When the doorbell rings at my house signalling guest arrival, I snap on a smile and glide towards the front door. I’m the proverbial duck swimming in water giving the illusion of calm whilst frantically paddling below the surface. Lets face it – I’m not naturally a calm person.
The key to my outward calmness is my organisation. It has taken me a number of years to fully understand my over ambitious nature and come to terms with the fact that a normal person can’t make a plethora of dishes from scratch and come out of it calm.
More clever menu planning over the years has seen me (and this blog) present dishes with big flavours in an uncomplicated and unpretentious way. It’s much more manageable and means that I can actually enjoy the company of my friends when they visit.
Clever menu planning means having something ready to go the moment that doorbell rings, and it is why the humble canapé will always be on a menu plan in our household. I’ve waxed lyrical about canapés since the inception of this blog for good reason – if you can get morsels of tasty food into your guests the moment they arrive, they will be much more forgiving during the evening which gives you time to prepare the rest of the meal. Canapés at home do not need to be fancy affairs with microherbs and the elements delicately placed with tweezers, in my home they are most definitely rustic.
Over the past few months, I’ve been working with Woolworths to bring you some great recipes featuring their award winning Woolworths Gold range and this month, I’ve been challenged to create two recipes featuring their premium quality cheeses – Australian Fetta with Black Truffle and the brand new Woolworths Gold Halloumi.
I’ve played around with both cheeses (somebody’s got to do it in the name of research) and have got two wonderful make ahead canapé ideas for you to try using these two great cheeses. Both are quick, easy and rustic, but boy are they tasty.
The first is a recipe of whipped minted fetta and oven roasted tomato crostini which is simply small toasts rubbed with garlic, spread with whipped minted truffle fetta and topped with an oven roasted baby roma tomato. This recipe takes 20 minutes to make and packs an incredible amount of flavour into one mouthful.
Whipped Mint and Truffle Fetta with Oven Roasted Baby Roma Tomatoes
- 24 baby truss tomatoes
- 1 french bread stick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- 276g Woolworths Gold Black Truffle Fetta in Oil
- 80g cream cheese
- 8-10 mint leaves (plus more to serve)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 200° Celsius (390° Fahrenheit).
Place baby truss tomatoes in a baking dish lined with baking paper, and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven.
Cut breadstick into thin slices cutting at an angle and place on a large baking tray. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and also pop in oven. Bake both items for 20 minutes until the bread is golden and the baby tomatoes are starting to split but still holding their shape.
Meanwhile, to make the whipped fetta drain the feta from the oil (reserving the oil for use with other dishes) and place in a food processor with the mint. Pulse until the fetta forms small crumbs, then add cream cheese and lemon juice and blend for 4 minutes until the fetta is light and creamy.
Once the toast and tomatoes are ready, remove from the oven and rub the toasts all over with a garlic clove cut in half. Top each toast with a spread of the whipped fetta, a mint leaf, and a roasted tomato and serve.
The second recipe is for halloumi dukkah rolls with a roast capsicum dipping sauce. This is made using filo pastry sprinkled with dukkah, parsley and lemon zest which is rolled around with a finger of Woolworths Gold Halloumi and fried with a brush of oil. The winner here is definitely the capsicum sauce which is made from store bought roasted capsicum blitzed with yoghurt, lemon, parsley and garlic.
Halloumi Dukkah Rolls with Roast Capsicum Dip
- 6 filo pastry sheets, thawed
- 250g Woolworths Gold Halloumi Cheese
- 4 tablespoons dukkah*
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Handful continental parsley
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 300g jar roasted capsicum in oil
- 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons continental parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
To make the halloumi rolls cut the halloumi into 12 even sized fingers and set aside. Lay the 6 filo pastry sheets on top of each other and cut in half lengthways and widthways to make 24 rectangles. Set aside under a damp cloth.
Lay down two filo rectangles on top of each other on a clean bench and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle over some dukkah, parsley and lemon zest, then place a halloumi finger on the base of the short edge. Roll the halloumi and filo together and then when you are near the end fold the edges in and complete the roll. Set aside and repeat with remaining halloumi fingers.
To prepare the dip, drain the capsicum from the oil and place in a blender with yoghurt, parsley, lemon juice and garlic and blend for a few minutes until completely combined. Set aside in the fridge till ready to serve.
Cook with rolls on a well oiled frypan over medium heat, turning regularly until the filo is golden. Serve immediately while the halloumi is soft with the capsicum dip and lemon wedges.
* Dukkah is an Egyptian nut and spice blend that can be bought in most supermarkets in Australia.
Chew Town would like to acknowledge its partnership with Woolworths for this post. You can read Chew Town’s disclosure statement here for more information on brands that Chew Town chooses to work with and why. The recipe above was created, developed and photographed by Chew Town using ingredients from Woolworths.