Canapes, asparagus wrapped in parma ham, beef en croute and meringues - 40th birthday catering near Stratford on Avon

Monday, July 23, 2012
Duck satay - the fastest (to be eaten) canapé in the west
Vegetarian alternative version - halloumi satay - so good!
Chorizo and butternut squash filo tart (above before cooking, below finished article)

Home cured trout for another canape - spoon of trout gravadlax and cauliflower carpaccio - another winner!
The starter they had requested - asparagus wrapped in parma ham with hollandaise. We half roasted the asparagus, wrapped it in parma ham and flashed it back in the oven for 5 (well more like 8 by the time everyone had got settled) minutes to finish cooking & crisp the ham. Not shy with the hollandaise - I hate it when you don't get enough.
Fillet of beef en croute - seen here before the pastry lids went on.  Chicken liver pate, leeks and creamed wild mushrooms on top. There was also a vegetarian version, a vegetarian version made at the last minute with no mushrooms (allergy... luckily I took spare pastry to the venue), a gluten free version made with gluten free pastry and 2 no sauce. Phew - plating up was fun. Make sure you have different pastry shapes on top of each so you know what's what.
They had requested this classic dessert - strawberries, meringues and cream all served separately. 
Meringues earlier in the day. "But how is it your's aren't brown?" asked one of the guests as we were plating up.  The secret - turn the oven down as low as it can go and leave the doors open tied with string so they dry out rather than cook. You can also put in the oven, switch off and leave overnight, but there's only so many hours in the day.......

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