Everyone has that smug someone in their family that puts all the other Eid spreads to shame.
Your home is where everyone craves to visit – and let off steam – and they know it!
While most of us prefer to eat rather than cook, here are some quick to make appetizer recipes for Eid munching and noshing pleasure.
Don’t be intimidated by finger foods – they’re not as time-consuming as they appear, and they’ll add a little Je ne sais quois to your Eid soiree. Amuse bouche have grown in popularity over the years, from bite-sized brownies to vol-au-vents, these and delicious mini appetizers add a little pizzazz to the traditional Eid spread.
Go all out that Eid with these easy-to-make amuse bouche
The key to good watermelon juice is sweet watermelon, and what you add depends on your preferred flavor — some black salt to make the juice savory or rose syrup for a subtle sweetness.
1/2 a watermelon diced
1 bunch of mint
1-2 tablespoons rose syrup (optional)
Black Salt (optional)
Cut the watermelon into small pieces and puree in a juicer. Place a bowl under a strainer or muslin cloth and pour in the juice to separate the fibers.
Pour lemon juice into the bowl. Since the sweetness of the watermelon and the acidity of the lemon will vary, taste the juice before adding more lemons. Juice not sweet enough? Add a tablespoon or two of rose syrup.
Twist the mint to “damage” it and let the juice steep for an hour or two to intensify the flavor. Alternatively, you can finely chop the mint and throw it in. Chill in the fridge and serve in shot glasses.
These have been a hit at parties and soirees for the last few years because they are delicious, light and add a touch of elegance. For a vegetarian version, use mushrooms instead of chicken. You can add any other filling like parmesan cheese and peppers, potatoes and cream etc. The filling and the puff pastry can be prepared a day in advance. This recipe makes about six vol-au-vents.
For the puff pastry shells (makes 625 g of dough)
250 g flour
water, as needed
1 egg, whisked
Add a pinch of salt to the flour. Slowly add water and start mixing the flour until you get a crumbly mixture. Continue mixing and kneading until a firm dough forms. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough into a circle 25cm in diameter. Place softened butter between wax paper and flatten into a square shape – the butter should be cold but pliable. Put the butter in the middle of the rolled out dough. Fold in the edges of the dough until all edges overlap in the center and roll over the dough, pressing down.
Shape the dough back into a long rectangle. Fold a third of the top and bottom of the rectangle until the ends overlap in the middle. Roll it over and press down. Repeat this step one more time. Seal the open edges and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Repeat the folding, rolling and chilling step two more times. Chill for an hour before use.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roll out the dough into a thin layer and use a cookie cutter to cut out six three-inch circles. Eggs wash all slices. Form the remaining dough into a ball and roll out again into a thin layer. Make another six 3 inch circles. Using a smaller cookie cutter, about 1.5 inches in diameter, cut smaller circles into these discs. Place the discs with the holes on top of the flat discs.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper and place the slices two inches apart on the sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. While the shells are baking, prepare the chicken filling.
For chicken stuffing
1/4 kg chicken (approx. one chicken breast), shredded
1/2 packet or 125g cream
1 green bell pepper, very finely chopped
1/2 a small onion, very finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 tablespoon of oil
Half of the ready-made puff pastry or 1/2 kg of store-bought puff pastry
Cook the chicken seasoned with salt and pepper. Shred the chicken. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the ginger-garlic paste. Add the chopped onions. After the onions are translucent, add the green peppers and sauté for 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken, soy sauce, salt and pepper and stir thoroughly. Fry for 5-10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and cool before adding the cream. Stir thoroughly. Allow mixture to cool, then ladle into baked dough shells. Serve warm.
These are quick, easy to prepare and nutritious to boot.
15-20 large dates
1/2 cup pistachio
1 teaspoon of honey
rose water, optional
Cut the dates lengthways and remove the pits. Puree the pistachios in a food processor or crush in a mortar until crumbly texture. Add honey and a few drops of rose water. Scoop out the mixture and fill in the pitted dates.
Serve your festive creations and delight your guests.
Originally published in Dawn, EOS, May 1st, 2022