Category: Canape

Jun 24

Pork and shrimp siu mai

MAKES: 30 large/45 small

20 grams dried Chinese mushrooms (two to four, depending on size)
150 grams peeled fresh shrimp
350 grams slightly fatty minced pork
15ml light soy sauce
10ml rice wine
5ml sesame oil
¾ tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp finely ground white pepper
¾ tsp cornstarch
Wheat wrappers, as necessary
Flying fish roe (optional)
Spring onions (optional)

To serve:
Light soy sauce
Sesame oil
Chilli oil or chilli sauce

1 Briefly rinse the dried mushrooms, then put them in a bowl and add cool water to cover. Let them soak for two to three hours or until completely hydrated.

2 When the mushrooms are soft, squeeze out the excess water then cut off and discard the stems. Very finely mince the mushroom caps and the shrimp and put them in a bowl.

3 Add the pork, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, salt, sugar, pepper and cornstarch to the bowl and mix thoroughly.

4 Drizzle in 50ml of iced water and, with your hand, stir the mixture in one direction, until you see long white protein threads forming. This doesn’t take long (about 15-30 seconds, depending on how vigorously you stir) and makes the filling more cohesive.

5 Check the seasonings by shaping a teaspoonful of the filling into a ball and pan-frying it in a skillet. Taste and correct the seasonings of the rest of the filling, if necessary.

6 If making smaller siu mai from larger wrappers, stack about 10 of them at a time, then use a sharp round metal cutter to cut them into 5cm-6cm circles.

7 Put the wrapper in the palm of your left hand (if you’re right-handed) and spoon some filling into the centre. Bring up the sides of the wrapper to form an open-topped dumpling, with pleated sides. The filling should come all the way to the top of the wrapper.

Smooth the surface and press the sides of the wrapper so they adhere to the filling, then flatten the bottom of the dumpling by pressing it onto a work surface so it stands upright. Line a bamboo steamer with a circle of parchment paper and place the dumplings into it, leaving a little space between each one.

8 Pour water to a depth of about 3cm in a wok. Place a round rack with low feet in the wok, cover with the lid and boil the water over a high flame. Place the bamboo steamer onto the rack in the wok and place the lid on top. Steam over a high flame for eight to 10 minutes, or until the siu mai are cooked. Occasionally check the water in the bottom of the wok, and add more boiling water if necessary.

9 When the siu mai are cooked, put a dab of flying fish roe (if using) on each one, or scatter with minced spring onion.

10 Serve immediately, letting each guest make their own dipping sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli oil or chilli sauce.


Dec 23

Baked Mac-and-Cheese Bites

48 bites

1 pound small elbow pasta

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2½ cups whole milk

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups grated white cheddar cheese

2 cups grated yellow cheddar cheese, divided


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease two mini-muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow pasta and cook according to the package instructions, about 7 to 9 minutes. Drain.

3. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

4. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

5. Add the milk and whisk well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

6. Season the sauce with the cayenne pepper (if using), salt and pepper. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the white cheddar and 1½ cups of the yellow cheddar. Stir until the mixture is melted.

7. Stir in the cooked pasta and mix until it is evenly coated with the sauce. Scoop 1½ to 2 tablespoons of the mac-and-cheese mixture into each cavity of the prepared pans.

8. Sprinkle a few pieces of yellow cheddar on top of each mac-and-cheese bite and then transfer the pans to the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted and the bites become golden, 17 to 20 minutes.

9. Let the bites cool for 15 minutes before unmolding and serving. Serve hot or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.


Dec 23

Spicy Pineapple Prosciutto Tarts

8 servings

1 pineapple—skin removed, cored (about 610g) and cut into eight ½-inch thick rings

⅓ cup (71g) light brown sugar

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of fine sea salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 sheets frozen puff pastry (482g), thawed

Egg wash, as needed

Aleppo pepper, Korean chili powder or crushed red-pepper flakes

8 ounces (226g) prosciutto


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pat the pineapple dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar, pepper and salt to combine. Dip each pineapple into the brown sugar mixture, lightly coating both sides.

2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the sugared pineapple rings and cook until the sugar is caramelized and golden on both sides, about 3 minutes total. Remove from the pan and let cool.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheets to ¼-inch thick. Cut each sheet into 6 even squares; you should end up with 12 squares total.

4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange the dough squares evenly between them. Brush each piece of dough evenly with egg wash, and dock all over with a fork.

5. Place a cooled pineapple ring on top of each piece of dough. Bake the pastries until the crust is very golden brown and the pineapple is tender, 15 to 17 minutes.

6. Sprinkle each tart with Aleppo pepper, Korean chili powder or crushed red-pepper flakes to taste. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then top each pastry with 1 ounce (28g) prosciutto in a pile just before serving warm or at room temperature.


Dec 23

Sweet-and-Sour Pork Skewers with Pineapple

6 servings


½ cup pineapple juice

¼ cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 teaspoon sriracha

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch


1½ pounds pork tenderloin, cut into cubes

1 pineapple—peeled, cored and cubed

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

1. MAKE THE SWEET-AND-SOUR SAUCE: In a small pot, combine the pineapple juice with the rice vinegar, ketchup, sriracha, soy sauce and garlic. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar with the cornstarch to combine. Add the sugar mixture to the pot and whisk well.

