Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My top ten Small Chops recipes perfect for parties and celebrations

The party season is looming upon us and most people will in some shape or form be joining in with the celebrations, whether it be a work End-of-Year party, your own Christmas Party or New Years Eve celebrations.
I love throwing a Christmas Party as it gives me an excuse to whip up some party food. In case you were not aware, I have a bit of a thing for small bite-sized portions. Anything miniature in size, and I am usually straight in there like a shot. It’s one of the reasons I also really like Middle Eastern Mezze and Spanish Tapas – the variety and small portions mean I can taste lots of different dishes in one go – heaven!
Anyway, I shouldn’t digress as this is strictly about party food.
As any good host will testament, in order to throw a successful party, you must be present and spending as much time as possible with your guests. This means making dishes that can be prepared in advance, or if they are last minute, they need to be quick and easy to cook. The dishes must be tasty (of course) and I’m sure most people wouldn’t want them to be too expensive (party throwing can be an expensive business!).
I have compiled a list of what I believe to be my Top Ten Small Chops Recipes perfect for Parties and Celebrations. They are certainly dishes that I turn to time and time again and most of them are dishes that friends always request I bring along to a party, even when I am not throwing it myself!
I urge you to give them a try – you won’t be disappointed and neither will your guests!
The List
  1. Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges
Spicy Potato Wedges 1
Sweet Potato is a healthy alternative to using normal potatoes as they are rich in fibre, vitamins A, C and B and also have a low glycaemic index. They have a creamy texture and are ideal to serve as wedges as they have a sweet/spicy flavour. There are two types – bright orange or pale cream – and either can be used for the above recipe. These are great finger foods and are delicious served with yoghurt, mayonnaise or any other dip that. For the recipe use this link.
  1. Spicy Chicken Strips
Spicy Fried Chicken Strips 1
These chicken strips are moist (thanks to the buttermilk /yoghurt marinade), spicy and incredibly moreish. They are also so easy to make that you really have to give them a go. I guarantee your guests will be begging for more. Use this link for the recipe.
  1. Cornmeal (Polenta) Chips with Spicy Mayonnaise
Cornmeal Chips 1
This is a great recipe that provides an alternative way of preparing cornmeal. It uses only a few ingredients and it is excitingly different, yet easy to make and tastes exactly like a normal chip / French fry. If you don’t want to fry them, you can also bake them in the oven. They are especially tasty served with a spicy mayonnaise. They are great for a party as most of the recipe can be prepared well in advance. Use this link for the recipe.
  1. Sausage Rolls
Sausage Rolls 1
Sausages Rolls are the perfect party food – they can be cooked well in advance; they should appeal to all ages (especially kids); you can fill them with any ground meat, it doesn’t have to be just sausagemeat; you can be extremely creative with the spicing and flavouring; and everyone loves a good sausage roll so you know it will be a winner. If you have trouble getting hold of puff pastry you can use my recipe for rough puff pastry. Follow this link for the sausage roll recipe.
  1. Fried Okra
The main ingredients used in this dish are okra and cornmeal. It is so delicious and quick and easy to prepare that it will make a great addition to any party menu. It can easily be shared amongst guests and I’m sure everyone will be asking you for the recipe! Use this link for the recipe.
  1. Nigerian Meat Pie
Meat Pie 1
Everyone loves and knows Meat Pie and I’m sure many people have their own recipe as well. This is mine, although feel free to make it your own by changing the spicing and flavouring. This isn’t like the meat pie you will get on the road side, it is deliciously flavoured and I promise that one will not be enough! If you can’t get hold of puff pastry, use my recipe for rough puff or use a simple shortcrust pastry instead. Use this link for the meat pie recipe.
  1. Mini Pizza 
Mini Pizza
Use my recipe for Homemade Pizza and instead of making a few large ones, make lots of mini pizzas. You can add any toppings you like – keep it simple with just plain cheese and tomato, or be adventurous and add some salami, spicy ground beef, chicken, peppers or mushroom. The dough can be made days in advance (you can even freeze it), just prepare all the toppings beforehand so that when you are ready you can pop them on top and into the oven quickly.
  1. Chicken Skewers
Chicken Satay 1
Chicken skewers are perfect for any party – the skewers can be cooked in advance and reheated or served cold. You can also flavour the chicken in many different ways. I recommend either the Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce (Chicken Satay) or Portuguese Style Piri Piri Chicken. Just chop the chicken into bite size pieces and cook on skewers either in the oven, under the grill or on a grill pan. If you have the time, you could even cook on a barbecue. For ease you can cook the chicken on larger skewers and then serve on smaller ones.
  1. Cheese Straws
Cheese Straws 16
This recipe for Cheese Straws will surprise you. The straws are cheesy with a spicy kick of chilli. These can also be frozen and made well in advance. Use this link to make this delicious recipe.
  1. Sticky Ribs
Spare Ribs 1
One dish that I always try to serve at a party is ribs. They always go down well – even if they can get a little messy (just make sure you have enough napkins or paper towels available). Ask the butcher to cut the ribs into small pieces, as this will make it easier for the guests. You can use lots of different marinades; I love this recipe for Chinese Style Sweet Ginger and Soy Glazed Sticky Ribs. You can use pork or beef ribs for this dish.
Well there you have it, my favourite party recipes. I hope you try at least a few of these over the festive season and with most of the hard work done in advance, you will be able to enjoy the celebrations alongside your guests.
Photos: Amaka, www.cookspiration.com, www.descontagora.com.br