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Finger food with flair

Forget fancy canapés and hors d’oeuvres! When you want a bite-sized morsel to serve up at a function, look no further than our Year 10 Food Technology students’ Moroccan Lamb Cigars.

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As part of their latest unit of work, ‘Food Service and Catering’, Ms Jalili’s Year 10 Food Technology students are learning all about the art of creating two-bite canapés.

Canapés, amuse-bouches, hors d’oeuvres or nibblies… whatever you want to call it, finger food needs to be easy to serve – and eat – at a function, especially if you are trying to hold a serviette and a drink in one hand and eat with the other, all while trying to hold an intelligent conversation.

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As Ms Jalili explained, canapé, which is derived from the French name for sofa, is a catch-all term for finger food that is spread or perched on top of a bite-size piece of toast or cracker. Hors d’oeuvres and amuse-bouches are often a lot fancier and require a lot more preparation… usually by a budding Masterchef. A nibble, by contrast, is much less formal, and maybe even a bit messy. It’s still finger food, but of a kind that requires you to lick your fingers clean afterwards, which can be a bit embarrassing when you are trying to make small talk.

Ms Jalili challenged her students to think about the sort of delicious finger food you can eat while standing up at a function, using one hand and without making too much mess. She also pointed out that a lot of time and effort can go into making finger food, which people then consume in two bites. Also, some of these bite-sized nibbles might be small, but they can be incredibly filling, so it’s wise to consider whether guests need to fill up on canapes or save themselves for something more substantial later on.

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Working from their own kitchens at home, Year 10 watched Ms Jalili’s demonstration via Zoom using pastry, brown onions, garlic, minced lamb, pinenuts, cumin, cinnamon, lemon rind, melted butter, Greek yoghurt and cucumber. They quickly realised that delicate filo pastry can be quite challenging to work with, but they persevered and were all able to produce pretty impressive looking Moroccan Lamb Cigars.

And best of all, they got to sample them at home with their very appreciative families… one of the perks of lockdown! You can download the recipe here (PDF 273.9KB).

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Over the coming weeks, Ms Jalili will be giving the students more ideas on what to rustle up when they or their parents are entertaining! And next on the menu? Chicken Schnitzel Sliders!