I was going to put this on the previous post but had already written too much. However, I've been asked to do it, so here is my menu! This will also be useful to me if I decide to venture into social catering again.
Nuts: Nigella Lawson's Bar Nuts, exceedingly delicious. I made far too many (about 2kg too many as nobody else ate them!) so am still eating them now...
Tortilla Chips with Guacamole and Salsa Dips: all bought ready made, life's too short!
Goat's Cheese and Cranberry Filo Parcels: I've never used Filo pastry before but have always wanted too. I won't do it again; far too fiddly and annoying - it dries out so quickly. Making these caused me to swear a lot. But they were very well received.
Egg Mayonnaise in Bread Cups: easy peasy! Sliced bread, cut off the crusts, roll out very thin, spread with melted butter and put into cake tins. Spread insides with more melted butter and bake for a few minutes until golden. Fill with egg mayo and scoff. Don't make them too soon as they do go soggy. The dog loved these.
Smoked Trout Mousse in Cucumber Cups: Supremely delicious. Can't remember where I found the recipe but this one is close enough. Cucumber cups = very easy, slice thickly and use a small spoon to hollow out the seeds. Smoked Trout Mousse = actually very easy too, but picking the bones out took ages. And this was the point where I discovered I'd left my food processor in Tokyo... No, I can't remember why I did that, it obviously seemed a good idea at the time. It was not. But this can be made a couple of days in advance and keeps well in the 'fridge.
Caramelised Red Pepper and King Prawns: You have to peel the red peppers. That was a pain in the butt... and so not worth it! The prawns were marinated in sherry, fresh ginger and soy sauce before cooking then threaded onto skewers. Served with...
Satay Sauce Dip: can't find the recipe for this now either, but it included a couple of jars of peanut butter... classy! Tasted good though.
Creamy Mushroom Tarts: ready made pastry-type shells filled with chopped mixed mushrooms cooked in butter, garlic, sherry and cream. Yum!
Chicken Drumsticks: an old favourite and always good for kids. Catering sized pack of chicken, paint with stuff - I think it was honey, mustard and soy sauce. Cook and cool. Arrange beautifully on a large serving platter with tin foil around the ends (thank you, Tim!).
Chicken Curry: made a week ahead and frozen. Reheated, spiced up and served in a fancy Le Creuset pot. Went down a storm!
Saffron Rice: very pretty with peas and red peppers (unpeeled!)
Mozzarella, Basil, Olive and Tomato Skewers: found a huge pot of little mozzarella balls at the cash and carry. Mutilated my basil plant for all it's leaves. Served with balsamic vinegar.
Bread: those part-baked ones are really useful for this.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese: just laid out in some gorgeous Japanese pottery I love to display. I particularly adore Chili Philly - Philadelphia cheese covered in Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.
Rainbow Fruit Kebabs: I saw this picture on Pinterest a while ago and fancied having a go. I went for watermelon (red), physalis (orange), pineapple (yellow), kiwi fruit (green) and grape (purple). It was close enough to a rainbow. This was where my careful planning fell apart as I was spearing fruit well into the evening. I just ran out of time. I melted a heap of chocolate and served this with the fruit. This caused a bit of a problem: the skewered fruit wouldn't pick up enough melted chocolate so although everyone admired the display, they all promptly pulled all the pieces off! Ah well, live and learn.
And finally (phew!) I'd like to share an old family recipe for a scrumptious dessert that can be made the day before... with many thanks to Mum for insisting I make it and therefore saving me a lot of hassle.
Mandarin Cheesecake Pudding: this can be made in a 2lb loaf tin and turned out onto a plate. If you're going to attempt this then the tin needs to be lined with foil with 'wings' to help you get it out. Or, do as I do and just create it in the serving dish for people to dive into. Much less tricky.
Packet of trifle sponges or similar
1 can mandarins
12oz cream cheese
4oz caster sugar
2Tbsp orange juice
Line the dish or tin with sponges split lengthways. Slosh on the sherry and orange juice. Add more if necessary, the sponges will soak it up.
Leave aside some mandarin segments for decoration and mix the rest into the cream cheese. Make sure they get broken up. Add the sugar and mix well.
Spoon half into the dish. Crumble some sponges over the top. Make a good layer and it will soak up any excess liquid. Top it off with the rest of the cheese and fruit mixture.
Cover with foil, put a weight on top and chill in the 'fridge overnight.
Turn out onto a serving plate if you dare, otherwise scoff happily!