Friends Round And No Time To Cook? Try These 10 Simple And Quick Party Food Ideas

13 December 2013 by

Hip sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley of HEMSLEY + HEMSLEY cook for celebrities and clients all over the world. Their mission is to create super-healthy food; whole, organic, nutrient filled, delicious homemade dishes that are free from grain, gluten, high starch and refined sugar.


And they can certainly rise to a culinary challenge too, as proved when we asked them this question: ‘If you’ve got friends coming round for a party in a few hours and you’ve run out of time, what would you cook?’ See below for their ten quick-to-make party food ideas, starting with the two recipes that feature in our new issue, out now.

1. Chicory boats filled with pear, stilton and cranberry jam

Ingredients: 2 heads of chicory leaves, separated and trimmed at the base * 1 ripe pear - conference are a nice British variety, or even better Concorde pears * 50g Stilton* Cranberry jam* 80g sugar-free, apple-sweetened dried cranberries (try Biona) * 1 star anise* 30ml red wine* Zest and juice of half an orange - add the pulp if you have a strong blender * Pinch black pepper * Pinch sea salt* ½ teaspoon maple syrup * Tiny pinch ground nutmeg * 150ml water. Makes 12

How To Make: Start with the cranberry jam, simmering the ingredients together in a pan with the lid on for 10 minutes until it thickens to a jam like consistency. Blitz it all with a handheld blender and set aside. Lay out the chicory leaves on a platter. Peel the pear, cut in half and slice thinly lengthways. Lay a slice of pear in the bottom of each chicory ‘boat’ and crumble the Stilton over. Finish with a few dots of cranberry jam to serve - any leftover jam can be stored in the fridge and served with a cheese board.

2. Cucumber canapés with horseradish cream cheese and smoked salmon

Ingredients: 1 small cucumber; narrow ones work better * 50g smoked salmon * 75g full fat cream cheese * ½ tsp grated fresh horseradish * ½ teaspoon chopped dill* ¼ teaspoon lemon juice * Pinch freshly cracked black pepper * Extra dill for garnishing. Makes 12

How To Make: In a bowl mix together cream cheese, horseradish, dill, lemon juice and black pepper. Leave in the fridge for an hour or so. Add more horseradish if you like it punchy. Cut the cucumber into 1cm slices, carefully scoop out some of the seeds making sure not to go through to the bottom. Arrange the cucumber slices on a platter and distribute the cream cheese mixture between them, neatly filling the centres. Cut the smoked salmon into strips - 2cm wide by 5cm long. Roll up and place on top of the cream cheese. Garnish with sprigs of dill.

Chicory boats and cucumber canapés


3. Top fresh, crunchy red and green apple slices with some mature cheddar and chutney.

4. Fill baby gem lettuce leaves with fresh crab, lemon juice and black pepper. Choose a mix of dark and white meat for the best flavour.

5. Chop up colourful crudités (red chicory leaves, radishes, carrots, cucumber, red peppers) and serve with a spicy avocado dip.

6. Make The Hemsley's dark chocolate salted clementines - the ingredients are all in the title- incredibly easy and completely delightful sweet morsels. Click here for the recipe.

  • Make parmesan crisps. These pretty little crisps are made from organic parmesan and... Nothing else! The aroma of these baking will make everyone’s mouths water in anticipation. For recipe click here

  • Bake kale chips. Pull the kale leaves from their stems and roughly chop, wash and dry thoroughly. Toss the leaves a little melted coconut oil and bake at 200C for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and season with sea salt and any herbs and spices as the kale chips cool.
  • Spice up some nuts. Toast a selection of nuts (ideally soaked for a few hours/overnight and rinsed) in the oven with coconut oil or ghee and your favourite spices. Try cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne with a sprinkle of sea salt and a dash of maple syrup or wasabi powder and a little lime juice for a kick!
  • Arrange skewers of ready cooked prawns on a serving dish. Mix together an easy ‘satay style’ dipping sauce of almond butter, zest and juice of an orange, a little freshly grated ginger and a dash of tamari.  Warm it through and pour over the prawns to serve.

Look out for Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley’s book, The Art of Eating Well, which will be published next year by Ebury Press.



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