Hitting the Jackpot: Casino Canapes
Writer Sean joins us to show that poker night doesn’t have to be all about chicken wings and beer.
Hosting a casino-themed game night party for friends recently, I was struck with the urge to put together something a little more than average (food-wise, of course). Yes, a downscale game night with pizza and booze can be fun, but for this occasion we wanted something a little classier.
I poked around online to find some aesthetic inspiration—I used my iPad and found an iPad Casino and yes, I might have played a few games to get me in the mood too! Here’s what I settled on: I used the black and red color palette of the roulette wheel as inspiration for my blinis, which I topped with red and black caviar and laid out in a circle. In keeping with the savory theme I topped square crackers with red peppers and black olives to make hands of cards for poker, and stacked Chinese crackers in matching colors to represent chips. I grabbed some trays and set out some crudités and cold meats according to color to represent slot machines, and as a finishing touch I put the dips in little Vegas0style casino token buckets I had lying around.
The star though, was the roulette-themed caviar bites. Blinis are one of my favorite things to serve and they are quick and easy to make if you follow this recipe:
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
2/3 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg
1/4 pound unsalted butter
Black and red caviar
1/4 cup creme fraiche
Fresh dill or chives for garnish
Combine flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and 1 tablespoon of butter, then whisk into the flour mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan and drop the batter into the hot skillet, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat until bubbles form on the top side of the blini. Flip and cook for another minute, or until brown. Repeat with remaining batter. Set aside to cool on a wire tray.
Add a dollop of crème fraiche to the blini then top with a spoonful of red or black caviar and sprinkle chives or dill over as garnish.
See how well the colors reflect those of a roulette wheel? Everyone agreed that my casino themed evening hit the oh-so-delicious jackpot, so it looks like we will be repeating it on a regular basis.