07 March 2011

Party pies for adults

I love cooking for parties. It is the kind of food I really excel at - tit-bits that can combine my love of fusion food, and my desire to cheat at every corner. I make one hell of a Peking duck pancake, and my canapes (I reserve that title for anything on a biscuit or piece of Melba toast) are inventive and delicious. But (beside it not falling into the category of fusion food), this is my new favourite cheat. I served them at my husband's birthday party last week, and they disappeared before the steam ceased rising off them. 

  • One 200g packet of smoked salmon - preferably in steak form
  • 1 packet of puff pastry squares
  • half a tub of double cream
  • sprinkling of chopped chives
  • about 1- 2 tbsp seeded mustard
  • salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 220ÂșC, then halve the cream into two bowls - put chives and salt and pepper in one, and mustard and salt and pepper in the other. Combine each separately and put the mustard one aside - that is your dipping sauce.
  2. Cover a flat oven tray with greaseproof paper and cut each of the pastry squares in half to form a rectangle. Cut the salmon into 20 portions, and place at the end of each rectangle. Place a pea-sized dollop of cream and chive mix on each, then roll like a sausage-roll.
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

Would also work well with fresh salmon, but will have a milder flavour, and you might want to drop the temperature to 200 and cook for 20 minutes if you don't like your salmon red-pink in the middle (I do!) Don't forget to ask the fishmonger to remove the back bones with tweezers so you can cut the steak easier.

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