As a rule I am more savoury than sweet. I would rather have two appetisers, a main course and swerve pudding. Unless there is the offer of cheese and biscuits. Then I am there with bells on.
I think that is why I love tapas and meze so much. You get a wonderful selection of savoury food and can easily finish without having a sweet. And canapés. I love canapés, in fact I think I could eat enough canapés to make it a whole meal. 😉 Aside from the actual food, which I love, canapés are just so darn cute. Miniature mouthfuls of food. I believe that the best canapés are those that fit in your mouth in one perfect mouthful, or they come on a cocktail stick or china spoon, meaning you don't have to juggle with a half eaten canapé, as it is well contained.
I have eaten some amazing canapés, mostly at weddings where it always seems inappropriate to take more than one or two.
My favourites have been:
- Lobster and prawn risotto spoon - perfect risotto (as we all know my feelings on risotto) topped with a juicy piece of lobster and a char-grilled prawn. These were so good I had to stop myself chasing after the waiter to grab another.
- Sticky caramelised fig with a blue cheese mousse - just a perfect combination.
- Scallop and a slice of chorizo, skewered on a cocktail stick - luckily I got a lot of these, I was standing with my sister and I think the waiter was rather taken with her 😉
- Potato skin with an olive mouse - this sounds odd but it was lush and the potato skin was about the size of a 50c piece!
- Miniature beef wellington - crispy pastry and rare beef fillet. Hard to cook when you use a large piece of fillet, but the fact they managed to make a perfectly cooked wellington the size of a 20c is amazing!
What I think I am saying is I need to get myself invited to more cocktail parties. Wonderful trays of canapés and several glasses of champagne. Yes, that is definitely what I need to do. I even have the perfect little black dress. I bought it when Mr 4 was about 3 months old!!! It didn't fit, but I had seen it whilst I was pregnant and loved it, so when I saw it in the sale with 80% off I just had to buy it. Not sure it will fit now either......must be all those canapés 😉
Having said I am a savoury person, I have been known to eat a cupcake or 2 and on Friday I was given 6! The wonderful Renée who runs Sugarcoated Delicous was running a give away on her facebook page and I was this weeks winner. Excited was an understatement, I let the boys share one and told Stew I was eating the rest myself 😉 , I didn't! Stew and I shared 4 of them and left the last one for the boys to eat in the morning. Cookies and Cream cupcake for breakfast! 😳
They were delicious 🙂
Back to savoury and these canapés. I quite often serve canapés, or rather build your own canapés. Mostly based around miniature bruschetta or tartlets. They are easy to prepare and a great crowd pleaser as everyone can build them to their own personal tastes.
I never really thought about trying to make my own beef wellingtons canapés until I saw an article in Family Circle Magazine and they made what they called inside out beef wellingtons. I didn't like the name as they aren't inside out. That implies the pastry is in the middle, so I have called mine de-constructed. I have tweaked and played about with the recipe to suit my palette, I hope you enjoy them as much as Stew and I do.
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De-constructed Beef Wellington Canapés
- 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 150 g fillet steak
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ¼ small red onion
- 250 g mushrooms
- splash of white wine - about 2 tbsp
- splash of water - about 2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¼ tsp pepper
- salt (amount will depend on your butter)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Fan forced 180°C/Gas mark 6
- Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and allow to defrost for 10 minutes. Whilst it is still cold and manageable, use a 5cm cookie cutter to cut 16 disks out of each sheet. (You have to cut each disk out quite close to the last one, to ensure you get 16 out of each sheet. But don't worry if you get less.)
- Line two baking sheets with cooking paper and carefully lay out the disks. Brush each disk with beaten egg and bake for 12-14 minutes until puffed and lightly golden.
- Whilst the pastry is cooking, heat the olive oil in a frying pan until almost smoking. Place the steak in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes a side. Remove from the pan and allow the steak to rest.
- Finely chop the red onion, add a second teaspoon of oil to the frying pan and gently sweat off the red onion.
- Whilst the onions are cooking, finely chop the mushrooms.
- Once the onions are soft, add the mushrooms and stir well.
- Add the butter and then pour in the wine and water. Allow the mushrooms to cook gently until the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the pepper and season with salt to taste.
- Thinly slice the beef.
- To assemble the canapé, spoon a small amount of mushroom onto each pastry disk. Add a thin slice of beef and a grind of pepper.