Delicious dishes to serve at your party.jpg

Delicious dishes to serve at your party

IT’S THAT time of year, when you may want to throw a party for family and friends. It isn’t always easy to think of something simple to make that is also tasty, especially when you’re too busy thinking about all the presents you still have to buy. Here are some of my favourite ideas for elegant but simple hors d’oeuvres.

Hot artichokes

This is a delicious mixture, which will have people wondering what is in it and, more importantly, have them coming back for more.

1 tin (390g) artichoke hearts

1 cup (225dl) mayonnaise

1 cup (100g) grated parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic

Freshly ground pepper

Chop the drained artichokes roughly and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Spoon into a nine inch (22.5cm) pie plate or ovenproof dish and bake at 350F (175C) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Serve hot with crackers.

Cheese and spinach squares

1 cup (125g) bread crumbs

1/2 cup (120g) grated strong cheese

1 1/2 cups (250g) cooked chopped spinach

4 eggs

1/2 cup (125dl) cream

1/2 cup (50g) grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons dried onion flakes or 1/2 small onion finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Cover a greased baking dish with the breadcrumbs, add 1/4 cup of the grated strong cheese and then the spinach. Save the rest of the cheese. Beat together the last five ingredients and pour evenly over the spinach. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for about 40 minutes in a medium oven (350F or 175C). Cut into squares and serve warm.

Baked camembert

1/2 pack (200g) frozen ready-made pastry, defrosted

1 whole camembert cheese (250g)

2 tablespoons mango chutney (or other tart fruit preserve)

1 egg beaten

Roll out the pastry into a large circle. Place the camembert cheese in the centre and spread the chutney over the top. Gather up the pastry evenly to the centre of the cheese and use some of the egg mixture to stick it down. There should be no gaps in the pastry case. Glaze with more of the egg and bake in a medium oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot with crackers.