Parmesan Biscuits with Pesto Cream

“As a caterer I’m always looking for new tasty treats that are easy to prepare but pack a punch in the taste department.  These tasty little morsels certainly do that! The Parmesan biscuits are based on a recipe from a book called “Canape” by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Eric Treuille and the pesto cream was a combination of a few leftover ingredients I had in my fridge.  The combination of the salty richness of the biscuits and the creamy pesto topping is quite addictive and we ended up polishing off all of them in one sitting.  These will definitely become a staple on my catering menu from now on.  Enjoy!”

(Photo by Gary Corbett)

Ingredients

For the biscuits

  • 120g finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 tsp Keens curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 90g chilled butter

For the pesto cream

  • 1 bunch basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt
  • 200g cream cheese
  • Extra shaved Parmesan to garnish
  • Italian Parsley

Method

  1. Put the Parmesan cheese, flour, curry powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
  2. Remove to a bowl and knead together until all the ingredients have come together into a ball.
  3. Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 5mm and cut out small biscuits using a cookie cutter.
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 degrees C then leave to cool on a wire rack.
  6. For the pesto combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  7. Remove pesto from the food processor and add the cream cheese with 2-3 tbsp of the pesto mixture.  (You can freeze the remaining pesto for a later date)
  8. Put pesto cream in a piping bag and pipe a small mound onto each biscuit.
  9. Top with a small sprig of parsley and shaved Parmesan.

Pink Salmon Profiteroles

“Sometimes I try new things on my catering menu that look fabulous on the plate but are time-consuming to produce and hard to get out to the public quickly.  That’s when I fall back on old standards that have worked for years but add a small twist.  This recipe has been made by my mum for years as a filling for vol au vents.  We always loved it and she could never make enough of them to satisfy us.  With a couple of small twists I’ve turned it into a bite-size canape that looks great and tastes fabulous.  For this recipe I buy a bag of 20 small profiteroles for about $4.50.  (No point making them for that price!) Here’s to those retro recipes that never go out of fashion.  Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • butter
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 3 tbsn plain flour
  • 1 tbsn Keens curry powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 x 400g tin red or pink tuna
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbpn baby capers
  • Fresh dill
  • 20 small profiteroles
  • Watercress

Method

  1. Finely dice the onion and garlic and cook in a small amount of butter until soft.
  2. Heat the milk.
  3. Melt 2 tbsn butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour cooking off for a minute.
  4. Slowly add warm milk to butter and flour, whisking constantly to remove lumps.  Keep stirring over a low heat until the sauce thickens.
  5. Add salt pepper and the curry powder then remove from the heat.
  6. Crumble the salmon and remove any skin and bones.  Add to the white sauce and stir through with the lemon zest, finely diced dill and capers.
  7. Refrigerate until needed.
  8. To serve warm the filling slightly and cut the tops off the profiteroles.
  9. Spoon the mixture into the profiteroles and garnish with watercress and dill.