Brimming with flavours, finger food are bite-sized snacks that make most parties memorable. And what could be more appetising than making them at home.
POTATO AND SHRIMP BALLS
These potato and shrimp patties are crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, and quite popular as a starter.
For the mashed potatoes
• 3 medium-sized potatoes, boiled and mashed smooth
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
For the filling
• 10 shrimps (precooked and deveined)
• 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 3 tablespoons refined flour
• 2/3 cup oil
Combine all the ingredients for the mashed potatoes in a bowl and mix well.
Mix the filling ingredients in another bowl. Divide the mashed potatoes and filling into an equal number of portions.
Wet your hands so that the potatoes do not stick to them. Make flat patty of the mashed potatoes and put a portion of filling in the centre.
Fold the potatoes around it to make smooth balls. Dust lightly with flour.
Heat oil in a frying pan on low to moderate heat and shallow fry the balls, till light golden.
Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with any sauces of your choice.
They are not only a delight to look at but a delight for your palate too. Pinwheel sandwiches are the best way to present sandwiches at parties.
• 1 fresh bread loaf, wholemeal
• 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon red chillies, crushed
• Salt to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
• 4 tablespoons butter
Cut the fresh bread loaf lengthwise in
a sheet form. Trim off the crusts.
Mix tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, crushed red chillies, salt and white pepper powder for the filling.
Apply butter on one side of the bread. Spread the filling on the buttered side evenly. Roll the bread slowly taking care not to break it.
Wrap in a greaseproof paper and place in the refrigerator to set for 30 to 40 mins.
When set, remove the paper from the roll, cut into 2cm thick slices, arrange neatly on a platter and serve.
SPICY CHICKEN SAMOSA CANAPES
Give the regular samosas a makeover and serve them canopy style to impress your guests.
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
• 1 thumb-sized piece ginger peeled and minced
• 1 red chilli chopped
• 2 teaspoons garam masala powder
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• ½ teaspoon turmeric
• ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• 1 cup minced chicken
• 1/2 medium sized bell pepper finely chopped
• 6 sheets filo pastry
• 3 tablespoons melted butter
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander to garnish
• 1 teaspoon chilli flakes to garnish
Preheat the oven to 175C.
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, chopped chillies, garam masala, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and pepper.
Fry, stirring regularly for 2 minutes until you get the aroma. Add minced chicken, and mix together. Cook, stirring regularly, until the chicken is browned and cooked well (about 7 mins).
Add in the bell pepper and stir. Turn off the heat. Whilst the chicken is cooking, lay the filo sheets out and brush melted butter on top of each sheet. Layer up the sheets, so you have 2 piles of 3 sheets.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles. Take a muffin tin, and brush with melted butter. Fill each hole with a pile of the filo sheets. Spoon in the chicken mixture. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the filo pastry is crisp and browned.
Remove from the oven and serve hot, topped with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and chilli flakes.
GRILLED HALLOUMI CHEESE WITH HONEY CHILLI SAUCE
A delectable starter with melt-in-the-mouth grilled halloumi cheese is topped with a sweet and spicy honey chilli sauce.
• 400g halloumi cheese
• 2 tablespoons butter
For the sauce
• 6 cloves garlic
• 1 medium sized onion
• 1 tablespoon corn starch
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper powder
• Salt to taste
Cut the halloumi cheese into finger size pieces. Peel, wash and crush the garlic cloves and chop the onion.
Blend the corn starch in quarter cup of water.
Heat the griddle or grill pan, put butter and roast the halloumi cheese on it till it attains a nice brown colour on all the sides.
For the sauce, heat oil in a pan, add crushed garlic and stir fry for half a minute. Then add the chopped onion, red chilli flakes, soy sauce, and honey and stir for a few minutes.
Add the blended corn starch and bring to a boil.
Cook the sauce till it thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the grilled halloumi cheese hot, and drizzle the honey chilli sauce over it. You can secure the halloumi cheese with toothpicks.
Oneza Tabish is a food blogger, consultant, and columnist based in Oman. She is also the owner of Oman’s popular Facebook group ‘What’s Cooking Oman.’