Entertaining Made Easy – Quick And Easy Canapes For The Noncook

Do you secretly want to throw a fun party but don’t because you can’t cook? Are your cooking skills limited to boiling eggs and rehydrating cup noodles? Fear not. We’ve trawled the Internet and tested these amazing recipes that are achievable even by someone whose stove is buried under a thick layer of dust.

Don’t forget to pair your creative canapes with an equally creative cocktail (or three). Put some effort into throwing a pretty party – think gorgeous glassware, stylish paper plates and an eye-catching floral centrepiece. Last but not least, pick a solid playlist to encourage a festive mood.

Wow them with ceviche

You may not wow them with your cooking skills, but you can certainly wow them with top-notch produce and seafood. Bribe your fishmonger for the freshest seabass he has, and make this delicious Seabass and Tomato Ceviche. If your knife skills aren’t up to par, just pick up some precut sashimi from your nearest Japanese supermarket. Slice some vine-ripened tomatoes, make the dressing, and let the compliments roll in.

Deconstructed crab rolls

This is another seafood stunner that’ll wow all the sushi fans in the house. Top a rice cracker with pickled ginger, lump crab meat (use fresh, not frozen) and a small sprinkle of tobiko. Finish with a dollop of your favourite dressing – I’m partial to a classic wasabi-infused mayonnaise but this recipe calls for just a drizzle of hot sesame oil. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve.

Parma ham and mozza bites

This recipe is not only super quick to make, it keeps forever if you chill it, so it’s a good one to make ahead and feed to your guests while you assemble the rest. Grab a tub of mini mozzarella (sometimes labelled as bocconcini), two packs of Parma ham and handful of rocket leaves. Wrap each slice of ham around a mozzarella ball and some rocket. Drizzle with a balsamic vinegar glaze (you can buy this in most delis and supermarkets, or try making your own) and chill until ready to serve. Try not to eat them all before your guests arrive, or just make double the recipe.

Uptown figs

This recipe is the perfect mix of sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy. Split a dried fig in two, stuff with cream cheese or mascarpone, then finish it off with a salted almond. Scrumptious – and good for you. Great if you want to impress a vegetarian!

Whipped Gorgonzola

This is another vegetarian treat that’ll make all the carnivores at the party question their very reasons for being. What’s more, the only cooking appliance you need is a food processor. Grab roughly equal amounts by weight of a mild and creamy blue cheese (Gorgonzola is my favourite), cream cheese, and whipping cream (40% fat). Blend all three ingredients in a food processor until light and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crackers (if you’re feeling lazy) or crudites (if you’re feeling healthy) or buttered toast points (if you’re feeling hungry).

Just a note of warning – cooking can be addictive! Once you realise you can follow a recipe and produce edible results, you’ll be ready to be the next Martha Stewart or Jamie Oliver. Bon appetit!

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