Home > Cooking school > Knives and Fire XIII (Week 4)

Knives and Fire XIII (Week 4)

Canap´s and Hors d’Oeurves

First we discussed sandwiches. These are more than something between two slices of bread – there are so many bread choices, including wraps and middle eastern breads, there are infinite categories of spreads and fillings, there’s even temperature. They can be dipped in egg and fried, they can be grilled, they can be put in a sandwich/panini press, they can be baked, they can be deep fried.

Most of the popular sandwiches are NOT kosher, of course, but there are still plenty that are, or which can be made kosher with some reasonable substitutes.

Then we went to the main theme of the day – canapés and hors d’oeurve. Canapés are always on a base – usually bread, although other things (crackers, tartlette shells, phyllo cups, firm raw or cooked vegetables, fried wanton skins) can be used. So, base, spread/filling and garnish. Spread or filling can be a flavored butter/margarine, or made with cream cheese or mayonnaise, or any other product smooth and firm enough to be piped out of a piping bag, such as guacamole or even a bound salad.

Hors d’oeurve is the general case – a bite or two of food, easily eaten without a utensil or a plate, that whets the appetite for dinner, or, if in sufficient quantity, satisfies it. It should be flavorful and pretty, and complement without duplicating the dinner to follow. It should be served in an attractive way – either butlered or laid out in straight lines with an eye to contrast of both texture and color. Like sandwiches, the possibilities are nearly endless.

So, what did we make? Well, the class in general made vegetarian summer rolls, vegetable sushi, tahini, ceviche, seared tuna on wanton skins, whitefish salad in cooked potato cups, babaganoush, guacamole in phyllo cups, herring and beets in tomato cups, salmon and cream cheese roll-ups, plus more. What did I make?

With my partner, we made deviled eggs, hummous, roasted pepper and anchovy canap´s and, because it was needed for several dishes and there wasn’t any in the kitchen, I also made mayonnaise.

The hardcooked eggs were cut in half the short way, and the ends trimmed so they would stand flat. The yolks were combined (in a food processor) with a little margarine and pareve cream cheese (for texture only), plus mustard (powdered and Dijon), my mayo, salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper. This was piped into the whites, and garnished with a tiny slice of cornichons (tiny spicy pickles.)

For the hummous, we combined chickpeas (rinsed and washed), tehina (made in class), salt, pepper, oil, water and garlic powder, and a touch of cumin. We gave it a creamy texture.

The canapés were even simpler – we (okay, my partner) roasted and peeled a red pepper and sliced it into julienne. We also rinsed off the anchovies to get rid of some salt. We put bread slices into an oven set on broiler and toasted it on both sides. I spread these with pimento margarine, already made. We then put the strips of pepper and the anchovies in parallel lines. This was placed in the fridge to firm up, and then we cut off the crusts and cut first in half and then in thirds. And that was it.

And everything was so pretty and yummy and FUN.

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