We entertain a lot at home and while my friends are as casual as we are, it’s nice to every now and then do something a little bit special, rather than opening a couple packs of crackers and ripping the lid off the supermarket dip. So when I had some old friends coming by whom I hadn’t seen in ages I wanted to of course impress them on how clean my house was (not) and how together and organised I was (not). Well at least I knew I would be able to do some tasty little morsels for them and as always opted for the easy variety.
Smoked Salmon on mini toasts is an old favourite of mine that I remember making for my mum when they had fancy parties. Hang on, does that make it very old fashioned or is it retro by now? So easy, needs 10 minutes, I spread the toasts with goat’s cheese, lay a small piece of pre-cut smoked salmon folded in half, top with a sprig of dill. Also nice with capers or thin slice of Spanish onion if no dill available.
Pear slices with goat’s cheese and a slice of prosciutto are also fairly self explanatory. I used Packham pears (any would suffice) while they were still hard, ripe pears too soft for this job. Slice flat pieces about 1/2 cm thick, lay the folded prosciutto and add a generous chunk of goat’s cheese. I left some without the cheese to try to suit all, and garnished with chives.
The Meatballs with Pesto to dip disappeared so quickly I barely got this photo snapped in time. The meatballs were simple:
- 500g beef mince
- 1 egg
- 1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic and fresh oregano in blender
- splash any of tomato sauce/paste, Worcester or BBQ sauces, mustard or chilli
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- mix it all together and roll into balls – bake for around 30 mins on 180-200C.
The Pesto was a little different to the usual, forgetting that I was making it I had no pine nuts or Parmesan cheese, but I did have goat’s cheese (the favourite ingredient for the day) and cashews.
Pesto Scrolls were pretty easy, cut small thin strips of Puff pastry (about 1 x 3cm) and spread presto, rolling them into little scrolls and baking for about 15 minutes. I sprinkled a bit of sesame seeds on top too. They were a little bland for me but the kids couldn’t keep away from them.
In case my guests were still hungry I had some marinaded chicken wings at the ready to throw on the barbie. Again it’s nice simple BBQ food but a little more fancy than a sausage in bread.
Emma Eastman 2015