Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas, in my family has long since been associated with a procession of delicious plates of bite size food. It’s one of the things I miss dearly about living so far away from my Mum’s house at Christmas (8 hours on a flight to be precise!)

I adore party nibbles and love the relaxed feel it gives a gathering, everyone standing around, usually in my kitchen, tasting lots of different things rather than a full on sit down appetizer to kick things off. I guess it’s just like stretching before a run; it’s a gentle warm up to the big meal ahead.

I will admit that the idea of spending hours slaving over a hot stove whilst my guest sip merrily behind me is also not idea so party food that we can prep ahead wins every time. The recipe below fulfils my essential party food criteria: easy, fast to prepare when you need it and delicious.

I was sent some of Hidden Valley’s Tzatziki to try in my kitchen. I am always dubious of things in bottles, but this stuff is pretty darn delicious. It tastes rich, creamy and bright just as Tzatziki should do. It’s the perfect thing to have in your fridge and the perfect shortcut when the party is calling and the guests need feeding!


  • 100g flour (You can use gluten free flour. I used Spelt Flour and added a little extra water to make it looser as this flour likes to suck up liquid
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1 green and 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds 
  • Salt and Pepper

For the tzatziki
  • 75ml Hidden Valley Tzatziki Dressing 
  • 10cm cucumber, deseeded and grated 
  • 10 x Kalamata olives, de-pitted and chopped roughly (TIP: I smash the olives with the base of a pan and then the pits are easy to remove)

  1. Beat the flour, egg, yogurt and 2 tbsp. water together in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the chillies, spring onions, fennel and season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until required. 
  2. To make the tzatziki: dry the cucumber and olives a little by pressing them between some kitchen roll gently. Stir the olives and cumber with the Hidden Valley Tzatziki. 
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan and fry tablespoon dollops of the batter for 1 min on each side, until lightly browned. 
  4. Spoon a teaspoon of the tzatziki mix onto each pancake and sprinkle with some chopped parsley. 
The chilli gives zing and the fennel gives a herbal hit in the pancakes, topped with the creamy tzatziki and it’s a party winner. 
This years Christmas tree decorations!  Well they could be......
MAKE IN ADVANCE: The pancakes can be cooked in advance, cooled and simply re-heated in a hot oven for a few minutes before adding the tzatziki.
TIP: If you have any leftover tzatziki use it to make a delicious Greek wrap.  This one had tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, radish and hard Greek cheese (Feta would work well too, but I hate the stuff!!)

I was sent some Hidden Valley Tzatziki to use for this recipe but recipes, photographs and graters are as always my very own.  

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