Tag Archives: canapes

Dips and Tapenades for Drinks or a Picnic

Having friends around for drinks or a picnicky lunch? Dips are always welcome. Here we have a selection of tapenades and dips to tempt the taste buds – the juicy, sweet but piquant sun-dried tomato version and the more earthy, intense olive one both shout with flavours of the Mediterranean. Then, there’s this recipe for guacamole which combines the luscious creaminess of avocado with a fresh coriander edge and a real kick of chilli. The three were all made in advance and in less than half an hour, using a mini food processor for each one and a quick wipe out in between – simple! Hummus – a staple in our household – has already been blogged but takes just seconds to knock up. In essence, dip into a quick, easy and vast array of flavours- yummy!

What you need…

for the Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Tapenade

200g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

A large handful of fresh basil leaves

1 garlic clove, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil (from the jar of sun dried tomatoes if possible)

50g pine nuts

for the Olive Tapenade

100g pitted black olives, drained

100g pitted green olives, drained

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 anchovies in oil, drained

½ garlic clove, peeled

Black pepper, to taste

for the Guacamole with Coriander

1medium tomato, quartered

1 just-ripe avocado, peeled and roughly chopped

½ fresh green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped

½ garlic clove, peeled and chopped

A large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Zest of half a lime, finely grated

A good squeeze lime juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

What to do…

Stick all the ingredients for the sun-dried tomato tapenade into your food processor. Whizz until smooth. Decant into a serving bowl. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge until needed.

Rinse out your food processor and blade. Dry with kitchen paper. Chuck all the ingredients for the olive tapenade into your processor and whizz until smooth. Decant into a serving bowl. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge until needed.

Rinse out your food processor and blade. Tip all the ingredients for the guacamole into your processor, marvel at how lovely it is to have such a great gadget and then whizz the ingredients until the consistency is as you would like – rustically chunky, elegantly smooth or something in between! Decant into a serving bowl. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge until needed.

Serve with hummus and an assortment of breads, crackers and crudités; some cold, crisp dry white wine and most importantly a good collection of family and friends. Enjoy!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

An absolute whizz!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thai Crab Poppadom Canapés

Quick, easy and absolutely scrumptious, these lovely little canapés – courtesy of Mary Berry – enliven the delicate, sweet flavour of the crabmeat in a light, fresh, slightly oriental dressing, perfectly topping the crunch of poppadoms. They are simply delightful and easily ‘poppable’ little canapés – perfect for our Friday night tradition of G&Ts at 6pm.

Makes 8 – 10

What you need…

100g white crabmeat, flaked finely

½ fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely

1 teaspoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon sweet chilli dipping sauce

Squeeze of lime juice

Sea salt and black pepper

1 dessertspoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped

8 – 10 mini poppadoms

What to do…

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the poppadoms so that they are thoroughly mixed together. Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours) to allow the flavours to develop.

When you’re ready to indulge, use a teaspoon to plop some mixture into each mini poppadom, creating 8 – 10 gorgeous little canapés. Serve alongside G&Ts, fizz, or crisp white wine and enjoy the combined crunch of the poppable poppadom with the delicate, fresh and slightly oriental flavours of the filling – yum, yum!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

An absolute doddle!

 

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Canapés

We first tried these a couple of weeks ago at friends and neighbours, Chris and Suzy, who kindly invited us for lovely, leisurely Sunday evening drinks. So gorgeous were these little delights that we’ve since had them three times (in just two weeks). They go brilliantly with a glass of fizz, G&T or scrumptious white wine. The watermelon is fresh, sweet and juicy: the perfect foil for the earthy dryness of the feta and the mint provides a lovely zing at the end. All together with a little squeeze of lime, they are simply delicious! Give them a go: they’re quick, easy and just yummy!

Makes around 12 – 15 depending on how large or small you cut your chunks!

What you need…

100g water melon, chopped into chunky, small slices (I buy ready-prepared from Waitrose and just halve each one)

100g feta cheese, cut into chunks of a similar size to the water melon

A handful of mint leaves

A squeeze of fresh lime juice

A bunch of cocktail sticks

What to do…

Choose a pretty serving plate and stack these little lovelies together using a cocktail stick to pierce through each layer – watermelon on the bottom, then feta and on the top, either a couple of tiny mint leaves or a larger one folded.

Arrange on your plate and just before you want to enjoy them, give them a quick spritz of lime juice. So simple, so utterly yummy!

Inspired by…

Chris and Suzy: thank you!

How easy…

You can knock them up in seconds – no mess, no stress!

Pani Puri

This is my first tentative foray into Indian food. Well, that’s not quite true; in December, I was seen to throw the entire chicken curry that I had attempted down the waste disposal – it was THAT bad. I knew I needed help and have since spent a wonderful afternoon and evening with my lovely friend, Bina, who patiently took me through several delectable dishes, which we then enjoyed over dinner. A popular street food, Pani Puri is what we enjoyed to start with and it was delicious! Puris are little crispy puffed up ‘balls’ made from wheat semolina. They don’t taste of too much until you stuff them up with this lovely filling and a choice of spicy and tangy chutneys. Topped with Sev Mamra (spicy puffed rice), these are quite delicious: the crispy shell of the puris breaks open to reveal the gently spiced filling, the kick and tanginess of the different chutneys and the cooling freshness of the coriander – a really lovely alternative to canapés and great fun, because the best bit is that you put all the elements on the table, letting friends and family assemble their own puris. My scribbled notes, taken on my afternoon with Bina, are perhaps not as accurate as they could be but John and I thoroughly enjoyed my efforts!

Makes 10

What you need…

 10 x Pani Puri (they come in boxes of 40+ from Indian supermarkets and last for ages)

1 jar ready-made green chilli chutney

1 jar ready-made date tamarind chutney

Sev Mamra (available in different sized bags – you can enjoy whatever is left over simply as a snack on its own – very moreish!)

for the filling…

2 red potatoes, chopped small

Splash rapeseed oil

2 Indian or small red onions, chopped small

2 teaspoons coriander/cumin powder (Dhana Jeerer)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

200g tinned brown chick peas (Kala Chana), strained and rinsed

Handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Using your finger, tap out a hole in the top of each of the pani puri – it’s not too important how big, just large enough to get the filling into! Pop them on a serving plate and onto the table where you’ll be eating.

Tip the potatoes into a pan of salted water, bring to the boil and then simmer until soft. Strain through a sieve.

Dry the pan and add the rapeseed oil. Over a moderate heat, fry the onions and all of the dried spices and cook 5 minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, splash in a little water, just to keep the mixture moist.

Stir in the potatoes and chick peas and warm through. Chuck in a couple of teaspoons of chopped coriander, setting the rest aside until you’re ready to eat. And that’s your filling made!

In 4 pretty little serving bowls, spoon out some of each of the chutneys, the coriander and the sev mamra. In a larger bowl, serve the warm filling. Add the bowls to the table next to the pani puri. Equip everyone with plate and teaspoons and watch your guests’ delighted faces as they create their own starter or canapés, popping a little filling into the bottom and then topping with each of the chutneys, perhaps some fresh coriander and then the sev mamra – just delicious!

Inspired by…

Bina! (Thank you soooooo much)

How easy…

Really easy – there’s only the filling to make and then everyone makes their own!