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Smoked Mussel Canapés

These are popular canapés, and very easy to produce.

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For 8-10 small canapés, or 4 as part of a light lunch:

- 1 tin of Smoked Mussels - available from all good supermarkets
- 15g/½ oz Butter
- 1 rounded dessertspoon Plain Flour (10ml)
- 125ml/¼ pint Milk
- A pinch of Paprika
- Salt, freshly-ground Black Pepper and a small shake of Tabasco sauce or ¼ teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
- A squeeze of Lemon Juice
- Small sprigs of fresh Parsley to decorate


1. Gently melt the butter - remove from the heat, and stir in the flour, ensuring there are no lumps.

2. Return the pan to a low heat, and little by little blend in the milk - ensuring that each addition has been incorporated before adding the next.

3. Bring the sauce to the simmer, so you have a smooth thick sauce.

4. Season to taste with salt, pepper, paprika, Tabasco and lemon juice.

5. Open the tin of mussels, drain - and throw away the liquid. Rinse them under running water to remove the oil.

6. Just before serving, toast the bread, and cut it into 4 big or 8-10 small circles with a pastry cutter or glass.

7. Add the mussels to the sauce, then distribute the mixture carefully over the canapés - being particularly careful to keep them neat if they are to be served as finger food.

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