No, you do not need one more new and ultra difficult recipe to add to your New Year’s Eve menu. Please let restaurants aggravate themselves for you with their own impossible creations.
If you decide to “do it yourself”, please consider those few advises.
- People come to enjoy your company, so design a menu to be with your guests; how miserable it is to be in the kitchen 10 minutes before midnight?
- Be safe; avoid all those hot and sharp objects to crowd your kitchen countertops, don’t ruin your night with an injury, especially if you have some of those young turbulent adults around!
Here is how I build my home menu for New Year’s eves. No need to follow traditional routes, turkey is out of the window for that particular event.Let’s make a menu of great, (luxurious) and above all, a seasonal product display. Make it buffet style, overwhelm the table with choices, if you start eating around 8.30pm you have plenty of time until 11.30Pm.
Let’s start by a hot, comforting soup, butternut squash, you can buy this in tetra packs (whole food Market or good Safeways), add some lobster or crab meat to make it festive.
Salmon Gravlax (whole food market Clarendon or georgetown), oysters that you open 1 hour before dinner, they will redo their water and will taste sweeter (I recommend shipping Kumo from Oregonoyster.com ask them for what You like, they grow heaven…), Foie Gras remember to chill before getting it out of the can and slicing (remember duck is cheaper than goose, you can find it almost everywhere at this season) everything can be served with warm toast and good butter on the table, lemon wedges and mignonette for oysters (French red wine vinegar with diced shallots and cracked black pepper).
Just make sure you arrange all your products nicely in dishes and decorate with slice fruits. Add a few drop of truffle oil (whole food market) to your homemade potato salad and a make a mix green salad with corn, radishes to bring in some fresh crunch under your pallet (fresh orange or red grapefruit segment give the seasonal touch). As of Dessert, serve an ice cream cake (I recommend Cold Stone for their quality), no need for a killer chocolate dessert that will increase the effects of alcohol on your guests.
A fruit salad for after hours, and/or a clear hot soup (onions soup or chicken noodle) always works wonderfully if you got a little too merry. Making fruits available along the dinner are very important to facilitate the digestion of all those proteins, (stay away from Strawberries this year, rain in California and frost in Florida have raised the prices and brought quality way down).
Always have those bowls of nuts and nut crackers along with them, available the entire night, it’s always so much fun to make a mess!!
Drinks for adults: I really like champagne the whole way thru only at toast the end is not very impressive (best deal Pentagon Costco White Star from Moet, Arlington or total beverage Landmark), German white wines are great, (my favorite Finger Lakes NY gewürztraminers from Ravines, those guys love what they do and you’ll love it as well), don’t select wines that are too sweet, they will hurt you the next morning.
New Year’s Eve is still some work but you allow yourself to enjoy it with your guests and familly members. Remember the most important ingredient is the fun that you bring with you to the table.