Bonfire Buffets: Seafood with a Spark
You might have read my last post talking about the transition into Autumn and why we all need to stop thinking of seafood as a summer “thing” and enjoy it more all year round. I’m building on that again this month, with the arrival of bonfire night.
I’ve got a bit of affinity to this night – as a child, my grandparents would always host a bonfire gathering. Dad and Grandad would be out lighting fireworks for us all to watch in the back garden and my gran would be inside preparing a buffet for everyone to enjoy after the light show. I’ve great memories of this, plus, my husband and I met around this time back in 2010, so I’ve got a real love for early November.
It got me thinking about party food and how seafood could play a part in the gathering. Whilst the classic prawn ring has become a crowd pleaser in my family, with riots if it’s not present, it’s hot food we all crave after being out in the cold enjoying fireworks and bonfires. So, I’ve got a few really simple seafood themed appetisers for all the family to enjoy that don’t involve hours in the kitchen.
Prawn and Chorizo Mini Skewers
This idea is as simple as you could imagine, but I can guarantee, everyone will keep coming back for more. Cut a chorizo sausage into 3cm deep round. Fry until warmed and the oil is released. Throw cooked king prawns into the pan, coat in the chorizo oil and cook through until hot. Remove from the pan and thread one prawn and one chorizo piece onto a cocktail stick. Serve hot.
Mango Sticky Prawns
This recipe is stolen from my friend’s mum and adapted to use prawns, rather than cocktail sausages. Take a bag of Big Prawn Company Indonesian Jumbo King Prawns and defrost. Drain off any liquid. Add to a bowl, thrown in ¾ of a jar of mango chutney and mix to coat. Cook in the oven until hot and sticky (around 10-15 mins at 180c) and finish with a shake of sesame seeds. Serve hot on a plate, with cocktail sticks for folks to help themselves. Word of warning, these are really addictive. Adapting recipes such as this proves the versatility of seafood, especially prawns. Mix things up with seafood for the unexpected yet delicious.
Bacon Wrapped Prawns
Once again, this idea reminds us that cooking seafood is not difficult. All you need is streaky bacon, raw king prawns, butter and BBQ sauce for dipping. Wrap each prawn in a little streaky bacon (leaving the end of the prawn tail visible). Place on a baking tray and bake for around 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated oven, or until cooked. Melt butter in a pan and finish off the prawns and bacon in the pan, for several minutes, over a medium-high heat. Serve immediately, with a BBQ dipping sauce.
Et voila… I’m turning even the most average home cook into a fabulous party caterer with 3 finger food ideas that will keep the whole family smiling on Bonfire Night.
And back to my point about potluck, all of these dishes could easily be prepared in advance, taken to the party and reheated on arrival. An all-round winner!
Written by Claire Partridge – alter ego What Claire Did – a 30 year old blogger from Glasgow in Scotland who loves cooking, eating out and travel.