Watercress with cream cheese and pimento has become a standard for us at Christmas time and New Year’s Eve. We originally had this canape years ago from a catering company called If you are from the Bay Area, you might remember their Pink Bakery Boxes tied with pink curling ribbon that held the canapes – absolutely the best canapes from any caterer in the Bay Area, bar none. Unfortunately they closed their business in the mid-80’s. So sad…but I digress…
I love this canape in large part to the contrast of flavors between the pungent red pimento against the peppery tones of the watercress. When you take that first, one perfect bite…. heaven. For New Year’s Eve I also make them with black caviar on top.
~~ Usual suspects: white bread rounds, cream cheese, garlic powder, chopped watercress, and pimento or black caviar.
~~ Add cream cheese, garlic powder, milk, Worcestershire sauce and whirl in your food processor. Watch the amount of milk as you want this to be pretty firm and not thin like a “dip”.
~~ Chop the watercress leaves and add to prepared cream cheese.
~~ Mix the watercress gently with spatula so you don’t lose the volume of the cream cheese.
~~ Pipe the watercress and cream cheese onto bread rounds and top with pimento.
~~ Or caviar – seems like New Year’s Eve already!
~~ This is making me hungry…
~~ If transporting to someone else’s house, I pack them in Tupperware travel boxes and pray they “behave” in the car, and don’t end up upside down.
This canape is simple to make as it only needs 4 main ingredients (not counting the stuff I put in the cream cheese to make it taste delicious). But as with any canape, they can become labor intensive -so even if this takes you a bit more time they are definitely worth it (or so people tell me).
Ingredients:20 slices of white bread 2 heads of watercress – organic grown 1 small jar of red pimento 8 ounces of cream cheese 3 Tbl Milk 1/4 tsp Garlic Salt 1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce Black caviar (I buy the cheap one that costs about $6/jar)
In food processor, whip cream cheese, milk, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce, until smooth. You want this to hold its shape when you lift the beaters.
Cut out rounds from the bread, using either a cookie cutter or shot glass – I get 4 rounds per bread slice (some tear so 20 slices will give you about 70-75 canapes).
Watercress: hold the two bunches at top and chop off all the stems. Rinse the watercress leaves well in a colander, and pat dry. I like to use organic, thereby eliminating a lot of the dirt and grit to begin with.
Now finely chop the watercress leaves. Add watercress to the cream cheese and mix well with spatula.
Using a #16 pastry bag STAR tip, add the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe a mound onto a bread round and top with a small piece of pimento or dollop of black caviar.
If you don’t use pastry bags and tips, you can take a teaspoon and carefully add it onto bread round, and “sculpt” it into a mound. I used this method for years, and it really does take a bit of time, so decided piping was a better method for efficiency and actually looked the best – who knew?
Happy New Year!!
Yield: 70 canapes