Glorious Food by Gill Potterton

Glorious Food by Gill Potterton


"Although Catering is my main business, I love to do Cookery Demonstrations and Tastings, as well as food writing for local publications, as this enables me to share my passion for good food with a wider audience."


In the Kitchen with Gill Potterton. All about Canapés

Monday, 3rd November 2008
 

The inspiration to cook new dishes, or develop new recipes comes from many different sources. A holiday might spark off a voyage of discovery into a different cuisine. Beautiful food eaten at a restaurant, or a friend’s house is a challenge for me to try to reproduce the dish, even if I can’t wheedle the recipe out of its creator. Of course cookery programmes and the myriad of cookbooks around my house inspire me (some more than others!). Sometimes just the glimpse of a stunning food photograph in a magazine is enough to get my creative thoughts going, but this year I was inspired beyond all expectation when I bought a new baking tin! Yes, a beautiful, 24-hole non-stick mini-muffin tin took me on a journey developing my own range of tiny, bite-size appetisers, or canapés. I have to admit that I used to buy pre-prepared bases or shells and top them myself, but now I have great fun making my own from scratch, which is much more rewarding.

The word canapé is French for couch and is defined rather baldly in ‘Larousse Gastronomique’, reportedly the world’s most famous culinary reference book, as ‘a slice of bread cut into various shapes and garnished.’ Not very inspiring! In other reference books, canapés are described as ‘a small, prepared and decorative food, held in the fingers and eaten in one bite’. I read that canapés should comprise three elements: a base of bread, toast, cracker or pastry, cut into various shapes, spread with a savoury butter, paste or cream cheese, topped with a ‘canopy’ of meat, cheese, fish, caviar, foie gras, or relish.

My own creations might not all fall within the traditional definition of a canapé, but I have fun being innovative, and making use of some wonderful fresh ingredients. Furthermore, I believe that visual impact is just as important as taste, so I like to present on large platters a spectacular choice of colourful, irresistible bite-size morsels.
My mini muffin tin is very versatile; perfect for baking crisp little tartlets of bread or pastry with endless different fillings, baby Yorkshire puddings encasing slivers of rare beef and a dash of horseradish, individual frittata puffs with tempting flavour combinations, or of course, little bite-size savoury muffins. Add to this selection some beautifully topped blinis, colourful pinwheels sliced from miniature roulades, some stuffed cherry tomatoes, or mini scotch egg wedges made with quails eggs, and you will have a stunning display of appetisers.

If you are holding a drinks party for friends, neighbours or colleagues, and serving just canapés, it certainly avoids the need for crockery and cutlery, but make sure your guests are aware of this and do not come expecting lunch or dinner. Depending on the length of the party, allow 8-10 canapés per person. Ensure your canapés are not too salty or spicy, as this encourages people to drink more! Bringing out sweet canapés is a neat way of telling your guests the savouries are finished, and there is no more food to come.
Alternatively, canapés may be served with pre-dinner drinks, very often as a light and interesting alternative to a starter. This reduces the number of courses to be served at the table and makes a relaxed start to a large get-together, which is a help if your guests are arriving at intervals, or do not all know each other. Interesting canapés are a talking point, and tickle the taste buds before the main event. For pre-dinner canapés, allow 4-5 per person.
Be sure to provide napkins, and somewhere to dispose of cocktail sticks or skewers, and do serve the canapés where you are happy for your guests to eat them – not over your favourite white rug!










The inspiration to cook new dishes, or develop new recipes comes from many different sources. A holiday might spark off a voyage of discovery into a different cuisine. Beautiful food eaten at a restaurant, or a friend’s house is a challenge for me to try to reproduce the dish, even if I can’t wheedle the recipe out of its creator. Of course cookery programmes and the myriad of cookbooks around my house inspire me (some more than others!). Sometimes just the glimpse of a stunning food photograph in a magazine is enough to get my creative thoughts going, but this year I was inspired beyond all expectation when I bought a new baking tin! Yes, a beautiful, 24-hole non-stick mini-muffin tin took me on a journey developing my own range of tiny, bite-size appetisers, or canapés. I have to admit that I used to buy pre-prepared bases or shells and top them myself, but now I have great fun making my own from scratch, which is much more rewarding.

The word canapé is French for couch and is defined rather baldly in ‘Larousse Gastronomique’, reportedly the world’s most famous culinary reference book, as ‘a slice of bread cut into various shapes and garnished.’ Not very inspiring! In other reference books, canapés are described as ‘a small, prepared and decorative food, held in the fingers and eaten in one bite’. I read that canapés should comprise three elements: a base of bread, toast, cracker or pastry, cut into various shapes, spread with a savoury butter, paste or cream cheese, topped with a ‘canopy’ of meat, cheese, fish, caviar, foie gras, or relish.

