25 September 2018Last updated


Party flavours

Perfect for buffet-style celebrations, these deceptively simple-to-prepare snacks will impress even the fussiest of guests

By Camera Press
21 Dec 2015 | 12:00 am
  • Cream-cheese pastries.

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  • Sizzling crunchy prawns.

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  • Dips with vegetables and herbed pita breads.

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  • Chicken wings with Spanish-style rub.

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Cream-cheese pastries

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Oven temperature: 180°C

2 rolls ready-made puff pastry
1 punnet baby tomatoes, sliced
25ml basil or coriander pesto
1 tub cream cheese
1-2 breasts smoked chicken, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado pear, peeled and sliced
100g feta cheese, crumbled
Lemon juice, to serve
Snipped chives and micro herbs, to garnish


1 Unroll the pastry on to a clean surface and cut into rectangles. Place the rectangles on to a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper. Cover the pastries with another sheet of baking paper and then place an empty baking tray on top of the baking paper to weigh the pastry down.

2 Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

3 Remove from the oven and uncover. If the pastry is not completely cooked, return to the oven for a few minutes until golden.

4 Mix the tomatoes with the pesto.

5 Spread the cream cheese on to the baked pastries.

6 Top some pastries with sliced chicken, avocado and chives and some with the tomato mixture, feta cheese and micro herbs. Serve immediately.

Sizzling crunchy prawns

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

2 large eggs
100ml plain flour
5-10ml dried crushed chillies
1ml dried mustard powder
2ml dried origanum
250ml dried breadcrumbs
1kg peeled prawns, with tails on
Sunflower oil, for deep frying
Lime or lemon wedges, to serve
Mayonnaise, for dipping


1 Whisk the eggs, flour, chillies, mustard powder and origanum together until smooth.

2 Put the breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl. Dip each prawn into the batter and then into the breadcrumbs to coat.

3 Heat sunflower oil over a medium to high heat for deep-frying. Once the oil is hot, fry a few prawns at a time. They should only take about a minute until golden and crispy. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve with lime wedges and mayonnaise.

Dips with vegetables and herbed pita breads

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 10 minutes

100ml olive oil
2 cloves garlic
5ml chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
12-16 mini pita breads
Selection of vegetables
Rice crackers, to serve
Dips (see recipes)


1 Mix the olive oil, garlic and herbs and brush on both sides of the pita breads. Grill until golden on each side.

2 Cut the vegetables into strips for dipping. Arrange on a platter with the crackers.

Spicy olive dip: In a food processor, blend a tub of low-fat smooth cottage cheese with 10 pitted green olives, one clove crushed garlic, four piquanté peppers, a squeeze of lemon juice and a few drops of Tabasco sauce.

Avocado dip: Mash up one or two ripe avocados. Add 20ml fresh lemon or lime juice and season to taste. Add 2ml grated lemon rind, 1ml ground cumin, 1ml dried origanum, 1ml dried crushed chillies, and one finely chopped spring onion. Stir in 30ml sour cream (optional).

Beetroot hummus: In a food processor blend one can chickpeas (drained), 80ml lemon juice, 35ml tahini, 60ml olive oil, 10ml water, one small clove garlic, crushed, 1ml ground cumin and one medium-sized cooked and peeled beetroot. Top the dip with a mixture of toasted seeds.

Chicken wings with Spanish-style rub

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Oven temperature: 180oC

20 chicken wings, trimmed
Olive oil
1 lime or lemon, to serve
Spice rub
15ml sweet paprika
15ml smoked paprika
10ml cumin seeds, ground
10ml mustard seeds, ground
10ml fennel seeds, ground
2ml coarsely ground black pepper
2ml salt


1 Divide each chicken wing into two pieces, cutting them in half at the joint. Remove the wing tip and discard.

2 Mix the spice rub ingredients together. Rub over the chicken wings. Put the wings on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil.

3 Roast in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Turn the chicken pieces over once during cooking. 4 Serve with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice.

By Camera Press

By Camera Press