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British Theme Party Suggestions?

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  • galka May 28, 2007 10:29 AM
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I am planning a graduation party where the food will be grouped by foods from some of my favorite places, (France, Russia and England). I have plenty of ideas for the French and Russian cuisine...but am lacking some for the British table. I am looking for some creative suggestions for "British" appetizers- besides cucumber sandwiches and fish and chips !

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  1. British Curries -

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/38387...

    And of course there's the plowman's lunch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chinon00

      it's a ploughmans!!! (just being picky about the spelling!)

    2. Savory pies are great for a party, you could make mini ones. Pasties are classic (meat pies, turnover style, kind of like an Empanada), puddings, pot pies, side of peas (always), selection of british cheeses (stilton, cheddar, shropshire, etc.), bangers, welsh rarebit, and if it's an adventurous crowd you could always try some jellied eels from the Thames.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sgwood415

        I like the above suggestions! You could also do sweets like banoffee pie - a dessert made from biscuits, bananas, butter, cream and boiled condensed milk (or dulce de leche).

        Or little shepard pies/jacket potatoes/bangers...

        Cheers :)

        1. re: waverly

          If you want to turn bangers and mash into appetizers, cut the traditional cooked and browned sausages into bite size pieces, and spread on a tray concentrically around a dipping bowl full of mashed potatoes, allowing guests to dip their bangers into the mash.

          As another suggests, Mushy Peas!

          Potted shrimp

          Fannie Daddies http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/reci...

          Individual Mincemeat Pies or Yorkshire Puddings

          Kedgerree

          Shirred Eggs on English Muffins

          ....Ah how I long for my youth...

        2. re: sgwood415

          Caourse, welsh rarebit is WELSH. welshmen would rather die than have someone call them ENGLISH. bad blood, there!

        3. Delia Smith's website has a great selection of recipes with many traditional ones.
          http://www.deliaonline.com/

          I'd say potted shrimp or crab.

          1. Oh but that is a sticky wicket! Croquet is coming to mind first. I grew up playing the game, however I am not British, but I do envision folks in all white on the lawn with gorgous long tables with long white table cloths topped with food, jars of lemondae and ice tea.
            However my little cookbook with party ideas from the Daily Telegraph dated in the 50s has a menu with lamb kabobs, sandwhich whoorls with savoury butters-bengal,ham, shrimp. Sort of a version of a scotch egg, pate, Sausage dip, shrimp cocktail, and of course Pork Pie.
            Savoyared(gogonzola, ripe camembert & butter a drop of brandy) spread on party fingers or little plain biscuits (scones) Endive with french dressing and for a dessert, lighter than a feather sponge cake with a raspberry and blackberry sauce.
            Curries are good ideas and bangers and mash. You will have an absolute blast decorating the tables! Good party theme ideas, congratulations!

            1. Pimm's with sparkling lemonade.

              http://www.bevnetwork.com/bb_pimms_cu...

              Jaffa cakes. Interesting discussion on whether they're cakes or biscuits:

              http://www.efestivals.co.uk/forums/lo...

              Treacle tarts:

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/dat...

              1. Scotch Eggs are a common appetizer, as are sausage rolls (made with bangers), pate and cheeses.

                1. Yorkshire Pudding! You can make mini ones and serve them as a sweet when drizzled with golden syrup!
                  Raspberry tarts, Mince meat pies.
                  Carrot ginger sandwiches with cream cheese.
                  Drinks:
                  Pimm's (alcoholic)
                  Ribena (blk currant nectar) - cut with water or ginger ale is good too.
                  Tea (duh)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: starlady

                    Devils on Horseback (I think it is shrimp and a water chestnut wrapped in bacon)
                    Sausage rolls-very British indeed
                    Vol au Vents (you can buy the small pastry cups or make your own with frozen puff pastry) stuffed with a creamy chicken and mushroom stuffing
                    Canapes/tea sandwiches-potted shrimp on water biscuits with a curl of cucumber, cheese with tomato chutney on buttered brown bread
                    Tiny(like marbles) lamb meatballs, served with a minth sauce/dip.
                    Fairy cakes (cupcakes). I use sponge cakebatter, take the cup cakes out of the paper, split in half, spead with lemon curd or jam, add a layer of whipped cream, out back together and top with a dollop of cream.
                    Bakewell tarts (almond paste in a pastry shell, topped with some gooey white icing and a glace cherry).
                    Cheese and onion tarts

                    1. re: Densible

                      Devils on Horseback are dates or prunes stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. Angels on Horseback are prawns or oysters in bacon.

                  2. - Chip Butties (some version of rench fries on buttered bread -- haven't tried but v. British)
                    - Marmite on buttery toast (hated the first time I tried, now addicted.)
                    - Steak and Kidney pud (childhood favorite -- you could do mini-ramekins)
                    - Spotted dick (haven't tried and not sure that I want to -- sounds contageous)
                    - Blood pudding (an ominous burgandy color and not for the faint of heart)
                    - mushy peas
                    - Scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam (okay this one is more of a dessert than an appetizer -- but couldn't resist mentioning because so yummy)

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: bite bite

                      I LOVE mushy peas! Sooooo good with Chish and Fips :)

                      1. re: starlady

                        Question: are mushy peas made with fresh/frozen peas or the dried kind? I've seen both in recipes.

                        1. re: piccola

                          The trick to mush peas is to cook them into goo. Frozen, fresh, it doesn't matter. Just cook the bejeezus outta them.

                      2. re: bite bite

                        Chip Butties!!!!

                        Oh, be still my aching loins!!!

                        hot chips (not fries, big PROPER chips), in a white Scotch bap roll with gravy..

                        1. re: bite bite

                          Spotted Dick is a steamed pudding made with suet pastry, raisins/currants (the spots) and served with a custard sauce. I'm not so fond of myself, bad memories of too many bad puddings for school dinners in primary school, but then again maybe I've just not had a good one.

                        2. I had a British themed party and pasties were a big hit. But I cheated - we have a Pasty restaurant in Tempe, AZ of all places and I simply picked up a a selection from them which ranged traditional to veggie and cut them into sample portions.

                          Scotch Eggs are a hit, but require some cooking effort you might not want before a big party.

                          If you do like to cook, the classic English meal is beef (roast, wellington, in a pie, etc) with a combination of yorkshire pudding, potatos, sauce/gravy, and veggies such as peas, carrots, beans, etc. It's very similar to a prime rib dinner here, with horseradish and mustard on the side.

                          My suggestion for a finger version: Roast beef sliders. Little sandwiches made of roast beef, some veggies, horsey sauce, mustard. If you were really warped, instead of bread use yorkishire pudding and a spot of gravy for the secret sauce.

                          1. Mini Bacon Sarnies! What could be more delicious than a bacon sandwich?

                            Here's a recipe for full-sized ones. You'd just have to mini-fy it: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/dat...>

                            1. Serve English trifle for dessert. Tons of recipes on the net.

                              1. Little yorkshire puddings with drippings.

                                Spotted dick and custard (look it up)

                                Pork Pie (can be ordered)

                                Cornish pasties

                                Little Spaghetti on toast or beans on toast. We love yto put stuff on toast, no idea as to why. the spaghetti on toast is the oddest. Use inported brit heinz beans for beans on toast, in Englan, we like our beans sweet. same for the spaghetti, too. you can get it at Cost Plus imports.

                                Scones with clotted cream and jam

                                Assorted english cheeses and buscuits (crackers to you) or oat cakes. Think Stilton, Shropshire, real english cheddar, wensleydale, cotswold, double glouster and such.

                                Kippers and toast.

                                make lots of ex-parrot jokes.

                                1. Why don't you look at some of Nigella's recipes? She is the British culinary goddess. I know a number of her recipes are traditionally English although she does lots of other cuisine too. A number of her recipes are on the foodnetwork site because she has a show there now. She did a couple of great dips last Sundays -- terra cotta dip (with kidney beans) and a smoky eggplant, and a great big fatoush salad. Every time I make a Nigella recipe, I'm thrilled with the results. Sounds like a fun party!

                                  1. On the same note as the Nigella suggestion, Jamie Oliver does wonderful traditional British food. I love his School Dinners cookbook. His recipe for champ is one of my favorite mashed potato variations (basically, do your mash with skin on spuds, and mix in lots of cream and scallions)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ballulah

                                      If you need a dessert I saw Jamie Oliver do Eton Mess which looked both delicious, easy and summery. I have also seen it made with meringues instead of scones which seems lighter and tastier.

                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                      And what is with you Britons with everything on toast. Beans okay, but spaghetti, really. Just kidding, I lived in London for a year and had some fabulous food.

                                    2. Roasts of any kind, particularly with horseradish or mint sauce (much better than mint jelly)
                                      Roasted veg, particularly root vegetables
                                      Offal
                                      Game
                                      Plaice, Dover sole, cod in cream sauce, sprats, pilchards, anchovies, whitebait
                                      Savory pies (game, fowl, seafood as well as beef, pork, etc.)
                                      Veal, lamb and mutton
                                      Sticky toffee pudding
                                      Lemon tarts (with lemon curd)
                                      Shortbread
                                      Things on toast (Welsh rarebit, devils on horseback, angels on horseback -- kippers, anchovies, asparagus, egg yolks scrambled with anchovy paste, goose liver, herring roe, finnan haddy, marrow)

                                      1. fish pie - use cod or haddock, I poach mine in milk till done (about 7 mins), then make a cheese sauce. Drain the fish well, using the milk in the sauce. Make creamy mashed potatoes and put on top, sprinkle some breadcrumbs with grated cheese and bake till the top is brown. Serve with peas.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: smartie

                                          oh holy smokes, that sounds good! what kind of cheese do you use in your cheese sauce? do you use a bechamel base? is it gooey or just a bit runny?

                                          1. re: ballulah

                                            cheddar of course! a sharp one is good but not crackerbarrel - try to get an English cheddar. my white sauce is butter, flour, and milk to the right consistency. Not too runny but not too thick which is why you need to drain the fish well or it will get very watery.

                                        2. Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert!