As the Diamond Jubilee approaches,
I have come up with three
Slice-of-Slim foody ideas for you.
The Jubilee celebrations kick off this weekend, with a flypast over Windsor Castle by the Red Arrows....so I thought I'd feature one idea each week over the next three weeks to help inspire you for the June 2-5th celebratory weekend, and give you plenty of time to plan your culinary delights...
Any of my suggestions would be fun to have at home to get you in a patriotic mood, or perfect for a street or garden party. My ideas get more bonkers as the weeks go on - I've had real fun preparing for this!
If you are planning to make some quintessentially British party food, it might be a good idea to start gathering some red, white and blue ribbons and tapes for trimming and embellishing your dishes. You'll find that there are very few naturally occurring blue foods around - infact all 3 of my ideas feature blueberries! Unless you have some edible blue flowers to hand, you'll have to bulk up the 'blueness' of your dishes with trimmings and paper cases. I don't really like to add food colouring unless it's essential and there's a reason why there is no blue food around - it's not an appetizing colour to us humans and doesn't feature in foods that grow naturally for that reason!
Try and have some cocktail sticks to hand too, as they are great for stacking ingredients together and can be transformed easily into small flags or cake-toppers. If you are not at all artistic and can't face making your own decorations, there are plenty of items around to buy at the moment, that will do the same job for you.
Idea no.1 is so, so simple. I did warn you that I was a child in the 1960's where culinary sophistication did not abound! Party food consisted of Cheddar cheese and pineapple cubes on sticks, poked into half a grapefruit. If you were REALLY sophisticated, you covered the grapefruit with tin foil!
There was something to be said about that fruit and mild cheese combo though, and I hope you'll agree that I've brought it up-to-date...
The first canape is literally stacks of sliced strawberry, cubes of light mozzarella, topped with a blueberry and speared with a decorated cocktail stick. I made little flags out of coloured tape, and also tied ribbon around the top of the sticks.
The second canape is miniature kebabs made of blueberries and mozzarella cubes.
The half fat mozzarella works out to 3pp/110kcal for HALF a 125g ball. I only used half for the whole plate above. The mozzarella is pretty bland, but easy to work with. Because you are cutting it into perfect little cubes (about a cm square), there is some wastage.
Just pop the scruffy pieces into a ramekin, cover with water and clingfilm, then use to top a pizza at a later date.
(See post; RECIPE:You really can have pizza!)
If you like a little more flavour in your cheese, try very low fat Greek salad cheese.
This is based on Feta cheese but is extremely low fat. It still retains that gorgeous saltiness and creaminess characteristic of Feta. When you cut it up into small cubes, it is very crumbly, so harder to work with than the mozzarella. As I've written on the packaging, 50g which is quarter of this block, is 2pp/80kcal. It combines really well with watermelon and, of course, the blueberries.
I only used 50g Greek salad cheese for this whole plate. I also cut the watermelon with a very small circular metal cutter to make the canapes look more professional.
I served my canapes on a cake stand made from vintage tea plates, to keep a traditional British feel for the forthcoming festivities. I also used some of the smaller strawberries, and put them into blue petit-four cases to bring the patriotic theme together and make the display look full and pretty.
(The vintage plate cake-stand is by Lolo Vintage- you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Blogspot).
I garnished it with fresh mint which is just springing up in my garden.
For a less traditional approach, your guests can then pop a sprig of mint into a Moroccan tea glass. If you pour some hot water into the glasses, you have a beautiful fresh mint tea to accompany your nibbles....perfect if the sun doesn't show up!