There’s nothing wrong with a retro prawn cocktail starter, but if you really want to impress, lobster’s the way to do it. Lobster tails are easy to prepare and have bags of flavour that marries perfectly with dill, the herby best friend of seafood. READ MORE
Mini potato cakes with a smoked salmon crown are the ultimate in posh party grub. There’s something deeply satisfying about the squidging and squashing of the potato cake mixture. And if you have access to a toddler with small hands you could make Borrower size ones.
Here’s a little video of the recipe:
250g Vivaldi salad potatoes, parboiled and grated
20g parmesan, finely grated
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon flour
½ medium egg, beaten
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
60ml soured cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper
70g smoked salmon, sliced
Whole fresh chives, to garnish
Firstly take 250g of Vivaldi salad potatoes, pop them into a pan of cold water and then bring them to the boil and simmer for between 8 and 10 minutes until they’re tender and cooked through. Drain them and then put them back into cold water to cool them quickly. Grate your cold potatoes (reason I use salad potatoes for this is because they’re going to hold their form better when you’re grating so you won’t end up with mashed potato.) Then add 20g of Parmesan, the zest of a lemon, plain flour and the beaten egg to the potatoes. Mix well.
When you’re forming these little rostis it’s a good idea to have some water to hand because having damp hands really helps to form them well. Squash a tablespoon of the rosti mixture between your hands, then fry in a tablespoon of rapeseed oil until golden brown. Let the rostis cool, then add a little sour cream, a bit of smoked salmon and some chives. Eat feeling very posh indeed.
This isn’t a new recipe… in fact it’s just a re-hash of an old one. This one in fact. It’s just that it’s Christmas and these little Thumbelina morsels that originally housed cherry jam seemed to be crying out to be filled with mincemeat and topped with a red M & M and two antlers of broken pretzel.
So follow the recipe and once cool make eyes and a mouth with a toothpick, prod two pretzel antlers into the marzipan and use a little icing (I used one of those little icing pens from Sainsbos) to stick a red nose on your Rudolf. And then if you’re feeling like Rudolf might need a piggy pal then go wild and make some of these:
Apologies for the rubbish photo. They didn’t survive to see morning light or my big proper camera. Easy to make, more so than the reindeer. Just add a little marzipan nose and two flaked almond ears before you bake your pigs. Eyes and nostrils added after with a toothpick. Oink oink!
Quick? Tick. Spicy? Tick. Easy? Tick. Satisfies my need to put everything on a stick? Tick. Quick, easy, spicy prawns on a stick for festive parties across the land. Doesn’t everything taste better on a stick? I think so.
If you prefer to watch a little video of how to make these click below:
– 12 tiger prawns, cooked and peeled
– Juice of ½ lime
– Pinch of paprika
– Pinch of Cajun seasoning
– ¼ cucumber, deseeded and chopped
– 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
These are so quick and easy it’s very hard not to eat them as you work, but that wouldn’t do at all. Simply pop the king prawns into a bowl, then take half a lime and squeeze it straight over the prawns and when you’ve got all the juice out give them a little stir. Now add to that marinade by popping in a pinch of paprika and a pinch of Cajun seasoning and stir well.
Let all those flavours mingle and in the mean time, cut up a cucumber to thread onto the sticks, scooping the seeds from the centre of the cucumber, then chop the cherry tomatoes in half. To assemble, take a cocktail stick, thread a piece of de-seeded cucumber on, next thread a prawn into the middle. Lastly, a quarter of cherry tomato.
The ultimate thrifty canape. An austerity-canape if you will. Bread cleverly toasted into cups to hold whatever your heart desires. Brie and cranberry is an old favourite of course but really the contents of your fridge and cupboard are the only limitation.
Makes about 12 but really depends how many people you need to feed and how full your fridge is with leftovers. Here’s a video if you prefer to watch rather than read:
Get your oven onto a really high temperature; 220 C. Roll your bread out thinly using a rolling pin and using a small cutter to fit a mini muffin tin, cut as many circles as you can from it. Take each little circle and brush with melted butter then press into a mini muffin tin, butter side down. Bake for 5 – 10 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they’re crisp and golden and they look like little toast cups.
Once they’ve cooled, line up your little toast cups and then whatever you’ve got in the fridge you can pop into these. I often have odds and ends of cheese leftover at Christmas time and I always have half a jar of cranberry sauce in the fridge, so this is a great way to use it up. I finished with some parsley here mainly to add a bit of colour.
This is easy but oh so satisfying. I always seem to have leftover cheesecake topping. My tins can’t be big enough. In the past I have, shock horror, either thrown it away (!) or made a kind of baseless cheesecake in old Gu pots. Deeply disappointing to find no biscuit under your cheese in my opinion.
Here’s how to use up leftover cheesecake topping like this one. Just chill it in the fridge, covered up, for about 30 minutes. Then spoon onto the top of digestive biscuits and bake at 190C for about 4 minutes until the top has set but there’s no browning. (Mr B and I disagree regarding which way up the biscuit should be. I say writing side up, he says writing side down.)
Then either eat warm or chill and serve to guests. These will be making an appearance at the annual Bell Christmas party along with our veggie samosas. Easy peasy.
I’m a mum of 3 boys, a cookbook writer and also a finalist on the 2011 Great British Bake Off.
I’ve decided to record the recipes I use, partly to save them somewhere and partly in case someone else might like to use them...
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