Elegant, easy, make-ahead food to make your New Years Eve even better
A universe of food to amuse your palate and delight your guests
You want your New Years Eve to be effortless. But you also want it to be beautiful and delicious -- and memorable, of course.
How do you do that without work?
Spread it out. Do it ahead. Go for variety.
Come the day, you'll have it mostly or completely done already. Just re-purpose some holiday trimmings around your table and beverage trolley, assemble your punch, light some candles.
But ... what food? In the spirit of making things effortless, we've crafted our suggestions from a few hits pulled from our Instagram feed (you've followed us, right?). We made them ahead. Now you can, too.
And you'll find a few bonuses below you'll find nowhere else but here.
And perhaps soon you'll see them here, at our Instagram feed (click the button and follow us!).
Have fun at your year-end celebration, be safe, and if you're getting your drink on, get a designated! All of you are expected back for next week's menu missive from your favorite cookware company.
White bean and mashed potato hummus
We posted this on Instagram as a trick for using left-over mashed potatoes from the holidays. But making mashed potatoes anew is a breeze. This recipe adds in white beans and garlic to bring it hard towards hummus texture, and has all the flavor of hummus. With a few toppings, it looks terrifically enticing.
We used red onion, ground pistachios, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted grape tomatoes (yellow and red because), fried garlic, and shishito peppers.
Perfect roasted Brussels sprouts
A Thursday tradition on our Instagram feed (ahem, you have followed us, yes?) is "One Perfect Vegetable."
Nothing is better for your nutrition, heart, soul, and planet than great vegetables.
This recipe uses onion, red pepper flakes and pancetta to round out the already-awesome flavor of pan-roasted Brussels sprouts. You've had them at the great restaurants. Now have them for New Years Eve.
Pea pods with fried garlic and dipping sauce
This will be your new favorite companion to your favorite aperitif. Crunch, creamy, spicy ... and it counts towards your recommended daily allowance of vegetables.
The trick is not to burn the garlic, cooking it in the EuroCAST skillet and some olive oil until the edge is off but the round, warm flavors and aromas develop.
Or the trick is the horseradish.
Or that it's gorgeous.
I don't know. Just eat it.
Simple roasted cauliflower
Tomato bacon jam that you can put on ... anything, really
Hero dip, the party trick of the year
We do this for Labor Day, or other special days, or other not-otherwise-special days. Now, it's time to deploy it for the New Year's Eve shin-dig.
Ye olde piggy in a blanket
Sometimes you have to take a favorite dish and roll it back through the years. Some recipes you find today are like "recipe photocopies of photocopies" where the original concept has gotten so fuzzy you forget where it came from.
That's easy to fix. Just pick the very best "old school" ingredients and re-do. Like this Pigs in a Blanket with puff pastry and the very best sausage you can find -- spicy, mild, smokey, your pick.
But speaking of spice. My ketchup gets a little Chita Rivera. Click on the pic for the details.
Ding ding ding goes the trolley
Some people keep it quiet at home, some people get rowdy out, and in both choices you'll also have options to drink not at all, a little, or a lot. But whether you've got vodka in your punch, or just punch in your punch, find a notch to take it up.
Because, after all, it is the last night of the year, the last day you'll have to date your checks 2017, and a time to celebrate memories made and memories to make.
Punch like our friends make it
At my house we’ve had our share of punch -- and in general we don't drink the punch, as it were -- but our friends at Food52 do and know how to kick it hard in the punch department. Here’s a swift take on their punch.
- 2 parts bourbon
- 2 parts cranberry/pomegranate juice
- 1/2 part ginger liqueur
- 2 parts champagne (save this for the very last step!)
Combine all but the champs in the bowl, add Ice cubes as shown at the last minute, and champs poured right over. Voila.
And, while you're at it, a fruit and raspberry ice cube program in the punch reminds people to drink with nutrition in mind. Right.
Ice your vodka in style
In our pic above you see a bottle (think, vodka) all encased in something magically crafty.
The caption below tells the potion that makes the fruit blanket possible.
Place vodka bottle in an empty, washed clean juice or milk box. Fill with whole raw cranberries, a little bit of crushed peppermint and a few mint leaves near the top. You’ll have to jostle the bottle in that box cause it’ll be snug up in there. Slowly add water you warmed to 110 degrees or so to keep it from getting too cloudy, up to the top of the carton.
Freeze 24 hours standing upright in your freezer.
Let it sit on your counter for five minutes to loosen the box from the ice. The bottle with its shroud of deliciousness should slide out, or -- careful now! -- you can cut one side of the box and unwrap it.
Be jolly. Eat well. Be safe.
We are thrilled you spent all or part of your year with us. You are our EuroCAST family.
To your health, and to a remarkable 2018.