Smoked salmon blini canapés

Smoked Salmon blinis

I made these canapes as a starter for Christmas lunch whilst the turkey was resting. They needed to be made in a hurry so I didn’t zest the lemon and forgot the dill, which is a shame as the garnish does make them look pretty. Generally presentation above is not as good as it could be but they went as quickly as they were made. A quick and easy canape that can make your smoked salmon stretch a bit further.


  • 1 lemon
  • 200g smoked salmon
  • 1 small shallot or onion finely chopped
  • Approx 20 ready made blinis
  • 1 small pot sour cream
  • Small bunch fresh dill
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Use a lemon zester to remove thin strips of zest from the lemon. Put the strips to one side, to use to decorate blinis.
  2. Dice the salmon by piling up the slices of smoked salmon into a stack. Using a very sharp knife, cut across the stack to give you thin strips. Turn the stack 90 degrees and cut across the strips again so that end up with fine chopped salmon. Place into a bowl.
  3. Add the juice of half of the lemon, and season with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Add the finely chopped shallot and mix well.
  5. Spread a layer of soured cream onto each blini. Place a spoonful of the salmon mixture on top of the soured cream and garnish each with a small sprig of dill and a strip of lemon zest.


Spicy fried Cashew Nuts – Ken Hom’s Fast and Easy

These are very easy to make. Ken’s version has 300ml ground nut oil so the cashews are semi deep fried, we’ve always stir fried with just a small amount of oil. Experiment with different levels of spices to suit you. I’ve made some to take as pre dinner nibbles at a friends house tonight.


  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 200g raw cashews
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp 5-spice powder


  1. Heat oil in a wok or a heavy base frying pan.
  2. Fry cashews in oil for about 2 minutes or until starting to turn brown. Keep them moving with a bamboo spatula.
  3. Put a sheet kitchen towel on a plate and tip cashews onto plate to soak up excess oil.
  4. Put cashews into a bowl, add salt and spices and make sure cashews get covered in it.

Pea and Parmesan Crostini – Afternoon Tea Parties Susannah Blake

This may be the first recipe I’ve made from this book. The book itself is lovely, it has lots of themed tea parties with suggested recipes and one day I’ll have the time to have friends around for afternoon tea…
I’d been invited to an evening showing of The Help by the local church woman’s group and the instruction was to bring a plate of savoury nibbles. Not having attended any of the women’s church socials before I really wasn’t sure what the level was – packet of crisps or beautifully presented platters ? I decided it would be a good excuse to try something from this book and picked the pea and parmesan crostini’s. These were delicious yet so simple. Preparing the crostini was the longest part (and transporting them safely was a challenge). I’ve doubled the quantities for the topping as just made one type of topping for a whole baguette and in the book the author has two types of topping for the one baguette.

To make Crostini toasts

1 French-style baguette
olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Cut thin slices of baguette (expect to get approx 24 slices) and lightly brush both sides of each slice with oil. Arrange on a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes, until crisp and light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Pea and Parmesan Topping


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots finely chopped
  • 400g frozen peas
  • 6 tbsp dry white wine
  • dried chilli flakes to taste (optional)
  • sea salt
  • Parmesan cheese shavings to serve


  1. Lightly saute the shallots in the oil for 3 minutes until translucent
  2. Add the peas and wine to the pan, cover and cook for further 3 minutes until tender.
  3. Blend until smooth using handheld blender or food processor
  4. Transfer to bowl and season to taste with sea salt and a pinch of dried chilli flakes if using.
  5. To assemble the crostini spoon the pea puree onto the crostini toasts. Top with parmesan shavings and serve immediately. Topping can be either warm or cold.