Festive Season Canapés

Serves 6-8
2 HR 40 MINS

Canapés always signal a celebration to me: they are great for a pre-Christmas party, or for New Year’s Eve, accompanied with some chilled champagne. This selection covers all the bases too, with something for pescatarians, meat eaters and veggies.

Marcus Everyday


Serves 6-8

Pork and sage croquettes

  • 10g butter
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 250g sausage meat
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped sage
  • 25g golden raisins, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped toasted pistachio nuts
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 30g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 60g dried breadcrumbs (panko or homemade from old bread)

Quick gin-cured salmon with horseradish and parsnip

  • 10g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small parsnips, peeled and grated (250g)
  • 25ml milk
  • 1 tbsp horseradish sauce
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 150g piece of boneless and skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 tbsp rock salt
  • Finely grated zest of ½ orange
  • 25ml gin
  • 3 slices of pumpernickel bread, toasted
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slow-cooked celeriac with brie and thyme

  • 1 small celeriac, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • ¼ bunch of thyme, leaves picked
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 100g brie


Pork and sage croquettes

Heat the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, season well with salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes until lightly golden, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the sausage meat, sage, raisins and chopped pistachio nuts. Mix well, then season with salt and pepper. Fry a little of the mix to check the seasoning, adding more salt and/or pepper if needed.

Roll the mixture into 16 small teaspoon-sized balls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

While the croquettes are in the fridge, pour enough vegetable oil into a deep saucepan or deep-fat fryer to come up to about 5cm and place over a medium heat. If using a deep-fat fryer or if you have a thermometer, heat the oil to 170C. If not, to chekc the oil is at the right temperature, drop a 2-3cm cube of bread into the hot oil - it should turn golden and crisp in one minute.

While the oil is heating up, put the crumb ingredients in 3 separate bowls. Coat the croquettes in the seasoned flour, then the egg and finish with a generous coating of breadcrumbs. Return to the fridge for another 10 minutes.

Carefully drop a batch of croquettes in the hot oil and fry for 5-7 minutes, until cooked all the way through (a metal skewer inserted into a croquette should be hot to the touch). Lift out carefully with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and serve while hot. Repeat with the remaining croquettes.

Quick gin-cured salmon with horseradish and parsnip

Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the grated parsnip. Season well with salt and pepper and cook for around 5 minutes, until golden and soft. Add the milk and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the parsnip to a small blender or food processor. Add the horseradish and creme fraiche and blitz until smooth.

Slice the salmon as thinly as possible across the fillet (against the grain). Lay the slices in the bottom of a shallow dish. Mix the rock salt and orange zest together then rub it onto the sliced salmon. Leave to sit for 10 minutes, then add the gin and leave for a further 10 minutes. Rinse the cure off the salmon under cold running water, then pat the salmon slices dry with kitchen paper.

Cut the pumpernickel bread into rectangles approximately 6 x 2cm. You should get around 20 slices.

Spread the parsnip cream onto the slices of bread. Place a piece of salmon on top and finish with the chopped dill.

Slow-cooked celeriac with brie and thyme

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.

Place the celeriac halves in a small roasting tray. Drizzle with the oil and season with the salt. Reserve 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves and scatter the rest over the celeriac. Cover the roasting tray with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 30-40 minutes, until the celeriac is tender.

Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Cut the celeriac into 3cm cubes. Dip one side into the chopped hazelnuts. Slice the brie into slightly smaller pieces then the celeriac and pop a piece on top of the nut-dipped sides of the celeriac. Finish with the remaining picked thyme.

Discover more seasonal recipes in Marcus' collection of cookbooks.