In my first post in this series (on the very patriotic St George's Day!) I listed some great recipe ideas for your Diamond Jubilee street party ... a Union Jack Cake, mini fish 'n' chips in paper cones, Marmite & cheese mini tartlets & cucumber sandwiches! I have since digressed into craft ideas such as printable cupcake wrappers, a cupcake stand and Union Jack paper gift bags & luminarias. However, I thought it was time to come full circle back to the important bit in any party planning ... the food!!!
One of the things I enjoyed most about creating a quintessentially British finger buffet was trying to incorporate dishes that represented the cuisine of ALL of the British nations... England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland! So a quick brainstorm of the most iconic foods & beverages of each of these nations yielded the following:
The challenge then is to recreate or incorporate elements of some of these dishes in miniature suitable for a buffet! It is very easy to do with some as I showed with the mini Fish 'n' chip paper cones in my first post, but takes some effort with others! Here are a few more food ideas & recipes for you....
Haggis, 'neeps & tattie puff pies
Haggis, 'neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes) ... you can't get much more Scottish than that and adapted into these mini puff pies bring all those lovely flavours are brought together! Please do not be put off this dish because it has haggis in it and the thought of it makes you squeamish... it is delicious, savoury and very more-ish! It is also suprisingly easy to make and because of the little hand pie design it makes perfect finger buffet fare!
You will need...
- ready-made puff pastry sheets
- a tin of haggis (half a tin makes approximately 12-18 puff pies)
- a turnip
- several small potatoes
- a small amount of beef gravy
- milk & butter
- salt & pepper
- beaten egg to glaze
- a cupcake or mini tartlet baking pan
I used tinned haggis for these... as an expat, this was all I could come by here in Houston, but for ease and convenience it was perfect and I recommend it (however, you can use regular Haggis if it's available)!
Firstly, peel and chop the potatoes and put onto boil for approximately 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash the potatoes with a little milk and butter and set aside. At the same time, peel and dice the turnip and also put onto boil. When soft, drain & mash with a little butter and also set aside.
Lightly oil the cups of the baking pan and preheat the oven to 350'F (175'C). Roll the ready-made puff pastry on a board and using a circular cutter, cut circles large enough to line each cup with a slight overhang.
Open the can of haggis and empty half into a bowl, breaking up with a fork. Mix in just enough gravy to make the haggis soft and then spoon a rounded teaspoon of the haggis & gravy mix into the pastry cups.
Follow with a teaspoon of mashed potatoes, and top with a teaspoon of mashed turnips. Add half a teaspoon more gravy if it looks a little dry, but don't make it too wet.
Finally cut more pastry circles to top each mini pie, sealing the edges with a little milk and by pinching gently with your fingers (as the pastry will puff up don't worry if it doesn't look particularly 'pretty'!). Prick the tops with a fork and brush with beaten egg.
Put in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the tops are golden and puffed up. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the tin before removing to a wire rack. Delicious served warm or cold!
This dish was staple fare in my home growing up as a child... cheap, filling and delicious yorkshire pudding with some hearty sausages inside, crispy on top and moist inside... yum! Again, with a little tweaking this main course meal can be adapted into a perfect finger buffet food!
You will need...
- 12 Mini 'cocktail' pork sausages... in the USA, I have found it really hard to find the British version of these; however, a good substitute is to get pork breakfast links and gently twist each one in the middle a few times before cutting in two.
- 1/3 cup (1.5 oz or approx 40g) of plain, all-purpose flour with a pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 3 and a 1/4 fl oz (100ml) milk
- A 12 hole muffin or mini tartlet pan
- Kitchen paper
Remember to check back soon for more food ideas in this series!