Canapés, dumplings and dessert inspired by the colour red

They say that all things comes in three and in this case it might be true. We have had three different lots of friends to come visit within a short period and it has been so much fun. We had some very late summer weather, really amazing for this time of the year still spotting brave sea swimmers in the mornings. I have to admit I wasn’t even tempted to get in to the sea and nothing but an accident would make me even think of participating in the Boxing day swim. My thoughts ran along the lines of watching the mad swimmers whilst possible taking a swig or two from a flask filled with lovely mulled wine. This is before I realised that it is 10 or 11 am so perhaps I should think of bringing a flask with tea instead!


This weekend a friend was down for the day, it was her birthday and she came down with her man to visit and wanted to meet up for a drink. I was immediately thinking about making some nice canapés and get some bubbly in the fridge for a suitable celebration. Another friend arrived beforehand to stay the night. We had decided to cook together so I got some dumpling skins out and wanted to make dim sum for dinner. The canapés would make a perfect starter. Celebrations are so much fun!


I was going to make a couple of canapés but then I got a little carried away, it is good that they are small things! It started at the fishmonger where I spotted some herrings caught the night before. I learnt that herring season just started and they are now nice and big, very shiny and they are of course delicious. I got three of them. Herring is quite a fatty fish, the good fat, so I didn’t use any butter or oil but cooked them in the oven with salt, pepper and only a slice of lemon and it was delicious in it’s simplicity.




Going out to buy the ingredients I saw that there was an artisan farmers market besides the usual market and I went to both and came home with; smoked salmon, diced venison, smoked chestnut mushrooms and smoked Camembert from The Margate Smokehouse where you can find very interesting produce, all with the lovely smokiness running through it. I need to build that smoker!

I had also bought fresh king prawns, a log of goats cheese, fresh eggs, the most adorable white strawberries, quails eggs and watermelon. Happy with the result of my shopping I raided the cupboards and came up with a pomegranate, rice paper, lemon, an apple and some prosciutto. Some of the ingredients were for the dumplings and some for the canapés. As I was in the veg monger the white strawberries with their red seeds made me think of red fruits and dessert. I almost never make desserts but I knew that my friend would like some. I have to admit I bought a large piece of lemon drizzle cake at the artisan food market. I have tried to make them but it never turns out quite the same and this one had a lovely, sugary crust on top.


White strawberries 01Nov_WhiteStrawberries


I put all the ingredients on the kitchen island and started to think of what to make. The first pairing was goats cheese, apple and prosciutto.


Goats cheese rolls 

preparation time 7-10 minutes 

cooking time 10 minutes 

serves 5 as a nibble or as a starter with other canapés

oven 180C or 350F


  • a goats cheese log
  • an apple
  • sliced prosciutto ham


  • balsamic glaze

Cut the cheese and the apples fairly equal in size. Place on 1/2 slice of prosciutto, roll up and place in an oven proof dish, Place in the oven to cook just before serving. Once done add the glaze and serve.




I boiled some quails eggs and cut them in half to be served with seasalt. I always find that if you boil them for precisely two minutes they always turn out with a perfect and delicious runny egg yolk.




Rice paper salmon rolls

preparation time 5-10 minutes 

cooking time 0 minutes 

serves 5 as a nibble or as a starter with other canapés


  • Rice paper
  • smoked, sliced salmon
  • creme fraiche


  • Chinese chives
  • lemon zest
  • a sprinkle of yuzu
  • cucumber rounds

Separate the salmon and line them up so that they are easy to grab.


Rice paper 01Nov_RicePaper


Smoked salmon 01Nov_SmokedSalmon


Dunk the rice paper in hot water for about a minute or just until soft. Spread some creme fraiche on top and then add the salmon. Roll and place in clingfilm to shape it in to nice rolls. If you want bigger rolls add more layers.






Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Cut cucumber rounds and place the sliced rice paper salmon rolls on top. Sprinkle with the chives, grated lemon zest and a sprinkle of yuzu before serving.




I had some bresaola and some pretty lettuce. I scrambled a couple of eggs on low heat and placed inside of the bresaola, rolled it up and out it on top of the lettuce leaf together with some sliced smoked chestnut mushrooms.








The canapés went down with lots of bubbly and we had a great time.


Later in the evening we started on the dumplings. I had a great selection of fish from Jenkins and Son the fishmonger. They have a great selection and I picked up a handful of mixed fish pieces along with some king prawns. These became two kinds of dumplings and the diced venison the third.  The venison was paired with the smoked camenbert. Last time I made fish dumplings I had cod and feta cheese. I was sure I had feta cheese at home but I was wrong. In the end I decided to use the goats cheese. Carefully treading on the delicate line of mixing fish with cheese. The last dumplings were the prawns. I was quite pleased with my selection and my friend and myself merrily got started.


