Five days of Christmas party canapes

Honey Mustard Pigs in a Blanket.

10 chipolata style sausages
10 streaky rashers
1 tbsp of honey
3 tsp of mustard
20 sage leaves
20 cocktail sticks

Chipolata are usually long thin sausages. Cut them in half so you get two short sausages out of each. It will make them look more like canapés and easier to pick up with a cocktail stick.

Cut each rasher in half lengthwise so you have 20 long strips. Mix together the honey and mustard and season with cracked black pepper. Toss the sausages in the mixture. Wrap each half sausage first in the sage leaf then with the rasher, fold the meat around then secure with a cocktail stick.

Place on a non-stick baking tray, or one very lightly coated in sunflower oil. Place into a medium oven for about 20 minutes until the bacon has crisped up and the sausages are cooked through.

Blue Cheese Date Bites wrapped in Bacon

20 dates — I use the medjool variety
10 streaky rashers
100g of blue cheese cut into 20 pieces
20 cocktail sticks

The combination of flavours really works well in these canapés, the sweet date and the salty rasher are a great combination. If you are not partial to blue cheese you can use another type of cheese or simply leave it out.

Make a small slit in each date and push the piece of blue cheese into the hole. Cut each rasher in half lengthwise so you have 20 long strips.

Wrap each stuffed date with the rasher and fold the meat around, then secure with a cocktail stick. Place on a non stick baking tray or one very lightly coated in sunflower oil. Place into a medium oven for about 10 minutes until the bacon has crisped up and the cheese has melted.

Smoked Salmon Paté on Toast

225g smoked salmon
100g of cream cheese
1 tsp of grated horseradish — optional
2 tbsp of cream
Zest of 1 lime and about half of the juice
½ tsp of honey
A few sprigs of dill
1 baguette cut into slices and toasted

Blitz the salmon, horseradish, cream cheese, lime zest and cream as well as the honey and cracked black pepper. Add the lime juice a few drops at a time and taste as you do until it is a strong enough flavour. Keep blitzing until everything forms a smooth paste. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

Serve with some chopped dill and the toasted bread.

Easy, Peezy Pizza Canapés

3 Middle Eastern flatbread or wraps
2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
½ red chilli, very finely chopped
75g of Heagartys cheddar cheese, grated
100g of Gubeen chorizo, chopped

This is slightly cheating, by using ready-made flatbreads you get a very quick and easy mini pizza. You can add a selection of your own toppings as well.

Use a pastry cutter to cut out 20 6cm circles from the flatbreads or wraps. Mix together the tomato and chilli and season to taste.

Place a small spoon of the tomato onto each circle of bread, top with the chorizo and cheese and place on a baking tray.

Bake at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes until the cheese has melted

Mini Baked Potatoes with Horseradish Sour Cream

20 small new potatoes
A dash of olive oil
A bunch of thyme, removed from the stalk
1 tsp of smoked paprika
3 tbsp of sour cream
½ tbsp of grated horseradish
A bunch of chives, chopped

These look very cute served up at a Christmas party. You can flavour the sour cream with many other things besides the horseradish if you prefer. Citrus zests work great as a flavouring, as does chopped coriander or some garlic and a little more paprika.

Put the potatoes on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and toss in the paprika and thyme and then season. Roast them for 25 minutes at 200 degrees until they are soft the whole way through. Once they are cool enough to handle cut a small cross in the top of each one and push it open a little from the sides.

Mix together the sour cream and horseradish and season to taste. Put a spoon of the mixture into the slit in each potato and sprinkle with the chives and some black pepper.


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