Monday, October 10, 2011
James Beard's Onion Canapes
Well, one good thing came from going to the theatre this last weekend. That would be these canapes. We budget our entertainment dollars pretty darned well and passed up a couple of shows at Theatre on the Square (sorry Ron!) to see I Love to Eat at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. It was a one-man show about James Beard. While the fellow who played James Beard did a good job, neither of us enjoyed the play very much. It'd gotten great reviews so we were very excited to go. Instead of enjoying James Beard, we walked out thinking what a self-absorbed, vain and difficult man he must've been. And, we were both very ready for the show to end.
During the show, there were two recipes referenced: these canapes and his perfect hamburgers. That recipe is in his American Cookery cookbook which I've owned for more years than I can count. I've read the cookbook but have yet to make anything from it. But, these intrigued me. Onion, bread, mayo and parsley. Four pretty pedestrian ingredients turned into a fancy canape. Ok, I'll bite.
Off to the internet I went. On the first page I saw Jolene Ketzenberger's article from the Indianapolis Star. Perfect. Jolene is a great food writer. She's a lot of fun to read and I typically like things she's liked. We've run into Jolene or she and her husband, John, enough times that she recognizes Connie and me. She took the recipe directly from the Beard cookbook where it was first published. As I recall it was called Entertainment and was his first.
What did we think? Amazingly good. I wish I'd had the time to make my own mayonnaise. Next time, I will. But, even with Hellman's Olive Oil Mayo, these were really good. And, they were pretty too. Now, will I add them to the party list? Nope, too much work for 150 people. For a small dinner party, absolutely. One other thing I'd do differently is to use a straight-sided cutter. I used one with little scallops on the edges and had to tear the bread to finish it. I was trying to find the smallest round I could so we didn't spend too many calories on appetizers rather than dinner.
James Beard's Onion Canapes
Challa bread or another firm white bread
Mayonnaise - homemade or otherwise - just don't use salad dressing...
White onion, very thinly sliced
Parsley, finely chopped
Cut the bread into very thin slices. Cut out rounds.
Slather the rounds with mayonnaise.
Top half of the slices with a slice of onion.
Remove rings so that each onion slice just fits onto the bread round. Top the onion slices with bread rounds - mayonnaise side in. Coat the edges of each canape with mayonnaise then roll them in the chopped parsley. Refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving.