If you’re planning a party or having friends over, you’ll want to make sure you have some food on hand. Canapés are always a crowd-pleaser and relatively easy to serve with a little preparation and planning. Here are some tips to help you plan the perfect party apps.
Calculating quantities for parties
Just the right amount – without a lot of leftovers and wasted food and expense – is the aim of any party planner. Work out your quantities per person and by time.
- For canapés, allow four pieces per person to accompany drinks before dinner; about 12 to 15 per head for a two-hour cocktail party will do it.
Conjuring up party canapés
The best way to think of canapés is as bases with toppings. Allow 10 canapés per person for pre-dinner and at least 20 for a cocktail party.
- Bread (rye, wholemeal or sourdough triangles, pita wedges or thin slices of baguette) with crusts removed as necessary. It can be toasted or heated in the oven.
- Savoury biscuits or pancakes
- Pastry cases (shortcrust or puff)
- For low-carbohydrate alternatives use hollowed-out cherry tomatoes, sticks of celery or red pepper, crisp lettuce or chicory leaves, or fruit, such as dried apricots
Toppings and fillings
- Smoked salmon or gravlax with dill and a squeeze of lemon
- Shrimp or egg mayonnaise
- Cream cheese (plain or with herbs and/or garlic, smoked salmon or lumpfish roe)
- Olive tapenade (tastes best toasted)
- Cold roast beef and horseradish
- Pâté (liver, eggplant; smoked mackerel, salmon or trout)
Choose from the lists of bases and toppings above or mix and match your own combinations.
- Alternatively, you could spread thin slices of bread (crusts removed) with fillings such as cream cheese or smoked salmon pâté.
- After adding stuffed olives and rolling them up tightly, cut into mini savoury rolls or wheels.
- Don’t prepare cold canapés more than an hour or so before serving.
A slightly different take on canapés, here are some ideas that will delight even the pickiest eater.
- “Devils on Horseback” are a classic! Simply wrap ready-to-eat prunes in a half a slice of bacon. Secure with a cocktail stick. Then brush with olive oil and cook in an oven at 200°C (400°F) for 10 minutes until crisp.
- Sausages cooked in the oven with mustard and rosemary
- Hot mini meatballs
- Mini quiches
If you’re planning to invite friends over, what better way to make them feel welcome than with a platter full of delicious canapés. Easy to make and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, canapés are the perfect solution to make your night a success.