My own creations might not all fall within the traditional definition of a canapé, but I have fun being innovative, and making use of some wonderful fresh ingredients. Furthermore, I believe that visual impact is just as important as taste, so I like to present on large platters a spectacular choice of colourful, irresistible bite-size morsels.
My mini muffin tin is very versatile; perfect for baking crisp little tartlets of bread or pastry with endless different fillings, baby Yorkshire puddings encasing slivers of rare beef and a dash of horseradish, individual frittata puffs with tempting flavour combinations, or of course, little bite-size savoury muffins. Add to this selection some beautifully topped blinis, colourful pinwheels sliced from miniature roulades, some stuffed cherry tomatoes, or mini scotch egg wedges made with quails eggs, and you will have a stunning display of appetisers.

If you are holding a drinks party for friends, neighbours or colleagues, and serving just canapés, it certainly avoids the need for crockery and cutlery, but make sure your guests are aware of this and do not come expecting lunch or dinner. Depending on the length of the party, allow 8-10 canapés per person. Ensure your canapés are not too salty or spicy, as this encourages people to drink more! Bringing out sweet canapés is a neat way of telling your guests the savouries are finished, and there is no more food to come.
Alternatively, canapés may be served with pre-dinner drinks, very often as a light and interesting alternative to a starter. This reduces the number of courses to be served at the table and makes a relaxed start to a large get-together, which is a help if your guests are arriving at intervals, or do not all know each other. Interesting canapés are a talking point, and tickle the taste buds before the main event. For pre-dinner canapés, allow 4-5 per person.
Be sure to provide napkins, and somewhere to dispose of cocktail sticks or skewers, and do serve the canapés where you are happy for your guests to eat them – not over your favourite white rug!










The inspiration to cook new dishes, or develop new recipes comes from many different sources. A holiday might spark off a voyage of discovery into a different cuisine. Beautiful food eaten at a restaurant, or a friend’s house is a challenge for me to try to reproduce the dish, even if I can’t wheedle the recipe out of its creator. Of course cookery programmes and the myriad of cookbooks around my house inspire me (some more than others!). Sometimes just the glimpse of a stunning food photograph in a magazine is enough to get my creative thoughts going, but this year I was inspired beyond all expectation when I bought a new baking tin! Yes, a beautiful, 24-hole non-stick mini-muffin tin took me on a journey developing my own range of tiny, bite-size appetisers, or canapés. I have to admit that I used to buy pre-prepared bases or shells and top them myself, but now I have great fun making my own from scratch, which is much more rewarding.

The word canapé is French for couch and is defined rather baldly in ‘Larousse Gastronomique’, reportedly the world’s most famous culinary reference book, as ‘a slice of bread cut into various shapes and garnished.’ Not very inspiring! In other reference books, canapés are described as ‘a small, prepared and decorative food, held in the fingers and eaten in one bite’. I read that canapés should comprise three elements: a base of bread, toast, cracker or pastry, cut into various shapes, spread with a savoury butter, paste or cream cheese, topped with a ‘canopy’ of meat, cheese, fish, caviar, foie gras, or relish.

My own creations might not all fall within the traditional definition of a canapé, but I have fun being innovative, and making use of some wonderful fresh ingredients. Furthermore, I believe that visual impact is just as important as taste, so I like to present on large platters a spectacular choice of colourful, irresistible bite-size morsels.
My mini muffin tin is very versatile; perfect for baking crisp little tartlets of bread or pastry with endless different fillings, baby Yorkshire puddings encasing slivers of rare beef and a dash of horseradish, individual frittata puffs with tempting flavour combinations, or of course, little bite-size savoury muffins. Add to this selection some beautifully topped blinis, colourful pinwheels sliced from miniature roulades, some stuffed cherry tomatoes, or mini scotch egg wedges made with quails eggs, and you will have a stunning display of appetisers.

If you are holding a drinks party for friends, neighbours or colleagues, and serving just canapés, it certainly avoids the need for crockery and cutlery, but make sure your guests are aware of this and do not come expecting lunch or dinner. Depending on the length of the party, allow 8-10 canapés per person. Ensure your canapés are not too salty or spicy, as this encourages people to drink more! Bringing out sweet canapés is a neat way of telling your guests the savouries are finished, and there is no more food to come.
Alternatively, canapés may be served with pre-dinner drinks, very often as a light and interesting alternative to a starter. This reduces the number of courses to be served at the table and makes a relaxed start to a large get-together, which is a help if your guests are arriving at intervals, or do not all know each other. Interesting canapés are a talking point, and tickle the taste buds before the main event. For pre-dinner canapés, allow 4-5 per person.
Be sure to provide napkins, and somewhere to dispose of cocktail sticks or skewers, and do serve the canapés where you are happy for your guests to eat them – not over your favourite white rug!












Please call Gill on 07590 621015 to discuss your requirements or email gillpotterton@googlemail.com
 

 

Gill PottertonBack to home pageGlorious Food by Gill Potterton