Serving large groups of people with bit-sized food is the aim of the game this Christmas. Here's how to do it with ease
Christmas means party season, and if you’re hosting a party there’s the big question of what to serve as nibbles. There are numerous ready-made canapes available, but I love to add a personal touch with some easy home-made morsels.
I have two rules for canapes: first, no more than two mouthfuls (but preferably one)—an explosion of crumbs is definitely unwelcome, and second, they have to be bursting with flavour. Here are nine ideas for easy to make but impressive canapes to give your party food a bit of home-made love and care.
1. Simple & Delicious Smoked Salmon Canapés
Pre-made canape cases are a great help, taking away the boring tasks and leaving you with the fun job of adding all the flavour. There’s a huge variety to choose from; here, some edible spoons are topped with a Russian inspired combination of smoked salmon, sour cream and sprinkle of lumpfish roe.
2. Crispy Mushroom Filo Triangles
Filo pastry is another great time-saver. I would make these small, to fit in my one bite, no crumbs rule. But I love umami-rich mushrooms, and if you choose the right sort of cream cheese these parcels will be vegetarian too.
3. Chipotle Cheese Twists for Christmas
Cheese straws were one of the first things I ever cooked; I think they’re still a delicious thing to make. They really benefit from being home-made and served fresh and warm (not hot!) from the oven. I love this idea of adding smoky chipotle paste for extra flavour.
4. Scallop and Chorizo Stacks
With chorizo, piquillo peppers and Manchego cheese stacked with lightly fried scallops, these canapes overflow with the flavours of Spain. A bit of assembly and cooking required, but they definitely look to be worth it! Maybe a canape to reward the early arrivals?
5. Sweetcorn Arancini
These Sweetcorn Arancini are little handfuls of risotto, that are then coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried to golden perfection. Completely vegetarian too.
6. Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto
Now for a canape that doesn’t require cooking. Prepare ahead and serve. Prosciutto is a great wrapper for little bites like this and adding the sweetness of the dates and cream cheese makes the whole parcel sound a winner.
7. Mini Salmon Rissoles with Sour Cream and Caviar
This recipe gives the option of using either fresh, or hot smoked (not the more commonly found cold smoked) salmon. Hot smoked salmon or trout ranks high in my fish top ten; the flaky texture and rich flavour with a hint of smokiness really complements the oily fish.
8. Roasted Turkey & Black Currant Brie Bites
I can see this as the perfect Boxing-day party recipe, using up some leftover Christmas turkey. Using blackcurrant jam rather than redcurrant means a welcome new flavour after the Christmas Day feast. I would use part baked baguettes for best results.
9. Parma Ham Canapés with Sticky Balsamic Onions & Gorgonzola
Finally, another recipe using both Parma ham and pre-made canape cases. Here, the contrast of flavours comes from sweet, sticky onions, slow cooked with balsamic vinegar, and sharp Gorgonzola cheese. Crunch, sweetness with a hint of sharpness from the cheese all in one mouthful. Yum!
Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over 12 years.
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