Cheese Straw Twists

These are an elegant and crowd-pleasing nibble, and just as suitable with a cold beer as with a glass of champagne. Make more than you think you’ll need – these are seriously addictive. Makes approx. 32 twists Ingredients 1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry Cheddar cheese Parmesan cheese Pinch of cayenne pepper Salt 1 eggContinue reading “Cheese Straw Twists”

Spiced Cheddar Cheesecake

A showstopper, make-ahead appetizer, and addictive in the extreme. This would also make a really nice cheese course in lieu of dessert. To make this, you will require a 5-inch diameter springform tin, easily procured online. Make sure your cream cheese is very soft before starting, otherwise you won’t get a light, fluffy cheesecake. ThisContinue reading “Spiced Cheddar Cheesecake”

Refreshing Red Pepper Soup with a Shrimp, Chorizo and Fried Parsley Garnish

A cold summer soup in the right context is refreshing and really wakes up the taste buds. However, in the wrong context a cold soup is jarring and unpleasant. Pick your moment wisely. Serve as a first course on a hot day, in small portions, with this garnish. The hot and cold contrast is justContinue reading “Refreshing Red Pepper Soup with a Shrimp, Chorizo and Fried Parsley Garnish”

No Notice Nibbles: Halloumi with Honey and Thyme

A sealed packet of halloumi lasts for ages in the fridge, so if you’ve got thyme growing and a bottle of honey kicking around, you can knock up a beautiful nibble at a moment’s notice. Feeds 4 Ingredients 1 x 225g packet halloumi cheese 3 – 4 sprigs of thyme Drizzle of honey Method: PreheatContinue reading “No Notice Nibbles: Halloumi with Honey and Thyme”

Black Olive Tapenade and Goat’s Cheese Crostini

Together, tapenade and goat’s cheese are a match made in heaven. Obviously you can eat the elements separately, but do encourage anyone you’re feeding to spread them on their crostini together. A couple notes on anchovy. As long as everyone you’re feeding loves olives and isn’t a vegetarian, just put them in and don’t tellContinue reading “Black Olive Tapenade and Goat’s Cheese Crostini”

Cannellini Bean Dip with Crispy Chorizo

The contrast between the hot, crisp chorizo and the smooth, lemony dip is delicious. Perfect for a warm evening with friends. If you’re feeding vegetarians, my cannellini crostini is an easily adaptable alternative. Feeds 4 as a nibble Ingredients 1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 1 large clove of garlic, minced 1 tbsp oliveContinue reading “Cannellini Bean Dip with Crispy Chorizo”

Crispy Baked Mussels on the Half Shell

I have written previously on the merits of mussels. This is a fun party dish that combines the elegance of steaming in white wine with the fun of a crisp canapé. It works best with large mussels because you are cooking them twice, thereby reducing the risk of overcooking. But of course, you don’t alwaysContinue reading “Crispy Baked Mussels on the Half Shell”

Chicken, Chorizo & Swiss Chard Phyllo Bundles with an Avocado and Tomato Salsa

A lovely light dinner or exciting first course, these crispy bundles really deliver on taste and texture. If serving these as a first course, divide the filling into 6 and use one sheet of pastry per person for 6 bundles, using unchanged quantities of everything else. If you haven’t got any cooked chicken to hand,Continue reading “Chicken, Chorizo & Swiss Chard Phyllo Bundles with an Avocado and Tomato Salsa”

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

Slow-roasting the tomatoes really concentrates their flavour and makes them much sweeter than the sundried tomatoes you get from a jar. A taste of summer even in colder climes. Feeds 2 – 4 Ingredients 200g cherry tomatoes Olive oil Salt and pepper 4 slices of sourdough or other rustic Italian-style bread 1 clove of garlic,Continue reading “Roasted Tomato Bruschetta”

Mini Chicken, Bacon, Leek & Chestnut Pies

These pies just say Christmas! Big enough to be generous, but small enough for a party snack, if I saw a plate of these beauties any time over the festive period, I would instantly know I was welcome. If homemade shortcrust pastry isn’t your thing, you can buy pre-made shortcrust pastry in most grocery stores.Continue reading “Mini Chicken, Bacon, Leek & Chestnut Pies”