Canapés & Starters & Veggie Sides

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Parmesan & Artichoke Dip with Grissini

 

What you need:

 

1 can artichokes,  drained and roughly chopped

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Parmigiano, grated

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 garlic clove, finely minced

Fresh parsley to garnish

​Grissini and freshly chopped vegetables to dip

 

Find all these ingredients on honestbee and get $100 off any order exceeding $350 with the checkout code "HKMANGO100"

 

Method:


Blend the artichokes, mayonnaise, cheese, lemon juice and garlic until roughly combined then spoon into a small ovenproof bowl. 

 

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is brown and bubbling.

 

Spoon the dip into a bowl, scatter with freshly snipped parsley
 

Serve with grissini and freshly chopped crudités.

 

Serves 2 as an appetizer

Pesto Mascarpone Dip

 

What you need:

1 cup pesto

1/2 cup mascarpone

Olive oil to drizzle on top

Handful pinenuts to scatter on top

Packet of breadsticks

 

Method:


Combine your mascarpone and pesto in the food processor until smooth.

 

Toast some pine nuts for a few minutes in a dry frying pan. Note the ones in the picture are not toasted due to time constraints! 

 

Spoon the dip into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and scatter with pine nuts. 
 

Serve with breadsticks.

 

Serves 4-6 

Smoked Trout with Horseradish Mascarpone on Buckwheat Blinis

 

This is a variation on smoked salmon & cream fraiche blinis (my go-to for a quick canapé) except this is one large homemade buckwheat blini on a plate to be served as a starter, smeared with a horseradish mascarpone cream and topped smoked ocean trout and a sprig of dill. 

 

Read more here.

Pico de Gallo (Tomato Salsa)

 

Summery weather calls for drinks & dips, and pico de gallo (tomato salsa) is something I could eat with a spoon, never mind the tortilla chips (although clearly I ate a whole packet while shooting this).

 

What you need:

 

6 large tomatoes, skinned & deseeded

1/2 red onion finely chopped

1/2 cup freshly chopped coriander

1 clove of garlic minced

1 red chilli

1 green chilli (for colour, or just use 2 red ones)

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 tablespoon of your finest olive oil

Juice of one lime

Salt to taste

 

Tortilla chips to serve

 

Method:

 

Boil the kettle. Take each tomato and put a tiny cross with a knife in the bottom of each to facilitate its peeling. Immerse the tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes (no longer, else they'll cook) then remove the skins. 

 

Chop the tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds. If you don't, your salsa will be a bit watery.

 

Finely chop the tomato flesh and place into the serving bowl you'll use. Add the finely chopped red onion, minced garlic, chopped coriander, finely chopped chillies, sugar, olive oil, lime juice and salt to taste. Stir the ingredients all together.

 

Dip tortilla chips into or use it to accompany a Mexican meal.

 

Makes a bowl the perfect size for 4 friends having drinks.

 

Sweetcorn with Miso & Butter

 

This is (one of my) current guilty pleasures and could not be simpler.  Apart from being very moreish, there are many health benefits of eating miso which is made from fermented soya beans. It contains all the amino acids so is a complete protein, aids digestion, is a powerful probiotic, rich source of B12 and has been reported to reduce risks for breast and other cancers. Since this is white miso, my kids didn't even notice it mixed into butter and certainly didn't complain about the taste. Try it!

 

What you need: 

 

4 corns on the cob

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon white miso (I bought this in City 'Super)

 

Method:

 

Boil 4 corns on the cob until tender.

 

Mixed together 1 tbls of butter with 1 tbls white miso paste.

 

Massage the cobs with the butter and miso once they are cooked.

 

Serves 4.

