I’m a officially a canapé snob. I’ve always had an inkling it was in me but my true colours finally came out in all their elitist light at my wedding tasting. It has become a point of contention between my mother and I in the planning process. If I can’t serve amazing canapés then I would rather not serve any at all- which raises the question: is it worse to serve your guests bad food or make them go hungry? I’m not sure there’s a right answer to that question although I believe both scenarios will lead to a disappointing night.
The following are the types of canapés that make my toes curl- the food equivalents of nails on a blackboard. In some cases, perhaps even worse.
1/ Prepackaged canapés that have been in the freezer too long and have taken on that old freezer smell- a cross between freezer burn and salmon.
2/ Canapés that are deep-fried to disguise the cheap and/or flavourless interior.
3/ Canapés that require a description longer than is possible to individually taste in a single bite, just to make them sound fancy.
4/ Canapés that have been made too far in advance and taste a/ soggy b/ stale or c/ old.
5/ Fussy canapés that most commonly involve an generic pastry base on which a small tower of indecipherable ingredients are mounded.
6/ Awkward to eat canapés that require either a/ tipping your head back to eat b/ putting your glass down to eat or c/ crumbs down your dress.
7/ Anything on a skewer. What are you supposed to do with the skewer afterwards- pick you teeth?!
8/ Canapés that involve dipping. If everyone stuck to the one dunk rule then this would be marginally more acceptable but inevitably they do not and besides which, dips don’t look so pretty after they’ve been dunked in to.
My mother and I haven’t quite come to an agreement about whether or not our guests will be forced to starve at my wedding but if I had it my way- these avocado & tarragon bites would be on the list. I was given this idea by a visiting chef at my culinary school who for the life of me I cannot remember or I would be crediting. Who knew that tarragon and avocado on a salty cheese biscuit would make for such a winning team? Simple, pleasantly surprising to eat and with all the right textures- this kind of canapés makes me very happy.
Avocado & tarragon bites
It’s hard to tire of guacamole, but if you are looking for something a smidgen more sophisticated to serve your guests then I highly recommend this. Make the biscuits ahead of time and the topping the day of. Assemble just before you serve them (unless you’re in the business of serving soggy biscuits).
Difficulty: finding ripe avocados
Diet Facts: gluten free without the biscuit
1 large (350g) ripe but firm avocado, peeled seeded and roughly diced
Juice 1/2 lemon (1 tbsp)
50ml crème fraîche
2 tsp chopped tarragon
3 spring onions, finely chopped
24 cheese biscuits to serve (store bought or homemade)
Freshly ground black pepper, to serve
1/ Mix together all of the ingredients and serve on cheese biscuits, sprinkled with black pepper.