It’s not often I deem myself capable of recreating anything that’s made on Masterchef the Professionals, least of all when Monica Galetti sets a skills test (you know the one where they sweat and flounder for 15 minutes while she withers them with stares of bulgy-eyed horror). However, as this one involved nothing but a few canapés, off to Tesco we went, and then set about making blinis, vol-au-vents and crostinis with a variety of toppings, to have as starters before dinner. (Apparently this is what Friday nights become after you turn 30).
So we (Ian) whipped up some blini batter with a few chives, cut little circles of puff pastry out using the lid of the spray-oil (we don’t have any cutters) and cut thin slices of fresh baguette to fashion into crostinis.
After some frying of batter, toasting of mini bread slices and baking of vol-au-vent cases we had a veritable feast of beige vessels all warm and waiting for their bright, lovely toppings. The chive-y blinis got smothered in sour cream and a bit of mashed avocado, with slivers of oak-smoked salmon draped across the top, a sprinkling of dill and a tiny shaving of lemon zest. These we my favourites and I practically ate them all – there were about 30.
The little cases were filled with crab meat mixed with a tiny bit of sour cream and smidge of turmeric – not something you’d expect but delicious all the same, and who am I to argue with Monica. The crostinis had goat’s cheese, a slice of fig (meant to be fresh but they didn’t have any – works with dried just not as colourful) and a dribble of honey.
Needless to say we inhaled so many that they turned into a fairly hefty meal as opposed to a little early evening snack, but if there had been an actual party to cater for they would have been perfect. My derision of vol-au-vents is significantly lessened, and I’ve now made batter/baked things that were not only edible but delicious! (I’m crap at both these things). So an all-round success!
Catch the real chefs doing it here.