Avofava Dip (Avocado & Fava)

Avofava Dip avocado fava broan bean dip

Here is a quick lunchtime dip/spread for mummy or sandwich filler for the kids' packed lunches.  It's very adaptable and you could substitute the fava beans for edamame/soybeans. I blitzed an avocado in the blender with lemon juice, broad beans (fava beans are the same thing), garlic and salt. This was for the kids, then I added  a pinch of cayenne pepper for myself, or you might prefer a fresh chilli to spice thing up. Dip raw vegetables into it or spread it on toast or crackers. It's  basically a guacamole with added protein and dietary fibre from the beans. Mine is spread on raw flaxseed crackers from Green Vitamin. You can tell it's a Monday huh...

 

What you need:

 

1/2 cup of broad/fava beans

1 avocado

1/2 garlic clove

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Tablespoon of fresh chopped coriander

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

Crackers/crudites to dip

 

Method:

 

Boil your fava beans for 2-3 minutes then remove their thick, tough coats. Place them along with the avocado, lemon juice, coriander, salt and chilli/cayenne (optional) and blend. I like to leave a few chunks in for texture, so don't overdo it. Smear onto your toasts, crackers and/or dip in crudités

 

Makes enough for 1 mummy and 2 kids

 

Raw Sprouted Hummous

 

It's been a mixed up Easter weekend. One early morning finish in Drop nightclub (now that's what I call a Good Friday) and one early morning start as I bounced out of bed excited to see how long the shoots had grown on my garbanzos. And no, that's not a euphemism. Living in London, I believed that blending hummus from a can of chickpeas was already above and beyond the call of duty, until I arrived in Asia, where if you haven't sprouted the underlying, it's simply not table worthy. Sprouting activates the legume, thereby increasing its protein, vitamins as well as neutralising its phytic acid which aids our digestion. You can use any jar and a cheesecloth on top or if you cannot resist one more bit of kit, buy a sprouting jar from Iherb. Once you've made the most nutritious hummous on earth, try dipping in these rather delicious raw flaxseed crackers from Green Vitamin. 

 

What you need:

 

1 cup of dried chickpeas (this turns into over 2 cups once sprouted FYI)

Sprouting jar 

75ml cold pressed olive oil

2 garlic cloves

Juice of 2 lemons

Good pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

Crackers/crudites to dip

 

Method:

 

Measure 1 cup of dried chickpeas and place into a sprouting jar. Cover with 3 cups of filtered water and soak overnight. Drain in the morning then rinse with fresh filtered water and drain again. The chickpeas, now moist, will begin to sprout. Change the water every 8 hours and you should see shoots as long as those in the picture within 48 hours. If they smell bad or off in anyway, throw out, as there is an e-coli risk involved with sprouting of which you should be aware! It is not therefore advised for pregnant women!  Read the FDA's take on that here...

Once sprouted, make a hummous as usual with above ingredients, but since these chickpeas are not cooked, the skins are tougher, so they need longer to blend. I imagine a Vitamix would be ideal, but I only possess a humble Magimix, so I just blended it for frigging ages (5-10 minutes)! 

 

Makes 1 large bowl

 

Tanqueray Prawn Cocktail

 

There are only so many times that you can be caught reaching for the gin at 10am. Thankfully this time I was excused as I explained to my helper that the secret ingredient in any decent prawn cocktail is Mother's Ruin. Luckily she believed me. Click here for the recipe, which was my mother-in-law's, and serve it with your ripest avocados and your iciest iceberg lettuce, shredded, of course.

 

What you need:

 

1 ripe avocado

100g small prawns. (Buy online from Wild C)

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2 tablespoons of ketchup

1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice

Drop of Tabasco

Drop of Gin

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

2 slices of buttered wholemeal toast.

 

 


 

 

Method:

 

Defrost your prawns by placing the quantity needed in ziplok bag, done up, in a bowl of warm (not hot) water. Keep moving them around inside the bag and they should defrost within 5 minutes. Remove from the bag and pat them dry with kitchen roll. This is important, or they will make your sauce watery.

Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, gin, lemon juice, tabasco and cayenne. Dip one prawn in to test for spiciness. Add more cayenne & salt to taste. Then stir in the prawns. 

Open your avocado and slice it on a plate next to the shredded iceberg lettuce. Pour your prawns on top and eat with hot buttered toast.

 

Serves 2 as  a starter or light lunch.

 

Pastrami on "Wood" 

 

The carb-free, gluten free canape.

 

What you need:

 

Pastrami 

Cornichons

Yellow mustard

 

Method:

 

Wrap pastrami around a cornichon, secure with a cocktail stick and dip into yellow mustard.

 

 

Smoked Mackerel Pate

 

This couldn't be quicker and easier. Idiotproof at every level (famous last words), and the oily fish is high in omega 3 which keeps you looking younger longer and increases your brain power - perfect combo. And as much as I love it, it was really an excuse to eat these delicious raw flax seed crackers sent to me from Green Vitamin. Fab dinner party starter or snack on the sofa in front of a film.

 

What you need:

 

2 smoked mackerel fillets, peppered or not - your preference.

1 tablespoon of sour cream, creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt

Juice of half a lemon

Crackers to dip or warm buttered toast

 

Method:
 

Remove the skin from the mackerel fillets and mash in a bowl with the lemon juice and creme fraiche. DONE. 

 

Serves 2-3 as a starter


 

 

Mango Menus Smoked Mackerel Pate with Green Vitamin Raw Flax Seed Crackers

Baked Camembert with Rosemary & Garlic

 
I'm pretty hungover after a Great Gatsby party last night and in dire need of some comfort food on the sofa. Also keen to use this highly fragrant rosemary that I received from Eat FRESH, who source organic vegetables from the New Territories and deliver to Hong Kong. This is an easy dinner/drinks party canapé for the winter months and looks nicely rustic and not too contrived.  And if you're not as hungover as I currently am, it goes very well with  a large glass of Chablis.
 
 
What you need:
 
1 whole Camembert in its wooden box
Few rosemary sprigs
1 clove of garlic finely sliced
Slug of olive oil
Crusty bread
 
 
Method:
 
Take the lid off the cheese but leave it in its wooden box, removing any plastic. Finely slice one clove of garlic and slot the slithers  into the Camembert. Poke a few rosemary sprigs in too  and drizzle with olive oil. Pop it into the oven for 15-20 mins or until oozing. Dip crusty bread in. Share. 
 
Serves 2-3 people as an hors d'oeuvres

 

 

 

Nha Trang Rolls

 

OK so the placemat is a bit of a giveaway that I didn't make these, but the point is I CAN and so can YOU! Nha Trang is one of my favourite places in HK for a quick bite. I adore these rice paper rolls which wrap up sole fillets with mint and salad leaves, which you then dip into the most delectable sauce, of which I could literally drink pints. Here is how to do it at home, or if you're feeling lazy, jump in a taxi and go to Nha Trang.

 

What you need:

 

100g of white fish (sole, cod, haddock, ling - anything cheap is fine)

50 breadcrumbs

1 egg beaten

30 ml olive oil

Handful of fresh mint leaves

8 large soft lettuce leaves

Cucumber and carrot cut into thin strips (julienne style)

10 Vietnamese rice paper rolls (buy in large Parknshops)

 

Dipping sauce

 

1 bird's eye chilli. finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice

4 tablespoons of fish sauce

4 tablespoons of rice vinegar

4 tablespoons of brown sugar

 

Method:

 

Cut the fish into strips, roll in beaten egg and coat in breadcrumbs. Fry in olive oil until brown and cooked.

Mix your dipping sauce ingredients and set aside.

Dip your rice paper roll into a bowl of water, until it become malleable. Then work quickly!

Place it on a mat, put the lettuce leaf on top, then the mint leaves, strips of vegetable and the fish. Wrap up. 

Serve immediately with a bowl of dip on the side, as on the right.

 

Makes around 8 rolls