Though I love going out, I often prefer spending an evening in with my friends. It’s a more comfortable and friendly environment with the kids…and we can put together a great restaurant-quality meal at a fraction of the price.
Depending on how we feel, we can choose to organize a food and drink tasting (wine and cheese, beer and cured meat, etc.). But my all time favourite remains the cocktail-dinner party! This concept may seem complex, but let me show you how to impress your guests with simple bite size options made with three, four or five ingredients!
We all know the traditional combination of tomatoes, basil and bocconcini. Well, here’s a little twist to it to make it more stylish…and it’s made with only four ingredients.
- Butterfly your bocconcinis (i.e., cut lengthwise without cutting completely through the cheese balls).
- Inside the cheese, place a slice of strained sundried tomatoes in oil and one leaf of basil.
- Roll half a slice of prosciutto around each bocconcini and add a toothpick.
- A few minutes before serving, place all the prepared pieces of cheese in the oven (broil) on a pan lined with parchment paper. At that point, you must keep an eye on your canapés. They have to stay in the oven for max 2-3 minutes. The idea is to heat them up without melting the cheese!
You’ll see, it’s a sure hit!
I often prepare this fresh salad (inspired by a recipe by Ricardo) as a complete meal. But as verrines, it is both cute and tasty. I invite you to follow the quantities suggested by Ricardo, except for the shrimps. For the verrines, I prefer using bigger shrimps then the Nordic shrimps.
- Prepare the mango-tomato-red onion salsa. I suggest that you use coriander instead of basil (it will add a little twist to the original recipe)!
- Place your salad mix in the verrines and add one or two shrimps, as you wish.
Simple and chic!
Wonton, Goat Cheese and Smoked Salmon
This last piece will impress your guests, especially when you’ll tell them that you made the fancy little cups yourself! The basis of this canapé is in fact frozen wonton pastry that you cook for about ten minutes in the oven using a mini-muffin pan. Let the small cups cool down, garnish with a little bit of natural goat cheese, add a few fresh herbs, pepper and a piece of smoked salmon. Pretty, isn’t it?
Dessert in a Glass!
Simple, pretty and delicious!
- In a small verrine glass, place a bit of vanilla yogurt.
- Cover with a mix of puréed strawberries and orange juice.
- Add a little bit of Nutella whipped cream (for 500 ml of 35 % cream, melt 2 tablespoons of Nutella. Wait for it to cool down, whip and serve)
- Sprinkle with white chocolate shavings
- Look at how delighted your guests are!