When planning Christmas menus, we usually put all our attention on the main dishes and neglect the previous snacks. It is also easy to go to the classics of “open and serve” -sausages, cheeses, nuts, preserves-, but it is possible to set up a table of simple and cheap appetizers and canapés, as these recipes demonstrate.
My general advice is not to get too high when serving food if the menu is going to be long or copious. In addition, to avoid complicating life, the best are snacks that we can prepare in advance, and that can be used in the following days if there are leftovers. We will be the best hosts if we serve our own canapes and they do not have to shoot our budget.
Toasts and canapes
The truth is that in my family we never use the term couch, is something that I associate more with weddings and catering events. The RAE defines it as a portion of bread or puff pastry with a small amount of food, so I assume that any toast or bruschetta is also a canape.
The name does not matter a bit, the fact is that it gives us a lot of play to combine many flavors and ingredients in a bite format. They are perfect to avoid complications, since the ideal is to have the cover prepared in advance and thus assemble them at the last moment, so as not to soften the base. I recommend, of course, to choose a good bread and toast it lightly in most cases. I hate canapes and tostas with a tasteless base with a pre-frozen pint.
Creams and dips like spiced aubergine or cream of avocado with cod are also a good pass to make snacks, and we can get creative with the dressing.
Actually, almost any inexpensive recipe it will be luxurious mounted on a sofa, such as the popular mussel pâté, deliciously addictive on very crunchy toasts, the full recipe of which is provided below.
First of all, we will remove all the broth from the natural mussels and part of the broth from the pickled mussels (this should be reserved, just in case). Then we place everything in a suitable container for the mixer and use its rotating blades to turn all the ingredients into a pate. If it is not very thick, we can add another cheese or a little more mayonnaiseIf, on the other hand, it is unwieldy, we can add a little of the broth from the pickled mussels that we remove at the beginning. We can serve it in small bowls or in the same cans of mussels, decorated with parsley or mint, and accompanied by toasts on which to spread it.
Other recipes for toasts and canapes
Puff pastry and other doughs
Special mention should be made of the appetizers based on puff pastry, filo, brick, pizza dough, empanada or even shortcrust dough. With a good trademark we have half the job done, and they allow us to play with thousands of shapes to present them gracefully on the table.
For example, we have recipes for sachets like these with pesto and scallops, which can be substituted for other seafood or use a frozen version; Spirals like these of two flavors of Parmesan or simple but very smooth tartlets, such as sobrasada with honey and pine nuts.
Fresh snacks with vegetables and fruits
I like the freshest appetizers in which vegetables and fruit are the main protagonists. These recipes are perfect to leave prepared in advance, and they are not usually very heavy on the stomach, perfect to start the menu.
A good salad like this light Russian can give a lot of play with different presentations, also in toast, teaspoon or glass, and another good option is the stuffed preparations. Hot or cold, like roasted avocados with mozzarella, they are always on the go and allow for easy portioning.
Meat lovers have much more than the table of sausages, Iberian ham, foie gras and patés. We can be more original without leaving our pockets or killing ourselves in the kitchen, for example with some simple but so grateful croquettes. A simple special touch like in these jerky and leek croquettes will be a sure hit.
When we do not have a luxury ham but we do not want it to be missing from the table, recipes such as salty chocolates come to the rescue. Also always attract more attention Than opening a boring charcuterie tray, and they are a breeze to prepare.
You will already know that I prefer seafood flavors on party menus, although I am aware that fish and seafood go up a lot in price at this time. Offering a snack of the sea without shaking the card is easy if we take advantage of the frozen and canned of the most affordable varieties.
We can ride appetizers just as colorful and tasty, as evidenced by the fake seafood mousse or this original soft mussels and tuna nougat. Even frozen scallops can be a luxury on the table, for example with recipes like this citrus scallop carpaccio.
Finally, we propose you easy appetizers in a glass because they are a little recipe jeta. Yes, they can be made complicated and with a tongs presentation, but in general it’s easy to assemble savory cups that look great with very little effort.
There is something about the glasses that always attract guests, they are easily distributed and also do not stain at mealtime -or they should not-. We can just distribute small portions of salad in beautiful glasses, like this salad with prawns, arugula and papaya, or take advantage of the game offered by the creams. A very showy color combination, as in these two-color cream glasses, is a sure hit.
We like to indulge ourselves at parties but we don’t always have to make a great financial effort or time and work on all Christmas menus. I hope that these simple and cheap appetizer recipes inspire you for your celebrations at home, so you can enjoy Christmas with less stress.
Do you have an infallible recipe for quick and attractive snacks?
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