Cold and Hot Cucumber Canapes

Ingredients

Very unusual! Few guests will guess what these canapes are made of until they've taken several bites. I particularly like serving these in warm weather, though they're terrific anytime.

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • kosher salt or sea salt -- as needed
  • 1 can smoked oysters (3 2/3 oz.) -- drained
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice -- or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard -- or to taste
  • hot pepper sauce -- to taste
  • 7 thin slices white bread -- firm textured
  • mayonnaise -- as needed
  • 2 teaspoons New Mexico hot red chile pepper -- ground

Directions

Slice ends from cucumber, then score sides with tines of a fork. Cut into 28 very thin crosswise circles from cucumber; set remaining cucumber aside. Sprinkle a large flat, paper towel lined plate generously with the salt. Then carefully place cucumber slices in a single layer on salt. Sprinkle tops of cucumber with salt & cover with another layer of paper towels. Weigh down with a plate & let stand about 2 hours at room temperature. Then rinse slices & pat dry. In a food processor or blender, combine oysters, lime juice, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, mustard, hot pepper sauce & remaining cucumber (cut in chunks). Process until well chopped but not pureed. Taste & adjust seasonings. (The mixture can be made as hot or mild as you prefer.) Using a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut 28 small rounds of bread; or, if lacking a cutter or short on time, quarter each slice of bread. Spread each round or quarter with mayonnaise, then with the smoked oyster mixture. Cut each cucumber slice almost in half, leaving halves attached just by the rind & a bit of cucumber next to it. Roll each half around your index finger, curling 1 half round forward & 1 half round backward; set a curled cucumber slice on each canape. Sprinkle canapes with ground chile.
Makes 28 appetizers.