Sunday, 12 October 2008

Party Time

A birthday is always a good excuse for a party, couple that with just having moved into a flat and you're onto a winner. I resisted the temptation to spend days creating elaborate canapes as although I knew people would expect food (it is my party) they'd be more interested in the wine...

We're into baking bread at the moment, so I thought several loaves of homemade bread, some dips - hummus, tapenade, roasted red pepper pesto, maybe a baked camembert or two, and some posh crisps ought to do it. the idea was to have lots of finger food that didn't require plates (less washing up or wasteful paper plates).

My one concession to canapes were fabulous little caramelised onion and feta pastries. Deliciously sweet onions are well known partners to sharp, salty feta and these were little mouthfuls of joy. Seen as though everyone liked them so much, here's the recipe below.

Caramelised Red Onion and Feta Pastries


Makes about 50

250g shortcurst pastry
8 medium red onions, sliced into half moons
50g butter
4tbsp balsamic vinegar
4tbsp sugar
200g feta, crumbled
1 small bunch parsley, chopped or a small bunch thyme (just the leaves)

  • Heat the butter in a large frying pan and tip in the onions, stir to coat in the butter and leave to cook on a low heat for about 15mins, stirring occasionally until completely soft.
  • Season well, add the sugar and blasamic vinegar, and leave to simmer until the onions are sticky, brown and caramelised.
  • Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Roll the pastry out until a few mms thick and cut into rounds (I used a small glass to do this, bear in mind that you want the pastry in mouth sized circles).
  • Place onto a baking tray lined with greasproof paper and bake in the oven for about 10mins until golden and cooked through. (the pastry will rise a little and bubble in places, after a few mins baking, whilst the pastry is still soft, you can push the bubles down gently).
  • Once all the pastry is cooked, leave to cool.
  • To assemble, you probably need someone to help, to get an assembly line going. One person to spoon the onions onto the pastry and someone else to sprinkle on the cumbled feta and a little parsley or thyme. Just try not to eat too many whilst you're making them!

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