So, I had a family house warming this weekend. I think it went pretty well, out of all the food that I put out (and there was a lot) we were left with 4 BBQ chicken dumsticks & 2 slices of lemon tart. Not bad!
Just in case any of you are planning on hosting anything in need of a buffet, here is a list of everything that I laid out for my guests.
- Crisps & dips – obviously!
- Sausage rolls (bought frozen then cooked)
- Salad items (Prepared by my lovely Mum!)
- 2 x Quiches & Home made bread rolls (made by my amazing Gran!)
- Chicken drumsticks in BBQ marinade
- Mini muffin pizzas
- Potato salad
- Halloumi/bacon rolls
- French stick platter
- Malt chocolate cheesecake
- Lemon tart
Now, no matter what anyone says, you need some cheats. If you tried to do absolutely everything yourself you would dig yourself an early grave! The most important thing is to be able to spend as much time with your guests as possible & be a good host, you can’t do this when you are pulling your hair out in the kitchen!
So I started by marinading the chicken drumsticks the day before the party. I used a bought BBQ spice mix, there is no shame in this! After a few hours in the fridge, I grilled them in the oven for 20mins each side until the juices ran clear and my kitchen smelt divine. Once they were cooled I simply covered them up, put them in the fridge and crossed it off my “to do” list.
Next came the Malt chocolate cheesecake. I found the recipe on the BBC GoodFood website a while ago and have wanted to try it out for ages! Now was the perfect excuse. First I made the biscuit base as it said in the recipe.
Next I made the fillings… and of course, licked the bowls & spoons after I had layered them on top of the biscuit base! The first layer is a malt drink & milk chocolate flavoured layer & the top layer is white chocolate flavour.
Once I had finished layering this mass of deliciousness I decorated the top with Maltesers & left it in the fridge until it was time for the grand unveiling the next day. And what an unveiling it was. There were several that didn’t believe that I had even made it & a few that kept asking for seconds & thirds! I was rather chuffed to say the least! Definitely one I will be making again.
After I had made the cheesecake for the chocolate lovers I thought i’d be a good host and make a ‘non chocolate’ pud for those strange folks that aren’t too fond of the cocoa bean. I decided on one I have made a couple of times before & has always gone down a treat. Heston Blumenthal’s Lemon Tart. I will put my hands up here and admit that, this time, I didn’t make the pastry as I normally would. I quite like my hair where it is and didn’t want to take on a really silly amount of work. The recipe I would usually use is Rachel Allens shortcrust pastry. I kid you not, it is the easiest thing in the world to make! Simply change a pinch of salt for a pinch of sugar if you are making a sweet pastry. The tart is another thing I made in advance and kept in the fridge until the night of the party.
At this point I realised that my guests may like to eat something other than puddings so cracked on with the nibbles on the morning of the party. First I boiled a 1kg bag of baby potatoes (all chopped to roughly the same size) for the potato salad to allow them time to cool before adding the dressing. Later in the day I actually ran out of time (shock horror!) as my guests started arriving. So my wonderful other half made the dressing for me. The ingredients he used are as follows:
- 2 x Cloves garlic , chopped finely
- 1tsp Mustard (he used Maille Honey Mustard)
- Salt & pepper
- 5 tbsp Mayo
- Splash of olive oil
- 2 tsp White wine vinegar
- Dried chives
This potato salad is a firm household favourite and pretty much always gets made when we need to do a buffet of sorts. The next thing I prepared was the Halloumi/bacon rolls from BBC GoodFood. These babies were unexpectedly delicious. They were so simple to make to! All you do is get a 10 pack of bacon rashers ( I used smoked back bacon which worked really well) and a 250g pack of halloumi. Don’t get the low fat crap, if you are going to do something wrong, do it right! Cut each bacon strip in half (to make 20 strips) and cut the halloumi block into 20 pieces. Then sprinkle the bacon with chives & pepper (Do NOT use salt, bacon and halloumi are both naturally very salty.) & roll ’em up!
Pop in the oven at 200°C for about 15 mins or until the bacon starts to go crispy, then wait for the yummy noises from your guests!
After these were done I got to work on the mini muffin pizzas & the french stick platter. The mini muffin pizzas are really easy to make & a mega crowd pleaser! My brother came to the party quite late & only managed to get one, then spent the rest of the night telling me how much he wanted another mini muffin pizza! All you have to do is get some packs of muffins & cut them in half. Spread a teaspoonful of creamed tomatoes or passata on top along with a generous amount of grated mozzarella cheese. Then top with whatever you want. I left some as cheese & tomato, some I topped with ham & the rest I topped with Pork.
Put them in the middle of the oven, at whatever temperature you happen to have your oven at for other party food, until the cheese is golden & bubbling on top. Lip-smackingly-yummy!
The french stick platter is probably the prettiest looking food at the table in my opinion. It’s really easy to make but can be a little fiddly, messy & time consuming. I got the idea from the Philidelphia App but changed it slightly to suit my tastes. I got a large french baguette, cut it in half, length ways, then spread Philidelphia cheese over the top and cut into smaller pieces. I then took single basil leafs and placed them in the corners of each piece, followed alternately by cherry tomatoes & Parma ham.
I then laid them neatly on a circular tray as above and that was that. My buffet was complete. And it went down far better than I could have hoped for! Not a bad first attempt at a house party me thinks.
Let me know what you think. Is there is any way you would adapt the recipes I used? What are your favourite buffet recipes? Have you got any neat time saving tricks or cheats for buffets? Maybe between us all we can compile the best buffet in the world!
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As always, thanks so much for reading. Can’t wait to read your comments.
Miss Kitchen Mason