We are winding down from our busy December catering. During the season we prepare hundreds of canapés for receptions and dinners. I am always delighted when we are asked to prepare elegant canapés for a dinner party. Two dishes that stand out this season were a local spiny lobster cocktail and quail's eggs accented with fresh black French truffles of the fungus kind. I wish truffles were as cheap as potatoes but they run an amazing $825 per pound.
The local lobster, really a spiny lobster, is in season from October to March. The prices have soared over the last few years because most of the catch goes to the Asian markets. The three lobster I purchased ran $212, at $35 per pound! Since the net from these "bugs" as they are called is about 20% that translates at a net cost of $175 per pound. They were served simply with a horseradish cocktail sauce on ceramic spoons. Since they are so precious I even took the time to extract the meat from the legs.
The quail eggs were deviled and mixed with chopped truffles. I set them on blanched leeks and finished with a sliver of sliced black truffle. They provide an elegant bite that marries well with champagne.
Wishing you all the best for the New Year.
Chef Michael Hutchings