Day 14 – Try… Expert chef Douglas Gaunt’s delicious festive canapé ideas
For any truly great Christmas party, a glass or two of Champagne Laurent-Perrier paired with festive canapés has always been the only way to celebrate in style.
This winter, we are delighted to help your party stand out from the crowd with the help of our friends at Woods Silver Fleet, known for the most
elegant water cruises along the Thames, especially for New Year’s Eve, and for arranging events for some of the world’s top faces and names including Chanel, Jaguar and ATP.
We sat down with their Executive Head Chef Doug Gaunt who has combined his passion for art with food to create these top canapé recipes inspired by London’s restaurant scene and British produce – sure to get your party remembered for months to come!
Hot-Smoked Faroese Salmon, Buckwheat Flour Blinis, Horseradish Crème Fraîche with Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé
Take 150g buckwheat flour, 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt, combine.
Combine 150ml of milk, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 egg yolk and 25g of melted butter in a bowl then mix your dry mixture and wet mix together. Whip the egg whites until you achieve soft peaks and fold into the mixture to make a lighter mix. Add a pinch of chopped chives.
Pan fry the mixture until it bubbles, turn and fry the other side. Set aside.
Use a good quality sustainably caught smoked salmon. We smoke ours in-house creating a sealed chamber using deep trays, laying the salmon on a rack over wood chip, using aromatics such as lemon rind, horseradish, rosemary
within which the fish smokes for 14 minutes over heat, then is taken out for 14 minutes to cold-smoke. It is then placed in a 300 degree oven for 2.5 minutes to caramelise the skin and cook it through further.
Flake the smoked salmon onto you blinis, garnish with horseradish crème fraîche, using freshly grated horseradish and serve.
Cotswold White Free-Range Chicken Pancake, Caesar Dressing, Shredded Baby Gem with Laurent-Perrier Brut NV
We use whole roasted chickens roasted with lemon, thyme and garlic to fill these pancakes, you want to use a skin-on chicken, like a supreme at the very least. Once cooked remove the skin, set the skin aside to use later. Pull/shred the chicken meat apart into long strands with your hands.
Drop the temperature of your oven to 140 degrees, place the chicken skin between 2 sheets of parchment and 2 baking trays to allow it to stay nice and flat. Cook until crisp which should take about 10 minutes maximum. Remove from oven and place on kitchen towel to air dry, allowing the air to circulate it and eventually the skin to crisp up.
For the pancakes use equal amounts of flour, egg and milk, combine altogether, add your choice of chopped herbs and cook your pancakes thin and even.
To make the caesar dressing, use half a head of roasted garlic purée, an anchovy fillet, a squeeze of lemon juice to taste, a jar of mayonnaise, white pepper and salt. Combine together with a hand blender and add some grated parmesan. Fine chop black olives and some bacon into mini-lardons, pan fry the bacon until crispy, remove from heat and leave to dry on kitchen towel to absorb any excess fat. Thinly slice some baby gem lettuce leaves.
Take one of your pancakes, cut in half, using the rounded edge, lay some of your baby gem lettuce along this rounded line. Combine your shredded chicken with 80% of the dressing, add your chopped olives and bacon and shave in a little extra parmesan. Add a spoonful of this mix to the the layer of baby gem in a horizontal line across the width of your half pancake, then roll nice and tight. Slice into roughly 8 pieces and skewer. Add a tiny dollop of caesar dressing and a tiny shard of crispy chicken skin.
Dry-Aged Beef Carpaccio, Celeriac and Truffle Dressing with Laurent-Perrier Vintage 2006
Take a really good quality fillet of British beef – you want to use fillet as it is the most tender cut of beef and will avoid the carpaccio being too chewy or tough. ‘Barrel the meat off’ by quartering the fillet across the diameter and trimming with a sharp knife to form a rounded sausage-like shape. Seal the beef very quickly on the outside in a hot pan so you get a nice caramelisation – turning the beef as and when it has caramelised on each edge. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Then chill the beef as rapidly as possible, you aim here is to stop the cooking process and ensure the middle of the fillet remains raw. We use a blast chiller on the Silver Sturgeon which cools food really rapidly, at home, you may want to refrigerate and then place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm the outside. When it is cold and firm, this allows you to slice it thinly and evenly, forming your carpaccio.
For the celeriac remoulade, take raw celeriac and grate finely. Sprinkle with a little salt which draws out some of the moisture from the celeriac and softens it. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and roughly equal spoonfuls of crème fraîche and Dijon mustard plus some freshly chopped parsley. You want to ensure there is a nice balance between the aforementioned three ingredients so adjust to taste and ensure that neither overpowers the flavour of the celeriac. You can make your remoulade ahead of time, but once refrigerated moisture will come out of the celeriac making the dressing more watery. In this case strain to ensure that excess liquid is removed.
To serve take a pinch of your remoulade mix and add to a canapé spoon of your choice then top with a slice of the carpaccio. Drizzle the carpaccio with a dash of truffle oil and garnish with mizuna cress.
Douglas’ food philosophy is ‘sustainably grown and responsibly sourced’. He is dedicated to sourcing the freshest seasonal ingredients, from British suppliers and sources. Whether artisan East-end dried meats, Oxfordshire-raised, clover fed lamb or traditional British fruits and vegetables. In this way, from farm to plate, Douglas and his team are able to expand the Woods’ Silver Feet ethos of championing the best that British suppliers have to offer.
Woods Silver Fleet offer a range of bespoke cruises that run the length of the River Thames in London. Depending on the size of your group, choose between the intimate Silver Darling, the vintage Silver Barracuda or the sleek and modern Silver Sturgeon – all elegant and luxurious river vessels which offer fine food, Laurent-Perrier champagne and some of the most exclusive views of London available. To find out more, including details of their stunning New Year’s Eve cruises, stop by their website here.