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Christmas Canapés and Cocktails

  • 12-11-2020 11:24am
    Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 2,518 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    We are hosting for Christmas (provided it's not against the law :pac:) and I'm starting to get excited planning our menu. I want to start with canapés and cocktails (alcoholic and non alcoholic).

    My go-to canapé is a little toast topped with smoked salmon paté (smoked salmon, lemon juice, cream cheese, sour cream, black pepper, whizzed up in the food processor).

    I want to do a few others too, as well as some quick, simple and delicious cocktails. Please share your favourites here for inspiration. :)


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,408 Mod ✭✭✭✭woodchuck

    I know it's not what you're looking for... but I love picking at cocktail sausages and sausage rolls at Christmas time :pac: And you can't go wrong with a nice cheese board either :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 616 ✭✭✭Space Dog

    We do smoked salmon canapés as well, but we serve them on blinis - feels more festive than crackers or toast.
    When we do cocktail sausages, we do Nigella's with sesame oil, honey and soy, they're addictive.
    I also need to have devilled eggs, so retro but I love them.
    Other than that this cheese dip is great:

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,762 ✭✭✭Sebastian Dangerfield

    I make bitesize filo pastry parcels with some cranberry sauce, a little square of brie, egg wash and some sesame seeds on top, bake til golden. Always goes down well

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,037 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm

    If you like crab and want to limit the carb intake, get some crabmeat (supermarket is quite good, esp Dunnes Simply Better), add a (very little) mayonnaise, lemon juice (fresh not bottled) and some chives.

    But little gem lettuces, cut off the bottom and wash/dry the leaves. A spoonful on each lettuce leaf provides a lovely fresh canapé. Make sure not to put so much in as to make two mouthfuls.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 2,518 Mod ✭✭✭✭Mystery Egg

    These are all lovely ideas. Keep 'em coming. :)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭tangy

    Oh, you've got to have lumps of cheese and pineapple on a cocktail stick :)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple

    I'm a big fan of mini versions of starters... like, instead of a prawn cocktail full size, I pop a prawn on a slice of cucumber with a blob of the sauce on top

    I love spicy refreshing soups as well, like gazpacho , and you can have a bit of fun with soup canapes. Serve it in shot glasses, china teacups, egg cups. You can get inventive with garnishes, anything from breadsticks to crackers, or tomato, parma ham, a prawn on a cocktail stick, coat the rim with salt and serve it with a lime. :)

    Or, make it into a mini bloody mary by adding vodka, now you've covered your cocktail as well!

    Genuinely think no party is complete without a cocktail saussie in some form!
    Same on spicy nuts, always makes a party. Spiced almonds are really easy, and a crowd pleaser. I throw the whole unpeeled nuts, olive oil, salt, pepper and some herbs / spices into a roasting dish. Into a hot oven for a few minutes and they are delicious hot, or you can do them a few days before and keep them crisp in an airtight container. Loads of combos possible, rummage around in your spice cupboard. I like chilli flakes with fennel seeds, Or thyme and smoked paprika. Or go for a christmassy take on it with ground cinnamon, rosemary and brown sugar.

    Can't go wrong with some beautiful olives in bowls (assuming your guests eat them).

    I usually avoid meat and cheese boards, because it's too hard to face a full dinner after those.

    For your cocktail, try a moscow mule! Ginger is a lovely flavour at Christmas, and it's really simple to make. It's just a shot of vodka with ginger beer and lime, and it's easy to just leave our the vodka for the non-alcoholic version.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 2,518 Mod ✭✭✭✭Mystery Egg

    Delighted with these suggestions. :)

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,108 CMod ✭✭✭✭Dizzyblonde

    tangy wrote: »
    Oh, you've got to have lumps of cheese and pineapple on a cocktail stick :)

    And also cheese cubes with pickled onions :)

    On the subject of Christmas cocktails, poinsettias are lovely:
    750-ml bottle Prosecco or other fizzy dry wine, chilled
    1/2 cup (125 ml) Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec, chilled
    2 cups (500 ml) cranberry juice, chilled
    Mix and serve in wine glasses or champagne flutes.

    Not quite a cocktail, but I usually make lemon basil syrup for non-drinkers. It makes a delicious lemonade when mixed with sparkling water and served with ice and a lemon slice, and of course the drinkers could add vodka too.

    4 cups (or big handfuls) packed fresh basil. Two or three supermarket plants, depending on how bushy they are.
    3 cups sugar
    4 cups water
    2 lemons, halved
    In a medium pot combine the basil, sugar and water. Squeeze the juice out of both lemon halves into the pot, and throw in the lemon rinds as well. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pot from heat and cover with a lid. Let the syrup stand at room temperature for about an hour until the flavours are well infused.
    Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve, making sure to press on the basil and lemons with a spoon to really get all the juices out.
    It will last in the fridge for up to two weeks.

