If you are throwing a party this festive season, why not make some nibbles for your guests (www.bordbia.ie )
Sausages with mustard, honey and chopped rosemary
Combine one tablespoon of mustard, two tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of chopped rosemary. Grill 500g of sausages. When cooked, toss in the mustard and honey mixture to coat.
Spiced beef with fruity chutney
Place a two and a half to three kg joint of spiced beef in a deep casserole dish as near to its size as possible. Add 250ml water and cover tightly.
Cook in a very low oven, Gas Mark one, 140C (275F ) for five hours. Leave it to cool in the liquid for two to three hours and then remove and wrap in tin foil. Store in the fridge until you need it. Slice thinly and serve on brown or white soda bread with a fruity chutney.
Monkfish wrapped in bacon
Cut the monkfish into pieces about two cm wide.
Cut each streaky rasher into two or three pieces and use these to wrap the pieces of monkfish. Place, joint side down on a grill rack and cook under the hot grill for five to eight minutes.
Serve with a herb dressing made by mixing 150ml mayonnaise in the processor with one tablespoon of warm water, one chopped garlic clove and a bunch of basil (approximately 20g ).
Smoked salmon with herbed cream cheese
Spread some herbed cream cheese on blinis and top with smoked salmon. Blinis are small pancakes made from buckwheat flour. If you can’t get them use brown soda bread or small pieces of toast.
Tomato, pesto and goats cheese crostini
Using a small pastry cutter, if available, cut rounds from slices of white bread you should get four to five rounds per slice.
Alternatively, thinly slice a French stick. Brush with a little olive oil and toast in a hot oven for a couple of minutes. Mix together some freshly chopped tomatoes, chopped scallions and coriander, seasoning and a little olive oil.
Top each round of toast with half a teaspoon of pesto, a spoonful of the tomato mixture and some soft goats cheese.
Skewered duck with chilli and scallions
Two duck breasts, cut into thin slices, about four cm long; 18 wooden skewers; 100ml light soy sauce; two teaspoons of sesame oil; two to three scallions, finely sliced; one red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped.
Soak the wooden skewers in warm water for 30 to 40 minutes to prevent them burning.
Combine half the soy sauce with one teaspoon of sesame oil. Coat the sliced duck in this mixture and leave to marinade while the skewers are soaking. Then thread the duck onto the skewers.
Place on a grill pan, and cook under a hot grill for four to five minutes, turning half
Mix the remaining soy sauce and sesame oil with the scallions and chilli. Serve as a dipping sauce with the skewered duck.