“I’m no good at chatting up and always get rebuffed,
Enough to drive a man to drink, I don’t do no washing up”
But you will always find me in the kitchen at parties!
And that is exactly where I spent most of my Saturday. Not just at the party but throughout the day as I prepared, cooked and presented the tasty food that I was to serve at my festive banquet.
- Christmas Cocktail: Pointsettia
- Savoury Pesto Palmiers
- Spiced Nuts
- Cranberry and Soy Glazed cocktail sausages
- Pigs in blankets
- Savoury cheese twists (aka Just the blankets!)
- Chocolate peanut butter cups
- Cheese board with Chilli Jam
- Charcuterie: jamón, salami, chorizo
- Crudités and Humous
- Chocolate reindeer
As with all my parties, if my guests wish to bring things to add to the table then fantastic. The following were brought by others:
- Chicken croquetas
- Tuna Croquetas
- Nigella’s Christmas Cookies
When I woke up on Saturday morning (after Friday’s hair of the dog beer that then became 5 pints and a kebab!) I thought it best to make a start with menial tasks until I was fully awake and alert to go about measuring and weighing ingredients.
Knife in hand and with several foil platters at my disposal I went about chopping the vegetable crudités and arranging them onto platters; putting the charcuterie onto platters. Covering the platters with cling film and into the fridge. Job done.
Chocolate peanut butter cups.
1st: Put all the ingredients into a food mixer and blend together until you have the consistency of coarse sand.
2nd: Then squidge a teaspoonful of this mixture into small petit four cases. I find it easier to roll the mixture into a ball before pressing it in. Approx 50 of these can be made.
- 200g milk chocolate
- 100g dark chocolate
I didn’t use milk chocolate as I don’t normally use it for cooking so I just used 300g of dark chocolate.
3rd: Melt the chocolate by whatever method you prefer and top each of the peanut butter cups with enough chocolate to cover them.
4th: Sprinkle with any decoration that takes your fancy. I opted for green and red sugar strands (confetitos). What can I say? As camp as Christmas!
I put these peanut butter cups into the fridge to help set the chocolate and to get them out of the way.
The following recipes are in a previous blog titled “Nigella is for life not just for Christmas!” click on the link to take you to these recipes.
I made both the spiced nuts and the cocktail sausages in advance and then put them into sealed foil containers ready to be warmed up in the evening.
A couple of hours before lift off, I made the Pigs in Blankets and Pesto Palmiers.
1st: Unroll the puff pastry onto a floured surface.
2nd: Spread the pastry with pesto from a jar.
3rd: Grate parmesan cheese to cover the pesto.
4th: Hold one end of the pastry and fold into the centre. Repeat with the opposite side. Fold in half and cut into thin strips.
5th: Place cut side up onto a baking sheet. Bake at 220ºC for 15mins or until golden.
Pigs in Blankets & Just the Blankets
1st: In a bowl put 375g Self Raising Flour, a heaped teaspoon of salt and 20g of grated Red Leicester.
2nd: In a measuring jug add 125ml of Whole Milk, 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and an egg. Mix together and pour the wet ingredients into the dry.
3rd: Once combined into a ball, roll out the pastry onto a floured surface.
4th: Cut the pastry into small rectangles.
5th: Roll each cocktail sausage into the blanket. For the veggie option just leave out the sausage to create a pastry cheese twist.
6th: Egg wash each blanket and bake in the oven at 220ºC for 15mins or until golden.
As my guests arrived I started baking both the palmiers and pigs in blankets, whilst warming the spiced nuts and the cocktail sausages at the same time.
I will say one thing though: the poinsettia cocktail (1 bottle cava, 500ml of cranberry juice and 125ml of cointreau of which there were 5 bottles of cava!) was also in the kitchen.
Hence spending most of my time in the kitchen at parties!
From welcome cocktail and savoury nibbles to a sweet little something at the end, I hope I’ve been able to give you lots of ideas on how to throw a Christmas Party where your guests are impressed by your food & drink and want to be invited again next year!
Here’s to another great year in food.
Merry Christmas Everyone