* This is a paid blog post in partnership with Portmeirion. *
A simple recipe for a buffet lunch, a children’s party or as a lunchbox-filler, these mini smoked salmon puffs are perfect at any time of the day. They taste as good freshly baked and warm as they do the next day, straight out of the fridge. The smoked salmon and finely chopped shallots give them a delicate flavour and horseradish adds in a bit of a kick. With a generous handful of grated Cheddar cheese, they are decidedly moreish. The tasty, bite-sized puffs are a firm family favourite and Wriggly requested them for her birthday.
Wriggly’s birthday tea was really low key and we all loved it. What do you think about that? Do you do small things or big parties to celebrate your children’s birthdays?
How can my youngest ‘baby’ be five years old already?
Five years of acting like a stunt artist.
Five years of sleeping less than any other human being I’ve ever met.
Five years of being a little monkey, a ‘nut nut,’ a little clown.
Five years of being loud, fierce, strong and independent.
Five years of doing whatever she wants and nothing else.
Five years of becoming the person she is meant to be.
Five years with a personality as big and entertaining as the funniest comedian you’ll ever come across.
Five years since I first laid eyes on this little squish and fell head over heels in love with her, my fourth baby, my little girl, my clown.
I love birthdays. Celebrating a new year, a new candle on a cake, getting a bit taller, wiser and a year older. Every birthday in our house is full of little traditions, from the essential birthday porridge to the unmissable trip to Sweet as a Button to the fun, laughter and focus on the birthday boy or girl.
I used to think my children needed a big birthday party to celebrate with all their friends. I’ve come to realise that all they need is to feel special, loved and safe. They don’t need more ‘things’ or a huge party in a fancy place. They just need a lot of love, some fun and a thoughtful present or two.
This year, I made the conscious decision not to organise a big birthday party I couldn’t really afford for Wriggly. I didn’t plan the best, fanciest party bags for the children who would be there. I didn’t make a huge deal of what would be happening on the day, but my little lady knew we’d be celebrating her turning five.
I invited my closest friend and her two girls for a sleepover the night before Wriggly’s birthday, so she could wake up with some of her favourite people. We also invited another couple of friends and their children, and decided to have an intimate tea party to celebrate Wriggly turning five.
She prefers grazing on finger food rather than big meals, so a tea party would be perfect. We’d have tea, vegetable sticks, salads, cheese, finger sandwiches, mini smoked salmon puffs, cake and crisps.
Because of her vibrant personality, we had to start the day with a ‘bang!’ so her birthday porridge came with sparklers. That made her day. Before we headed to my friend Miranda’s sweet shop, I made sure a huge number 5 balloon would be ready in the shop when we got there. We picked the treats we fancied for our little cinema party later and everyone was smiling from ear to ear.
We all started getting ready for our little get-together. The children were really helpful. Beanie asked if she could be in charge of carrot sticks and cucumber batons. Jumpy helped with last minute tidying an Crevette gave the living room a quick vacuum.
Wriggly wanted to get involved with the cooking, so she helped me get started with the mini salmon puffs.
Before I had children, I would make puff pastry (I clearly had way too much time in my hands!), but to be honest, shop-bought pastry is pretty good nowadays, as long as you go for all-butter pastry.
Tips for making the mini salmon puffs
If frozen, make sure you allow the pastry to thaw overnight in the fridge, or leave it out on your countertop for an hour or so on the day.
Take the pastry out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you start making the mini smoked salmon puffs so the pastry is pliable enough not to crack, but not too warm or sticky.
On Wriggly’s birthday, everyone wanted to help get our tea party ready. We cut our (ready-made) puff pastry sheet into twenty-four even squares and rolled them into little balls. Wriggly added them to our mini muffin pan* and shaped the pastry using a floured pastry tamper*. We then added all the other ingredients together and spooned them in with a mini ice cream scoop* before baking. Easy peasy!
My favourite part was next. I’d ironed a white tablecloth the day before especially (check me out… all fancy!) and took my shiny new Sara Miller London Portmeirion Tahiti bowls, teacups, mugs, plates, spoons and cake stands. Have you heard of Portmeirion? If you haven’t, you’ve got to check their website. They’ve got the prettiest pieces.
Earlier this year, I met the team at Portmeirion for the launch of their #GetTogether campaign at the stunning Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings in London. The lovely people at Portmeirion have pledged to get people together, encourage them to make memories by spending time with friends and family. I was honoured when I was asked to become an ambassador for Portmeirion and the #GetTogether campaign. Over the next few months, I will be sharing some of our get togethers using Portmeirion’s beautiful pieces.
For this first blog post as a Portmeirion ambassador, I picked the funky collection designed by Sara Miller, to match the personality of our birthday girl. We also decided to celebrate with you all by sharing one of our favourite recipes, a real party treat. They’re a staple at every one of our parties and they’re always a hit with guests big and small.
Our mini smoked salmon puffs are inspired by my quiche recipe, but they also remind me of little cheese soufflés (with pastry!) when they are baking. I haven’t yet met a person who didn’t like them, and we’ve been making them for years.
They’re convenience food at their best as you can make them ahead and even freeze them for later. What better food for a party or as an appetiser?
Mini Smoked Salmon Puffs, anyone?
Mini Smoked Salmon Puffs
A simple recipe for a buffet lunch, a children’s party or as a lunchbox-filler, these mini smoked salmon puffs are perfect at any time of the day. They taste as good freshly baked and warm as they do the next day, straight out of the fridge.
- Puff Pastry sheet or block about 300g
- 1 medium free range egg
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- 1 shallot peeled and finely chopped
- 100 g smoked salmon finely sliced
- 60 g cheddar cheese grated
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl
Preheat your oven to 200ºC (gas mark 6 / 400ºF).
Crack the egg in a small bowl and beat.
Add in all other ingredients and fold in with a spoon, cover and put to the side.
Divide the puff pastry into twenty-four squares (or cubes), and roll into little dough balls. Place a pastry ball in each of the mini muffin tray holes. Dip the pastry tamper into the flour and shape the pastry for the first mini quiche simply by pressing and rotating your wrist. Repeat.
Using a small scoop, fill each muffin cup with the salmon mixture.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden.
Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes then serve.
Disclosure: This is a paid blog post in partnership with Portmeirion but all photos and opinions are my own. *This blog post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!