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appetizers food and drinks

Quick and Simple Appetizers for New Year

Entertaining guests at your residence should not mean that you are too busy to enjoy yourself.

With these quick and simple recipes for finger food, you will have enough time to join your friends and loved ones and partake of the festivities.

  1. Roasted Eggplant Dip with Cream Cracker and Chips
  • Roast the eggplant in an oven on the broiler setting. Roast till the outer skin of the eggplant is almost black and blistered.
  • Remove the skin carefully and place the flesh in a bowl. Wait till it cools fully before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • Once cool, add a spoonful of yogurt.
  • Add the juice of a lime and a generous amount of olive oil.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Finally add on onion, sliced thinly, a handful of mint and grated garlic.
  • Roasted sesame seeds can be added to the dip for some texture.
  1. Cheddar and Mustard Dip with Crudités and Chips
  • In a mixer, blend 3 cups of grated cheddar cheese, ½ cup of sour cream, 2½ tablespoons of stone-ground mustard, 1 teaspoon of chili powder or paprika and salt.
  • Process till smooth and refrigerate till ready to serve. 
  1. Lettuce cups filled with Mediterranean Couscous
  • Prepare the couscous and place in fridge to cool.
  • To the couscous, add some pomegranate, cucumber, olives, onions and mint.
  • For the dressing, mix together some olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and finely chopped garlic.
  • Add the dressing to the couscous just before serving.
  • Place iceberg lettuce leaves on a tray and add a tablespoon of the couscous to the center of each leaf. 
  1. Cool Spinach and Mint Dip
  • Blanche spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds. Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach and chop finely.
  • Mix the spinach with sour cream, salt, pepper and mint.
  • Serve with spicy chips.
  1. Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts
  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius.
  • Toss a cup each of raw almonds, walnuts and cashew along with a teaspoon of cumin and chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine ½ cup sugar, I tablespoon of butter and ½ cup of water. Heat till the butter melts.
  • Cook for 1 minute before pouring the mix over the nuts. Mix well.
  • Coat a baking tray with cooking spray or oil, and spread the nuts in a single layer.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, stir the nuts and return to the oven for 6 minutes or until nuts are roasted and sticky. 
  1. Bacon Wrapped Dates with a Cheddar/Blue Cheese
  • Slice dates in half without slicing through entirely.
  • Stuff the opening with crumbled cheddar or blue cheese.
  • Wrap the entire date with a rasher of bacon and seal with a toothpick.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 degrees Celsius.
  • Turn the dates over halfway through the baking process.
  • Remove the dates from the oven when the bacon is crisp.

Tip: Prepare the dates in advance and bake just before serving. If you wish to avoid the cheese, stuff one almond in each of the dates. 

  1. Caprese Sticks
  • On a toothpick, skewer a cube of mozzarella cheese, tomato and then basil leaves.
  • Repeat this once more
  • Serve cold. 
  1. Baked Zucchini Fries
  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  • Cut zucchini lengthwise and then quartered. Combine some pizza seasoning, grated garlic, parmesan and salt and pepper.
  • Place the zucchini on a greased baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle parmesan mix on top of the zucchini.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until tender and then place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
  • Serve hot. 
  1. Lemon and Garlic Prawn Skewers
  • Thread cleaned prawn and lime wedges onto to a wooden skewer.
  • Place on a greased baking tray.
  • Melt butter and add lime juice, garlic, pizza seasoning and thyme and cook till fragrant.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Bake prawn for 5 minutes or until pink and opaque in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Brush the prawn with the butter mixture and garnish with parsley.

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