Canapés

Canapés

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

A French word meaning ‘couch’, which is used to describe bite-size pieces of bread, toast, biscuits or pastry topped with savoury food. Canapés may be served whenever a savoury tid-bit is called for – with drinks, at tea and coffee time, for supper or as part of an hors d’oeuvre selection. They can be hot or cold, as simple as a biscuit spread with savoury butter, or as elaborate as pastry shapes baked with a lobster mornay topping. Canapés should look decorative, but remember to keep any toppings and garnishes manageable, to keep them bite-size, and not to serve too many. They are designed to whet the appetite, not to satisfy it.

To follow are some ideas for canapés.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Canapé bases: Suitable bases are many and varied, and include: white or wholemeal toast, cut into strips, squares or circles; crispbreads; Melba toast; pumpernickel and rye breads; plain or flavoured savoury biscuits; fried bread (croûtes); pastry rounds; sliced French bread, bread sticks or rolls; home-made quick breads; tiny split hot scones; or pancakes.
  2. Sardine butter: Soften 60 g butter and combine with 100 g mashed sardines, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  3. Caviar butter: Soften 60 g butter and combine with 2 tablespoons caviar or lumpfish roe, 1 teaspoon grated onion, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Olive butter: Soften 60 g butter and combine with 2 tablespoons finely chopped stuffed olives and 1 teaspoon grated onion.
  5. Liverwurst and bacon: 90 g liverwurst; 2 bacon rashers, rind removed, grilled and crumbled; few drops Tabasco or chilli sauce; 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  6. Roquefort: 90 g cream cheese; 30 g Roquefort cheese; 60 ml cream; salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  7. Cheese and ham: 90 g grated mature cheddar cheese; 85 g devilled ham spread; 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce; 60 ml cream.
  8. Egg and walnut: 4 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped; 30 g finely chopped walnuts; 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot; mayonnaise to bind.
  9. Camembert canapés: A make-your-own canapé plate – this is a German favourite, great with beer. On individual plates place a wedge of camembert, a small mound of finely chopped onion and smaller mounds of finely chopped anchovies and tinned pimientos. Salt shakers, peppermills and oil and vinegar cruets should be on the table, with platters of thickly buttered rye and pumpernickel bread. Each person mixes their own canapé toppings.
  10. Snails: Use any of the canapé toppings suggested. Roll out plain shortcrust pastry into an oblong shape, spread generously with chosen filling and roll up like a Swiss roll. Chill for 1 hour, then cut into 1 cm slices and arrange on greased baking trays. Bake in a preheated hot oven until golden. Serve hot.
  11. Rarebit puffs: Beat 2 egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold in 125 g grated mature cheddar cheese, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, salt and ground black pepper. Spread over round cracker biscuits. Place under a hot grill until topping is puffed and brown. Makes 24.
  12. Hot crab meat canapés: Flake 1 × 185 g tin drained crab meat and mix in 1 teaspoon chopped onion, 1 teaspoon chilli sauce, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise. Spread on crustless toast triangles, going right to the edges. Place under a hot grill until browned.
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