Uidelines for Assembling Canaps

Good mise en place is essential.

Preparing thousands of canapés for large functions can be tedious work, so it is essential that all bases, spreads, and garnishes be prepared ahead of time in order that final assembly may go quickly and smoothly. Assemble as close as possible to serving time.

Bases quickly become soggy, and spreads and garnishes dry out easily. As trays are completed, they may be covered lightly with plastic and held for a short time under refrigeration. Be sure to observe all rules for safe food handling and storage, as you learned in Chapter 2.

Select harmonious flavor combinations in spreads and garnish. For example, caviar and chutney or anchovy and ham are not appealing combinations, but these combinations are: Mustard butter and ham Lemon butter and caviar Pimiento cream cheese and sardine Horseradish butter and smoked salmon or smoked tongue Tuna salad and capers

Anchovy butter, hard-cooked egg slice, and olive Be sure that at least one of the ingredients is spicy or pronounced in flavor. A bland canapé has little value as an appetizer. Use high-quality ingredients.

Canapés can be a good way to utilize leftovers, but only if the leftovers have been carefully handled and stored to retain freshness. Keep it simple.

Simple, neat arrangements are more attractive than elaborate, overworked designs. Besides, you don't have time to get too fancy. Be sure the canapés hold together and do not fall apart in the customers' hands.

Arrange the canapés carefully and attractively on trays.

Much of the attraction of canapés is eye appeal, and the customer never sees just one at a time, but a whole trayful. Each tray should carry an assortment of flavors and textures, so there is something for every taste. Figure 23.3 shows a tray of simple, attractive canapés.

Figure 23.3

Assorted canapés, from left: gravlax with mustard cream cheese; chicken liver pâté with mustard butter and black olive; caviar, red onion, and sour cream in red potato; herbed Boursin cheese with almonds; beef tenderloin with horseradish cream cheese and capers.

Figure 23.3

Assorted canapés, from left: gravlax with mustard cream cheese; chicken liver pâté with mustard butter and black olive; caviar, red onion, and sour cream in red potato; herbed Boursin cheese with almonds; beef tenderloin with horseradish cream cheese and capers.

slice of ham, then decorate the ham with a border or design of mustard butter piped on with a paper cone.

Here are some of the many food items that may be used alone or in combination to decorate canapés:

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