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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.


Gina said...

That's a bummer about the show, it costs so much money to go out these days, at least you scored a recipe. I've never read that book, will have to look for it at the library, hope you have a great week.

The Mom Chef said...

How funny that James Beard made a recipe this easy and put it in his cookbook. Just four ingredients. Amazing.

I have to admit that we don't go to shows. There just isn't money in the budget with a 5 year-old. I'm lucky if I can get to the movies every few months with friends. :)

Lizzy said...

These are SO pretty! I'm glad something wonderful came out of the not so hot show (and boy would I owe Bill if we joined you...LOL).

Have a great weekend, Kate! xo

Eliotseats said...

I love live theater so much. It is disappointing when you don't walk out inspired or at least thoughtful. But, you were at least inspired to make these great canapes. They look marvelous.

Anonymous said...

I completely disagree. I went to to the James Beard play at the IRT and absolutely loved it. James Still's writing was both moving and and very funny. Robert Neal did an outstanding job!!

Kate said...

@anonymous - Robert Neal did a great job. The play was lousy. I stand by what I said. I'd advise folks to not waste their money.