Small celebrations: 22 recipes to make intimate New Year gatherings feel like a party – The Guardian

December 28, 2021 by No Comments

The Omicron variant may have torpedoed any hopes of a back-to-normal welcome to 2022, but it is still possible to host a memorable party, albeit one that’s a little more intimate.

If there’s anything the last two years have taught us, it’s that food is a salve. Whether it’s a comfort cook of fun finger foods, an elaborate spread, or some classic canapés – changing social circumstances needn’t take fun off the menu. And neither does the need for minimal fuss.

Lower-fuss options

Pastry pinwheels

Felicity Cloake’s easy party pinwheels can be prepped in advanced. Photograph: Dan Matthews/The Guardian. Food styling: Jack Sargeson.

As Felicity Cloake says, “just about anything is better wrapped in pastry”. Her little pinwheels are a party classic, and a snack to prepare in all senses if you use store-bought puff pastry. When making from scratch, they can be prepped in advance, customised for crowd-size, and left frozen until needed. Once baked, serve warm.

Glazed chicken wings
A sticky marinade thickly coating warm, roasted chicken wings goes a long way. Angela Hartnett’s recipe requires 30 minutes of marinading and 30 minutes of baking, but the prep time is virtually nothing. Perhaps offer hand sanitiser on a table nearby, as fingers will be licked.


Nigel Slater’s pizette can be topped with anything from peppers to pork. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

These are little discs of dough, cooked until golden and topped with anything from peppers and pesto to pork. Provided you have a stand mixer and half an hour to let the dough rise, preparing the base for Nigel Slater’s mini pizzas is easy. Switching up his topping combinations is even easier – with a cooking time of under 10 minutes, you can even have your guests do it themselves once the dough is ready.

Rice paper rolls
This fresh, zingy option is great for a lunchtime spread, especially if one or more of your guests can’t have gluten. In Yotam Ottolenghi’s version, the protein filling – whether it be tofu, chicken, beef or prawn – can be prepared a day in advance. So when party day arrives, all you have to …….



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