Friday, 31 December 2010

Why Mums Don't Need To Go To Iceland

Just a short post about some easy to do party nibbles that I've tried recently which seemed to go down well. I've noticed that there's a great trade in so called Party Food at the supermarkets these days. You can  buy a ton of "party food" at Iceland for a couple of quid, but I dread to think a) what's in it, and b) what it tastes like, so whether you're a Mum or not, save yourself the effort of trailing round the aisles and try this simple recipe that you can knock up in the time it would have taken you to drive to Iceland and back, (for overseas readers that's the supermarket not the country) plus you'll  use up what you've probably already got, and have something that tastes great and contains no rubbish.

Using greek filo pastry means you don't have to go to the effort of making your own pastry, which is beyond the call of duty at this time of year. I recommend keeping a packet of filo in the fridge over Christmas as it can be pressed into mini muffin tins and filled with all sorts of things should the need arise. It's not that I think it's particularly delicious, in fact it's quite bland, but filled with Christmas type luxury goods it works really well.  You also have the advantage of being able to lever yet more food out of the fridge and into people's stomachs, thus using up some of the Christmas leftovers such as smoked salmon, stilton, and cream, before they spoil and are wasted, which is of course, a criminal offence.
The bases
You'll need a packet of filo pastry, and a tin to make the little tarts in - I used a mini muffin tin which has makes two dozen at a time.
Melt a large knob of butter and use it to brush on yourtins and your  filo pastry sheets before you cut it up roughly with a pair of scissors into small squares suitable for your tins, .Scrunch about three layers of buttered filo into each tin, you can be as rough as you like with the finish - it adds to the appearance it bits are left sticking up.
The fillings
I used three fillings because that was what I had in the fridge. You may well think of others.
1.Several ounces of chopped smoked salmon,  (use inexpensive trimmings if you're buying it)
2. Chopped walnuts with crumbled stilton cheese
3. Onion marmalade, with a slice of goats cheese or brie on top

Lightly beat together two medium eggs with a good half pint or so of double cream. Season with salt and pepper, except for the smoked salmon ones, which will be salty enough. It's difficult to give exact quantities as it rather depends on how much filling you put in each tartlet. But I would try to fill the cases and use the cream to fill in the spaces and you won't go far wrong. Bake in a hot oven till golden brown and slightly puffed.  You can serve them straight away, or more usefully cool them and store in the fridge for later.

Go upstairs and do your hair, put on the frock, and the shoes. Teeter into the kitchen and reheat your homemade canapes on an oven tray for a few minutes when you're ready to serve.

Happy New Year!


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