Zazulete Ynn Anuca Romanta Ion and Thao Uyen
1. Traditional foie gras with a twist
This one is not much an idea as just a way to play with traditional canapés for Christmas. I’m living in the South West part of France and they have this tradition of eating foie gras - goose’s liver - with onion confit. So stack up one layer of foie gras with a layer of onion confit and some basil seeds like this:
Remember to put the basil seeds in a generous amount of water for 15 minutes before use. Basil seeds have as much benefits as chia seeds, they taste fresh and are a bit crunchy, a very interesting flavor. While you’re at it, put on a generous amount of basil seeds on each canapé, they definitely lighten that heavy load.
2. Color cubes on a bed of cheese
Well this one looks as tempting as it tastes. Use cream cheese, parsley, mango and red bell pepper to make this canapé.
Mince the parsley and mix with cream cheese, cut the mango and red bell pepper into small cubes. Next put on a layer of herbal cream cheese, sprinkle on the red and yellow cubes and some minced parsley. You can add a dash of cayenne pepper powder on top for a pop of color and spiciness.
3. Chestnut purée canapé
This one requires a bit of cooking. Use chestnut, wild mushrooms, double cream and butter to make a sort of purée. To shorten the cooking time, use bottled chestnuts and ground them. Cut the wild mushrooms into small cubes (like the mango and red bell pepper cubes earlier). In a hot pan, put in a small chunk of butter and sauté the mushrooms with a dash of salt. When it’s cooked, put in the grounded chestnut and double cream and stir. Season it to your taste. When it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer for 3 minutes. It’s very fast. Let the purée cool down while you prepare other canapés.
You can add minced parsley to this purée when it’s cooled down. I stack this purée with another carrot purée made with cumin powder that I found in the supermarket and squeeze on a few drops of lemon juice. You can substitute them with tomato cubes and croutons.
4. Green Ears: smoked salmon with sweet waffle, salted cheese cream, quail eggs and baby spinach
You are sure to impress your guests with this sweet-salted-and-smoked mélange. In case you are not a fan of sweet-salted, you can use the recipe with a different canapé base (such as crackers, small toast, biscuits). I made a cream cheese with cottage cheese, sour cream, telemea and minced pickled cucumbers. Let the salmon rest for a few minutes after having been sprinkled with lemon juice (and zest). Cut a fresh, large cucumber in rounds and place a round on top of the sweet, fresh, cut waffle. Add a teaspoon of cream cheese on top of the cucumber and arrange the half quail egg, the salmon and the baby spinach leaf according to your creativity. Splash some freshly ground dried chili or pepper to enhance the combination.
5. Mini-salads in baked mushroom nests
A refreshing vegan treat! Cut out the mushroom legs, you will mince and sauté them for about 5 minutes in olive oil, with salt and pepper. Bake the mushroom hats in the oven, after having sprinkled them with olive oil, for about 20 minutes at 220°C. Finely mince and chop: cherry tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, shallot and ruccola and mix them with the minced and cooked mushroom legs. Add balsamic vinegar (I used a fig-macerated balsamic vinegar) and olive oil to season your salad. Fill the mushroom hats (after cooling) with the delicious veggie mix and try to form a cone with carefully arranging the cubes on top of each other.
You may also vary the recipe by adding Gouda (or other yellow cheese) small cubes to your salad.
6. Soft Crunch: shrimp, avocado and pink grapefruit tortilla bites
This is going to be a simple, yet so efficient appetizer when it comes to experimenting a dance of flavors, where crunchiness meets the freshness of the sea and the earth. Sauté the shrimps (it is best to use completely unshelled shrimps) in a touch of olive oil, soy sauce and orange juice (my special recipe to get sweetened, delicate, soft shrimps). Let them cool. Remove the white skin off the grapefruit and expose the large cells. Add a flake of fresh avocado on the tortilla chips (I used chili tortilla chips, for extra flavor and color) and a grapefruit bite, and arrange them all with the shrimp. If you prefer, you can also try the recipe with minced shrimp. Enjoy!
Zazulete Ynn Anuca Romanta Ion
Happy Holidays, darlings!
Cover photo: Thao Uyen
A melting pot experience, in more than one way. Welcome to our Epicurean adventure!