Party politics: Mark Hix serves up sensational snacks to keep you going through election night

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Next Thursday's election is the most wide-open for years, which means that many more of us than usual are going to be staying up half the night to find out who has won. But if you are going to be glued to the box until the small hours, you'll need some nourishment to keep you going, so this week I have devised simple snacks that you can eat on your lap while you're watching the results.

Sea trout on toast with pea tendrils

Serves 4

Sea trout is a delicious fish, and to my mind it's even tastier than salmon. As well as being a great election night snack, this also makes a great dinner party starter.

200-250g sea trout fillet, skinned and pin-boned
1tbsp olive oil
4-6tbsp homemade or good-quality mayonnaise
2tbsp chopped chives
4 x 1cm-thick slices of bread from a bloomer-type loaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of pea shoots or tendrils

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Season the sea trout fillets and brush with a little olive oil. Place on a tray and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until just cooked, then remove and leave to cool. Once the sea trout is cool, flake the meat into a bowl and fold in the mayonnaise and chives and season to taste. Toast the bread and spoon the sea trout on top and scatter over a few pea shoots.

Anchovies on toast

Serves 2-4

Something as simple as anchovies on toast can be a real treat – but if you buy cheap and nasty anchovies, you're in for a total disappointment. The Spanish are the masters at canning fish and my preference would always be the large Ortiz anchovy fillets in that unmistakeable yellow can. Brindisa (brindisa.com) sell them in their shop in London's Borough Market and you can also buy them in good delis.

2x1cm-thick slices of good-quality bread or sourdough
Softened butter for spreading
1 can of Ortiz or good-quality large anchovies

Toast the bread, butter it and cut it into fingers the same size as the anchovies. Drain the anchovies, reserving the oil for a Caesar salad dressing and lay an anchovy on each finger of toast. Serve immediately.

Crumpets with fried duck egg and asparagus

Serves 4

I do love crumpets and always keep a few packs in the freezer. They are so versatile and you can top them with just about anything, although my favourite is definitely butter and Marmite at breakfast.

250g sprue or thin asparagus, with the woody ends removed
4 crumpets
4 duck eggs
Olive oil for frying
60g butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for a few minutes until tender, then drain. Cut them in half and put to one side. Meanwhile, toast the crumpets on both sides and gently fry the duck eggs in the olive oil, seasoning them lightly as they are cooking. To serve, melt the butter in a pan and toss in the asparagus; season. Place the duck eggs on the crumpets and scatter the buttered asparagus over.

Jersey Royal and wild garlic tortilla

Serves 4

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
400g Jersey Royals cooked in their skins in boiling salted water, peeled while still warm and halved or quartered if large
60-80ml olive oil
A good knob of butter
A handful of wild garlic leaves
5 medium free-range or organic eggs, beaten
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat half the olive oil in a saucepan and on a very low heat cook the onion for about 10 minutes, without colouring, until it's really soft. Remove from the heat and drain any excess oil into a large frying pan. Put the onions to one side. Add the butter to the oil in the frying pan and heat up, tip in the potatoes and season. Toss the potatoes for a couple of minutes, ensuring they do not colour, then add the wild garlic and stir for a minute until it has wilted. Transfer to a bowl. Add the eggs and onions and mix with the potatoes, then season with a little more salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a small non-stick egg pan or an 8in frying pan. Pour in enough of the egg mixture to fill the pan two-thirds up and stir on the heat with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula until the mixture begins to set. Stop stirring so the tortilla colours underneath. Place a plate a little larger than the pan on top of the pan; turn upside down so the tortilla is on the plate, and transfer to a serving dish. If you're using a small frying pan, repeat with the remains of the mixture for a second tortilla.

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