Recipe: Mini Dauphinoise Potatoes with Roast Beef and Crispy Onions

These mini dauphinoise potatoes topped with roast beef and crispy onions have become (one of) my signature party dish!

As you know, I like to feed people, and even if I host a party with only canapés they will be substantial enough for you not to stop my the kebab shop on your way home. At this party I had some lighter canapés mixed with some more filling little dishes like these. I usually stagger the canapés from light to filling and then the sweets to finish. But I also like to have put out bowls of nuts and crisps and sweets on tables, so there is something to munch on at all times. I can easily get hangry at parties (how often do we rush straight from work to a party without having eaten since lunch time?) so want there to be plenty of food so my guests can relax, have fun and know that they will get fed.

Mini Dauphinoise Potatoes with Roast Beef and Crispy Onions, makes 20

20 aluminium baking cases (or ramekins)

10-15 medium sized firm potatoes, peeled if you have the time

600 ml double cream (at least)

grated cheddar

salt and pepper

1 topside of beef (approx 800 g)

2 tbsp salted butter + 1 tbsp oil for frying

salt and pepper

1 tub crispy onions

Start with the beef as it can rest while the potatoes finish cooking. It doesn’t have to be warm, but don’t put it in the fridge.

Remove the meat from the fridge an hour ahead of cooking. Brown all around on high heat with butter and oil in the pan. Season well and place in a roasting tin. Place in a 180 C oven for approx 10-15 minutes depending on thickness (I like mine quite rare). Remove and place on a plate and let it rest for ten minutes. If the potatoes need longer cover with tin foil after it’s rested and keep warmish. Slice thinly just before serving.

Place the baking cases on a foil-lined baking tray. Slice the potatoes (I use a rotating grater for this, but you can use a regular grater or a knife too) thinly and fill the cases. Add salt and pepper. Pour cream almost to edge of each case. Top with a pinch of grated cheese and bake for 40-50 minutes on 180C fan or until soft (pierce the potatoes with pairing knife to check) and golden brown.

Place a slice of beef on top of each potato case and add a teaspoon of crispy onions. Add sea salt and serve with small forks.

Recipe: Cured Salmon Canapés with Dill Cream Cheese and Lemon

These little canapés went down really well at our Christmas party. They’re really easy to make but will impress your guests. Why? For a number of reasons. 1. Not many people cure their own salmon, but they should as both the flavour and texture is so different from what one can buy. 2. It’s delicious. Salmon, cream cheese and dill go so well together and here they are in the purest form, i.e. without anything else (like bread) competing for their attention. 3. They look pretty. Yes, we eat with our eyes too and although these are so easy to throw together they look really delicious.

If you prefer, you could of course put the salmon and cream cheese on top of a cracker or piece of rye bread, but I had quite a lot of nibbles and some were very filling so wanted some lighter options for balance. Plus eating them like this they just melt in your mouth and that’s a rather nice experience!

Cured Salmon Canapés with Dill Cream Cheese and Lemon, makes about 30-35

Cured salmon

500 g salmon fillet

3 tbsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Cure the salmon 48 hours before you intend to eat it. Place the salmon in a deep glass or china dish. Sprinkle the salt and sugar evenly on top of the salmon and pat it in. Add roughly chopped dill and cover with clingfilm. Put it in the fridge and place something heavy on top of the salmon (to help squeeze out the water in the fish) and leave it for 48 hours.

Once cured, pour away the water, rinse quickly in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut into thin slices.

Dill cream cheese

340 g (large packet) full fat Philadelphia

6 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

1 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Mix Philadelphia with dill in a bowl. Add lemon juice to taste. Season and mix again.

To assemble:

cured salmon

dill cream cheese

cocktail sticks

3 tbsp chopped dill

1/2 lemon, the juice

Take a slice of salmon and place a teaspoon sized dollop of the dill cream cheese in the middle. Roll it up and fasten with a cocktail stick. Place on a platter, squeeze with lemon and scatter with dill.

Recipe: Butternut Squash Canapés with Persian Pesto and Pomegranate Seeds

Do you guys remember this lovely recipe? I’ve made it many times, and for our Christmas party I made it into bite size canapés, and it worked really well so of course I wanted to share with you what I did differently. Loved these as canapés! They’re a bit fun and different, refreshing amid meaty or heavy canapés and of course perfect for vegetarians. Plus they look gorgeous!

Instead of large wedges I cut the butternut squash into little triangles that I then topped with feta, pesto and pomegranate seeds.

Butternut squash canapés with Persian pesto, feta and pomegranate seeds, makes about 30

Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe

1 large butternut squash, quartered lengthways (skin-on), and seeds removed 

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

150 g feta

100 g pomegranate seeds

For the pesto:

100 g pistachios

70 g parmesan

100 ml olive oil

1 small bunch coriander

1 small bunch parsley

1 small bunch dill

1 red chilli

1 lemon, juice only

2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut each wedge into 1 cm thick slices and place on lined baking trays, evenly spread out. Drizzle with oil, add salt and pepper and roast the squash for about 30-40 minutes, just until the edges have begun to brown slightly and they’re soft.

For the pesto, add the pistachios and cheese to a food processor. Pulse to break them into small pieces and add enough olive oil to slacken the mixture to your desired consistency (you may not need all the oil). Add all the herbs and a little more olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and give the mixture one last pulse. Taste the pesto, to make sure it has enough salt and acidity, and allow it to rest in the fridge until you need it. 

