Capsicum’s Festive Season Canapés!

With around three weeks to go before we all sit down with friends and family for that traditional festive lunch or dinner, the pressure is on to come up with nibbles that are not only easy and quick to make but will also impress your guests and keep hunger pangs at bay while that turkey roasts in the oven.

We asked the experts at Capsicum Culinary Studio to share the recipes for their favourite festive season canapés and this is what they sent us.

Durban Campus Chef Bradley Wright’s Smoked Salmon and Caviar Canapés

1 packet of wholewheat melba toast
110g smoked salmon
50g caviar (Black is ideal, but red is nice as well
4 heaped tablespoons cream cheese
A squeeze of fresh lemon
2g chives, finely sliced
Salt to taste
Fresh dill sprigs for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, blend the cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon juice, chives and salt to taste, and mix well until well combined.
Roll the smoked salmon lengthwise and slice into 2½cm rolls.
Arrange the toasts on a serving plate and carefully distribute the cheese blend onto each toast. Place a roll of the smoked salmon on top of the cheese, then gently spoon the caviar around the salmon. Garnish with fresh dill and a very light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Rosebank Campus Chef Ayanda Gwintsa’s Gammon and Cranberry Slaw Canapés

(serves 8)

250g cooked gammon
1 – 2 baguettes, cut diagonally and lightly toasted
butter (optional)
1 small green cabbage shredded
1 small purple cabbage, shredded
1 medium carrot grated
½ red apple grated
30g dried cranberries
toasted flaked almonds for garnish (optional)

For the dressing
¾ cup plain yogurt (preferably double cream)
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup cranberry sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Slice gammon into thin shreds and set aside
Slice French loaf into diagonal cuts, butter on both sides and toast in dry pan or toaster and set aside and allow to cool.
Grate carrots and apples and place into a bowl.
Add the remaining slaw mixture and mix together with the dressing
Place a tablespoon of gammon on each slice of the toasted bread and top with a generous amount of slaw.
Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top and serve.

Rosebank Campus Chef Ayanda Gwintsa’s Fig & Brie Cups with Rosemary Bacon Bits (makes 24)
1 packet puff pastry
2 triangles of brie cheese
1 cup fig jam
4 sprigs rosemary, chopped finely
1 packet diced bacon
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 220°C
Prepare 1 (24s) or 2 (12s) cupcake trays. Use spray and cook to grease slightly
Roll out puff pastry and cut into 8 x 8cm squares
Place squares into the trays pressing slightly to create shape
Cut the brie into 2x2cm squares or larger based on preference and place inside each puff pastry square
Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and the chopped rosemary into each cup and top with the fig jam.
Place in oven and bake for 9 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove and allow to cool before serving.
In a sauté pan fry the bacon with remaining rosemary until crispy.
Garnish baked cups with bacon mixture and enjoy.

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