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Three Easy Quick Christmas Canapé Ideas

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If you have a large crowd to cater for on Christmas Day and want to keep your oven free, then a cold Christmas starter is a must. These are a few easy favourites that won’t cause too much stress on the day and can be prepared in advance.

Simple Smoked Salmon Paté

Whizz up this zesty smoked salmon pâté with cream cheese – tastes great with fresh soda bread.

Serves 4 – 6 and Preparation Time: Less than 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g/3½oz cream cheese
  • 100g/3½oz créme fraiche
  • 200g/7oz smoked salmon
  • 1 lemon, zest only, finely grated
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp creamed horseradish
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped, fresh dill
  • caper berries, to serve

Method

  1. To begin, place all the ingredients except the capers in a food processor. Pulse until a pâté forms which still has some texture to it and is not a purée.

  2. Taste to check the seasoning as smoked salmon can vary greatly in its saltiness. It may also need more lemon juice.

  3. Serve with sliced bread, such as stout soda bread, and large caper berries.

 

Christmas Bauble Appetisers

Kids and adults alike will love these fun Christmas bauble appetisers. It’s quick and easy too.

  • MAKES 18
  • PREP: 0:15

Ingredients

  • 1 punnet cherry tomato
  • 75 g mozzarella balls
  • 24 basil leaves

Method

  1. Half Cherry Tomatoes
  2. Slice mozzarella in half or into half-centimetre slices if larger.
  3. Place a basil leaf and piece of mozzarella onto half a cherry tomato. Top with remaining half.
  4. Skewer through the middle with a toothpick and serve!

Caramelised  Onion Chutney

Sweet and sticky, this caramelised onion chutney is the perfect accompaniment to cold meats or goats cheese.

  • Serves 20 (makes 1 litre)
  • 20 mins to prepare and 1 hr 30 mins to cook

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5kg onions, thinly sliced
  • 300g dark muscova sugar
  • 200ml red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp crushed chillies

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and gently fry the onions over a medium-low heat for 25-30 mins, stirring regularly. The onions should be softened but not browned, and reduced by about half.
  2. Stir in 3 tbsp of the sugar, increase the heat, and cook for 7-10 mins, stirring occasionally, until the onions are just starting to colour. Lower the heat, then add the remaining sugar, ½ tsp salt and all the other ingredients.
  3. Simmer, uncovered, so it bubbles gently on a medium-low heat for 30-40 mins, or until the chutney has reduced and thickened to a dark caramel colour, stirring occasionally to check it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. To test if the chutney is ready, drag a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan – it should take a few seconds for the juices to re-cover the bottom of the pan.
  4. Spoon the hot chutney into cooled, sterilised jars, then seal and label. The chutney will keep for up to 6-12 months.