easier than they look

i’m recovering from a crazy busy weekend. we’ve had two sets of friends staying. friday night we went to see caro emerald (fabulous, i’m still singing along four days later) and sat up chatting into the early hours sipping cocktails (old pal and something else i can’t quite remember…) then on saturday, after a late brunch of scrambled eggs and salmon, i put my cook’s apron on and sorted out supper for a second set of friends.

this time the cocktails – apricot mango martinis – kicked the night off. and to keep us going we had these little nibbles to go with them. filo pastry tarts (so easy, just brush a sheet of pastry with melted butter, fold and then cut out circles which you can shape in mini muffin tins while they bake at 190c for 5 minutes) filled with damson chutney, goat or blue cheese, fresh figs, basil leaves and a drizzle of verjuice (i’ve run out of my lovely posh and expensive old balsamic vinegar, otherwise i’d have used that).

i am smitten with these little pastry cases – so quick and easy, they look elegant and create bite size morsels that can easily be eaten without to much mess or fuss. i had pastry leftover and actually made another batch on sunday evening for david and i to snack on while we watched tv – some had roast beef, horseradish and fig and the others had a mix of dressed crab fillings. which, given they were made to use up leftovers, probably gives you a clue about what recipes will follow over the next few days…