devils on horseback and cheese & pineapple

Summoned to a classy 70s party, I was asked to provide some canapés and I do love a challenge. The host was some mean foodie himself, so I can’t just roll up with a tube of Pringles and Iced Gems. My mind starts grinding back to the old clichés: prawn cocktail, melon and ham, glacé cherries… a little browsing and I’ve got it. Abigail’s flashback Devils on Horseback. The idea sounds disgusting, wrapping stodgy prunes in bacon. But I hope with a few touches I can elevate them a bit. I marinate the tinned prunes overnight in whisky, then stone them. In the cavity I spoon mango chutney. Then they’re wrapped in bacon.

That can’t be it, need something else too. I’m sure there’s something I can do with cheese and pineapple but I can’t quite place it and I want a replacement for the pineapple. I decide to caramelise the pineapple based on an old Gary Rhodes recipe that I’d looked at often but never done. Taking inspiration from that I fry the pineapple in some port until ruby red, and then a little brown sugar to up the ooze. So that’s the pineapple done, what else? And then it’s obvious, a different cheese other than cheddar. I pick salty, waxy halloumi as a counterpoint to the sharp and sweet pineapple. Impale with cocktail sticks on to half a melon, and we’re away. I’m very pleased with the results. They certainly disappeared quick amongst the flares – congratulations to Jenny for getting the last one.
(I’d love pictures but foolishly they were eaten before I could snap!)

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