Fiery snack ideas for winter entertaining
HOLIDAY & ENTERTAINING | November 3, 2014

Fiery snack ideas for winter entertaining

Having some friends over for garden fireworks or pre-Christmas drinks? Warm up the party with a selection of these spicy homemade snacks: cheap, vegetarian friendly and incredibly moreish. 

>> Do you know the water footprint of your food? You'll be surprised!

Root vegetable crisps

A perfect recipe from fabulous food blogger Macnifique, adjusted here to add a little more spice to proceedings. Warning: you will eat LOADS of these, so make extra!

Ingredients

Any old root vegetables (for example, a large parsnip, a large carrot, half a butternut squash and two beetroots) - peeled and sliced thinly using a mandolin

1 tbsp Olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

Chilli powder and wedges of lime (to serve)

Preheat your oven to 180C whilst you prepare the vegetables. Dry off the vegetable slices as much as possible using paper towels. Mix them in a large bowl with the olive oil and salt until well coated. Line a couple of baking sheets with greaseproof paper and lay out your slices in a single layer. Roast for around 7-10 minutes, turning halfway through and keeping a close eye in case they start to burn. Transfer to a cooling rack.

If you can resist eating them all immediately, store in an airtight container once cool so they keep their crisp. Serve Mexican style with a sprinkling of chilli powder and a squeeze of lime to taste.

 

Chilli flaked cheese straws

A hot new twist on the old recipe! (Did anyone NOT make cheese straws in school, by the way?) 

Ingredients

180g cheddar cheese

4 tbsp unsalted butter

100g flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp chilli flakes

1 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to around 175C. Pulse the cheese, butter, flour, salt and chilli flakes in the food processor until your mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Pour in the milk and process again briefly until you have a ball of dough. 

Flour the rolling surface and roll out your dough to around 30cm x 25cm and 3mm thick. Use a pizza wheel or a sharp knife to cut the dough into 25cm strips. Transfer the strips gently to a lined baking sheet. 

Bake on the middle shelf for around 12-15 minutes or until the straws start to brown at the edges. Cool on a rack, store in an airtight container and serve at room temperature.

 

Chilli roasted pumpkin seeds

A quick and healthy snack for this unhealthy time of year. A dose of chilli powder is excellent for keeping colds at bay!

Don't buy pumpkin seeds separately packaged - they cost a fortune - instead get the whole pumpkin, extract the seeds and make use of the rest in some of these warming recipes.

Ingredients

140g pumpkin seeds, washed and dried

2 tsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp chilli powder (or to taste)

Put the pumpkin seeds into a heavy based pan over a medium heat. Stirr constantly until the seeds start to crackle and pop - about three minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in first the olive oil, then the chilli powder and salt. Transfer to a bowl, leave to cool and then serve.

 

What are your favourite homemade snacks for parties? Any recipes to share with us? Let us knowbelow or on Twitter and Facebook!

Image: Macnifique