Christmas party ideas # 1 â the cocktail party
As I have said in the past, the key to any entertaining is the organisation.
Sit down and write lists!
- What to eat. Then make shopping lists and ‘to do’ lists. Pick food that can be mostly prepared the days before and put together on the night.
- What to drink. I strongly suggest you serve cocktails, not just champagne, wine and beer. Do have lots of sparkling water available.
- Do you need a waiter to help serve the drinks and food?
- What needs to be done around the house?
- What you are going to wear?
- Oh yes, and a note to the neighbour about potential noise.
Here are a few suggestions for a cocktail party (some of my personal favourites).
Sir Royale (cocktail)
15mL of crème de cassis then top with sparkling wine
Chicken herb and mayonnaise sandwiches (makes 48 sandwiches)
- 1 loaf white or wholemeal bread
- ½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup homemade mayonnaise
- Pinch sea salt and pepper
- 2 roasted chickens (use BBQ if you have to)
- ½ cup softened butter
- Remove all the chicken and skin from the bones and chop up finely. (I know the skin is a bit naughty but it’s so delicious and has no additives or preservatives).
- Add the mayo, parsley, salt and pepper and mix all together. The mix can be made the day before.
- Butter the bread and place in the mixture. You should get around 12 rounds from the loaf of bread.
- Cut each sandwich into four, either triangles or little oblong sandwiches.
- They can be made an hour or two before serving, cover with a damp tea towel.
Smoked salmon tartlets (makes 48 tartlets)
- 48 mini tart cases, can be purchased at supermarkets and delis
- 350g smoked salmon
- 1 large ripe but firm avocado
- 600mL cream, whipped
- 2 tablespoons horseradish cream mixed into the whipped cream
- Bunch of dill
- Cracked pepper
- In each tart case, place some smoked salmon, top with a slice of avocado.
- Then add a small teaspoon of the horseradish cream, a sprig of the dill and some cracked pepper on top.
Prawns with a honey hollandaise
- 48 prawns, nice big ones then peeled and deveined
- 3 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons softened butter
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Place the egg yolks in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water.
- Whisk the yolks for two minutes.
- Add the butter and the honey whisking all the time until the mixture thickens.
- Add the salt and pepper, vinegar and lemon juice and stir for further two minutes.
- Preferably serve immediately. It is possible to store in a plastic container in the fridge for a few days, sit on bench and bring to room temperature before using.
Filo vegetable parcels
- 1 packet of filo pastry
- ½ cup melted butter
- Bunch of beetroot
- 2 carrots
- 375g block of cream cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Grate the carrot and the beetroot and toss together in a wok or large saucepan till combined.
- Brush a sheet of filo pastry with butter and place another on top.
- Cut the pastry into six strips with the pastry in ‘landscape’.
- At the bottom of each, place some vegetable mixture and a small teaspoon of the cream cheese. Roll into an oblong parcel. Do this process one sheet at a time as the pastry dries out quickly. While working, cover remaining pastry with a damp tea towel.
- Brush the tops with melted butter and bake for about 15 mins in an 180C oven, or till golden.
Published: Friday, November 26, 2010