We often make these sticky cocktail sausages at home. They are irresistible any time of the year. Make sure you get Bord Bia Quality Assured sausages. This is a very popular glaze with all age groups. It is also great with pork chops or with chicken breasts, and you can make it ahead.

Blinis are originally from Russia and are perfect topped with sour cream, smoked fish and dill. Goatsbridge Trout in Co Kilkenny do wonderful smoked trout and trout caviar. They are a great Irish producer.

These frittatas are versatile and make a great light meal or appetiser or they are also ideal for finger foods at a party. People often ask me how to make an omelette, and I think these make a nice change from regular omelettes. I love making them as canapes, and always make a few extra for breakfast the next day, or to use as snacks. You can change up the fillings with whatever you have on hand - sundried tomatoes or feta cheese would work well here.

Happy Cooking


Sticky Cocktail Sausages with Sesame Seeds

Serves 4–6

  • 20 cocktail sausages (about 350g/12oz in total)
  • 2 tbsp hoisin or plum sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).

    2. Put the sausages in a non-stick roasting tray in a single layer. Mix together the hoisin or plum sauce, soy sauce, honey, mustard and 2 teaspoons of water in a bowl, then pour over the sausages, turning to coat.

    3. Bake the sausages in the oven for 15 minutes, then drain off any excess fat and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Cook for another 5–10 minutes, until golden and sticky.

    4. To serve, arrange on a warmed plate skewered with cocktail sticks.

    Mini Frittatas with Bacon & Thyme

    Makes 24

    Neven's Mini Frittatas.

  • 2 tbsp Irish rapeseed oil
  • 4 rindless bacon rashers, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 x 180g (6¼oz) tub of soft cream cheese
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh salad cress, to garnish
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Lightly oil 2 x 12-cup mini muffin tins.

    2. Drizzle a little oil into a large sauté pan set on a high heat. Add the sliced bacon rashers to the pan once the oil is hot and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring every so often, until browned. Tip onto kitchen paper to drain.

    3. Beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Break up the cream cheese into the egg mixture and gently fold in the cooked bacon and thyme. Divide the mixture between the muffin cups and bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes, until the eggs are risen and just cooked through.

    4. Remove the tins from the oven and leave to cool down, but only for about one minute –if you leave it too long, the egg acts like glue and it makes it very hard to remove the frittatas from the tin. Use a palette knife to edge around each muffin tin cup to pop them out.

    5. Place on a plate and garnish with the cress. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Blinis with smoked trout

    Makes 30–40 blinis

  • 225g (8oz) smoked trout slices
  • 200ml (7fl oz) sour cream
  • 1–2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • fresh micro herbs, to garnish
  • smoked trout caviar, to serve (optional)
  • For the blinis:

  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 50g (2oz) buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 x 7g sachet of fast-action dried yeast
  • 225ml (8fl oz) milk
  • 200ml (7fl oz) crème fraîche
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 40g (1½oz) butter
  • 1. First make the blinis. Sift the flours into a large bowl and add the salt and yeast. Heat the milk and crème fraîche to lukewarm in a medium pan. Whisk in the egg yolks, then add the flour mixture. Mix into a dough, then transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm place, until doubled in size.

    2. When the dough has doubled in size, whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl, then fold them into the dough and leave to rise for another hour.

    3. When you’re ready to cook the blinis, heat a large non-stick frying pan or flat griddle pan over a medium heat and smear with a little of the butter. Ladle tablespoons of the blini mix into the pan, then add another heaped teaspoonful to each one to make the middle thicker. Turn when firm and cook until lightly brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

    4. Pile up the slices of smoked trout into a stack (or you could shape into rosettes if you prefer). Using a very sharp knife, cut across the stack to make thin strips. Smear a little of the sour cream on each blini and arrange the smoked trout on top. Add a tiny dollop of the sour cream to each one and garnish with the dill and micro herbs and a little caviar (if using). Serve at once.

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