NEW YEAR PARTY!

Get the party started with our easy nib­bles and help-yourself glazed ham

Easy Cook - - EASY COOK JANUARY -

Go the whole hog and cel­e­brate with nib­bles and a shar­ing ham for 20

1 Beet­root bli­nis with salmon

To make the blini bat­ter, blend 1 cooked beet­root and 170g pot Greek yo­gurt with a blender un­til smooth. Whisk in 2 eggs, ½ tsp bi­carb and 140g self-rais­ing flour. Drop tea­spoon­fuls of the mix­ture into a hot non-stick pan. Turn over when bub­bles start to form on the sur­face of each, then cook for about 30 secs and trans­fer to a wire rack. Re­peat. Can be made a day ahead and kept in an air­tight con­tainer. Spread each blini with a lit­tle cream cheese and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Top with smoked salmon and dill.

2 Chorizo with celeriac re­moulade

Peel and coarsely grate 1 celeriac and mix with 1-2 tbsp mayo, juice 1 lemon and 3 tsp Di­jon mus­tard. Can be made a day ahead, chilled. To serve, put 1 tsp of the celeriac mix onto in­di­vid­ual thin slices of chorizo, (40 in to­tal). Fold the chorizo over and se­cure with a cock­tail stick.

3 Chicory cups with prawns & mango

Sep­a­rate 4 chicory heads into leaves, then di­vide 2 x 150g packs cooked and peeled king prawns, 2 x 300g packs freshly pre­pared mango pieces and a few sprigs of salad cress be­tween them. As­sem­ble a few hours ahead and chill. Whisk to­gether 4 tbsp olive oil, juice 2 lemons and 2 tsp finely chopped co­rian­der and driz­zle a lit­tle over each filled chicory leaf.

4 Goat’s cheese & olive tape­nade spi­rals

Spread 3 tbsp black olive tape­nade over 4 large tor­tilla wraps, then crum­ble over 300g soft goat’s cheese and scat­ter with 200g pit­ted black olives. Tightly roll up the wraps – neaten them by cut­ting off the ends. Can be made a few hours ahead and wrapped in cling film. To serve, slice each one into 10 por­tions. Se­cure the spi­rals with cock­tail sticks and serve.

5 Mini croque mon­sieurs

Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Mix 100g grated Gruyère, a 200ml tub crème fraîche and 1 tsp Di­jon mus­tard. Sea­son with salt, pep­per and a pinch of nut­meg and spread half the mix­ture over 5 thick slices of white bread (crusts re­moved). Top with a layer of cooked sliced ham and an­other slice of bread. Spread soft­ened but­ter over one side of the sand­wich and place on a bak­ing sheet, but­ter-side down. Top the un­but­tered side with the rest of the cheese mix­ture and an­other 50g grated Gruyère. Can be as­sem­bled the day be­fore and chilled. Bake for 20 mins, then slice the sand­wiches into bite-sized pieces.

6 Fruit­cake with cheese & ap­ples

Cut 2 x 400g rec­tan­gu­lar fruit­cakes into thin pieces and top each with a tri­an­gu­lar slice of Lan­cashire cheese and a finely sliced piece of ap­ple, tossed in a lit­tle lemon juice if not eat­ing im­me­di­ately. Can be made up to 1 hr ahead.

7 Ham & stem gin­ger thins

As­sem­ble the canapés by top­ping 2 x 130g boxes of bis­cuits for cheese (we used char­coal wafers) with thin slices of stem gin­ger in syrup and spoon­fuls of shred­ded ham (about 300g in to­tal). Can be made up to 1 hr ahead.

8 Gnoc­chi, sun­dried tomato & olive stacks

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip a 500g pack of fresh gnoc­chi in a roast­ing tin and driz­zle with 4 tbsp olive oil. Roast for 25-30 mins or un­til golden, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. Thread the roasted gnoc­chi onto cock­tail sticks with pit­ted green olives, sun­dried toma­toes and basil leaves. Serve them while the gnoc­chi is still warm.

9 Naan, spinach & hal­loumi bites

Warm 2 tbsp but­ter in a pan with 2 crushed gar­lic cloves and 2 tsp garam masala. Add 2 x 80g bags chopped baby spinach. Cook un­til wilted. Sea­son. Grill 2 x 250g packs hal­loumi, cubed, un­til golden. Heat 4 naan breads un­der the grill, then spread with spinach. Add the hal­loumi. Cut the bread to fit the cheese. Se­cure with cock­tail sticks.

10 Mini veni­son & blue­berry dogs

Roast 12 veni­son sausages fol­low­ing pack in­struc­tions, then cut into thick slices. Mix 2 tbsp blue­berry con­serve with 4 tsp bal­samic vine­gar. Toast 8 brioche rolls, cut each one into 4, then slice the tops down the mid­dle. Ar­range a piece of cooked sausage in each and top with blue­berry mix­ture and a sprig of thyme. Serve warm.

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3 4 This spread is easy to put to­gether and looks re­ally im­pres­sive, too!

5 7 6 8 The se­cret to great home­made canapés is to keep prep time to a min­i­mum and plan ahead

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