Put this on your list of easy French appetizers for the holidays!
I must admit, my friends are getting a little tired of my same-old Happy Hour Crackers chasing them around every time they come for an apéritif at my place. (In case you aren’t tired of them, click on this link and scroll down to the third photo).
Plus, it’s the holidays, so I think it’s high time to up my appetizer game. Here’s what I’ll be serving with the first toasts of the night: Pâté Canapés. These easy French appetizers take just three ingredients and about 10 seconds to make.
• Top with a terrific purchased pâté (I found a great locally made one at a nearby cheese shop for the photo, above, but on a national level, I can highly recommend the Duck Liver Mousse with Cognac by Alexian Pâté and Specialty Meats.).
• Dab a little mustard atop that, and finish with a few slivers of sliced cornichons—those diminutive French sour gherkins.
You’ll find that the French ingredients and add a beautifully bright contrast to the rich, lush, pâté. If you can, try to find the Maille brand of cornichons from France; these cuties are crisp and tart—but not as sharply vinegary as lesser brands I’ve tried. While you’re picking up the cornichons, pick up some Maille mustard; I especially love the smooth, sunny-bright Maille Dijon Originale mustard, though the Maille Old Style–with its beady grains of mustard seed–adds a nice textural contrast to the canapés.
You should be able to find Maille Mustard and Maille Cornichons at any good local gourmet shop or well-stocked supermarkets; however, if you can’t find them, click on the Amazon affilate links below this post.
PS: What is a canapé, you ask? It’s a small appetizer bite that’s usually made by topping a cracker or a little toast round with something good, such as cheese, spreads, cured meats, tapenade, hummus–the list goes on. You’ve probably been making canapés all your life—you just didn’t know it!
PS: The word “canapé” is French for “couch”—it’s like the cracker is a couch, comfortably holding those great ingredients. Formdiable, n’est-ce-pas?
The fine print: If you buy anything through an Amazon affiliate link on this site, I’ll get a small commission. Also, last summer, the Maille company sent me some pickles and mustard for sampling. They needn’t have done so—I buy them all the time and I’d be recommending them here whether or not they shipped them to me.