Friday, September 25, 2015


Did you catch me on ABC New England today, talking canapés? It's always a laugh chatting with Kel & Anna about food, but this week even more so, as I can hardly call myself an expert on the topic. Nor on French pronunciation or translation. But we went there!

I got a bit confused between hors d'oeuvres and canapés. We use French terms a lot, particularly with respect to cuisine but the meanings get a little lost. Hors d'oeuvres means "apart from the main work" and refers to starters or appetizers. And then sitting under that, canapés are a TYPE of hors d'oeuvres, designed to be eaten in one bite, and usually decorative.
Traditionally Canapés have a base of bread, crackers, toast or pastry with savoury toppings. The word comes from the French word for couch, which is a reference to the fact that the garnish sits on the base the way we sit on a couch. Cute, huh?

We talked mini quiches, chicken satay sticks, pork belly and small bites on Asian soup spoons. And I provided three recipes.


1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 Tbsp caster sugar
3 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
180ml milk
1 egg
25g unsalted butter, melted

Combine ingredients, whisking until smooth. Spoon batter into a hot, buttered frying pan, aiming for 50c piece size blinis. Cool completely on paper towel.
For toppings, smoked salmon, creme fraiche and chives is always popular. Otherwise soak dried figs in sweet sherry (16 halved figs to 60 ml sherry) for 2 hours. Top blinis with mascarpone, figs, jamon (or prosciutto) & chervil.

Trout Rillettes

We had a discussion about what Rillettes actually are and Anna hit the nail on the head when she suggested "like pate". Trout Rillettes with wasabi mayonnaise are a favourite canapés amongst my in laws, who buy pre-made Rillettes from Sydney's Brilliant Food. Locally we can buy Arc en Ciel trout and use the following recipe:
1 smoked trout, flaked
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 lemons, zested & juiced
1/4 cup finely chopped dill
Mix together ingredients. Serve in savoury tart cases or in lavish biscuits, topped with a little wasabi mayonnaise.

Pork Larb

My final idea is a little less traditional when it comes to canapés: pork larb. I've seen lately a lot of hors d'oeuvres morph into "roving entrees" at weddings and events. More substantial items that can still be eaten standing up so guests can continue mingling over drinks. Things like sliders and noodle boxes. Pork Larb is great because it can be largely prepared the day before and looks fantastic. I blogged about this recipe a few years ago, so head to the back catalogue for my run down and a link to the recipe.

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