Canape Madness

No, Cookbook Roulette isn’t gone. It was just on hold because I was gifted a delightful cooking project that got preference when it came to my spare time for kitchen shenanigans. Also because holidays, which have their own way of consuming discretionary time.

Once the menu was set, I did some scribbling to organize my thoughts

For the last month or so I’ve been working away on a reception appetizer spread. In what is basically every cook’s dream, I was given a request for food with no budget limits and an instant approval of the first menu list I sent over for review. I suppose that’s what happens when you end up working for your own grandfather and his wife-to-be.

They held their little reception shindig last Saturday and all my plans came together gorgeously. In the spirit of holiday food, upcoming New Year’s Eve party appetizer needs, and my own schedule demands, I’ll be running an interim series addressing these punchy little one-bite finger foods.

Here’s a rundown of the menu I put together –

  • Tomato Melts: an old favorite from my longest running job in Colorado, done with a slight twist due to kitchen constraints and ingredient sourcing.
  • Smoked Trout Gougere: parmesan and black pepper cheese puffs stuffed with smoked trout and a pinot blackberry vinaigrette
  • Blue Cheese and Walnut Vol au Vent: puff pastry cases with fig jam, cambozola cheese, and candied walnuts
  • Pickled Pear Tarts: my most experimental piece, pickled pears with a gingery goats cheese spread on a rosemary and sea salt cracker
  • Thai Shrimp Wontons: mostly because I love the dramatic curves of a fried wonton. And a way to fit some more varied flavors into the spread.
  • Mini Roast Beef: the most classic of combos, roast beef and horseradish cream. With a pumpernickel cracker, because it sounded like fun.
  • Twice Baked Potato Chip: the flavors of a twice baked potato, stacked up on a fancy French-style gaufrette chip.
  • Goats Cheesecake Tarts: on a gingersnap crust with a blueberry balsamic glaze. Edging into sweet, without abandoning the savory.
  • Mini Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes: I stuffed whole raspberries into my cupcake batter and topped them with a tangy sour cream and raspberry jam frosting.
  • Apple Palmiers: classic cinnamon twist pastries sandwiched with spiced apple jam

Grandpa and Oma also requested a small wedding cake and chose carrot cake with cream cheese icing as their flavors.

With the event not far in the future, and no kitchen crew to back me up, I quickly got to work on compiling recipes, grocery lists, and prep timelines. All of which helped me maintain my sanity and keep track of all the moving project pieces.

Tune in next week for the first set of recipes! There are two to five component parts to each of these little delights, so I’ll be writing a dedicated post for each of them.