If you’re having a New Years drinks party or any other special occasion. Don’t spend a fortune buying expensive canapés. You can make them just as nice yourself.
We made smoked salmon and caviar blinis and vol-au-vent with smoked salmon
100g Lumpfish Caviar for £2.50
16 mini blinis for £1.50
280g Smoked salmon trimmings for £2.98
250g Cream cheeses for 54p
250g puff pastry for £1
At £8.50 for 30 canapés it may seem expensive, but if you were going to buy them ready made. Some well know high street shops charge £14 for 25 without the caviar.
Add to this a few bowls of olives and some nuts and crisps dotted around, and you should have enough nibbles for a small party. We also made a fruit punch as this goes further and brought some Cava from ALDI at under £4 a bottle, as in taste tests people preferred it to champagne. I had also heard from a few different people that it was very good, so had stocked up a bit before Christmas.
Make the salmon mousse the same way as my Christmas menu then add a sliver of the saved smoked salmon and a small amount of the caviar. I also added a tiny slice of lemon and a few dill springs. But they’re optional.
We also made 15 vol-au-vents with the same filling. To make them roll out the puff pastry and using a cookie cutter make 30 circles. Lay half of them on to a greased baking tray and Brush some egg onto them.
Next, with a smaller cutter or egg cup. Press into the centre of each of the other circles. Then lay them on top of the ones already on the tray.
Brush these with the egg too and bake for 15 minutes in a 200°C oven.
When they are puffed up and golden transfer them to a cooling rack and remove the middle of each one. These are now ready to fill with the salmon mousse just before your guests arrive.
You can make the vol-au-vents pastry cases the day before and keep it in an airtight container. Don’t refrigerate as this can make pastry hard, you can always warm them in the oven for a couple of minutes before you fill them. I haven’t made puff pastry since I left school, as I think it’s a lot of effort for an ingredient that you can buy ready made quite cheaply in supermarkets. When I see it on sale I tend to pick up a few packets and put them in the freezer.
Lobster can be real luxury but at only £4 each for whole cooked but frozen at Morrisons, you can impress your dinner guests. We used a couple of cloves of garlic, and a dribble of oil, some leftover finely chopped parsley and a handful breadcrumbs from the freezer. This dish comes in at only about £2 each.
We had it as Lobster Thermidor as it looks impressive though you don’t get much meat. There are plenty of videos on the Internet to show you how to prepare your lobster, the one I used was from Jamie Oliver’s how to prepare a lobster. I then made up the breadcrumb mix by combining the garlic, chopped parsley and oil with the handful of breadcrumbs. Then spooned this onto the prepared lobster halves. Pop these under the grill for a few minutes until the crumbs are golden brown.
Serve straight away with a wedge of lemon.