BATAVIA CLUB CANAPÉ
Picture the grand old ‘Hotel Des Indes’ in Batavia (Jakarta’s colonial name). It was a famous hotel in the days when travel meant long journeys by rail or sea and where the rich and famous of its day would stay. Where during official functions and private regal feasts, local jongos, or male servants, would carry silver plated carrying trays with appetizing hors d’oevres.
This light snack would have been chef Jeff’s signature finger food, if I would be the head of the kitchen. I call it ‘Batavia Club Canapé’ in honor of the hotel’s glory days in the former Dutch East Indies. Get ready for a combination of sweet tasting creamy peanut butter, mixed with the savory saltiness of thick cut bacon. The smoky, nutty, meaty, sweet and salty flavors make you want to pair this with champagne. While this canapé is deceptively easy to make, the ingredients provide a surprising taste, and will leave everyone guessing at the secret recipe.
9 oz bacon
9 oz creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce
2 tablespoons of mayonaise
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fry the bacon until very crisp and dry on paper towels.
Grind the fried bacon in a food processor until very fine, scraping occasionally down.
Put the bacon in a bowl and add the peanut butter – (slightly less in volume than the bacon) the sweet soy sauce, mayonnaise and mix.
Add salt to taste and mix.
Spread out the toast pieces.
Apply a thin layer of butter on the toast
Spread the peanut-bacon mixture generously on the buttered pieces of toast. I use toast that is approximately 1” x 1”
For making perfect toast;
An old colleague taught me how to make perfectly dry toast.
If you toast bread in a conventional toaster, it burns before it dries, while bread is toasted in the oven or burns as if has become so dry that it crumbles when you try to cut it. Here’s the secret:
Cut the slices of bread in the final form before roasting; square, rectangular, round or whatever form and keep in mind that the toast will shrink during the drying process.
Arrange the cut pieces on a baking rack. This ensures that the pieces of toast dry evenly, both the top and bottom.
Place the rack with the pieces of bread in the oven and turn the oven off.
Allow the bread to dry for about 15 minutes. In this way, the toast will not burn.
This recipe comes from my 2nd cookbook, “the new Indo Dutch cuisine by Jeff Keasberry” – published in Dutch in the Netherlands.