Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Blue Cheese and Cranberry Vol-au-Vents

Savoury treats are always neglected at Christmas. But they are so many exciting things you can do with typically Christmassy ingredients, and a party is not a party without its savoury snacks.
These are perfect for any under-the-tree party and incredibly simple to make!

20 shop bought small vol-au-vents- or you can make your own if you are so inclined.
1 cup grated extra mature Cheddar
1 cup single cream
1 cup crumbled Roquefort or other strong blue cheese
¾ cup of dried cranberries
1 cup sherry
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
parsley and extra cranberries for decoration

Soak the cranberries in the sherry for half an hour. Then put them in a large bowl with all the cheeses, the cream and the basil. Fold it all in gently together until you obtain a somewhat homogeneous cream.
With a teaspoon, fill up the vol-au-vents with the cheese cream. Prop them in the preheated oven at 180°C for 5 minutes, until the top forms a little golden crust and the inside starts to melt. Take them out and garnish each one with a half leaf of parsley and a cranberry. Serve them with celery sticks on the plate to mop up all those flavours, and maybe a couple of Cranberry Martinis. These are a real treat!

If you don’t even have time to whip this up, try making chutney canap├ęs. This is where my chutney-making obsession comes in handy! These aren’t particularly Christmassy, but they are so delicious nobody will care. You just need to spread some shop bought or pre made ingredients onto round crackers, or water crackers or whatever you like. Some of my favourite combinations are:

Hot aubergine chutney and a cube of feta cheese
Tomato confit with a cube of mozzarella and a fresh basil leaf
Chilli jelly and a small dice of pear
Red Onion Chutney and crumbled blue cheese

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