x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Canapés for the festive season

Five recipes from chef Andy Campbell to make your party memorable.

Vegetable frittatas.
Vegetable frittatas.

Vegetable frittata (makes 20 canapés)

1 medium potato, peeled

1 leek (white part only), chopped

1 medium aubergine

2 courgettes

3 large eggs, beaten

1 tbsp chopped basil

1 tbsp grated Parmesan

10g butter, at room temperature

salt and black pepper

olive oil

Slice the potato lengthways into 2cm-thick pieces and cook in salted water for five minutes, drain and set aside. Sauté the leek in a tablespoon of oil for three minutes, or until soft.

Slice the aubergine and courgette lengthways into 2cm-thick pieces and cook in a little oil for two minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°c/ gas mark 4. Mix the eggs, basil and Parmesan together and season with salt and black pepper. Brush the bottom of an eight-inch (20cm) loaf tin with butter. Arrange a layer of potato across the base, pour over a little egg mix, then add a layer of aubergine, followed by layers of red pepper, leek and courgette, adding a little egg mix between each one.

Transfer to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool, then cut into 2cm by 2cm squares and serve at room temperature.


Bharat spiced lamb loin with endive and walnut dressing (makes 20 canapés)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lamb loin, trimmed of fat and sinew

1 tbsp Bharat spice mix

3 tbsp walnut oil

1 tbsp red vinegar

2 endives, trimmed, washed and dried

20 walnut halves, toasted

salt and black pepper

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Roll the lamb in the spice mix, then place in the pan and cook for two minutes on each side. Cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for five minutes.

Whisk together the walnut oil and red vinegar and season with salt and black pepper. Slice the lamb into thin rounds and place a piece in the centre of each endive leaf. Top the meat with a walnut half and drizzle over the walnut vinaigrette just before serving.


Cinnamon spiced confit duck in pastry cases (makes 25 canapés)

2 confit duck legs (buy them ready cooked from your butcher or supermarket)

1 tbsp butter

1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp saffron

1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 hard boiled egg, chopped

25 small butter or filo pastry cases (shop bought is fine)

2 tbsp quince jelly

3 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

icing sugar, for dusting

Warm the duck legs through in the oven or on the stove, remove the skin and shred the meat into pieces.

Place a pan containing the butter over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté gently for four to six minutes, until softened.

Mix the onion, cinnamon, saffron, parsley, egg and duck meat together in a bowl and season with black pepper.

Place a small dot of quince jelly in the base of each pastry case, then fill with the spiced duck mixture. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar just before serving.


Citrus-cured salmon (makes 20 canapés)

340g smoked or cured salmon

1 lime, zest and juice

For the dressing:

1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled, deseeded and finely diced

1 stick celery, peeled and finely diced

2 medium tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and finely diced

1 red pepper, finely diced

small red onion, peeled, finely diced

1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped

1 tbsp dill, finely chopped

1 lemon, juice only

olive oil and red vinegar (to taste)

black pepper

Leave the salmon to marinate in the lime juice and zest for a few hours or overnight. Slice into thin strips and roll up to form little wheels.

For the dressing, mix all the fresh ingredients together in a bowl and season with olive oil, red vinegar and black pepper. Arrange the rolls on a large plate, spoon over the dressing and serve.


Lobster croquettes (makes 25 to 30 canapés)

35g butter

35g flour

435ml milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for deep frying

6 button mushrooms, finely chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced

300g cooked lobster meat (crab or prawn could be used instead), finely chopped

150g plain flour

4 large eggs, beaten

340g breadcrumbs (panko breadcrumbs work best)

Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, add the flour and cook for six minutes, until light brown. Stir in the milk, bring to the boil briefly, then remove the pan from the heat.

Place a frying pan over a medium heat, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil, followed by the chopped onion and cook for three to four minutes. Increase the heat slightly, add the mushrooms and cook until all the liquid that is released has evaporated.

Stir in the lobster meat (or crab or prawns), add the white sauce and season with salt and black pepper. Pour into a tray lined with cling film and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Tip the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into individual bowls. Roll the cooled lobster mixture into walnut-sized balls. Dip the balls first into the flour, followed by the eggs and finally the breadcrumbs.

Half-fill a deep, thick based saucepan with vegetable oil and heat until a small piece of bread sizzles and turns golden brown in 30 seconds (190°C/375°F if you have a thermometer). Add the breadcrumbed balls and cook for three minutes, until crisp and light golden brown. Drain well and serve warm.