Everyone loves food on sticks, wrapped in bacon or not. Frankly, I think half the fun of planning a party is the chance to create some new combinations and serve some old classics (honey-glazed sausage, anyone?). Here are a few of my current favourite things on sticks. They are fairly free form – each idea is for one stick – just make as many as you need.
FETA, WATERMELON AND MINT
1 cube of good Greek feta cheese
1 cube of ripe watermelon
1 mint leaf
ROASTED VEGETABLE MEDLEY
1 roasted slice of baby aubergine (eggplant)
2 roasted slices of carrot
1 roasted slice of courgette (zucchini)
1 piece of roasted red pepper
…all drizzled with some reduced balsamic vinegar
FIG, BOCCONCINI, HAM AND BASIL
¼ ripe fig
1 small bocconcini or cube of mozzarella
1 basil leaf
1 strip of prosciutto ham
SMOKY THE DUCK
¼ pickled walnut
1 small slice of smoked duck
CONQUISTADOR ON HORSEBACK
1 slice of bottled piquillo pepper
1 small slice of Serrano ham
1 cube of Manchego cheese
MOO MUAN SUKHOTHAI
These tasty little pork balls are fried crisp and served with a healthy dollop of Sriracha sauce on the side. They’re the perfect snack and, of course, perfect on a stick. (A view of Sukhothai’s ancient ruins is of course optional, but highly recommended!)
½ tbsp white peppercorns
2 coriander roots
2 garlic cloves, peeled
a pinch of salt
250 g (8 oz) minced pork
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
3–4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp rice flour
Sriracha sauce, to serve
Use a pestle and mortar to pound the peppercorns, coriander roots, garlic and salt to a paste.
Place the pork in a bowl and mix in the paste with your hands – really squish it about to get it evenly distributed. Add the fish sauce and mix well again. Heat a little oil in a small pan and fry a tiny piece of the mixture until cooked through. Taste to check the seasoning, adjusting if necessary.
Lightly wet your hands, roll the pork into 18–24 balls and sprinkle them with the rice flour.
Heat a wok or frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the oil, swirling it about a bit. When it is hot again, add the pork balls in small batches and fry for about 2 minutes, or until deep brown on the outside and cooked through.
Drain on kitchen paper for a few moments, then transfer to a plate and put a small bowl of Sriracha sauce on the side. Devour!
Recipes taken from Make Mine A Martini by Kay Plunkett-Hogge. Available here.