Definition of a Canapé
"A canapé or canape (Spanish/French for couch and known in Italy as tartina) is a small, prepared and usually decorative food, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite." Note: the word "decorative" - canapes are known for being stylish and artistic foods that's almost to pretty to eat. That's why you see them served so much at tea parties, coctail parties and formal occasions.
Canapés and Coctail Hour
"Because canapés are often served during cocktail hours, it is often desired that a canapé be either salty or spicy, in order to encourage guests to drink more."
Canapés as a Finger Food
"A canapé may also be referred to as finger food, although not all finger foods are canapés." "Crackers or small slices of bread or toast or puff pastry, cut into various shapes, serve as the base for savory butters or pastes, often topped with a "canopy" of such savory foods as meat, cheese, fish, caviar, foie gras, purees or relish."
"Traditionally, canapés are built on stale white bread (though other foods may be used as a base), cut in thin slices and then shaped with a cutter or knife." "Shapes might include circles, rings, squares, strips or triangles." "These pieces of bread are then prepared by deep frying, sautéeing, or toasting."
"The foods are sometimes highly processed and decoratively applied (i.e. piped) to the base with a pastry bag." "Decorative garnishes are then applied." "The canapés are usually served on a canapé tray and eaten from small canapé plates."
"The technical composition of a canapé consists of a base (i.e. the bread or pancake), a spread, a main item, and a garnish." "The spread traditionally is either a compound butter or a flavored cream cheese."
"Common garnishes can range from finely chopped vegetables, scallions, and herbs to caviar or truffle oil."
Cheese & Bacon Canapés
1/2 pound of extra sharp gated Cheddar
1/2 pound of cooked bacon crumbled
1 small onion, grated
One (12 oz.) pkg. Ritz crackers
Mix cheese, cooked bacon and onion throughly. Refrigerate for a few hours. Spread a full teaspoon on each cracker. Sprinkle with paprika. Broil until cheese is brown. Garnish with a traditional garnish. Makes about 50. (recipe from: gone-ta-pott.com)
1 can of Green Giant asparagus spears
1 loaf of bread, thin sliced
8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 ounces of cream cheese
1 tablespoon of mayo
1 egg, beaten
1 stick of butter or oleo, melted
Cut crusts from bread, roll bread thin. Spread with mixture of cheeses, mayo and egg. Place 1 stalk of asparagus at the end of each slice of bread. Roll up and cut into 3 pieces. Dip each in melted butter. Freeze until ready to serve. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400ºF. until light brown, 15 minutes.