When it comes to Christmas entertaining, or any form of entertaining really for that matter, cheese and crackers is usually a fail-safe, crowd favourite found at many festive events. But that doesn't have to be as good as it gets.

We are certainly not saying that there is no longer a place at the table for the humble cheese and crackers (you don't mess with a sure thing). But with so many delicious cheeses available and even more creative ways that you can serve them, why not try something a little different this year and give these delicious cheesy Christmas delights a go?

Thyme and Walnut Baked Brie

Make your own crispy bread crackers and enjoy the delicious flavours of this super simple cheese dip. It might just be a new crowd favourite.

Prep: 0:05 Mins
Cook: 0:20 Mins
Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 rustic baguette, cut into 5mm-thick slices diagonally
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup (50g) walnut halves
  • 200g whole brie
  • 12 small sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey

METHOD

Step 1

Preheat oven to 200C. Arrange bread, in a single layer, on a baking tray. Lightly spray with olive oil spray. Bake, turning occasionally, for 5-6 mins or until light golden and crisp. Cool.

Step 2

Meanwhile, scatter the walnuts over a baking tray. Bake for 5 mins or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

Step 3

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the brie on the baking tray. Use a small sharp knife to cut 12 small slashes on the top of the brie. Place a thyme sprig in each hole. Drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper. Bring the edges of the baking paper up to the centre to enclose. Twist to secure. Bake for 10 mins or until the brie is soft when lightly pressed.

Step 4

Place the brie in its paper on a serving platter. Open the paper and sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle with honey. Serve immediately with toasts.

Source link: www.taste.com.au

Spicy Diavola Salami Cups

This fiesty party starter certainly fits the bill. It combines a number of favourite flavours with 2 types of cheese, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and a bit of heat from the salami and chilli. It looks the festive part too with it's red and green colour combination!

Prep: 0:30 Mins
Cook: 0:15 Mins
Serves: 12

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 slices hot salami
  • 1/4 cup marinated fetta, reserving 1 tablespoon marinating oil
  • 1/2 cup smooth ricotta
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 1 long red chilli, chopped
  • Lemon zest, to serve

METHOD

Step 1

Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan-forced. Lightly grease a 12-hole, 1/3-cup-capacity muffin pan.

Step 2

Push 1 slice salami into each prepared pan hole. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until salami is browned.

Step 3

Meanwhile, crumble fetta into a bowl. Add ricotta, olive, tomato, oregano, and chilli. Season with pepper. Divide mixture evenly among salami cups. Bake for a further 2 to 3 minutes or until filling is just heated through, but not browned. Carefully transfer cups to a wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes or until cups turn crisp.

Step 4

Place cups on a serving platter. Drizzle each with a little of the reserved marinating oil. Top with lemon zest and extra oregano. Serve.

Source link: www.taste.com.au

Haloumi Nuggets with Tomato Chilli Jam

These deliciously crunchy "nuggets" of fried cheese are sure to keep the hungry hoards happy.

Prep: 0:10 Mins
Cook: 0:30 Mins
Serves:
24

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 long red chilis, sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup malt vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 500g haloumi cheese
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Lemon halves, to serve

METHOD

Step 1

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chilli and onion. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add tomato, vinegar, sugar and sauce. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Meanwhile, cut haloumi into 3cm x 4cm pieces. Place flour and egg in separate shallow bowls. Combine breadcrumbs and paprika in another bowl.

Step 3

Pour enough vegetable oil into a large frying pan to come 2cm upside of pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Coat haloumi in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then coat in breadcrumb mixture. Cook, in batches, for 2 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on paper towel.

Step 4

Sprinkle haloumi with parsley. Serve with chilli jam and lemon.

Source link: www.taste.com.au