Whether you’re hosting a New Year’s party, or you’re one of the guests wishing to contribute to the holiday feast, easy last-minute platters are a lifesaver.
Having three or four share-boards from this list will give great variety to your party table, add a good pop of colour, and will not damage your bank account, as the clever flavour combinations come from easily affordable ingredients. Simply pick the sweet and savoury options you think your guests will prefer, and ten minutes later you will have yourself a fool-proof party spread.
Prosciutto and fig salad board
Easy, delicious and very aesthetically-pleasing, this colourful salad is best served on a wooden board to not let all the yummy bits fall to the bottom of a bowl.
Simply spread mixed salad leaves, top with crumbled blue cheese, thin prosciutto slices and quartered figs, and drizzle all with a dressing of lemon juice, dijon mustard, one small shallot, and olive oil. Insert several utensils around the board so your guests can plate the salad easier.
Feta cheese and avocado crostini with pomegranate
Get a good baguette and cut it into approximately 16 slices. Rub each slice with a raw garlic clove and add a few drops of olive oil, and bake at 200C for 8-10 minutes. While the slices bake, blend two avocados, a pack of feta or goat’s cheese, juice of two limes and a bit of fresh parsley, into a thick guac-like paste. Adjust seasoning, then spread over your baked crostini and top with a few fresh pomegranate seeds.
Herbed cream cheese with caramelised onions and bacon
Get a whole cream cheese round with a herbed rind, centre it on a platter and scatter bread or crackers around it. In a pan, lightly fry two shallots, a sliced onion and a minced garlic clove for a few minutes, Then add four strips of bacon, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon of brown sugar, salt and pepper, and some fresh chives. Sautee all for a further six to eight minutes until the onions become lightly caramelised. Transfer the mixture right on top of the cream cheese and serve.
Easy Queso Fundido
Mix a small chopped tomato with a fresh chili pepper and some fresh oregano and set aside. In a small pan, fry some chorizo sausage and a minced onion for a few minutes until softened, or skip this step to make it veggie. Put the sausage aside. Into the same pan, add a splash of lager, lower the heat, and add spoonfuls of grated cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, while continuously stirring. Once all the cheese is bubbling, add the chorizo back in, and serve right in the pan for dipping pitta, tortilla chips, or bread-sticks into. Sprinkle with the tomato and chili mixture.
BLT salad bites
Mix a few teaspoons of mayo with half a cup of yogurt, juice of one lemon, a teaspoon each of chives and dijon mustard, and spread a bit of this mixture on individual iceberg lettuce leaves. In a small pan, lightly fry some pancetta slices for about five minutes until crispy, then break them apart with your fingers and crumble on top of the yogurt mix. Half some cherry tomatoes and mix them with olive oil, salt and pepper and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and spoon them onto the salad leaves as well. Finally, grate some parmesan on top of the salad bites, and serve.
Tip: make sure you surround yourself with copious amounts of good people, as well as good food, in the New Year, and see off 2017 with a party to remember!