One of my favourite things in the run up to Christmas are the canapés, that source of food, not quite a meal, usually a bit more than an elegant bite, designed to soak up all the alcoholic beverages enjoyed at various office parties and friend-mas get-togethers.
Now, we all know this will be a Christmas like we've never experienced before but that doesn't mean we can't find new ways to celebrate old traditions!
So I say arrange festive drinks with your friends on zoom, make yourself some proper yummy canapés and get yourself in that real Christmas mood, heck we can all do with some light hearted fun after this utterly bizarre year!
Below a few new "party at home" canapé favourites, tried and tested by yours truly, best enjoyed of course when all dressed up with no where to go and a glass of fizz in hand!
BAKED CAMEMBERT IN PUFF PASTRY WITH CARAMELISED ONIONS
- Olive oil
- 2 medium onions, sliced thinly into semi-circles
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs for garnish
- 1 (8 ounce) wheel camembert cheese, cold
- 1 sheet ready made puff pastry
- 1 whisked egg, for egg wash
- Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons of oil.
- Once hot, add in the sliced onions along with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they become deeply golden-brown and caramelised for about 20 minutes.
- Once golden, stir in the teaspoon of sugar, followed by the balsamic vinegar, and allow the mixture to bubble up and reduce, stirring to incorporate; allow the onions to cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently now, until jam-like and deeply browned; then, add the 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves, stir to combine, and remove from pan and allow to cool.
- To prepare the baked camembert, roll out the puff pastry sheet and place the brie in the centre of it.
- Spoon over the cooled, balsamic caramelised onions, then fold the puff pastry sheet over top to cover everything, creating a little “package”.
- Place the wrapped brie “package” onto a small baking tray lined with parchment paper, and very gently brush some egg wash over the puff pastry (avoid allowing it to pool underneath).
- Meanwhile heat your oven to 200 degree celsius,
- Once ready to bake, place the camembert into the oven and bake for roughly 35-40 minutes, or until deeply golden and puffed.
- Allow the baked camembert to stand for 10 minutes before serving, to avoid it oozing out too much.
CARROT FRIES WITH PARMESAN
INGREDIENTS:900g carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 in thick ‘fries’
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
Roast in a a preheated 220C oven until tender and lightly charred, about 16-20 minutes, mixing half way through.
When ready, top the carrot fries with parmesan and serve with your favourite flavoured mayo.
BAKED FIGS WITH GOATS CHEESE, HONEY & WALNUTS
- 6 medium-sized figs
- 80g soft goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon chopped sage
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
- Cut off the stems and make an X cut in the top of each fig half way through.
- Stuff the figs with soft goat cheese using a teaspoon.
- Sprinkle some chopped walnuts and sage over your stuffed figs and drizzle them with honey.
- Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Place in a suitable baking dish and grill in the oven for around 5 minutes or until the figs start to look soft.