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“Canapés Ivanhoe”

Canapés Ivanhoe” have been around at least since the 1940s. The eccentric R. D. Mennel mentions them and so does the equally eccentric Vicomte de Maduit, both of whom published in England at the time. In The Cook Book, Tom Parker Bowles is properly puzzled by the name, because the canapé in fact is a savory and, as he notes, it really has nothing to so with “Sir Walter Scott’s Norman knight.” No matter, this is an irresistible dish for anybody who likes smoked fish. Six servings.

  • Ivanhoe.jpg4 good sized flat mushrooms, stemmed and gilled
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • about a Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ lb diced smoked haddock
  • 2 Tablespoons hard cider
  • scant ½ cup heavy cream
  • cayenne
  • about 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon minced scallion greens
  • 1 Tablespoon minced parsley
  • 4 slices of toast


Preheat the oven to 350˚.

  1. Paint the mushrooms with olive oil, then season them with salt and pepper, divide the thyme between them and bake until soft, usually in about 10 minutes or less.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over low heat and gently cook the haddock until no longer opaque.
  3. Add the cider, increase the heat to medium and cook to evaporate the cider, then reduce the heat back down to low and pour on the cream, and the cayenne and some pepper, and cook the mixture until it thickens to nap the fish, usually in about five minutes.
  4. Swirl the lemon juice into the mix, check the seasoning and add the scallions.
  5. Top each slice of toast with an upside down mushroom, top it in turn with the creamy haddock and sprinkle the parsley overall.


-Parker Bowles peels his mushrooms. We never have understood why, let alone how, anyone does that.

-He uses white wine instead of cider but, as Ruby Tandoh realizes, cider and smoked haddock marry in harmony.

-He omits the scallions.