As if we dont have enough to eat before a three course dinner!
It seems "The Canape" has been in demand to accompany that sunset/ before dinner cocktail for some time now and the longer it reigns the more we need to try and indulge in changing things up a little. Is this morsel of food something to soak up the alcohol, or is it a bite size introduction of whats about to come. Whether its at a friends informal dinner, at a wedding to entertain guests whilst the forever challenge of photographs are taken or just simply to stop the stomach rumbling in compnay whilst the chef prepares his banquet, the one challenge the canape should hold, is that its there to provide an array of flavours in a very small, no cutlery needed finger food!
Below I m going to highlight a few ideas to which you can twist to your hearts content. I hope this may help if you are stuck for ideas but remember, whilst taste is everything to me, presentation is also key. It not only draws the eye into wanting but also reflects your design character, so have fun with serving canapes too and dont let it become a chore.
The traditional gazpacho has alwasy been tomato based. A chilled soup made from tomato, cucumber, peppers, garlic, and quite frankly any thing that you wish to throw in the blender. There are of course vegetables that have flavours which take over from the others so whilst it may be fun to experiment, much can be said for the original recipe and its willingness to get better as it chills. I m going to write a simple shot and you can twist with some ideas I have added underneath.
Half a cucumber (peeled & seeded)
3 large basil leaves
1/2 x red & green pepper
1 x simple slice of red onion
1 x tin of passata (thats pureed tomato to us)
1 x tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper and a smidgen of honey to taste.
The Raspberry - change the vinegar to raspberry balsamic & add a half punnet of fresh raspberries
The Zinger - add a pinch of smoked Sweet paprika, cumin & cinnamon
The Blonde - remove the tomato passata, red onion and red pepper. Replace with additional cucumber, white onion which is best sauteed in a little coconut oil, and then add tes cumin, corriander, ginger & coconut milk. Let it cool and then blend.
The shot - gazpacho
Coconut shrimp &
Raw pink shrimp 16/20s deveined and peeled
Tbls flour (any flour its just for coating the prawns to base for the egg)
2 eggs whisked
Shredded sweetened coconut
1 x banana not too ripe or a pan fried plantain, chopped into cubes
cherry tomatoes, chopped into small cubes
Red onion finely chopped
1 x clove garlic
Oil only for frying
Method - coat the shrimp in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip in the whisked egg and then in the shredded coconut & panko crumbs to coat. Set aside.
Mix all the other ingredients together in a small bowl and chill. You cna season with rock salt and pepper at this point to taste. You will not need additional oil as the juice from the tomatoes should be enough.
Heat the oil in a suitable pan being careful not to over heat if you are using a suacepan and not a conventional deep fat fryer. Fry the prawns until golden and set aside on paper towel. Serve with the salsa and add some additional coconut on the top.
Cucumber & almond rounds & Stuffed
Whole soaked almonds
Cream cheese optional
Fresh cherry Tomatoes/tinned baby bell peppers or Tinned cherry toms.
Zuccini or courgette
Method - To make the cucumber rounds look pretty on the plate, first make the design on theboutsode of the skin bedore you cut the rounds. You can either take a peeler and peel the skin in thin strips at intervals, or you can use a lime or lemon zester and drag it down the length of the cucumber. Then choose your cutter for cutting the rounds. Either use a simple knife and cut no more than 1cm slices or take a ridged design knife which you can find on Amazon and use that to cut the cucumber rounds to make a fun edge. Once you have cut the rounds gently take out the centre of the cucumber round without going all the way through. The cucumber round is your vessel. Then mix together the cream cheese and horseradish cream, spoon into the centre of your cucumber round and add a soaked almond.