MINIATURE VOL AU VENTS (16)
1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon water
miniature vol au vent cutters
1. Remove one pastry sheet from the package and let it thaw for 15 to 20 minutes until it is pliable. Return the other sheet to the freezer. Unfold the sheet and lay it on a lightly floured board. Smooth it out and, using the vol au vent cutters, cut out shapes being sure the center section of the cutter is cutting just part way through the dough. With a toothpick or sharp pointed tool pierce 3 or 4 times around the edge of each canape (this promotes even rising). Beat the egg yolk with the water and lightly brush the top of each canape.
2. Place canapés on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 15 to 18 minutes until lightly browned. Remove, place on a cooling rack, and let cool. With a sharp paring knife cut around the center section of each canape and remove. Scrape out any excess pastry but leave the bottom intact.
3. Fill the center of each canape, using a small spoon or a pastry bag and tip, with a filling of your choice. Replace top section as a lid, if desired.
MINIATURE VOL AU VENT CUTTERS
BLACK CAVIAR FILLING (for about 16)
/3 cup sour cream or crème fraiche
1 ounce black caviar
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1. Prepare the canape shells.
2. Just before serving, spoon about 1 teaspoon of the sour cream into each shell, divide the caviar among the shells, and sprinkle the hors d’oeuvres with chives.
SHRIMP PASTE FILLING (for about 16)
½ pound shrimp, cooked and shelled
2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dill, crushed
salt to taste
dash cayenne pepper
1. Cut the shrimp into pieces and place in a food processor. Process until coarse. Add sour cream, lemon juice, dill, salt and cayenne pepper. Blend until smoother, taste for seasoning, and pipe into canape shells. These can be reheated in a 325* oven for 5 minutes before serving.
SHRIMP PASTE FILLING
SMOKED GOUDA AND HAM FILLING (about 1 cup)
¼ pound smoked gouda or similar cheese
6 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
3 tablespoons minced Westphalian ham, prosciutto or similar ham
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon drained bottled horseradish
1.In a food processor, puree the cheese, and the cream and butter, and process the mixture until it is smooth. Add the ham, mustard, horseradish and salt and pepper to taste and process the mixture until just combined.
2. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ inch tip and pipe it into the puffs. Serve the puffs within 30 minutes of filling. The filling may be prepared ahead and kept chilled and covered overnight.
SMOKED GOUDA AND HAM FILLING
SMOKED SALMON AND DILL FILLING (about 1 cup)
¼ pound smoked salmon, chopped
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon minced scallion or grated onion, drained
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1.In a food processor process the salmon, the cream cheese, the sour cream, the scallion,
the dill, the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste until the mixture is smooth.
2. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ inch tip and pipe it into the puffs. Serve the puffs within 30 minutes of filling. The filling may be prepared ahead and kept, chilled and covered, overnight.
SMOKED SALMON AND DILL FILLING