These nibbles will ensure you make it through to midnight.
If you are gathering friends for New Year's festivities you will want food that's filling without requiring you to spend the whole time in the kitchen. Easily pass-around-able and something that will go nicely after a few drinks. These dishes would be good if you'd had a barbecue in the afternoon, and then a few drinks, but were getting peckish before midnight.
Sesame chicken roti rolls
The chicken salad for these rolls can be made in advance.
Approx 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 free range rotisserie chicken
¼ cabbage, finely shredded
Juice of ½ lemon
2 sticks celery, thinly sliced
Few leaves silverbeet, or another dark leafy green vegetable, thinly sliced
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp sunflower seeds
1 generous handful mung-bean sprouts
Small bunch coriander or parsley, roughly torn
About 6 roti, square if possible (I bought mine in packs of 3 from Farro Fresh)
1. To make the chicken salad filling, mix the mayonnaise with the sesame oil. Set aside.
2. Shred the meat off the chicken and set aside.
3. Chop the cabbage, place in a large mixing bowl, and add the lemon juice. Chop the remaining vegetables and add to the bowl. Add the chicken, the mayonnaise and all other ingredients. Gently mix together, and taste. If necessary, add more mayo or more lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Heat the roti either in the oven or in a frying pan. Allow to cool slightly before carefully cutting into rectangles.
5. To serve, place a small handful of the salad mixture on to the roll, and roll up. Secure with a large toothpick and serve.
Corn and bean quesadillas
These can be made in advance and you can just chuck them on the barbecue before cutting into pieces and putting on to a big platter.
12 packet corn tortillas
330g tin refried beans
2 corn cobs, or a 330g tin whole kernel corn
1 cup grated cheese
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 loose cups rocket
Coriander, roughly chopped, to garnish
Salad greens to serve
1. Take one tortilla and spread with refried beans. Add a few corn kernels, then scatter over some cheese. Add the red onion and rocket, then add another tortilla to the top, like a sandwich.
2. Heat a frying pan to medium-high with a small amount of oil and place tortilla in the frying pan. Reduce heat slightly so the tortilla doesn't burn. Cook for a few minutes each side until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
3. Garnish with coriander and cut into triangles. Serve with minty yogurt (see below), your favourite hot sauce and some salad greens.
1 cup natural yoghurt
Juice of ½ lemon
1 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together and adjust to taste.
New Year's garden party
It wouldn't be New Year without bubbles. I've been playing around with all sorts of fun twists to cocktails this year - from fresh fruit to flower petals in my ice cubes. I can't go past a classic aperol spritz when it's warm, but I've made it a bit more of a cocktail with lemon and a splash of gin - it's a version of a Garden Party cocktail and a great start to any evening festivities. Happy New Year!
Per person you will need:
15 ml gin
15 ml aperol
1 tsp sugar syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
Flower petals or fresh basil, to garnish
1. Shake the gin, aperol, sugar syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into a glass or champagne flute and top with prosecco. Garnish with flower petals, berries or fresh basil.