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Help me think of a traditional British Christmas menu for serving to non-British people in a foreign country with limited access to British foods

(19 Posts)
OlennasWimple Tue 28-Nov-17 20:57:01

We are having a small-ish Christmas party for some friends in a couple of weeks. We don't want a full, sit down meal and it's too hot to leave buffet food out for very long (we don't live in the UK - this bit is important). So we want to serve various substantial finger food type things instead, that reflect traditional British Christmas food.

The problem is that we don't have access to many of the normal "go to" foods for this sort of do, and we don't want to spend ages preparing stuff that will go down like a lead balloon...

There will be 25-30 people, all adults and no vegetarians / other dietary needs.

We have ruled out things like mince pies (as I would have to make my own mincemeat and pastry, and I don't think many people would like them to make it worth the hassle), pigs in blankets (no chipolatas) and smoked salmon and blinis (no smoked salmon, no blinis). I'd like to try them with trifle, but I think it might be an acquired taste and I can't always get double / whipping cream.

Possible menu items are:

mini beef wellingtons
mini salmon en croute
Christmas cake
cheese board
roast asparagus
baby jacket potatoes

If I'm quick, I could get a turkey and a ham (there are some int he shops left over from Thanksgiving) but I can't think how to serve those in a "nibble" format

Grateful for any suggestions and ideas for things to explore (and apologies in advance if I end up sounding ungrateful and negative because we just can't get the ingredients smile )

OP’s posts: |
Catinthecorner Tue 28-Nov-17 21:24:43

I think your list sounds lovely. Will asparagus be in season for you?

I’d add scotch eggs (a doddle to make), maybe little Yorkshire puddings topped with roast beef and horseradish, could you do (oven cooked) fish and chips in cones or would that be too much faff?

AtleastitsnotMonday Wed 29-Nov-17 11:46:08

Can you get pickled onions?
You could make mini stuffing balls

kateandme Wed 29-Nov-17 14:17:20

Yorkshire puddings with beef and horseradish
could you do little pie cases in a muffin tin and do some little tarts/mini pie type thing.
little fairy cakes
treacle sponges you can do well in individual muffin tinswholes
ham egg and yummy but simple?
could you do a big bowl of stew and serve in indciual portion bowls.then cut out pastry with cookie cutter so deconstructed pie of sorts.
fish and chips.
summer pudding which is made out of bread and fruit.
some savoury scone or sweet scones.
fish cakes.
currys in mini pittas.
currys on naan toasts.
asparagus wrapped in bacon
coronation chicken in jackets.
mini toasties.
chicken and ham filo cups/parcels.
shephards pie potato skins we have done and they look and taste awesome and work as buffet more finger invifuals foods.
minted peas and bacon on mini toasts.

OlennasWimple Wed 29-Nov-17 15:17:32

Wow, thanks for the suggestions!

Cat - we can usually get asparagus flown in from Mexico (I know, I know....). Scotch eggs always look tricky - have you got a really simple recipe?

Are fish and chips festive? We definitely can't get cod, but I'll look into local alternatives

Atleast - yes, we can get pickled onions. Do you think people who have never had stuffing will like it? I have a feeling it might be a thing for people who normally have it with a roast and therefore are already amenable to it IYSWIM. I suppose it's easy and cheap enough to make even if it's not really a hit

kate - would you do mini Yorkshires over beef wellington? I can't think how to do ham, egg and chips as a nibbley dish - maybe a deconstructed version of it, but it sounds a bit fiddley to make and to eat (probably standing up with just a fork)?

Coronation chicken is a good call, I can definitely do that in nibble format

Minted peas and bacon also sounds great. I will have a think about the bacon aspect (there's one shop where we can get frozen American ie streaky bacon, but if I'm just using it to crisp up as a topping, it won't matter so much that it's terrible bacon!)

OP’s posts: |
Catinthecorner Wed 29-Nov-17 17:14:54

Perhaps I think of fish and chips as festive because I grew up in a seaside town. Summer fish n chips being for tourists, and locals having them at the beach on cold, blustery days. Definitely a Christmas Eve walk type of food to me personally.

Scotch eggs, erm, I don’t follow a recipe really, I just learned how to do it.

Basically lightly boil eggs. You want the whites set on the outside and the yolks super runny. Maybe 2 minutes for a small/medium egg, a little longer for larger ones. Ice bath (or refrigerate them overnight if ice is an issue) then peel.

