Cocktail Party Food
Tantalising and tasty nuts and nibbles! That’s the motto for preparing cocktail party food and we’ve some advice to help make your party the yummiest thing since chocolate.
- Provide a variety of finger-food including something for the vegetarians.
- Your guests won’t want to get too messy so sloppy saucy dishes aren’t a good idea.
- Be adventurous: include some unusual nibbles in among the more familiar.
- Have a mix of hot and cold.
- The cocktails themselves are the most important ingredient so make sure your food complements not overpowers the drinks.
- The nibbles are an extra not the star attraction so you don’t need to provide table-loads of food.
- Have one or two sweet snacks to bring out at the end of the evening to accompany coffee.
- Make up large platefuls of antipasti with meats, nuts and cheese.
- Have bowls of flavoured olives, smoked almonds and vegetable crisps scattered around.
- Top crackers with caviar, smoked salmon or stilton.
- Make mini-kebabs on cocktail sticks from a mix of cheeses and olives or onions.
- Use ready-made canapés but make them your own by presenting them beautifully.
- 1 lb olives
- 16 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, very finely sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Black pepper
- Orange peel, finely sliced
It can be kept in glass jars in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
You can vary the herbs to suit your own taste.
Caesar-Style DipFor a Caesar-style dip to serve with crudités of raw vegetables, pita bread and crisps, combine:
- ½ pt mayonnaise
- ¼ pt sour cream
- ¼ pt freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1 anchovy fillet, mashed
Guacamole Sailing boatsYou need:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Tortilla chips
Fish EggsYou need:
- 12 eggs
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 12 oz thinly sliced cold-smoked salmon, finely chopped
- ¼ cup salmon caviar
Nutty PearsYou need:
- Conference pears (allow 1 per 2 guests)
- Stilton cheese
- Lemon juice
Cheesy BallsYou need:
- 4 oz softened butter
- 8 oz plain flour
- 1 lb mature Cheddar, grated
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon paprika
Mix the butter and flour together. Beat in the cheese until you have well-mixed dough. Shape into walnut-sized balls and place on the baking sheet. Cook for about 10 minutes or until ready. Serve warm.
You can prepare these in advance and cover with clingfilm until ready to cook.
Cheese and Tomato TartsYou need:
- 1 lb goat’s cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons single cream
- 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
- 4 oz sundried tomatoes, chopped
Mix the cheese, salt, egg and cream together. Fold in the chives and sundried tomatoes. Divide between the tartlets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until well-risen and golden. Top with chives or tiny pieces of red pepper.
Round off the evening with strawberries dipped in chocolate, rich truffles and some crisp buttery shortbread.