Tag Archives: chickpeas

Party Foods Ideas

23 Aug
It must be party season as I’ve had two lovely readers of my blog ask me for some ideas for party food/nibbles in the last 24 hours. I am no expert but I was flattered to be asked so here are some ideas, hope you like them.
I always endeavour to have party food as relaxed as possible .. so lots of helping yourself and different tastes keeps everyone interested and can be good to break the ice without interrupting the flow of conversation!
 – Hummus is always a winner, the recipe on my blog is my favourite and lately I’ve been adding extra smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a new dimension! Serve with crackers, toasted sourdough or veggies (sticks of carrots, celery, red capsicums/peppers are very appealing on the eye and great to munch on!)
 – Roasted chickpeas are so tasty and crunchy, a great nibble to have with drinks and chats – soak more chickpeas than you need for the hummus, dry them off and pop on a tray in the oven with some oil (I use coconut but olive is good) and spices. Here’s what Martha Stewart says but don’t be afraid to play around with the spices, you can’t go wrong.
 – Creamy Salmon Dip – this is a recipe my lovely Aunty Sally makes for parties & its gorgeous! 1 tin red salmon, 1 foil packet full fat philidelphia – whizz together then add juice of a lemon and 5/6 drops tabasco. Whizz again and serve with crackers!
 – Smoked salmon on brown bread – Always a winner and a stable of the Hurley homestead! Finger size slices of good brown bread (or your favourite type), real butter, smoked salmon with wedges of lemon on the side and sprinkle over some capers if you like those little fellas! Very easy to assemble.
 – Guacamole / Pico de Gallo – The key with avocados is plenty of salt, fresh coriander and lime juice! My Aussie cousin adds cherry tomato halves to her guac and its really good for picnics and parties. There is no definite recipe for this but as a guide try mixing together 2 avocados (mashed), 1 chilli sliced, handful coriander chopped, clove garlic squished, juice of 2 limes, 2 pinches of salt and 5 cherry tomatoes halved! For me, the more rustic the better but its totally up to you. Tip: If making in advance leave the stone from the avocado in the bowl, it will prevent it going brown/discolouring.
 – Cheese board – I use a wooden chopping board, 3 cheeses (don’t stress about the types but a cheddar, a brie and a blue work well. There are no rules!), sliced pear/apple, some grapes/strawberries and some nuts will look fab and there’ll be something for everyone. Place a few knives on the board, some crackers nearby and let everyone help themselves. Its real DIY nibbly food and people will go back time and time again.
Salted Caramel Haloumi and Apple – this recipe is on my blog and is so simple to make its always a shock how tasty it is! Cut the haloumi and apple smaller than usual and serve with toothpicks on the side to everyone can spear a bit of each and get the full yummy effect!
Caprese on a stick! – I love these as they look pretty. On a toothpick put one small mozzerella ball , one cherry tomato and a leaf of basil in between. A mouthful of beautiful fresh caprese salad.

Lots of colour to attract the eyes and simple flavours to satisfy the tastebuds!

What are your favourite party foods?

Enjoy x


26 Nov

This morning I made hummus, it was so simple and delicious I must share it with you all.

Last Friday 2 boxes of my “stuff” arrived over from Ireland, it had been shipped more than 6 weeks ago was I was eagerly awaiting the arrival. Among lots of photos, shoes and clothes there were my cookbooks and my beloved food processor & immersion blender!
I have smoothies planned for breakfast this week but my first task was to make hummus. I had never really bothered before because I could get delicious hummus very easily in Dublin – my favourite being in the lovely Keshk Cafe. But here in Australia I just haven’t found a good supermarket brand and our lovely new neighbours had made their own when they invited us in for a glass (read: many glasses) of wine last week so I was inspired..

As usual I couldn’t just follow a recipe but instead followed two .. one from Abla Amad’s Abla’s Lebanese Kitchen and the other Christine Manfield’s Fire World of Flavour. Both these books are part of the mini cookbook collection which was with The Sunday Times here in Perth for the past 3 weeks, I collected all ten books and love them all. The only one I already had was Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals so I’m having a great time reading all these new ones along with all my old favourites which have just arrived.

Without further ado here is how I made this delicious hummus. This recipe makes loads and would be a great quantity for taking to a party or picnic but too much for just 2 people in a home so I’ll half this the next time.

300g dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100 ml tahini
4 cloves of garlic minced
60ml fresh lemon juice strained (this was 1.5 lemons)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin (OR 1 teaspoon paprika)
100 ml oil (recipe calls for Extra Virgin Olive Oil but whatever your current favourite is)

Cover chickpeas with cold water stir in bicarb of soda and leave overnight
Drain and transfer to a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to boil for 30-40 min – until very soft and mushable .
Drain but reserve a little of the cooking iquid, about half a cup full
Set aside 2 tablespoons of chickpeas to use for serving (this is optional)

*if using tinned chickpeas I believe that once soaked over night the chickpeas increase in weight by 4 times – so use 3 x 400g tins.

Place chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, cumin/paprika into food processor and blitz until smooth. This will be a thick paste so add in just enough cooking liquid to soften and then drizzle in the oil.
Have a taste. Season if necessary.
Spoon out onto a plate .. sprinkle whole chickpeas on top .. sprinkle with cumin/paprika and drizzle a little oil over the top.

This was a lovely accompaniment to Jamie’s Fennel & Lemon Salad, Bill Grainger’s Tomatoes with Sumac and cold roast free range chicken this evening, I’m really enjoying having my cookbooks at hand again and after a few days of hard work I’ll have a garden update soon.


SJ x