Countdown to Christmas with Scandilicious Pt.2: Crayfish filo bites
Christmas prep is well underway in my kitchen. This year’s trusted ‘mannual’ is my copy of Scandilicous Baking by Signe Johansen. Last week I shared the first of three recipes that I selected from the book: Maple-iced fruity Advent Bread. This week I’m turning my attention to a stunning savoury canape recipe that is just perfect for serving with a festive tipple to your family, friends or neighbours over the Christmas season. Bake a batch of these golden little parcels and they will gain you much admiration whilst putting those traditional ‘pigs in blankets’ firmly in the shade.
Crayfish filo bites
These crispy buttery little bites were inspired by summers spent crayfish fishing in Norway. Well it was my dad who did most of the fishing, but I loved having fjord-fresh crayfish cooked on the barbecue, lightly brushed with a garlic-parsley butter. Crayfish parties are held outdoors in late August and September in Scandinavia, particularly in Sweden, and it’s a great way to bid adieu to summer. Since it’s often hard to get hold of fresh crayfish outside Scandinavia, I’ve used cooked crayfish tails in this recipe.
Makes 12 canapé-sized bites
2 filo pastry sheets
1 clove garlic
small handful chopped parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
150g cooked crayfish tails, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Melt 40g of the butter in a small pan or in the microwave. Brush one filo sheet with half the melted butter.
Slice this sheet in to 12 squares and place each one in a small muffin tin / patty pan. Repeat with the other sheet of filo pastry, placing the second buttered square diagonally on top of the first one (i.e. turned 90°), so that you can see all 8 corners of the two filo squares spaced evenly around the edges of each muffin cup.
Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan and add the garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Allow to cook for a minute or so before adding the crayfish tails, tossing them to give a good coating, and season to taste. Gently dollop a spoonful of buttery crayfish tails in to each filo pocket and scrunch the pastry edges together to make filo ‘money-bag’ parcels, brushing with a little melted butter to seal the top.
Bake on the upper shelf of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the pastry looks golden and feels crisp to the touch. Check the bottom of the parcels when you take them out of the oven – if they feel a little undercooked, simply pop the bites back on the lower shelf of the oven on a wire rack for a minute or two more. Place the cooked parcels on a couple of sheets of kitchen roll to absorb any excess butter, before serving and eating while warm.
© Signe Johansen 2012. Recipe extracted from Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen, out now published by Saltyard Books, £25. Photos © Tara Fisher.
Louise Gorrod authors Buttercup Days; a food & lifestyle blog that reflects her love for nostalgia, occasion, beautiful things and more. When asked how she might label Buttercup Days, Louise says 'I would call it a food blog - it features far too much cake to suggest otherwise. It is, however, so much more than recipes; it's also a personal collection of thoughts, a chronicle of family life and occasions, in which food, so often, just happens to be part of it'. Louise lives beside the seaside in East Sussex with her two young children and husband who together run Seen PR . You can follow her on Twitter @ButtercupDays. Read more posts by Louise Gorrod.
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