Here are some quick and easy finger licking ideas that will help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your guests.
Although traditionally served with pita bread, this dip can be served with wafers, crackers, or with raw vegetables like carrot and cucumber.Soak chickpeas overnight and boil until cooked. Blend cooked chickpeas with garlic, lime juice, parsley leaves, salt, pepper and large amounts of olive oil to a paste.
Fresh tomatoes that sting of garlic, the aroma of extra virgin olive oil and melted mozzarella… this appetizer will easily become a favourite!Chop tomatoes and garlic in proportions as desired (for every tomato use at least one pod of garlic). Grate mozzarella or pizza cheese and mix with the tomatoes and garlic. Marinate this mixture in olive oil for at least 15 minutes. Top baguette slices with this mixture and toast in the oven for 5 -7 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if you have them handy.
Cold and crunchy with raw vegetables this pasta salad is simple to put together and can be made ahead of time.Boil pasta like Farfalle or Penne. Use fresh vegetables like tomatoes, celery and your choice of red or yellow peppers, or even both. Mix the chopped vegetables with minced garlic and generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil. If you have the time, let this mix sit for 10-15 minutes. Toss the pasta with the vegetables, add freshly chopped basil leaves on top and serve cold.
BAKED MINI POTATOES:
World over, the combination of potatoes, garlic and cheese is a winner.Par-boil the potatoes with the skin. Dry and cut into halves. In a casserole dish, mix the potatoes with minced garlic, bacon bits, pepper and butter to taste. Bake until cooked. Add grated cheese and chopped green spring onion and put back into the oven until the cheese melts. Tip: The potatoes can be par boiled and mixed with the garlic and butter and left in the casserole dish beforehand and popped into the oven 15 minutes before being served.
FRUIT AND CHEESE TRAY:
This party favourite tastes as delectable as it sounds. Arrange a platter with bite-sized pieces of fruit like apples, melons, watermelon, pineapples and grapes. Use different types of cheese like Havarti, Brie, Cheddar and Gouda. Varying tastes and textures make for an interesting platter. You can also add cheese crackers or Monaco biscuits. All the fruit and cheese can be cut in advance and stored in the fridge, covered in cling film until you are ready to serve your guests.
PRAWN AND PINEAPPLE SKEWERS:
The heat from the prawns and the sweet and tart pineapple balance each other well.Mix equal amounts of coriander and mint leaves with green chilies, salt, pepper and lime juice to taste in a grinder. Marinate prawns in this chutney for 10-15 minutes. Skewer prawns with bite sized pieces of pineapple and grill for 15 minutes or until the prawns are done. Serve with additional pieces of chilled bite sized pieces of pineapple, or garnish with mint leaves. Note: If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least one hour before use.