Thursday, 24 January 2008

Me and Twee

The first time I ever made a canapé was on MasterChef. Talk about pressure. We all made our way down to a huge Manor house and were told that we were going to re-enact a menu from when Queen Victoria opened the place. Piling on the pressure, we were also told to create a few canapés from the ingredients provided for hungry guests. Canapés are rather twee, and twee and me aren't a match made in heaven.

It all turned out well in the end and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Then a year passed, and I was asked to do some canape demonstrations last week in the aftermath of party season. One year is a long time to recollect anything, so it was back to the drawing board.

Tiny fronds of herb balancing on a minute tower of produce. Paper thin shavings of rare beef teetering on tiny quinelles of chestnut purée. I pulled it off and in turn, I found a new me. The whole event was a success, and I found that twee ain't such a bad thing. Even the hungry Geordies applauded me on a side I never knew. Or were they just happy for a free feed?

The most popular canapé was a blini topped with a little lemon scented Greek yoghurt, smoked salmon and dill. They were popped into mouths faster than I could knock them out, but fortunately they were the easiest to make. Give them a try. You might find a side to you that you never knew.

PS The rather wonderful photo of my canapés were taken by a smashing fella called Christopher Best. Check him out, you will be impressed.

Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Dill and Greek Yoghurt

For the blinis
75g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 medium eggs
A pinch salt
30g butter

1 lemon
Smoked Salmon
Fresh Dill
Greek yoghurt
Freshly ground pepper

1 – In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, eggs, salt and enough milk to make a thick batter.
2 - Melt the butter in a small frying pan. Drop 2 separate tablespoons of the batter into the frying pan at a time, allowing room for each blini to spread out.
3 - Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through and golden. Remove and set aside on kitchen paper before cooking the next batch.
4 – Roughly chop the smoked salmon and put into a bowl. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon and a good grinding of black pepper.
5 – To assemble, put a teaspoon of Greek yoghurt onto a blini, followed by some smoked salmon and top with a piece of fresh dill.


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I love blinis! I haven't ever made the little pancakes myself, always bought them ready made. Probably taste even better freshly made.

Aimée said...

David, you may need to exercise this area of your brain some more: this is quite a stunning canape! Pretty great for a first attempt, I must say.

Coffee and Vanilla said...

I like the idea of making blinis instead of using plain crackers...

Have a great weekend David :)


Hannah said...

Don't remind me of THAT day at Waddesdon - it was the first time I had made canapes too and I was petrified!

Cynthia said...

Ouuuu, I'm going to try making these!

Chef Jeena said...

They look great David sound real tasty. You made me laugh when you said..."or were they just there for the food".. I'm sure they really were impressed. :-)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Just lovely canapes here, David. I'm also quite impressed that you made your first ones under such pressure. Bravo!

Rosie said...

I adore blinis, I made little twee ones at Christmas lol. Viewing your delicious canapes David, you'd have thought this was something that you make every week!! Lovely recipe :)

Rosie x

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

It's like riding a never forget how to mingle the perfect ingredients together David.

Squishy said...

I make these with cream cheese. I will have to try them with the yoghurt. Canapes are wonderful little bites of pleasure. Can't wait to see more!

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