5 on the fly: winter recipes from the 1980s making a comeback

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by Sarah Halfpenny

Rediscover some of these classic dishes from four decades ago. Pair them with a classic film from the same era and enjoy an evening of reminiscing (leg warmers optional!)

 Hot smoked salmon and dill vol au vents

Nothing screams a dinner party from the ’80s quite like a tray of vol-au-vents (incidentally, it means ‘windblown’ in French, to describe their lightness). You can make your own with puff pastry or buy pre-made cases at the supermarket. Considering you can use sweet or savoury fillings, it’s no wonder they’re making a comeback! Other popular fillings include creamy chicken and mushroom, strawberries and cream, brie and cranberry, or even Nutella!

  1. Apricot chicken

A classic Margaret Fulton dish and an Australian favourite that’s made its way around the world. With just a handful of ingredients, most notably the packet of French onion soup mix, it felt like an exotic weeknight meal in the ’80s.

  1. Sweet and sour pork

Crispy battered cubes of pork covered in a luscious coating of pineapple sauce was the stuff of childhood culinary dreams 40 years ago, and it’s proving to be a mainstay dish for the generations.

  1. Tuna mornay

Here’s a dish that has caused division around the family dinner table! For those who love it, it’s a warm, satisfying and homely meal that’s super simple to make. (My mum’s trick to getting us to eat it was to top it with crushed plain salted potato chips instead of breadcrumbs – delicious!)

  1. Pea and ham soup

One version or another of this iconic soup has been eaten since around 400BC but it really hit its stride in the 1980s when a generation of children got their serving of green vegetables in the form of this thick, meaty soup. Serve it with a piece of crusty bread, and wait for the nostalgia to come flooding back.

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