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Winter Birthday Party Food

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 26 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Winter Birthday Party Food

Planning a winter birthday party? Here are our ideas and recipes for exciting winter party food.

What’s in Season?

Winter party food is often served buffet-style: a casserole dish filled with hearty beef chilli, accompanied with bowls of nachos; a selection of seasonal stews with jacket potatoes; or classic prawn vol-au-vents and sausage rolls for the Boxing Day table. But if you’d like to serve up some seasonal finger food, we have some recipes for you to try.

Winter can be difficult for the seasonal food followers. Roots and cabbage don’t translate very well to elegant party food or dinner party menus. But there are some real highlights this season, so don’t despair.

Evergreen Rosemary is a useful crop for winter cooking. Use it to line a roasting tray, flavour hereby Greek lamb, or line a serving plate. Use it to flavour a wonderful winter aioli (adding a selection of seasonal crudités like carrots and steamed turnips alongside). Or use it to flavour Yorkshire puddings – see our party recipe, below!

We’ve talked about the wonderful possibilities of winter squash before – but it bears repeating! This useful autumn crop is well worth growing or buying by the boxful. You’ll soon find plenty of uses for it; squash can be steamed, mashed, baked, roasted or fried. It’s a great vegetarian alternative for filling fajitas and tacos – and try our finger-sized wraps, below.

Spicy Squash Wraps

Roasted squash is a winter staple. In this seasonal recipe, it’s tossed in spices and roasted before being wrapped with sour cream and refried beans. Cut into small rolls, these wraps are perfect finger-food.

You need:
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (1cm)
  • 1tbsp harissa
  • Wraps, sour cream, lime wedges and refried beans

First, roast the squash: toss the cubes in the harissa and roast at 180 degrees C for 20-30 minutes, or until golden. If you want to eat the wraps warm, heat up the refried beans. Assemble the wraps: spread each one lightly with sour cream and refried beans, then sprinkle squash cubes over the top. Roll tightly and cut into slices, securing each roll with a cocktail stick to serve. Put wedges of lime on the platters for squeezing over. Or eat cold: once made, wrap the tortillas in clingfilm and put in the fridge. Slice and serve at room temperature.

Mini Rosemary Yorkshires

Miniature Yorkies have become trendy party food in the last few years, along with other downsized classics like fishfingers and chips!

You need:
  • 2tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
  • 4oz plain flour, sifted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 pint milk
  • 1tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1tsp coarse salt
  • 1 package good-quality pork party sausages

Take a 12-hole bun tin, and brush each indent with oil. Put into the oven and preheat it to 200 degrees C.

Sift the flour again (its second sifting) into a large bowl, and make a well in the middle. Add the egg and half of the milk, then whisk until the batter is smooth and bubbles begin to appear. Add the remaining milk, salt, and rosemary, and whisk again until the batter is frothy. Set aside to stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange the sausages on a grilling rack and grill until golden, turning once. Put aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven. Pour the batter into the 12 bun holes – be careful, it may splutter – and pop a sausage into each one. Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden and risen. Cool slightly before serving warm to lucky guests.

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