So you've got the drinks sorted, but when it comes to party food, what will look good, taste great and most importantly, impress all of your friends? Blogger Eat Like A Girl shares her favourite canape recipe below:
Party season is looming. Halloween parties, Guy Fawkes, then Christmas and all that silly season in advance of that involves. When I have people over I don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen, so I try to be prepared as much as possible. It's also fun to get the guests involved too.
Canapes are a great start and will buy you time too if you are running behind (which I often am). They can be as simple as a choux bun savoury with cheese (see last weeks recipe - omit the sugar and add some nice sharp grated cheese, and bake as small round buns dropped from teaspoons until done) or complicated. I avoid complicated. Life is better simple, and detailed food is fine in a restaurant, but it has no place in my home.
I almost always serve quail eggs when friends come around. They are such an elegant food. I don't know if that is because of the size, their rich creamy yolks, or their lovely speckled shells, but when I dish them out, friends are always impressed and really enjoy them. This is the simplest and cheapest of canapes and also, for me, the most impressive. It takes a little work but it won't cost you more than £3 and a little bit of attention when it comes to timekeeping.
Quail eggs are available in most supermarkets and cost a little over £2 for 12. That will provide canapes for at least 6 people. I like to jazz them up with some homemade flavoured salts. You can go swish with truffle salt in truffle season (or buy some in a deli) but I like to keep things simple and bright with herb and spice salts. On this occasion I have made two: an oregano salt and a paprika salt.
Details below. Enjoy them!
Recipe: Quail Eggs with Paprika and Oregano Salts
12 quail eggs (or as many as you would like)
4 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp smoked paprika (I like the Spanish one but whatever you can get)
1/2 tbsp dried Greek oregano (one of the few dried herbs that retains great flavour, I use it a lot at home)
A pestle and mortar for making the salts (every kitchen should have one and they are cheap too)
Soft boil your quail eggs by boiling in the shell for exactly 2 minutes 30 seconds before dunking in iced water. The iced water is important as it does two things. It stops the cooking process (keeping the eggs nice and soft) and temperature shocks the shell, making them much easier to peel. You can peel them if you like (they are fiddly but the ice bath really helps - just be patient). I like to peel half and let guests peel their own after that.
Make your salts by combining 2 tbsp good sea salt (Maldon or Halen Mon, for example) and 1/2 tbsp of the paprika and then the oregano to make two separate salts. Grind them until fine in your pestle and mortar and serve with plain salt beside the quail eggs.
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