Tag Archives forNibbles

Summer Party Food – Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

Doesn’t that title just lure you in? I really love a summer party.  It summons images of warm evenings, lively chatter, soft music, fruity Pimms and of course, wonderful food. Light and colourful, packed with flavour and to allow for mingling, in nibble form. 

Just the word ‘nibble’ fills me with a kind of girlish glee. I love the guilt free abandon of it all.  Nothing that can be described as a ‘nibble’ can possibly be bad for you for goodness sake! Plus, nibbles tend to come in groups and I’m all for variety in my food.  I love nuts for sure, but I also enjoy a good olive, perhaps some blini or even a crostini. Perhaps a Cheesy Prosciutto Puff?

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

So read on my little vol-au-vents and I shall share with you the secret (or now, not so secret) recipe for Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs (squeee!) They’re bite-sized pieces of puffy heaven that really pack a Mediterranean punch.  Flaky pastry; as light as air, a slight tang of pesto with beautiful Prosciutto adding depth and Grana Padano cheese, an extra richness that makes them really elegant and completely indulgent.

I’m confident that you’ll want to make some of these little babies for your next summer gathering…and that your guests will thank you for it!

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

Ingredients

1 x 320 g packet of ready-rolled puff pastry
4 tbs pesto
1 pack of prosciutto
75 g grated Grana Padano Cheese
1 egg, beaten

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 C Fan
  • Line a couple of baking trays with grease proof paper
  • Now, carefully lay out the pastry and roll it gently until it is more of a square shape (approx 35cm per side)
  • Spoon the pesto on to the pastry and spread it out so it covers it completely – right to the edges!
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 16 squares (so, start by cutting into quarters and then cut each quarter into quarters.)
  • Cut the prosciutto so you have 16 pieces and a bit on each square
  • Now sprinkle over the grated cheese and season well. Go steady with the salt as the Prosciutto and Grana Padano are both quite salty. Plenty of black pepper though!
  • Gently roll each square into a sausage shape and then brush the fold with the beaten egg to help seal it
  • Cover them all in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 10 mins
  • Remove from the fridge and using a sharp knife, slice each sausage into 8 small discs and place them on the baking trays, allowing enough space for them to puff up a little when cooked
  • Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes, until golden brown.

 Recipe Inspiration

Cheesy Prosciutto Puffs

I was recently sent some beautiful samples of Grana Padano cheese and Prosciutto di San Daniele. To be honest, they were both so good that very little would beat just eating them au naturel (no, I’m not being paid to say that – promise!) but that would have made for rather a dull post so I tried to come up with a recipe that would show off the beautiful flavours and allow them to compliment each other.  I hope that’s what I’ve done… 🙂

I also had help from Mary Berry and her fantastic book Mary Berry Absolute Favourites, where her Cheesy Cheese Spirals gave me the idea for the recipe above.

What are your favourite summer party nibbles? Let me know in the comments below!

Recipe: Smoked Mackerel Pâté

This creamy smoked mackerel pâté is bursting with the contrasting flavours of earthy smoked fish, the fresh, clean taste of chopped parsley and lemon juice, and finished off with the tang of chopped gherkin…

This is one of those wonderful recipes that is pure simplicity to prepare (with just 6 ingredients, how could it be anything else?), but absolutely full of flavour.  It’s also a little bit different, which delights something in me which strives to be unpredictable.

smoked mackerel pâté

‘Yes, Colette. It’s different and I don’t know when I’d ever really eat it…’

Aha! I thought I sensed you were a little unsure… let me put your mind at rest. There are loads of great ways to eat this gorgeous little pâté.  You’ll soon wonder where it’s been all your life. 🙂

smoked mackerel pâté

Perfect for a picnic…

Once prepared, the smoked mackerel pâté can be popped into a jar and taken on a picnic to be served with crusty bread and a glass of crisp, cool white wine.

More for your picnic…. My Pesto, Chicken, Sweet Pepper & Mozarella Picnic Loaf

Nice as a nibble…

Why not use a pastry cutter to shape some little toast circles, then pop a teaspoonful of the pâté on top with a slice of cucumber or radish, for a delicious little nibble to serve with drinks?

Extra nibbles… Fig & Goats Cheese Crostini with a Honey, Orange & Basil Dressing

smoked mackerel pâté

Lovely light lunch…

The great thing is, that this is so easy to make, that you needn’t feel like you should only make it for a special occasion. Whip (pardon the pun) up a batch at the start of the week and keep it in the fridge.  This makes a gorgeous lunch on the run, just slathered on a couple of slices of toast!

Alternative light lunch… Quick Quesadillas

Delightful as a dip…

Always on the lookout for healthy ways to snack? Something to swap for the bars of chocolate and the packets of crisps?  Well, a little bit of smoked mackerel pâté with some chopped carrots and celery for dippin’ are just what you need!

smoked mackerel pâté

Smoked Mackerel Pâté
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Ingredients
  1. 240 g smoked mackerel fillets
  2. 125 g cream cheese
  3. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  4. 1/2 tbs dijon mustard
  5. 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  6. 1 finely chopped gherkin
Instructions
  1. Peel the skin off the mackerel fillets and flake them into a food processor
  2. Add in the cream cheese, parsley and dijon mustard
  3. Blitz for a few seconds so that you've got a slightly chunky but creamy consistency
  4. Now use a spatula to scrape it into a bowl and mix in the chopped gherkin
  5. Season to taste (careful with the salt!)
Notes
  1. I don't add any extra salt because the fish is already quite salty.
  2. This pâté can be stored in a sealed jar and popped in the fridge.
Eat Drink Cook http://www.eatdrinkcook.co.uk/

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Fig & Goat’s Cheese Crostini with a Honey, Orange & Basil Dressing

Crisp toasts, topped with creamy goats cheese, sweet, soft figs and a delicate honey, orange and basil dressing…

You know those meals that are are really special? The ones you spend hours preparing but it’s totally worth it because they’re such a treat?

Well this isn’t one of those.

fig and goats cheese crostini

Instead, do you know those dishes which can be whipped up in a flash but when presented to your eager diners, will be met with ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaaahs’ and ‘how lovelys!’ The reason being that sometimes the food just speaks for itself.  Sometimes, beautiful, fresh and perhaps unusual ingredients can make a dish just as special (if not more so), without the need for endless toiling.

Happy days dear readers! This recipe, is one of those.

fig and goats cheese crostini

Fig & Goat’s Cheese Crostini with a Honey, Orange & Basil Dressing

Makes 18

You will need:

50 ml extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 orange

1 tbs runny honey

1 tbs chopped fresh basil

1 stale small baguette, thinly sliced along the diagonal (approx 1/2 cm thick)

1 x 120 g soft, round goats cheese

3 small figs, finely sliced lengthways (you should get about 6 slices per fig)

fig and goats cheese crostini

  •  Mix together the oil, orange juice, honey and chopped basil and then season.
  • Now heat up a griddle pan and then paint both sides of each of your bread slices with the dressing
  • Toast them on the griddle pan until golden on each side (a couple of mins per side)
  • Now remove to a plate and put a small bit of goats cheese on each, finally topping with a slice of fig
  • Lastly, drizzle over more of the dressing and season to taste
  • Easy-peasy! Think you’ve got time for a sneaky G&T before your guests arrive…