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Seasonal canapé ideas, please

  • m

Am having just 3 guests for cocktails this weekend and am hoping for ideas for autumnal canapés. I'd like them to be sophisticated, beautiful - and delicious! I'd prefer single-bites and I'm looking for things that are a bit substantial.

I'm planning to do small servings of butternut squash soup garnished with creme fraiche and pumpkin seeds. Any thoughts? Thank you!

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  1. the soup sounds lovely.

    don't fall into the trap of serving everything on toast. people get too stuffed.

    also nice would be endive leaves filled with a bit of bleu cheese, acidulated diced pear and chopped candied walnuts.

    chicken liver mousse, finished with fig jam on black bread rounds

    salmon mousse with dill snips on cucumber rounds

    anchovy toast

    dates wrapped with bacon and stuffed with almond

    mushrooms stuffed with crab

    eta: deviled quail eggs with bacon mayo

    13 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Your menus always sound so great. Thanks.

      Regarding the quail eggs, how long do you boil them and are they a PITA to peel? I've only had them raw.

      1. re: c oliver

        you're sweet, thank you.

        YES, they are a total pita to peel. i put them in cold water, bring to a boil, then turn off heat. leave them for about 4 minutes then drain carefully into an icebath. rolling on the counter seems to help crack the peel, but don't try doing them in a rush, lol.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I think I'll give them a trial run before heading for prime time! I can just visualize them :) Thanks as always.

      2. re: hotoynoodle

        +1 on salmon mousse & dill on cucumber. We serve smoked trout mousse & chive on a radish slice on the same platter.

        1. re: WNYamateur

          lovelove smoked trout, i just can't always find it :(

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            We recently bought a smoker and once we get our sea legs, smoked trout is definitely on the list.

        2. re: hotoynoodle

          I 2nd the anchovy toast perhaps with ricotta or mushrooms

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Any tips on keeping endive spears upright. I find they roll around a bit too much.

            1. re: Gloriaa

              take each piece and at the stem end, slightly crush it with the heel of your hand. this "breaks" the structure just enough to make it flatter.

              works with lettuce, radicchio, etc.

              1. re: Gloriaa

                You need a food base to put them on. I've done dry cole slaw, seasonal greens, spinach, etc. Nestle the spears on them and they won't roll. For hot food I've done sauteed spinach, sauteed bell peppers and onions, etc or the dry ideas too. The color helps contrast the endive from the serving vessel (mine are mostly white).

                  1. re: Gloriaa

                    You're welcome! You can really use just about anything edible. A layer of sesame seeds (black/white), peppercorns, are good too.

                    You can also do this for entree items served on a buffet, like sliced meat, chicken etc.

                    1. re: alwayshungrygal

                      Dry legumes are good as a bed. Since their colors mute when cooked, at least you can enjoy looking at them a little when they are still pretty.

            2. I'm a sucker for persimmons. You can do something simple like persimmons and goat cheese:


              wrap w/ prosciutto

              make a persimmons greens salad w/ nuts in frico

              With your soup, grissini wrapped w/ prosciutto would be good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chowser

                I read the subject line and immediately jumped in to talk about persimmons. Medium wedge of fuyu, dollop of goat cheese, wrap in proscuitto, put on a toothpick. Heck, once I made people make their own when I ran out of time.

              2. I'm thinking stuffed mushrooms, or sautéed mushrooms served on crostini...

                1. Mushroom cheese cups - baked in a mini muffin pan - 1.5 in. squares of flour tortilla dipped in melted butter fit into each tin, then a filling of (for 48 pieces) 2 c. diced mushrooms, 1 c. chopped onion, 2 beaten egg yolks, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1/2 C. chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 C. shredded parmesean, 3/4 C. shredded mozzarella, S&P to taste (I don't add any). Bake 350 degrees, 20 - 25 min. The recipe says these can be made ahead, frozen & reheated. I have baked, refrigerated and oven-reheated with good results.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                    I've done similar but with wonton wrappers quartered and prebaked.