Sausage meat, or pork mince and spice/herb/season to your tastes of sausage meat is an issue. Take a ball of the sausage meat and flatten it out. Use it to cover the egg. Roll it in your hands until the egg is fully covered and you can’t see or feel the join.

Dip in a beaten egg and dip in breadcrumbs- you might need to do this bit a couple of times for a good coating.

Then either deep fry until golden or bake in a medium oven. Timings are again size dependant but they will look done.

You’re aiming to cut in and have slightly runny yolk, so it you feel that texture wouldn’t be popular either cook the eggs slightly longer at stage one or leave the scotch eggs in a little longer.

I’d say one beaten egg does about four eggs worth of dipping and a small pack of sausage meat (400g-500g-ish) would do four large eggs.

duriandurian Wed 29-Nov-17 17:18:18

We cooked a meal for friends when we lived in Ecuador and trifle (and zhumir jelly shots) were the only things people liked tbf.
Flapjacks have subsequently impressed Turkish and Korean friends. Wonder if mini sticky toffee puddings would work? Or too hot?

duriandurian Wed 29-Nov-17 17:23:46

Cheese straws?
Actually jacket potatoes were super popular when I lived in rural France (long time ago). I was badgered for the recipe..

duriandurian Wed 29-Nov-17 17:27:16

Ooh just seen kate suggested shepherds' pie jackets and sticky toffee. Sorry, I was too slow!

SandLand Wed 29-Nov-17 17:36:41

Turkey and stuffing sandwiches? Turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches? Ham sandwiches.....

I agree sticky toffee pudding seems to go down very well with people.

If you are happy to have fruit cake left over, id do that, without much expectation of it being eaten.

ColonelJackONeil Wed 29-Nov-17 17:40:31

I think mini trifles for a sweet would be nice, and maybe little pavlovas.
You could serve your Turkey and Ham in a vol-au-vent although you wouldn't need much meat for that. Prawn cocktails in mini shot glass size portions.

Butteredparsn1ps Wed 29-Nov-17 17:42:04

Could you get hold of a pork pie to serve with your cheese board?

What about gammon, mini jacket potatoes, pickles; English mustard and piccalilli.

Stuffing balls, sausage rolls (make with minced pork and grated apple, if you can't get sausage meat)

Trifles are a good idea, and maybe some small pots of lemon mousse served with shortbread

PosieNarka Thu 30-Nov-17 13:08:06

Sausage rolls an vol-au-vents.

Actually, have a look at the party/buffet/canapé sections at Marks & Spencer. Ocado, Sainsbury's etc for some ideas.

LemonysSnicket Thu 30-Nov-17 13:11:46

Where on earth are you???

overnightangel Thu 30-Nov-17 13:17:51

I’m really curious to know where you live!!

kateandme Thu 30-Nov-17 14:05:06

olennaswimple do you have some small mould,ramekins muffin tins.basically put bacon or ham in bottom and round edges to make a cup,ham/bacon bowl.then add the egg into the 'cup' and serve stacks of chip on your essentialy making a bacon or ham basket for the eggs.or make stacks so put them together then cutting them out with cookie cutters?

kateandme Thu 30-Nov-17 14:09:58
oh god hun sorry ive gone mad on googling for you now!the end the end haha

OlennasWimple Fri 01-Dec-17 00:38:36

Thanks for all the great ideas. I'll have a proper look tomorrow, but I dont' remember having ever seen pork mince. We can usually get sausages, just not chipolatas, but they are pretty expensive. Might be wasted on scotch eggs if no-one eats them (though I might make some for me and DH....)

Pork pies? I wish....

I know it's annoying when pp say this, but if I say where I live I'd seriously out myself (there's fewer than 100 Brits here)

I'm so pleased that trifle gets the thumbs up! DH doesn't like it, so I don't usually bother to make it. Oddly enough, I did manage to buy Bird's custard powder last month, so I already have the key ingredient wink

OP’s posts: |
Weedsnseeds1 Wed 06-Dec-17 23:00:23

If you can get pork, pork pies are actually really easy to make. Hot water crust pastry is a doddle and your hands will be softer than any hand cream can leave them!
Turkey curry? OK, it's Boxing Day, but it's a festive staple

Satsumas, dates stuffed with marzipan?
Crystallised fruit

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