This season, I’m getting seriously involved in a hot and heavy relationship with glitter nail polish. I've also been to some mental Christmas parties where I have been lovingly fed some of the best party snacks ever. The two (nail polish and festive eating) really do walk hand in hand, as it just isn’t Christmas without glitter, and it isn’t glitter without a party, and it REALLY isn’t a party without food, even if it’s there to play no larger role than to soak up the Veuve.
Everyone has their fall-back canapé. My mum whips up little tarts of smoked trout, wasabi cream and pickled red onion for every event without fail. There is also a dish that appears at a few family functions (not for a while, however) - the ever-suspicious Seven-Layer Dip. Two of those layers are comprised of grated cheddar cheese, there is guacamole in there somewhere, and also those pre-sliced black olives you can buy in a jar. I think sour cream might hide under the second layer of cheese, or was it under the salsa? Anyway, it’s essentially nachos minus the chips. Mind you, we all freaking loved it until a few years ago when it disappeared from the banquet table. This strange disappearance may or may not have occurred around the same time of the Donna Hay Magazine launch, banishing grated cheddar from garnishing dips forever.
I first tasted something like this at John & Peter Canteen’s launch party at CarriageWorks in Eveleigh. They served theirs on a crisp, fried pastry with a light snowfall of Parmesan (which I forgot to put on mine before I photographed them, remember to do it!). Whipping the ricotta with a little milk smooths out the lumps and bumps and whips it up into something so soft and creamy you’ll want to dive head first into it. It’s milky taste softens the blow of the salty prosciutto, before the Parmesan ties it all together into a bite-sized canapé dream. The beetroot chips may look like dried salami (as my friend Emily pointed out) but I reckon they look quite pretty under the white ricotta, and are something a bit different to the boring old corn chip.
Happy holidays, and happy snacking!Beetroot chips with whipped ricotta and prosciutto
350g full-fat fresh ricotta
splash of milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x bag beetroot corn chips (the round ones, you can get them at any good providore, like Thomas Dux. You could use plain round corn chips too, but try to get unsalted ones.)
about 15 very thin slices of prosciutto
Using an electric mixer, whip the ricotta, milk, salt and pepper until it is smooth and fluffy; about 3 minutes.
Lay out about 25-30 beetroot chips on a serving tray. Fill a piping bag with the whipped ricotta and pipe about a 20cm blob of ricotta onto each chip. Top with a torn piece of prosciutto, and using a microplane or very fine grater, grate parmesan over the top of everything before serving. The whipped ricotta will last in the fridge for about 2-3 days if you want to whip it beforehand. WHIP IT GOOOOOD.