I know. Every time I get asked what I make when I have guests over for a dinner party, I break out in a cold sweat. With two restaurants and multiple events every year, you’d think I do this in my sleep, but inviting people over to your home is different. It’s more personal, but apart from that, you don’t want to spend the whole night faffing in the kitchen. The solution, of course, is sociable food that’s ready by the time they arrive. All it needs is one or two finishing touches. To me, canapés – especially finger food – are the ultimate way to start a dinner party. Something you can arrange beautifully on a tray and pass around. They should stimulate conversation, raise an eyebrow (the “wow” eyebrow, not the other one), and make your guests feel elegant and sophisticated. For the rest, all you need is your sparkling personality.
Dinner Party Canapés
Cooking Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 8
Watermelon and Prosciutto Bowls
30 ml brown sugar
125 ml Forage and Feast Aged Balsamic Vinegar
2 sheets phyllo pastry
50 g butter
50 g cream cheese
3 basil leaves
1 pack Forage and Feast Prosciutto Crudo
Use a melon baller to make spheres from the watermelon and set aside. Place balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small pot and bring to a simmer to reduce for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the watermelon balls to marinade inside the mixture.
Use a 6 cm cookie cutter to cut circles from the phyllo pastry. Melt the butter, brush each circle, and stick two together. Turn the muffin tray upside down and spray generously with non-stick cooking spray. Place the layered phyllo pastry on top to create small baskets. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 7-9 minutes (until golden and crisp), at the same time, remove the watermelon from the marinade and place on a prepared tray in the oven. Chop the basil and mix with cream cheese and 20 ml balsamic glaze. Deep-fry half of the prosciutto until crisp and set the rest aside.
To assemble the tarts, take a phyllo shell, fill the bottom of the tart with the cream cheese mixture. Place the watermelon sphere in the middle and place small shards of prosciutto around the watermelon sphere, to create a flower, alternating between fresh and deep-fried prosciutto.
Cucumber and Salmon Roulade
125 ml (106 g) granulated sugar
125 ml water
15 ml Forage and Feast White Balsamic Vinegar
20 ml Forage and Feast Cold Extracted Extra Virgin Olive Oil
30 ml Forage and Feast Tomato & Chilli Cheese Topper
125 ml (70 g) tempura flour
125 ml sparkling water
1 Forage and Feast Prawn Ring
100 g breadcrumbs
oil for frying
60 g Forage and Feast Cold Smoked Norwegian Salmon Ribbons
In a small pot boil the sugar and water for 2 minutes, while the sugar syrup is cooking, use a potato peeler to remove the rind from the lemon and slice thinly. Remove the sugar from the heat and add the lemon. Allow to cool.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk the juice of one lemon, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, tomato and chilli cheese topper together and season with salt and pepper.
Make the batter by whisking the tempura flour and sparkling water together. Dip the prawns in the tempura batter by holding on the tail end and then dipping into the breadcrumbs. Deep fry at 180 °C until golden brown. Chop the prawns into 1 cm chunks and mix with marinade.
Slice long ribbons of cucumber with a potato peeler and place the salmon on top. Cut into 10cm long portions and place a teaspoon of prawn mix at the bottom of the strip and roll. Serve with tomato dressing.
Burrata and Tapenade Spoons
15 ml Forage and Feast Cold Extracted Extra Virgin Olive Oil
30 ml Forage and Feast Olive Marmalade
20 g dried olives
1 tub Forage and Feast Burrata
50 ml cream
Mix the olive marmalade with olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside. In a stand mixer whisk together the burrata and cream and refrigerate until needed. Use a blender to chop the dried olives into a crumb.
To assemble, use tablespoons as a serving vessel. Place a teaspoon of the crumbed olives in each tablespoon, quenelle the burrata and place the olive marmalade on top. Garnish with a rosemary flower and small basil leaves.