Welcome to adobo-down-under!

Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Smoked salmon canapes

I love cocktail parties!  My former employer used to host so many of these parties it was a highlight amongst office colleagues every year. We'd have our dresses custom made and a week before, we'd be so busy we'd be off shopping every lunch break.  But that was ages ago, and to this day, if I'm asked to host a party, I would choose cocktail style.  Canapes and hors d'oeuvres, champagne and wine, music and dancing and non stop socialising.  It was actually in one of these cocktail parties that hubby and me formally clicked.  We danced the night away!

In Kitchen 10, we are closing in on our lessons on Salads, Sandwiches and Appetizers.  And canapes and hors d'oeuvres were the order of the day this week.

This is a super easy one which can be used in any kind of party.  Cocktail style or just a simple appetizer.

1 pack smoked salmon (supermarket variety)
1 telegraph cucumber, sliced in thin discs

150g cream cheese

bunch of parsley, minced finely

toasted bread (any variety, but I find the French baguette sliced in half-inch thick or the store-bought mini toast varieties)

Mix the cream cheese and parsley and season with some salt and pepper.  Some bit of colour such as paprika or cayenne pepper for that colour also works.

Toast the bread and shape into rounds using a cookie cutter (if not using the mini toasts)

Spread the cream cheese on the shaped toasts (or mini toasts) and top with a slice of cucumber.

Place a tiny dollop of cream cheese on the cucumber.

Curl some salmon slices and place on top of the cream cheese/cucumber. (we did this because Chef A had to drizzle/pour some aspic* on top of the canapes to create that glossy look)

Chill in the refrigerator before serving.

In class, Chef A drizzled some aspic on the canapes to add that gloss and chilled them for a good half hour before bringing them on to the waiting customers at the Ambassador Restaurant downstairs from our Kitchen 10.  There was a function at the time, and they actually needed 40 pieces.  But since aspic is something that's used only in commercial kitchens, if you're preparing this for a private party at home, the aspic may be omitted.

A short note on aspic
Aspic is a gelatin mixture made from meat stock such as consomme. It is usually used to help mold, shape and create that glossy certain dishes.  We used some aspic to top our chicken liver pate in Lesson 2 and Julia Child included a significant piece on the humble aspic in her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  While it might be worthwhile to try and make your own aspic at home (like Julie Powell did in Julie and Julia), there are aspic powders available in the market today, mostly used in commercial kitchens.

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