Tasty tidbits that sign out auld lang syne
December 30, 2009 8:01 AM   Subscribe

Food suggestions for a stay at home New Years Eve?

We're staying in on New Years Eve, might visit our local early on but otherwise will be home bound as the new decade approaches. Every year I like to prepare some special dishes and I'm looking for suggestions suitable to kick off a new decade.

In years past I've made platters consisting of three kinds of caviar and three kinds of smoked, cold fish, or half a dozen types of cheese with biscuits and veggies, or chilled lobster and crab meat salads (packed in avocados) with salmon on home made bagels. Oh yeh, there was chocoate fondue one year but that didn't turn our well so please don't speak of fondue.

I'd like minimal prep time and hassle factor, and while we're not too fussed on ingredients Mrs Mutant is an unrepentant carnivore and I tend to towards the lacto-ovo-pesca side of the food pyramid. We clearly prefer things we can nibble on for a few hours rather than being forced to eat it all while its hot.

posted by Mutant to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: 12 grapes per person. Eat one grape per stroke of the clock at midnight.

Don't choke.
posted by bilabial at 8:03 AM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: I'm going to defrost a tub of soup, roast a chicken and serve with a salad, various cheeses and lots of fresh crusty bread.

Happy New Year to you too :-)
posted by ceri richard at 8:05 AM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: Black eyed peas are a New Year's tradition in the south. They are supposed to bring good luck financially. You can cook some in a crock pot (with bacon!). My family always does Texas caviar.
posted by I am the Walrus at 8:07 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Fancy olives.

Tartine - a nice French way of saying bread (nice bread) with butter and fruit preserves spread on it. Bonus if you can find cultured butter. If you like, you can also do fancy, fresh-ground peanut butter. You could also spread the butter on one-half of a bread slice, and fruit preserves on the other half.

Also- don't forget homemade refrigerator pickles! Peel and slice some cucumbers, toss them in some brine, and enjoy. Add mustard seed and/or dill and/or freshly ground pepper if you want to be fancy.
posted by amtho at 8:11 AM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: How about pate?

I like the cold plate thing. Bread, roasted garlic, artichokes, tapenade, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes...a few tufts of fresh basil would be really nice.

If nothing else, I think I may have just talked myself into making that.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:21 AM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: This is remarkably lowbrow compared to all the other offerings, but how about some popcorn made in a dutch oven with some oil, then covered in about 3 tablespoons of butter mixed with chopped rosemary and some salt? To make the butter, chop the rosemary needles, melt the butter, and just kind of gently infuse them together for about 30 seconds over low heat. That's about as fancy as I like popcorn before it's no longer popcorn.

There's also the eternal favorite hummus and pita chips. It's much better homemade. I don't have the recipe at hand, but my favorite for both the hummus and the chips is from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. This one seems to be heavily based on it.

They're both good crisp, munchy foods. They're a bit cliched, but they work well. And they don't need to be hot.

Also, nthing refrigerator pickles, or better yet, home canned pickles from your larder if you are a canner.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:22 AM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: Japanese osechi-ryori sounds just about perfect for you, if you have access to an Asian market. Happy new year!
posted by chez shoes at 8:25 AM on December 30, 2009

Or -- bone marrow. I've been dying to make that forever but haven't found the nerve yet.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:25 AM on December 30, 2009

Also, if you just want to browse a list for ideas, Mark Bittman has you covered. They're all simple and fast, but also fairly highbrow. It's not Fritos and Velveta!

And if you want to make pate, Mark Bittman has a recipe that looks about as easy to make as meatloaf, assuming you have a food processor. I'm confident it'd work out if you used chicken, turkey, or duck meat in place of the ruminant and baby ruminant flesh.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:26 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Er, I misread your question. Looks like you don't like poultry, either. NVM re pate, unless you feel comfortable making it for the others but not yourself.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:28 AM on December 30, 2009

Oh sorry, I didn't realize you wanted foods at the intersection of your tastes -- I was imagining a bunch of plates for different tastes. I have made a separate dinner for Mr. Llama for years and forget that normal people don't do that.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:30 AM on December 30, 2009

Okay, how about an aioli feast? Blanched and raw vegetables, bread, really anything.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:33 AM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: We're making a big pot 'o chili and cornbread. I'll be using pork, beef and veal (cubed, not ground), two bottles of Sam Adams Coastal Wheat, and some home-grown, home-made salsa my Aunt bottles up as a Christmas present every year. (And a handfull of crushed tortilla chips! Seeeecret ingredient!)