To serve, place the butternut squash pieces on a platter, spoon a little pesto on each and top with crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds.

Recipe: Girolle toast 2.0

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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE mushrooms, and especially girolles! They’re coming into season at the same time as my beloved crayfish, so to start off the little crayfish party we had in Sweden (a must when you have a London visitor in August!), we had these absolutely delicious little girolle toasts with cognac and cream. (I’ve made similar ones before but this version is even better, I promise!)

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They went down a treat and I got praise like “I could eat these EVERY day!”, and I must agree that they were divine. The combination of mustard and cognac with the smooth cream is just delicious and the grated cheese to finish adds an extra layer of flavour.

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You simply must try them, either as little canapés (in which case I would cut each bread slice into four instead of two) or like this; as a little starter with a glass of pink champagne.

With the crayfish we had some more girolles, because why not?!, on top of the Västerbotten cheese quiche. If you’re planning a crayfish party you simply must try it!

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Kantarelltoast 2.0, serves 4 as a starter

5 slices regular white bread, crusts removed and the slices cut on the diagonal into triangels

2 tbsp butter + a splash of oil for frying the bread

150 g girolle mushrooms, rinsed

1 large shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

4 tbsp butter + a splash of oil for frying onions, garlic and mushrooms

2 tbsp cognac

100 ml double cream

1-2 tsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

chopped parsley

To garnish:

finely grated Västerbotten cheese (parmesan would work too)

Fry the bread in butter and a little oil on medium-low heat until golden brown on both sides. Leave to drain on kitchen towel. 

Fry the onions and garlic in some of the butter and oil ton medium heat until golden. Remove from the pan and fry the mushrooms with more butter and oil on medium-high heat. When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the temperature down to medium and add the garlic and onions to the pan. Season. Add the cognac and let some of it evaporate before adding the cream. Add the mustard and taste until you’re happy with the flavour. Adjust the seasoning and add a little more cognac if needed. Stir with a whisk while the sauce thickens. It should be thick but still a touch runny when it’s done (and full of flavour). Add the parsley and spoon the mushroom mixture onto the fried bread slices and top with grated cheese.

Recipe: crostini with mushroom spread

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This Finnish-Russian mushroom salad or spread is absolutely delicious. When it was first introduced to me by fellow food blogger Anna, I couldn’t believe it was made from only a few ingredients (fried mushrooms, smetana, dill and salt). It truly is one of those dishes where the sum if far far greater than its parts.

The fabulous recipe is courtesy or Swedish food writer Jens Linder and was published in one of the leading Swedish newspapers as a dish for Julbordet, i.e. the Christmas smorgasbord, but I prefer it like this, served on crostini as a pre-dinner snack, all year round.

Please note the recipe calls for smetana; the Russian version of creme fraiche/soured cream. If you can’t find it creme fraiche is a good substitute, but smetana works so well here it’s worth going out of your way to find it. Personally, I will place an order for some here next time I get a craving.

I also mixed fresh and dried mushrooms as I prefer the texture of the fresh ones but as it’s not mushroom season, they taste less than the dried porcini and black trumpets I have in my cupboard.

Mushroom salad, makes 1 batch (enough for 12 crostini which serves 3-4 people)

Translated from and adapted after Jens Linder’s recipe.

This salad is so delicious I would urge you to make a double batch straight away. That’s what I did, and it was the perfect amount for five hungry people as a pre-dinner snack.

600 ml fresh or frozen mushrooms, or 50 ml dried mushrooms

2-3 tbsp butter

plenty of sea salt flakes

4 tbsp finely chopped dill

300 ml smetana (or creme fraiche)

12 crostini

Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for ten minutes. Drain and discard the liquid. If using fresh or frozen mushrooms, finely chop these.

Fry the mushrooms in butter on medium heat until golden. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. 

Mix the now cool mushrooms with whole sea salt flakes, dill and smetana. The mixture should be plenty salty. Leave for a few hours in the fridge before serving. 

Divide between the crostini and serve. 

 

Recipe: Crisps with feta crème and pomegranate

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When I had the girls over for dinner, I started the evening with a prosecco cocktail and crisps with toppings. I’ve already introduced you to the bleak roe version (so yum!) but this, much more accessible version with feta, pomegranate and parsley is just as nice. Perfect for the holidays!

Crisps with feta crème, pomegranate seeds and parsley, serves 6 as a nibble

1/2 bag salted (nice) crisps 

1/3 packet feta

100 ml creme fraiche

pomegranate seeds

chopped parsley

Find the nicest looking crisps in the bag and put them on a plate/platter. Whip creme fraiche and feta until smooth. Season with pepper. Place a small dollop of the feta crème on each crisp, top with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Serve. 

Recipe: Crisps with bleak roe, creme fraiche and red onions

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In Sweden, coming up with new yummy ways to serve bleak roe, is almost a sport. And when I saw this genius idea on Foodetc’s instagram; serving bleak roe and it’s best friends creme fraiche and finely chopped red onions on crisps I just had to try it.

And it turns out crisps are a great vehicle for the bleak roe. They’re crispy and light and has the same effect as rösti and butter-fried bread. So good!

Crisps with bleak roe, creme fraiche and red onions, serves 6 as a canapé

1/2 bag lightly salted good quality crisps

1/2 jar bleak roe

100 ml fat creme fraiche

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

Find the prettiest crisps in the bag and put them on a nice plate/platter. Top with small dollops of creme fraiche, add bleak roe and lastly finely chopped red onions.