It's close to the cocktail hour and it's time to start thinking about what kind of libation to make this evening. Monday is almost always a martini day since we rarely drink them on the weekends. One or two martinis are a great way to take the edge off during the week, especially on a Monday.
I usually make a little taste treat to go along with our drinks. We eat dinner about 7:30 or 8:00 in the winter so we like a wee nosh with the cocktail hour. One of our faves is a little caviar. We don't buy expensive caviar since I have a trick that makes the inexpensive caviar taste quite good. You'll find that most inexpensive caviar is too salty and even a bit strong so what I do is rinse it. Yes, simply rinse it well in a fine mesh strainer under ice cold water, then drain completely (shake, shake, shake and then sit strainer on a paper towel for a few minutes) so that not a drop of water is left. You will find that the caviar holds shape better when you get rid of all that yucky dye they like to put in with lumpfish caviar. They also over-salt it so rinsing takes off a lot of the salt.
I make a canapé cream cheese spread that I usually pipe out of a pastry tube for company, but sometimes, I don't feel like fussing for just two or four of us. As you can see from my photos, I spread it on willy nilly this time, like a slob. Heck, I am hungry!
To make my basic cream cheese (Neufchatel) spread for canapés of many types, mix as follows:
One brick of cream cheese (8 oz.)
1 Tablespoon of white Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon of mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons of sour cream
Dash of hot sauce (I prefer Tabasco)
Healthy sprinkle of garlic powder (not garlic salt!)
Stir it all up, beat until smooth. When at room temperature, pipe onto bread with pastry bag or spread with a knife if you are tired and whining about it being Monday. Unused spread keeps several weeks tightly covered in fridge. That's all there is to it. You can embellish it as needed for recipes and you can use a little dark Worcestershire Sauce if you cannot locate the white in your area. Don't skip the Worcestershire Sauce though. And, it is easy to double or triple if you are having a lot of guests.
I use those little canapé pumpernickel bread loaves and fry the slices in a little butter on one side, then put a little of my basic spread on the fried side, add a small spoon of caviar, a bit of pimento or sweet pepper, and a ruffle of parsley for color. Easy as pie!
These are delicious and the only thing that can make them taste better is washing them down with an ice cold Grey Goose dry martini and I'm off to do that right now!