                  2. 2-3 bites, most likely. Mini popovers cooked and cut in half lengthwise. Fill with sautéed mushrooms and onions, topped off with a heft "dollop" of canned lobster bisque. Topped with cheese and under a broiler for a cple of mins

                    Tarragon, sage, thyme, garlic can be added as you like

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                      I once used pumpkin eggnog in popover batter. After filling mini-muffin pans, I rolled an inch-wide strip of thin-sliced deli ham to insert vertically into the batter in each well. Inside the tube of rolled ham I stuck a small baton of gruyere. These savory-sweet two-bite morsels went over very well.

                      Another: top Ritz-type crackers (I like Trader Joe's 12-grain) with a small slice of Granny Smith apple, with a thin slice of Jarlsberg or other Swiss type cheese on top. Nuke until cheese melts and serve warm.

                    2. I made a cute app of mini baked stuffed potatoes using those small new potatoes- baked, split with a bit of shredded fancy cheese and green onion sprinkle

                      Some roasted spicy nuts would be great

                      Some homemade sweet potato chips would be great- slice super thin with a mandoline if you have and bake with salt/pepper/olive oil and rosemary in a single layer at 350, flip at about 10min and cook another 10or so, check earlier

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        i don't care for sweet potato, but when i make home-made chips as hors d'oeuvres for parties people go crazy! great suggestion. it's a party: i fry them, lol.

                        another big hit are shrimp crackers:

                        they start out looking like this:


                        fry them quickly and they look like this:


                        salt them generously, you can also put chili powder on them. i mix mayo and sambal sauce as the dip.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          I only bake the chips because a hot vat of oil scares me! I would likely fry my own finger..... Sounds delicious tho

                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                            A friend taught me that I can put a good bit of oil in a deep DO and fry without harm to my delicate fingers :)

                            1. re: c oliver

                              i shallow fry in a deep pot and just do it in batches.

                        2. re: Ttrockwood

                          I've done the stuffed potatoes also with salmon 'tartare.'

                        3. This chicken breast-macadamia-basil pate is hearty, delicious, easy, and mysterious ;-) https://groups.google.com/forum/#!top... (I guess I"ve been posting this for 15 years now! from the SF Chronicle, many years ago). Buy a rotisserie chicken and use the breasts to save time (especially if you'd enjoy the dark meat to eat on its own).

                          I also like salami cups -- squish slices of salami into mini muffin tins, bake at 400 (IIRC) until they just start to brown. Fill with artichoke dip (trader joe's), or a chunk of fresh mozzarella and roasted tomato, or manchego and roasted red pepper or anything else that sounds good.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sweethooch

                            Oh yum, I love salami cups! Have you tried them filled with chickpeas & peperoncini? To die for....

                          2. Cranberry walnut tartlets
                            Fig & Marscapone torte (we can still get figs in CA, don't know where you are though....)
                            Pear & prosciutto bites
                            Goat cheese mousse in Parmesan fricos
                            Mini beef wellingtons
                            Mini chicken pot pies
                            Leek & bacon tartlets

                            1. I'm not sure how sophisticated this is, but I'd these in a flash:


                              They fit the bill as being beautiful and substantial. I think the capers add a nice touch.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: sueatmo

                                This just got saved! I can also see doing it like egg salad and using as a spread. Or making a sandwich. Or.... :)

                                1. hello Mocro (the OP) ---- what do you serve your individual small soup portions in?

                                  spoon or no spoon?

                                  i need inspiration - as soup is a great little appetizer and can suit all tastes (dietary requirements) and saves oven space for other dishes

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Georgia Strait

                                    I've always had or served a soup app in either tall shot glasses, small tea cups, or another drinkware glass.

                                    No spoons. Best when the soup is smooth enough to sip

                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                      Sake cups if it's just a couple of swallows. For larger I used Chinese soup/rice bowls and Chinese soup spoons.