Baked in this week’s on-line demo, I made tiny versions to serve with drinks at any time over the Christmas holidays. They freeze well so just need to return to room temperature and perhaps have a short burst in the microwave to serve warm.
Smoked salmon might seem indulgent but I’ve found a source of excellent and less expensive off-cuts at Cluny Fish which can be ordered online (good for a mousse too).
Others during our bake-in used different flavours (pre-cooked sausages and/or mushrooms) and had more ideas for a curried version with left-over vegetables. Ideas were running thick and fast so we have agreed to cook savoury crumbles at 1030 on Monday 9 January. Details to follow.
Back to canapes: I’ve already frozen a batch of cocktail-sized pork pies (flavoured with a little garlic, lemon and fennel fronds). There was hot-water pastry left -over. It might seem strange but, because these forgiving pastry scraps are already flavoured with mace, can be gathered together and hand-moulded so thinly, I made tiny mince pies! (Make your own mincemeat ).
The next experiment is chestnuts. What do I do with the rashly bought bag of fresh ones, still in their shells? In the “old days,” they were sold from braziers on the street but I never felt confident or rich enough to buy them. I’m going to try cutting a cross through the shell so they don’t explode before roasting in the oven – time and temperature to be discovered.
A tip for keeping broccoli (purple or standard) and cauliflowers perky over Christmas. Treat them like flowers: cut off about 2cm of the stem and stand them upright in a container with water up to the cut point. Keep in the fridge (but not for too long!). Purple sprouting broccoli, for example, is often droopy by the time it arrives home. Within about 12 hours, it has revived and is standing tall and turgid.