Xanthe Clay’s Beetroot-stained Smoked Salmon with Beetroot and Walnuts

This modern alternative to the traditional smoked salmon starter is great for adding a splash of colour on the festive table. Serves 2

1x250g pack of vacuum packed beetroot, drained

12 chives

8-12 walnut halves

1tbsp walnut oil

½ tsp sherry vinegar

sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper

120g smoked salmon

2 tsp crème fraîche

2 sprigs of dill

Take one beetroot and slice it into thin rounds. Put the salmon on a plate (if it is already sliced, then remove the plastic sheets interleaving the pieces, but arrange the slices so that they are evenly overlapping). Grind over a little pepper and lay the beetroot over the top. Cover tightly with clingfilm and put a second plate on top to weigh it down. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours (at least 4 hours). Cut the rest of the beetroot in half, then slice into half circles about as thick as a pound coin. Slice the chives finely on the diagonal. Break the walnuts into three or four pieces each. Mix the sliced beetroot halves, chives, walnuts, walnut oil and sherry vinegar. Season well with salt flakes and pepper. (Up to this point can be prepared 6 hours ahead).

Just before serving, peel the beetroot circles off the salmon. Arrange the salmon, crumpling it slightly into a nest, on one large or two individual plates. Spoon the salad in a pile on top. Drop a dollop of crème fraîche on top. Break off tiny fronds of dill and scatter over the salad.

Shallot, Prawn and Thai Rice Noodle Salad in Filo Baskets

These dainty seafood bites taste as delicious as they look, giving your guests a taste of the orient. Makes 30 canapes

For the filo tart shells:

4 sheets Filo pastry

2-3 tbsp melted butter

1 x 12 Canapé sized muffin tin

For the filling:

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

150g prawns

50g cooked rice noodles, chopped

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp Asian fish sauce

½ tsp sugar

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped

1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 tsp sesame seeds

2 tsp lime zest, grated

2 red chillies, deseeded and very finely chopped

First prepare the filo shells. Brush one sheet of filo pastry with melted butter. Place another sheet on top and brush well with butter and cut out rounds approx. 4cm diameter.

Then line the muffin tins with the pastry (two sheets thick as they have been cut out). Bake until golden brown – approx. 4 – 5 minutes.

Remove all shells from the tin, cool and set aside and use within one week or freeze for one month.

To make the salad filling, mix together the shallots, prawns, noodles, soy, lime, fish sauce, sugar, sweet chilli sauce, fresh herbs (keep some coriander leaves aside for garnish), tomatoes, sesame seeds, lime zest and chillies.

To serve, divide the mixture between the filo tartlets. Garnish with remaining coriander leaves.

Japanese style Radish and Rare Beef Roll-ups

Featuring ruby red radishes and bright green watercress, these delicious canapés are the perfect colours for a Christmas party spread. Makes 16 canapes

450g fillet steak (1 long thin piece works best)

2 tsp oil

8 radishes

4 spring onions

2cm root ginger

2 tbsp sesame oil

40ml soy sauce

½ tbsp wasabi paste

Bunch watercress

Black sesame seeds, to sprinkle

Season the steak with salt and white pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan until very hot and sear the steak on all sides so it’s quite dark on the outside but still feels soft and rare on the inside. Wrap it in cling film and place it in the freezer for 1 hour.

Chop each radish into 8 wedges and slice the spring onions length ways into thin slivers.

Finely grate the ginger and combine with the sesame oil, soy and wasabi paste.

Unwrap the steak and slice as thinly as possible, you should get 16 slices out of it. Place a few pieces of radish and spring onion along with a sprig or two of watercress at one end of a slice of beef and roll it up. Repeat this until all of the beef and vegetable are used up.

Arrange the beef rolls on a plate and sprinkle with the sesame seeds, serve with the dipping sauce.

Find more recipes inside the December 2011 issue of Dorset Society