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Bloody Mary shots with horseradish: For 10 shots mix 700ml tomato juice with 50ml vodka, juice from 1 lemon and a good splash of Tabasco and vegetarian Worcestershire sauce in a jug. Season then chill. To serve, pour into 10 shot glasses, add a thin cucumber stick to each as a stirrer, and top with a small spoon of creamed horseradish.
Quails’ eggs with sesame dukka: Toast 1 tbsp each of cumin and coriander seeds and 85g hazelnuts, then whizz in a food processor until finely chopped. Mix with 50g sesame seeds and salt to taste, then serve in small bowls with 24-36 hard-boiled quails’ eggs, halved, alongside for dipping.
Mini avocado tarts: Buy mini croustade cases from the supermarket, then put a small spoonful of sour cream in each case. Finely dice ripe avocados and mix with a little lime juice, some poppy seeds and finely snipped chives, then pile on top of the sour cream.
Parsnip chips with maple-mustard dip: Peel a parsnip per person, then cut into chunky chips and roast with sunflower oil and seasoning at 220C/200C fan/gas 7 for 20-30 mins until crispy and golden. Mix a 200ml tub crème fraîche with 2 tbsp grainy mustard, 2 tbsp maple syrup and some seasoning and serve the hot parsnip chips alongside for dipping.
Halloumi dippers with chilli pineapple salsa: For the salsa, finely dice 200g fresh or canned pineapple and mix with 1 finely chopped red onion, 1 finely chopped red chilli and juice of 1-2 limes to taste. Use a 250g pack halloumi per 5-6 people, slice into chunky strips, thread onto small soaked wooden skewers and grill, turning, until crispy. Serve with the salsa.
Greek kebabs with houmous & tzatziki: Cook and cool bought falafel, then skewer each one with a chunk of cucumber, small cube of feta and a cherry tomato. Serve with pots of houmous and tzatziki on the side.
Crunchy poppadoms with mango chutney: To feed a crowd, finely shred 3 peeled carrots, dice ½ a cucumber and finely slice 4 spring onions. Mix together with a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tbsp toasted mustard seeds. To serve, pile into bought mini poppadom crisps, top with a small dollop of mango chutney and scatter with coriander leaves.
Fig & blue cheese skewers: Skewer wedges of fig and cubes of blue cheese onto small cocktail sticks or skewers, then drizzle with a little runny honey and scatter with thyme leaves to serve.
Christmas pudding truffles: Melt together 200g dark chocolate and 200ml double cream, then crumble in 100g leftover cooked Christmas pud (buy a vegetarian one), then chill. When firm enough, use a melon baller or roll into balls, then dip the tops in some melted white chocolate, scatter with edible decorations, then chill to firm.
Mini cranberry & orange scones: Knock up a batch of scone dough (from a packet or find recipe on bbcgoodfood.com), adding some dried cranberries and orange zest into the mix before stamping out 4cm rounds and baking. When cool, split and spread generously with orange or jaffa curd (we used Waitrose) and top with a small dollop of clotted or thick double cream.
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