Mixed fish dumplings 

preparation time 10-15 minutes 

cooking time 10 minutes 

serves 3 together with other dumplings as a main course


  • a handful of mixed fish, there was cod, hake and salmon in my mix
  • about 2 cm or 0.8 inch goats cheese
  • 1 red chilli
  • salt & pepper
  • chopped parsley

Chop the fish and goats cheese in to small cubes. De seed and chop the chilli fine, add chopped parsley and last salt and pepper. Place a teaspoon on a dumpling skin, wet the edges with water and shape them in to a dumpling shape with the crimped top.


The fish mix




Spicy prawn dumplings 

preparation time 10-15 minutes 

cooking time 10 minutes 

serves 3 together with other dumplings as a main course


  • 6 raw king prawns
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tsp with mixed chilli, garlic and ginger
  • 1 tbsp creme fraiche

Peel the king prawns and chop them up. Cut up the avocado and mix all the ingredients. Place a teaspoon on each dumpling skin and shape them in to dumplings.




Venison and smoked Camembert dumplings

preparation time 10-15 minutes 

cooking time 10 minutes 

serves 3 together with other dumplings as a main course


  • 250 gr or 8.8 oz venison
  • 1/5 smoked Camembert
  • salt & pepper

Chop the venison and the Camembert fine, mix and add some salt and pepper.Place a teaspoon on each dumpling wrap and shape them in to dumplings.




We had quite a few dumplings in the end. I did pot sticker dumplings, pan fried and steamed and we enjoyed them with a soy and ginger dipping sauce.






A friend is a painter and he had done a beautiful red painting. Inspired by that I wanted to make a dessert inspired by the colour red.

A while back I bought some raspberry vinegar, I can make it but this was delicious. The colour is stunning and I made some jelly. The vinegar is so sweet you can drink it with a spoon.




I bought raspberries and made a coulis sweetened with honey. The lemon drizzle cake would be great with it and I added the white strawberries, watermelon and pomegranate seeds and it was a perfect ending to a somewhat indulgent but lovely dinner.




We had such a great time, covering many topics promptly deciding to get another date in the diary and do this again! Everyone has left and I have to admit we have had a chill out day on the sofa!


I bought dim sum last week to Angies always happening Fiesta Friday so this time I am bringing the canapés and the dessert but I will sneak in a few dumplings as well! They are such perfect sharing food!

The co hosts are Margy, La Petite Caserole who brought a delicious looking butternut squash soup with coconut milk! Juhls, The Not So Creative Cook brought black and white cooking, they look so good I wish I could reach out and have one, ok maybe a few as they look so very edible!



11 Responses to “Canapés, dumplings and dessert inspired by the colour red”
  1. I just have to comment first on the white strawberries, I have never seen them before they are fabulous!!! I think that everything is spectacular, beautiful and so professionally prepared it looks amazing. What an elegant offering for Fiesta Friday, incredible.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Suzanne
      Oh thank you for your absolutely lovely comment!
      I loved the look of the strawberries. I got very enthusiastic to the guy at the till, I said “they are sooo pretty, aren’t they?” I did get a very non committal look back and I am not sure he agreed! ha ha
      I am glad you like it!
      🙂 x

  2. Suzanne is right, you’ve offered elegant food to the FF, thanks a lot it’s very much appreciated!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Margy
      Thank you 🙂 I might be having a bit of a canapé inspired period at the moment but they are so nice to eat aren’t they? 🙂

  3. Jhuls says:

    Whoa! These are so gorgeous, Petra. I have never seen white strawberries before – they are beautiful. I’m glad you made it to Fiesta Friday. 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Juhls
      Thank you! 🙂
      The white strawberries are as delicious as they look! I just had to buy them 🙂 Happy FF!

  4. Most of your “canapes” look real good – like the idea of goat cheese and prosciutto. White strawberries are interesting as they do not contain a protein to make them turn red and apparently they are good for people who are allergic to strawberries – there is no difference in taste 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Judi
      Thanks am glad you like them 🙂
      How interesting re the strawberries! They are so pretty and the taste is just like regular strawberries as you say! 🙂

  5. Hilda says:

    You have been busy. I am intrigued by the venison and Camembert mixture. Some beautiful dishes to be enjoyed by us all at FF.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Hilda
      Thank you 🙂 The venison and the smoked Camembert dumplings worked well, it was purely experimental. At the moment venison is cheaper than beef and it is such a lovely and lean meat! x

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