How much do I love entertaining? I guess I like taking care of people, or perhaps it just satisfies that need to always have something to plan and look forward to.
This year, like many past years, we decided to have a few friends over to ring in the New Year. This was a last minute decision, so the menu was rather last minute. My menu had to be tasty…comforting…and logistically easy to eat. Luckily, Martha had some great suggestions for me.
My New Year’s Eve Menu
Baked Chick Pea Nibbles
Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tarts
thyme & honey
Twice Cooked Potatoes
chihuahua cheese & chives
spicy peanut sauce
gorgonzola cheese, arugula on crostini
White Chocolate Fondue
mixed berries, pineapple, banana slices & almond biscotti
The Baked Chick Pea Nibbles are a healthy alternative to other snacky type food and they taste pretty good. I would suggest baking them a bit longer, and seasoning them a bit more heavily. You want them very crunchy. I also put out mixed nuts along with these. I always appreciate something to nibble on when they are sipping cocktails.
The two crostini recipes are a no brainer. Grilled bread and good toppings, easy to eat and satisfying.
I love caramelized onions with goat cheese – it is a classic combination of flavors. I dress these little tarts up with a drizzle of honey for an unexpected surprise of sweet.
The Twice Cooked Potato recipe was modified. I omitted the caviar (couldn’t find any), and added cheese and extra sour cream to make them more like a miniature twice baked potatoes. The Chihuahua cheese melts really well, which made them nice and gooey. I ended up pressing the potato mixture through a mesh strainer, so the mixture ended up smooth and creamy.
I marinated the Chicken Satays in the soy mixture a few hours ahead of the party. I doubled the soy, omitted the sesame oil and replaced with a hot chili oil – I also added a bit of honey. At party time, I simply threw them on my indoor grill, and served them up hot with the spicy peanut sauce. Since I used natural peanut butter, I needed to modify the recipe by adding honey for sweetness. I also thinned it out with about a tablespoon of soy.
The Beef Tenderloin is something we always serve. Simply cook the beef to your temp. liking and serve with a gorgonzola cheese, arugula and crostini. I serve it all on a big platter, it makes a nice presentation.
For an easy dessert, try the White Chocolate Fondue. With this fondue, you don’t even need a fondue pot – you can simply heat it on the stove and serve it in a bowl. It will stay smooth and creamy without hardening up on you. It is also a nice change from the classic Milk Chocolate Fondue.
I created colorful menu item cards for the table. They were done in the same colors of my napkins and centerpiece. At the end of the night, everyone left with some colorful sugar cookies – also in the same colors.
A toast to the New Year with White Star and then we called it a night. Another year in the books….