By Tom Mitchell-Dawson
Here are three simple canapé recipes for your Christmas get togethers all served on our Cole and mason acacia board. The first is a smoked mackerel cracker with chilli and lime. This canapé is a great alternative to a more traditional smoked salmon canapé. Mackerel is a more sustainable fish and much more affordable and with the sharp kick of lime and chilli you can’t go wrong.
The second canapé is a beautiful ham hock and stilton croquette served with sweet cranberry sauce. Croquettes can seem like quite a long winded thing to make but they really are quite simple. These ones have a lovely funkiness given by the stilton that is perfect for Christmas.
Thirdly we have a really simple onion and olive pastry. The sweet onions and salty olives are the perfect topping for the flaky buttery pastry. Finish with a good crack of black pepper from our Cole and mason pepper mills for the perfect bite for your Christmas drinks party.
Smoked Mackerel Crackers With Chilli and Lime
- 200g hot smoked mackerel
- 100g creme fraiche
- 2 limes
- 1 red chilli
- A few chives
- 20 sourdough crackers
- Begin by finely chopping the chilli and adding to a small bowl with the juice of 1 lime then set aside.
- Next, take the mackerel and flake into a bowl removing the skin as you go. Finely chop the chives and add them to the bowl along with the creme fraiche and the juice of 1 lime then season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble, spoon a small amount of the mackerel mix onto each cracker then top with a slice of chilli and a few micro herbs.
Ham Hock and Stilton Croquettes with Cranberry Sauce
- Croquette mix
- 80g unsalted butter
- 85g plain flour + extra for dusting
- 450ml whole milk
- 100g stilton
- 100g ham hock
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 125g white bread crumbs
- Cranberry sauce, to serve
- To make the croquette mix first melt the butter in a sauce pan and, when bubbling, tip in the flour and cook together for a couple of minutes. Slowly begin to add the milk bit by bit making sure to stir the mixture smooth before adding any more.
- Once you have added all the milk, stir through the cheese and ham hock. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Transfer to a baking tray and place in the fridge to completely chill.
- Once chilled, set up a station of flour, 2 beaten eggs and your bread crumbs. Roll the croquettes into small balls then roll in the flour, then egg and finally bread crumbs.
- Heat a pan of oil about an inch and a half deep. When it's hot drop in the croquettes several at a time and allow to cook for a few minutes or until golden brown. If the croquettes brown too quickly, turn the heat down and allow the oil to cool slightly.
- Season with a little salt and serve with cranberry sauce.
Caramelised Onion and Olive Pastries
- 1 roll puff pastry
- 3 red onions
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 40g red Leicester cheese
- 24 pitted olives
- Cress, garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180c
- Begin by finely slicing the onions and cook in a pan with a little olive oil for 30 minutes or until deeply caramelised.
- Add the balsamic and sugar for the final five minutes of cooking. Allow the onions to cool before going on to the next step.
- Next roll out the pastry onto a chopping board and cut into 24 squares. Grate over the cheese then place a small teaspoon of the onions on each square before topping with an olive.
- Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until puffed up and golden.
- Garnish with a little cress and serve.
Christmas is about getting people together and these canapés are a great accompaniment to the festive cheer. Enjoy them with friends and family and have a merry Christmas.