Luxurious snacking

Extravagant doesn’t have to mean expensive. It’s all about the lavish plating, the tastiest ingredients, the generosity of servings. Eggs. Avos. Trout. A trio of fancy platters for your next celebration.

Beetroot-cured gravadlax with horseradish sauce and Spier Frans K Smit white blend Gravadlax.
It is a decadent snack perfect for a celebration. After you’ve cured them at home overnight, these silky pink fish slices will last for at least five days in the fridge, so you can prepare in advance of your party. Serve with crackers or seed loaf, creamy horseradish sauce or even some baby gem lettuce. Serves six as a light meal or starter. Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes plus overnight curing.
You’ll need: For the gravadlax … 400-600g fresh trout fillets, skin on; 2 small beetroots, peeled and quartered; 1 cup muscavado sugar; 1 cup salt, medium grain
For the creamy horseradish sauce … 250ml sour cream; 2Tbsp hot horseradish sauce (or 1 Tbsp fresh grated horseradish); 5ml Dijon mustard (optional)
To serve … crackers of your choice or seed loaf; baby gem lettuce (optional)
To make: Use a tweezer to pin-bone the fillets, if they are not already pin-boned.
Place the beetroot in a food processor along with the sugar and salt. Process to create a course paste.
Place a sheet of cling-wrap on a clean surface, then sprinkle 1/3 of the mixture onto it. Place half of the fillets on the paste, skin side down. Top with another 1/3 of the mixture and spread it out to cover the surface of the fillets. Now place the remaining half of the fillets on top of the covered fillets, skin side up (so they are lying meat-side together).
Top with the final mixture, then with another layer of plastic wrap. Wrap up tightly and place inside a large-enough plastic container with a lid. Refrigerate overnight or for 12 hours, turning it over after 6 hours. The sugar/salt/beetroot curing mix will create a sticky syrup, so be careful not to mess it on your clothes.
When the curing time is up, open up the fillets and rinse them under cold running water. Pat dry. Use a sharp knife to cut thin slivers on an angle from the tail side to the top, creating as much surface area as you can. Arrange on a platter and serve with the sauce and the crackers/bread/leaves.
For the sauce, mix the sour cream, horseradish and mustard together in a small bowl.
Serve with a glass of Spier Frans K Smit white blend – a Bordeaux-style white blend of 80 per cent Sauvignon Blanc and 20 per cent Sémillon, with a citrus and lime palate more tropical than herbaceous,  and surprising hints of elder flower.
Avo bagels
Up your avo game. Switch the toast for a bagel and … voilà … the posh version. Perfect for a breakfast party. This makes four … we serve with a glass of bubbles!
You’ll need: 2 bagels, cut in half horizontally; 2 avocados; salt and pepper; plus ½ cup spreads, a small handful herbs, a sprinkling spices and about 3 Tbsp extra toppings – see suggestions below.
To make: Toast the bagel halves in a toaster. Loadshedding tip … toast them on a griddle or frying pan on gas. Or alternatively skip the toasting and serve fresh. Spread with your choice of spread.
Mash, slice, dice or cut the avocados into shapes with cookie cutters and place on top. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over herbs, spices and toppings.
Try these combinations: Cream cheese or chunky cottage cheese with dukkah, honey and sliced avo • Hummus, feta, red peppercorns, avo stars and baby herbs • Mashed avo, red onion, chilli flakes, lime and coriander • Pesto, basil and diced avo
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Greek salad platter with cheats poached eggs
Guests coming over for lunch or an early dinner. This Mediterranean-style platter is affordable, quick to put together, and perfect to nibble on while sipping a cocktail. We’re also keen on the Mediterranean diet, so this works well for us.
You’ll need: 4 eggs; salt and pepper; 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes; 1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings; half a cucumber, cut into sticks; 100g packet Kalamata olives, drained; 2 rings Feta, broken into pieces; Greek salad dressing.
To make: Make cheats poached eggs by pressing the middle of a perforated plastic wrap square into a small ramekin or bowl, leaving the rest of the plastic to hang over the outside edge. Spray the centre with cooking spray and crack in an egg.
Bring the sides of the plastic overhang up and tie up tightly with kitchen string, ensuring there are no air bubbles around the egg. Take the plastic parcel out of the ramekin and
repeat with the rest of the eggs.
Bring a medium saucepan half full of water to a simmer on medium heat. Carefully add all the egg parcels and cook for 4 minutes for runny yolks or until cooked to your liking. Carefully cut the parcels open under the knots and unwrap. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives and Feta on a platter with the eggs. Serve with a Greek style dressing.
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Compiled by: Kym Argo