  • Site Banned Posts: 26 bubbagumss

    you don't want people picking up food with hands or any type buffet with covid
    you need a masked person handing out disposible plates of food

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,478 ✭✭✭Tipperary animal lover

    Mini quiches... shop bought shortcrust pastry, use a pint glass shape out 12 of them, into a muffin tin(spray tin with oil and weighted down with dry beans in tinfoil) bake for a 5mins 180degrees.
    Fry a packet of panchetta( tesco aldi etc) set a side, fry a small onion in the same pan put with the bacon/onion in a bowl, hand full of spinach into pan wilt down remove from pan, squeeze out moisture and chop up and into the bowl, 3 eggs pinch a salt handful of grated cheese( your choice) whisk together and into the other bowl. Mix everything and into the pastry cups fill to top. Back into over, bake for another 10/15mins. Always goes down well.

    Homemade sausage rolls, sausage meat( shops have plenty of them before Christmas) and shop bought puff pastry, as the name says spread out the sausage meat on the pastry and roll, egg wash and cook per pastry instructions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,762 ✭✭✭Sebastian Dangerfield

    Homemade sausage rolls, sausage meat( shops have plenty of them before Christmas) and shop bought puff pastry, as the name says spread out the sausage meat on the pastry and roll, egg wash and cook per pastry instructions.

    Line the pastry with some home made red onion marmalade before the sausage meat goes on, it adds so much

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,478 ✭✭✭Tipperary animal lover

    Thanks for that, will give it a try this weekend, always good to practice these kind of things.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,700 ✭✭✭✭Spanish Eyes

    Keep it simple but tasty. I buy it all in, mini quiche, mini vol au vents, cocktail sausages, mini sausage rolls, mini samosas and whatever else takes your fancy from the bitesize aisle! I see others say the same too! Less faff the better IMV. Some nice dips are handy too. No need to fuss too much, just present it nicely and have plenty. Leave all your energy and room in the bellies for the main event!

    I wouldn't make cocktails personally, Prosecco and orange juice, a good beer, and gin, vodka, and nice wine are all you need. Add in non alco stuff too of course.

    Hope you have a great day, all things considered.

  • Registered Users Posts: 865 ✭✭✭tringle

    Yep mini quiches and sausage rolls here too. They are as much a part of christmas to us as stuffing is. I already have mine prepared and in the freezer. A new addition this year is onion tart tatin. Slowly sweat sliced onions in some butter till soft with lots of fresh thyme added and some chopped sage. A bit of sugar at the end to caramelise slightly and a glug of balsamic vinegar. Put into a well buttered tin, round, square or individual bun tins, whichever suits. Top with pastry and tuck it well in. The bake at 180c. Let cool very slightly before turning out (obviously pastry on the bottom and onion on the top) Perfect as it is, i like to serve it warm. To make it more luscious you can add a little goats cheese and quickly grill for a minute to melt.
    We also enjoy homemade chicken liver pate, perfect on little toasts with a cranberry sauce or a fruity chutney.
    For a really simple savoury snack get a roll of puff pastry, top with cheese and sundried tomatoes. Roll up like a Swiss roll and cut slices. Then bake the slices. I do the same with mincemeat too for a sweet seasonal treat.

    Mmm im getting hungry now and have a day planned in the kitchen. Im going to make lots of stuffing today and freeze it while i still have an abundance of fresh herbs growing.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 2,518 Mod ✭✭✭✭Mystery Egg

    Okay I'm thinking:

    Blinis (shop bought) with home made smoked salmon paté
    Toasts with goat's cheese and red onion marmalade
    Home made sausage rolls with my own apple chutney inside (made in advance)
    Deconstructed prawn cocktail (as suggested, a slice of cucumber or baby gem lettuce, topped with a prawn and a dollop of home made sauce)
    Chunks of cheddar and grapes on a stick

    Poinsettia cocktails (as well as all the usual drinks)
    Not going to go for the lemon basil syrup as I'm not fond of basil in sweet things, but think I will make the equivalent of poinsettia cocktails but virgin - orange syrup, cranberry juice and sparkling water.

    Thank you all so much, I have a plan now and I'm so excited.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,846 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    Just watched an episode of Bareoot Contessa on Food Network, for canapes (not starters):
    * Melon wrapped in proscuitto ham
    * Breadsticks wrapped in salami
    * Tomato slices, with mozzarella & drizzled in pesto

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,048 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!

    I love this Tapenade recipe. It's quite a strong flavour but delicious. You can make it a few days in advance as it keeps in the fridge for ages.