We're going to leave the pot simmering on the stovetop, so anyone can go grab a mug o' red and a corn muffin anytime they're peckish.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Any chilled seafood plate. If you have access to fresh oysters, clams, crab legs, lobster tail, chilled green-lip mussels with a lovely aioli. Mini crab cakes. caviar-topped blini, clams casino. Chill the champagne. Enjoy.
posted by Cheeto at 8:40 AM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: ceviche, guacamole, fruit salsa
...and margaritas
posted by smalls at 10:17 AM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: Shrimp cocktail! Boiled or pan roasted ahead of time, you can make some sauces. Chill and eat. Fancy, you'll feel like the King of France or something.

Alton Brown Shrimp Cocktail
posted by wrnealis at 12:37 PM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: My girlfriend and I are throwing a New Year's party (sadly none of our friends seem to go for the RSVP thing). Here's the menu she sent me with minor consolidation and edits:

amazing salad
fruit tart with apricot jam
mexican taco casserole
apple pie
peach pastry
broccoli 'n ham strudel
broccoli, cheese, onion, and pepper strudel
cheese (Cheddar, Jarlsberg, and cranberry Wensleydale), meat (sliced ham and sausage), and olive (variety from Whole Foods olive bar, some with ham wrap) platter
a frittata in the morning with onions, pepper, maybe olives, and of course cheese
the MegaDog (this is my accidental creation: started as beanie weenies but then at her uncle's insistence added a bulgur wheat chili. ended up with a veggie chili with (veggie) hot dog slices which is served over another hot dog)

We were going through a book of appetizers she has and found some nice ones. I can ask her for the list of our favorites and post them later tonight if you'll still be figuring this out. Barefoot Contessa suggested on a show we were watching at the time figs with ham and parmesan shards on the side.

Any Orlando MeFites should of course come BTW.
posted by vsync at 2:39 PM on December 30, 2009

mccarty.tim, the rosemary is an interesting idea. My latest favorite popcorn was popped in olive oil and topped with a touch more olive oil, Costco seasoning (amazing stuff — goes on anything!), and nutritional yeast.
posted by vsync at 2:45 PM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: My menu:

Veggies, crackers, and homemade hummus
Pigs in the blanket (1/3 of a hot dog each piece, mine will be tofurkey)
Toasted spinach and mozzarella ravioli

Roasted baby yukon gold potatoes with Indian spices (small enough to eat with your fingers)
Tortilla chips and queso dip (velveeta, milk, salsa) if we have room in our stomachs
Homemade Irish cream
Previously made Christmas cookies that I'll pull out of the freezer
posted by zinfandel at 4:11 PM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: I'm making Ike_Arumba's pulled pork for New Years!
posted by headspace at 7:10 PM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: 12 grapes per person. Eat one grape per stroke of the clock at midnight.

Don't choke.

This is a tradition in Spain and some other places in case anyone was wondering. Some people even think that the tastes of the grapes will predict the coming year, such as a sweet first grape means a good January, but a sour second one......
posted by caddis at 9:44 PM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: Oh! As an addendum to the chilli suggestion above, a pot of New England or Manhattan clam chowder can be prepared and kept hot on a low-low-low simmer in much the same way. In the UK, you'd have to substitute whelks or somesuch for honest Rhode Island quahogs, but I'm sure it would be almost 80% as tasty. (Which would be orgiastically blissful in places that had never known fresh Atlantic clams from Narragansett Bay.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:16 PM on December 30, 2009

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