3. Simmer until the sauce thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

4. MAKE THE SKEWERS: Arrange the pork and pineapple on the skewers, alternating between the two. Repeat until all the skewers are assembled.

5. Brush the skewers with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook on a preheated grill or grill pan until nicely charred on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

6. While the skewers are still hot, brush generously with the sweet-and-sour sauce. Garnish with scallions and serve.


Dec 23

Mini Quesadillas

24 mini quesadillas

24 wonton wrappers

1½ cups refried black beans (from a can)

1½ cups grated Pepper Jack cheese

3 tablespoons sliced scallions, plus more for finishing

Vegetable oil (or other neutral oil), as needed for cooking

Chopped fresh cilantro, as needed for garnish

Salsa, sour cream and guacamole, for serving


1. Working one at a time, take 1 wonton wrapper and spread 1 tablespoon refried black beans on one side. Top with 1 tablespoon grated cheese.

2. Sprinkle ⅓ teaspoon scallions on top of the cheese and then fold the wonton wrapper in half. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, beans, cheese and scallions.

3. Heat ½ inch oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, place the quesadillas into the hot oil and fry until golden on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

4. When the wrappers are golden and the cheese is melted, transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain slightly. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas.

5. Serve immediately, garnished with more scallions and cilantro. Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole on the side for dipping.


Dec 23

Mini Lasagnas

6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 Italian sausages, casings removed

2½ cups tomato sauce

1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

24 wonton wrappers

1¼ cups ricotta

1 cup shredded mozzarella


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.

3. Crumble the sausages into the pot and sauté, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes more.

4. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Season with the Italian herb seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low.

5. To build the lasagnas, press a wonton wrapper into the base of a muffin cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the sauce into the cup. Top with 2 teaspoons ricotta and 1 teaspoon mozzarella. Press another wonton wrapper into the same cup, then top with the sauce and cheeses to finish. Repeat this process until all 12 cups are filled.

6. Bake until the edges are golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for 3 to 5 minutes before removing from the pan and serving.


Dec 23

Baked Gorgonzola Bites

8 to 10 servings

1 pound pizza dough

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 ounces gorgonzola cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch oven-safe round baking dish (such as a cake pan, skillet or casserole dish) with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Divide the dough into 20 even pieces, and roll each piece into a ball. Transfer the dough balls to a large bowl and add the melted butter. Toss to coat the dough fully in the butter.

3. Arrange the dough into concentric circles in the prepared baking dish. Pour any butter that’s left in the bowl over the dough.

4. Sprinkle the gorgonzola over the dough balls, and bake until the dough is golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

5. Serve warm, garnished with parsley and black pepper.


Dec 23

Loaded Baked Potato ‘Chips’

6 to 8 servings

5 medium red potatoes

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup sour cream

3 tablespoons chopped chives


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Slice the potatoes into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Brush both sides with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

3. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, and roast until they begin to turn golden brown on the base, about 15 to 20 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and roast until they are golden on the other side, 12 to 15 minutes more.

4. Remove the tray from the oven and top each piece of potato with ½ – 1 teaspoon of crumbled bacon. Top with 1 teaspoon of cheddar cheese, and then return to the oven. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown and the cheese is melted, 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Let the potatoes cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then garnish each with ½ teaspoon sour cream and ¼ teaspoon chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Dec 22

Brie-Stuffed Pretzel Bites

40 bites


4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1½ teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons melted butter

6 ounces Brie


8 cups water

½ cup baking soda

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

Coarse salt, as needed


1. MAKE THE PRETZEL BITES: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour with the sugar, yeast and salt to combine, 15 to 20 seconds. Add 1¼ cups warm water and the melted butter, and mix on low speed for 3 minutes.

2. Increase to medium speed and mix for 4 minutes more. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has nearly doubled in size, about 1 to 1½ hours.

3. Divide the dough into 40 even pieces. Divide the Brie into 40 pieces (they should be small, about 1 teaspoon each).

4. Press each piece of dough flat and place a piece of Brie in the center. Roll the dough around the Brie and pinch well to seal on all sides.

5. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. MAKE THE TOPPING Combine 8 cups water and baking soda in a large pot and heat over medium heat until the baking soda is fully dissolved.

7. Dip each pretzel bite into the baking-soda water for about 30 seconds. Transfer to the pretzels to the prepared baking sheets, seam side down.

8. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water to combine. Brush the egg wash generously over each piece and then garnish with coarse salt.

9. Bake until the bites are golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes and serve warm.


Dec 22

Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce

6 servings


1 cup Greek yogurt

½ European cucumber, diced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup fresh chopped dill


¼ cup Greek yogurt

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into ½-inch strips

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

1. MAKE THE TZATZIKI: In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic power to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then stir in the dill.

2. MAKE THE SKEWERS: In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt with the lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, garlic powder and cayenne.

3. In a separate bowl, rub the chicken with the yogurt-lemon mixture to coat well.

4. Place one piece of chicken on each skewer, weaving the strip back and forth as you thread it onto the skewer to secure it.

5. Brush the skewers on both sides with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook on a preheated grill or grill pan until nicely charred on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

6. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and tzatziki sauce on the side.