Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Festive treats

Families, eh?First few decades they do your head in as they're just so... annoying. And then slowly, you start to appreciate them. Miss, even! And then you find yourself feeling genuinely happy at the family getting even bigger as new members either join or are born into it. I've had my Niece and Nephew to bring me joy (and grey hair) for a while now, but now, in addition to that I also have my Goddaughter. And the latest addition: My British Brother's girlfriend Mane Magician! Oh, joy!

A little while back we threw together a birthday party for my brother - here are some of the treats we rustled up (fresh out of the Wine Expo, no less...!) . This is the season for endless cocktail parties anyway! And soon there's Hanukkah and Thanksgiving and Christmas and Kwanzaa and then it's time to start planning the New Year celebrations!

We had those mini quiches with fennel infused cold smoked reindeer that we probably should have made double the amount of. These little babies are also competing in a a fellow blogger's game challenge  - feel free to cast your vote here!

Using the soft flatbreads I fell in love with while making that un-Baba Ghanoush we made these roulades that have proved to be a massive hit at every single party. We spread some cream cheese flavoured with sun-dried tomatos on a flatbread, topped it with pastrami, black pepper and a layer of rucola. 

The fish version was made by using cream cheese with chives, finely grated lemon zest, cold smoked salmon and a layer of spinach leaves. Then just roll them tightly, wrap in foil or cling film and let rest in the cold for a couple of hours (not much more or they'll get soggy) before cutting them to bite-size pieces. Not only are these tasty, they're also easy and plentiful - one roll makes at least 8-10 pieces!

You'll find more inspiration for cocktail parties here. How about minilatkes with scallops and minty pea pure? Or scallops with Serrano ham - as simple as they are divine? Or Cuban meat-filled croquettes? Or another crowd pleaser: prawns with chorizo?

You can turn everyday staples to fancier treats too. A slice of toast can be turned to these Skagen cups.

We also made Spanish potato omelette Tortilla Española, but cut it to bitesize pieces and served with a slice of good chorizo.

Something as humble as the archipelago bread can be elevated to a very street credible cocktail delicacy too: Cut the slices with a little cutter (such as a shot glass you nicked from a bar during your reckless teenage years) and top with lemon herring or lobster herring!

We already have our New Year celebrations sussed out, by the way. Inspired by the demonstrations we witnessed at the Wine Expo, we'll be giving the art of sabrage a go! We've already familiarized ourselves with the theory bit , all that's left is sourcing a sword. Santa, are you listening...?





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