This month private chef Christos shares some of his recipes for canapés, including a vegan ‘smoked salmon’. These tasty little morsels will wow your guests at your next dinner party.
- 250g laverbread
- 100g cockles
- 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon (finely diced)
- Juice of half lemon (more if you like lemon)
- Pinch of ground white pepper
- 3 sheets Jus Rol filo pastry, thawed
- Sunflower oil
- Quail eggs
- 100g Caerphilly cheese grated
- Muffin tray lightly greased
Meat the oven to 180C. To make the filling, heat a large frying pan and add the bacon; fry over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes until just softened (be careful don’t overcook unless you really like your bacon crispy).
Stir in the laverbread, cockles, lemon juice and ground white pepper and heat through for 3-4 minutes over a low heat.
To cook the quail’s eggs place a pot of water on the stovetop and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the quail’s eggs and start your timer! Let the eggs boil for two minutes (soft boiled), three minutes (medium) or three and a half minutes (hard boiled).
When the time is up, move the eggs to a bowl of cold water with some ice cubes. They should cool off in a minute or two. Once they’re cool enough to handle with your bare hands, take them out and happy peeling!
Cut the filo pastry into approximately 12cm squares, trimming the edge of the sheets if needed. Take 4 squares, lightly brush with sunflower oil and then place on top of each other at different angles. Place in the muffin tin and gently ease into the base so the points stick upright to make a basket effect. Repeat with the rest of the squares.
Place in the oven to cook for 6-8 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
Spoon the filling into the pastry cases, sprinkle with the Caerphilly cheese and add half a quail’s egg.
Serve warm. Enjoy
Abergavenny goat’s cheese, with Roquito Chilli Pepper pearls, local honey and toasted walnuts
- 125g Abergavenny goat’s cheese (it needs to be a log shape)
- 5 chilli peppers pearls
- 2 tsp local honey
- 100 g walnuts
- 5 Cradoc cocktail biscuits (or other small biscuit for cheese)
Begin by toasting the walnuts. Heat the oven to 180c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for an easy clean-up.
Toss the walnuts in oil and salt if desired. Arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet and toast in the oven, turning occasionally until brown and fragrant – about 7 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and chop or crush with a rolling pin.
Assemble the canapés: cut the goat’s cheese into 5 equal pieces by dipping your knife first into hot water for easy cheese slicing. Roll the sides of the goat’s cheese into cold walnut crumbs. Add the cheese to the top of your chosen biscuit. Top with a chilli pearl and a drizzle of honey.
Vegan smoked ‘salmon’ (carrot lox)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 3 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
- 1 large sheet of nori or crispy seaweed
- 2 tablespoons smoked sea salt (or regular sea salt)
- Juice of a lemon
- 5 local large carrots, peeled
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 teaspoon of liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill plus extra for garnish
- Ready-made vegan cream cheese
- Vegan crackers
- lemon slices
- 3 tablespoons caper berries
Place all “salmon” ingredients except carrots into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes to let flavours infuse.
While broth is cooking, use a peeler to slice carrots into long ribbons and place in a large heat-proof bowl.
Pour broth through a sieve directly over carrots into the bowl. This will lightly cook them.
When broth has cooled, place mixture into sterilized jars or air-tight plastic container.
Refrigerate for at least a day or for better results up to 7 days. The broth acts as a marinade.
To serve spread cream cheese onto vegan crackers and top with smoked “salmon” (drained of marinade and rolled) then top with lemon, capers and dill.
Remember that the more you leave the carrot lox into fridge the more mellow will getting, enjoy
Alternatively, you can use smoked salmon and cream cheese and just assemble in the same way as above, omitting the marinade. NB Picture shows real smoked salmon.