Home Cooking Made Easy p16 and 15.
If you’ve been a regular reader, you’ll know we don’t go in for starters much in the cookingfanatic household (and if you have been a regular reader, give yourself a round of applause. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster – that roulade was a real low point – but you’re still here, so well done you.)
But if there’s a time for starters and canapes, Christmas day is certainly it. The ideal canape can be prepared mostly ahead of time and served in a room far away from the kitchen where you will be sweating away over the roast.
The first recipe is balls of goat’s cheese, coated with a little honey and then rolled in various toppings. Next time, I might add something to the goat’s cheese – some honey, some chopped cranberries perhaps – to make it a bit more interesting. But the stronger toppings tasted better – paprika, pink peppercorns and chives (chopped from frozen) were all good. Sesame seeds, grated parmesan were a bit dull.
I put the toppings in ramekins and then sort of rolled the ball around in it at high speed. I thought if it flew out of the top it would be quite fun, but alas it was not to be. They all behaved admirably.
The second recipe was “Sausage roll’s big night out.” It is slices of pepperami sticks – other salami snacks are available (ed. are they?) – in puff pastry. I was glad I had seen this on the TV, because the recipe isn’t that clear about what to do.
I used ready rolled puff pastry. The salami sticks actually come in packs of 5, so I used 5 of them, not 6! You cut the salami sticks in half and cut the puff pastry into two strips each the height of the half salami stick (this leaves about 1/3 of the puff pastry to throw away or use for something else). Then lay 5 of the salami halves side by side with about 1-2 cm between them.
Yes I know that’s 6, she says 6 and I got confused and later changed it to 5. Then put beaten egg between the salami sticks and fold over the other side of the pastry, pressing down between each pepperami to seal.
A wooden spoon handle was a good tool to use. Then slice this horizontally, into about 6 slices. Do the same with 5 more salami halves and the other piece of puff pastry. Put the slices in the fridge until ready to cook. Brush with beaten egg (but not over the bits of pepperami) and cook in the oven for about 20 mins at 180’C.