New Years Eve Party FoodA Toast to the New Year
Cocktails are the lifeblood of New Year’s Eve, with champagne toasts, whiskey shots, and a vodka luge (or two) if you’re lucky. To celebrate 2013, we’ve paired five of our favorite adult beverages with dishes inspired by their flavors. These edible doppelgangers can serve a crowd of partiers, an intimate evening for two, or even a New Year’s Day open house.
This is our Latin American spin on steak frites. The longer you marinate the meat, the better the flavor will be. Try to choose plantains that are ripe but firm, to make frying easy.
Yield: 4–5 servings
Place oil, garlic, cilantro, and mint in a sealable plastic bag, and mix ingredients. Add steak, seal bag, and place on a plate in the refrigerator. Marinate steak for at least 1 hour.
Brush grill with oil, and preheat to medium high. Remove steak from marinade, and wipe off excess herbs and oil. Season steak well with salt and pepper. Grill steak for 3–4 minutes on either side for medium rare. Remove from grill, and set aside for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Slice meat across the grain before serving.
Peel plantains, and cut them diagonally into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large sauté pan. When oil reaches 345˚F, add plantains. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels, and serve immediately.
Apricot and olives might seem like an odd combo, but the salty-sweet thing works with the chicken’s mild flavor and a nice dose of wine. A healthy spoonful of polenta sops up the juices of the chicken and forms a creamy sauce.
Yield: 5–6 servings
Pat chicken dry, and season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan with high edges to medium-high, and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add chicken when oil is shimmering. Sear on both sides, about 3 seconds per side. Remove chicken, and add another tablespoon of oil. Add onions and carrots, and cook until vegetables have some color, about 5 minutes. Add apricots, olives, and bay leaves. Wrap and tie parsley in cheesecloth. Add parsley and white wine, and reduce by half. Add mustard, chicken, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove chicken, and bring sauce to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until it has thickened, about 4–5 minutes. Return chicken to pan until serving.
Bring water and chicken stock to a boil. Gradually add polenta, whisking constantly. When polenta starts to thicken, reduce heat to low, and stir with a spoon. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Add mascarpone and butter, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with chicken.
Brunch isn’t really brunch without a Bloody Mary or two, especially if you’re nursing a hangover after the biggest party night of the year. After an evening of revelry, how happy will your guests be to find sliders in the fridge?
Yield: 3–4 servings
Heat oil in a large sauté pan on medium. Add onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add chili flakes, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Add garlic to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until minced. Add horseradish, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Purée for 1 minute. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Place in an airtight container, and refrigerate.
Add shallot, vinegar, and mustard to a medium bowl. Whisk well, and season with salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly. Add tomatoes and celery, season with salt and pepper, and mix. Spoon salad to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with parsley.
Season meat with salt and pepper, and form into 2-inch round patties. (There should be about 9 sliders.)
Brush grill with oil, and preheat to medium-high. Brush both sides of sliders with oil. Grill 4–5 minutes on either side. Place sliders on buns and top with mayo and caramelized onions.
In case you’re not sunbathing in St. Barth’s on New Year’s Day, we’ve brought the beaches and Buffet back home in this interpretation of an edible margarita. Feel free to add parsley or swap for cilantro.
Yield: 2 servings
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Whisk egg whites in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add salt, whisking until well combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form a large layer of salt directly on the baking sheet.
Season the cavity of the fish with pepper, and stuff with parsley stems. Place fish on salt bed. Cover fish with remaining salt so that fish is sealed in a salt package. Bake fish for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes.
Crack open crust using the side of a spoon. Peel away top layer of salt and skin. Remove fillet and place on a serving plate. Remove bones and parsley, and gently lift out other fillet. Drizzle fillets with olive oil and lime juice.
We hope The Dude would approve of this White Russian-inspired dessert. If you’ve opted for celebrating New Year’s at your favorite bar instead of home, then tuck this recipe away for a Big Lebowski-themed party. If you’re looking for a dessert with a boozy kick, then increase the amount of Kahlua in the whipped cream.
Yield: 6 servings
Add 2 inches of water to a pot and bring to a strong simmer. Add chocolates to a bowl, and place bowl over simmering water. As chocolate melts, stir occasionally. When it is completely melted, set bowl aside.
In a separate bowl, add egg yolks, coffee granules, sugar, and salt. Beat until yolks are pale in color and have doubled in volume. When chocolate has cooled, fold into egg mixture.
Add 1 1/2 cups cream to another bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Fold cream into chocolate mixture, cover, and refrigerate.
Add remaining 1 cup cream, vanilla, Kahlua, cinnamon, and confectioners sugar to a medium metal bowl. Beat until cream has stiff peaks. Cover tightly, and refrigerate until serving.