24 October 2016Last updated

Food | Recipes

Finger-licking good!

Get your party started with these modish appetisers, and your guests will ask for more

1 Aug 2016 | 11:49 am
  • Beef carpaccio in phyllo cornets


Beef carpaccio in phyllo cornets

Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 8-10 mins
Makes 12

2 sheets phyllo pastry
Oil, for deep-frying
22 slices beef carpaccio, cut into thin strips
4 slices red apple, julienned
6 fresh chives, halved, to garnish
4 tbsp apple jelly

Cut each pastry sheet into six squares and twist them into cornet shapes.

Heat oil in a saucepan and deep-fry the cornets until golden. Drain on a paper towel. Be careful as they will 
be fragile.

Spoon equal quantities of carpaccio into the cornets. Divide the apple and chives between each, and top them all with a dollop of apple jelly. Serve immediately.

Salmon trout and cream cheese thimbles


Prep time 10 mins
Makes 12

250g cream cheese
½ onion, finely chopped
250g smoked salmon trout
Fresh dill sprigs, to garnish

In a bowl, mix together cream cheese and onion and chill. Cut the salmon into strips about 6cm wide.

To serve, place a teaspoon of the cheese mixture in the centre of each salmon strip, roll them up and garnish with dill sprigs.

Seared tuna in cucumber sling


Prep time 25 mins
Cooking time 3 mins
Makes 12

200g tuna loin, at room temperature
100ml sesame oil
5 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
4 tbsp pickled ginger
4 tbsp balsamic reduction
Alfalfa sprouts, to garnish

Rub the tuna with sesame oil and cover it with sesame seeds.

Heat a frying pan and sear the tuna for one minute on each side. Let it cool, then slice it into bite-size pieces.

Place the cucumber slices in 12 serving bowls. Top each with pickled ginger, and then a slice of tuna.

Using a cocktail stick, secure the sides of the cucumber around the tuna. Drizzle generously with balsamic reduction, garnish with sprouts and serve immediately.

Oysters on ice with lemon rind salsa


Prep time 25 mins
Serves 12

3 lemons
Crushed ice, as needed
12 oysters
½ red pepper, seeded, finely chopped
Tabasco sauce, to taste
Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Pour boiling water over the lemons and let them stew. When soft remove and dry them, then chop up into small pieces. Set aside until needed.

Just before serving, fill 12 small bowls with ice. Open the oysters, and discard the top shell. Loosen the oysters from the base shells and place them on the ice.

Top the oysters with chopped lemon and red pepper, and drizzle with Tabasco. Garnish with coriander, insert cocktail sticks into the oysters and serve.

Seared beef fillet with béarnaise sauce


Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 35 mins
Serves 12

1 shallot, finely chopped
4 tbsp white vinegar
⅓ cup non-alcoholic white grape
5 peppercorns, crushed
2 tsp freshly chopped tarragon
2 large egg yolks
80g butter, cubed
1kg prime fillet of beef, cubed

For the béarnaise sauce, in a small pot bring the shallot, vinegar, grape, peppercorns and tarragon to the boil. Lower the heat and let it reduce until only about 1 tbsp of the liquid remains. Strain and return to the pot.

Fill a bigger pot with water and bring it to a slow simmer. Place the small pot with the strained liquid over the bigger pot, and add in the egg yolks. Over a gentle heat, whisk them until the sauce is thick and creamy.

Add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking continuously to incorporate it. When the sauce is done, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat a frying pan over high and sear the beef fillet, tossing it until brown but still rare – about 10 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Insert cocktail sticks into the beef cubes and serve hot with the béarnaise sauce on the side.

Butterfish cakes with lemon mayonnaise


Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 40 mins
Serves 12

300g butterfish
250g potatoes, diced
1 big fennel bulb, chopped
4 tbsp fresh cream
1 large egg, beaten
Cake flour, for coating
Oil, for shallow-frying
100g good-quality mayonnaise
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fennel sprigs, to garnish
Lemon slices, to garnish

Wash and dry the fish, then season to taste. Steam it until tender, flake it. and set aside.

Steam potatoes until tender, mash them and mix with chopped fennel, fish and cream. Add egg, season and mix well before chilling for about 20 minutes.

Roll the fish mixture into bite-size cakes, dip them in flour and shake off any excess. Heat oil in a pan and shallow-fry the fishcakes until crisp. Drain on paper towels.

In a serving bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Plate the fishcakes in serving bowls, and garnish with fennel sprigs and lemon slices. Serve hot with lemon mayo.