be served at room temperature if you’re short on time.

*The name of the game here is ‘Low and Slow’. Cook on low heat for a long period of time. If the heat is too high then your onions will be more burnt that caramelised. Patience is a virtue. Too much stirring disrupts the formation of the fond and your onions won’t be nearly as flavoursome.

 

Spinach Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes & Cheddar

Ingredients

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

2 tbsp olive oil

1 heaped tablespoon of mixed herbs

roughly 100g of white cheddar or mozarella, sliced into small rectangles (i.e 3 cm × 5 cm)

¼ cup spinach pesto (or whatever kind of pesto you fancy) homemade or storebought

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 °C/400°F. In a large roasting pan, lay the tomatoes such that the cut side is facing upwards. Drizzle evenly with olive oil and mixed herbs. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Top one third of the bread slices with the cheddar rectangles. Dollop with a teaspoon of spinach pesto and top with half a roasted cherry tomato. These should be served at room temperature.

 

Parmesan Garlic Herbed Mushrooms

Ingredients

3 tbsp butter

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp rosemary

1 and ½ cups button mushrooms, sliced

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

4 tbsp fresh cream

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Method

  1. In a large frying pan on high heat, add the butter, garlic, thyme, oregano and rosemary. Once the butter has melted, throw in the mushrooms and sauté until dark brown and reduced in size, stirring frequently. Add the Worcestershire sauce to deglaze the pan and scoop up any residue that has formed at the bottom of the pan. Pour the fresh cream and add ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste before removing to a separate bowl to let cool.
  2. Once cooled, top the last third of the baguette slices with 2 tbsp of the mushroom mixture before dusting with Parmesan cheese. Before serving, warm in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Alternatively, these can be served at room temperature.

 

Okay so this can look overwhelming at first and whether you’re making one or all three, you probably have no idea where to start. So I’m adding a little guide to the bottom of this post to make it that much easier for you.

Order in which to prepare all 3 canapés: 

  1. Start by caramelising the onions. These take the longest to prepare so it makes sense to get them out of the way first.
  2. Whilst the onions are caramelising, slice the baguettes and cherry tomatoes. Toast the bread and roast the tomatoes at the same time in your oven as they take roughly the same time.
  3. Whilst the bread and tomatoes are in the oven, cook the mushrooms, making sure to be checking on the onions at the same time.
  4. Leave the bread, tomatoes and mushrooms to cool in the fridge whilst you finish up with the onions.
  5. Assemble and get ready to party because you’re a rockstar for getting all this done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: andreamakamba

Proudly Zimbabwean. Food lover. Book reader. Fact hoarder. Dream chaser

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