Summer recipes: New Year’s Eve canapes

Give your New Year’s Eve a classic sophistication with these picture-perfect bite-sized canapes.

Whitebait fritters

Mention whitebait fritters and suddenly everyone is in the kitchen eating them straight from the pan, with a squeeze of lemon. Make a little go a long way by making mini fritters. All you need are eggs to bind the whitebait together, parsley, salt and pepper to season and butter to cook these delicate delights. The flavour speaks for itself.

Makes 16 fritters
200g whitebait
3 eggs, whisked lightly
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 knob butter, for cooking
2 lemons or limes, to squeeze

1. Place the whitebait in a bowl. Add the eggs, salt, pepper and parsley and combine well.

2. Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan. Cook 1 Tbsp of mixture to test the heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes each side until just cooked through. Continue to cook the remainder of the fritters.

3. Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Recipe by Angela Casley

Smoked eggplant, grilled courgette and goat's cheese crostini

Try these summery crostini for a weekend lunch or for when friends pop over for drinks.

Olive oil, as much as you need to brush on to crostini
1 sourdough baguette
1 clove garlic
1 eggplant
½ lemon, juiced
½ tsp smoked paprika
4 courgettes
200g goat’s cheese

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Slice the bread into thin rounds and brush on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle over a little salt and bake for about 7 minutes or until golden – watch carefully. Remove from the oven and let cool.

2. Over a gas flame or using a barbecue, blacken the skin of the eggplant while turning it with a pair of tongs. Put the eggplant in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to let steam for 5 minutes. When cool, peel and trim. Puree in a food processor with the garlic, lemon and paprika. Check for seasoning.

3. Trim the courgettes, then halve lengthwise and slice finely. Heat olive oil in a pan, then fry the courgette slices on each side until golden.

4. To serve, spoon a little of the eggplant on to the crostini, twist the courgette into rounds and place on top. Crumble over a little of the cheese and add a grind of pepper.

Recipe by Amanda Laird

Russian blinis

Blinis are made with a pancake batter usually containing buckwheat or wholemeal flour and yeast. They’ve been making them in Russia for more than 1000 years. They are traditionally served with caviar and vodka or as a popular canape topped with smoked salmon. This savoury pancake tastes rich and nutty — larger ones make the perfect finger food for blokes and can be finished off with any sort of savoury or sweet toppings.

Makes 25
300ml milk, warm
5g active dried instant yeast
1 egg, separated
125g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour
¾ tsp fine salt
Grapeseed oil, or rice bran oil, for frying
1 avocado
2 tsp lemon juice
2 chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
½ cup creme fraiche

1. Pour the warm milk on to the yeast, whisk well and leave for 5 minutes.

2. Whisk in the egg yolk. Place the flours together in a separate bowl, make a well then pour in the liquids and whisk to form a smooth batter. Sprinkle over the salt and cover with cling film.

3. Leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until it is risen and bubbly on the surface.

4. Whisk the egg white to form firm peaks, then gently fold this into the batter. Place a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and brush with a little oil.

5. Spoon large dollops of batter into the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until the tops are bubbling with small holes. Carefully flip over and cook for another minute. Brush a small amount of extra oil on the pan and continue cooking the remaining batter.

6. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone, scoop out the flesh, puree with lemon juice, season with salt to taste.

7. Cook the chorizo on a medium heat in a large non-stick frying pan for 1 minute. Remove and place on paper towels.

8. Spread avocado puree on to blinis, top with slices of chorizo and spoon on a dollop of creme fraiche.

Recipe by Geoff Scott

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