New Year’s Nibbles

27 Dec

Only five days to New Year’s Eve and you are, no doubt, thinking about how to celebrate.  For those who are entertaining at home (a very strategic thing to do), here are 25 ideas for radically simple things to serve.   My good friend, Claudia Omsky, roasted some chestnuts for us the other day as a treat in the middle of the afternoon.  She is from Vienna and told us about the street vendors roasting chestnuts and how she loved them as a child.  She often prepares them for her kids as a healthy snack.  Great idea.  Claudia buys them at Whole Foods and simply roasts them on a sheet pan.  Make a criss-cross slit at the top of each chestnut and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  I thought about how festive they would be with a glass of champagne and so….Idea #1:  Warm roasted chestnuts.  The day after, our cousin Mary Ann Kurasz (Seidman) served us a bowl of huge roasted black grapes that looked like big fleshy olives.  She said she got the idea from my Chicken with Roasted Grapes from Radically Simple and decided they would be great with cocktails!  They were!  A brilliant idea I never thought of.  Here are 23 more:

Thinly sliced smoked salmon strewn with edible flowers cut up like confetti
Large black olives baked in red wine and olive oil
Wrap thin grissini (breadsticks) with good prosciutto
Scoop out cherry tomatoes, fill with whitefish salad and chopped chives (serve in fluted candy papers)
Coat green grapes with goat cheese and roll in crushed pistachios
Toss mixed nuts with rosemary oil and warm on a sheet pan
Large moist Medjool dates with chunks of aged Gouda
Throw a smoked ham in the oven, slice and serve on biscuits with honey mustard and chutney
Thinly slice super-rare roast beef from the supermarket, serve with horseradish creme fraiche and black bread
Slather a side of fresh salmon with wasabi mayonnaise, roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, sprinkle with black sesame seeds
Make a large Caesar salad and serve with garlic-rubbed skirt steaks
Buy super-large cooked shrimp and serve with green goddess dressing
Serve your favorite smooth soup in demitasse cups, add a few drops of truffle oil
Serve a platter of roasted vegetables, cut into 1-inch pieces, sprinkle with sea salt
Prepare a large chafing dish of tortellini alla panna (cream, butter and parmigiano-reggiano)
Make or buy gravlax and serve with 1-minute mustard sauce (2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 tablespoons Dijon, 1/4 cup olive oil)
Buy rotisserie chickens, hack them up and serve with hoisin sauce and scallions
Thinly slice big sea scallops and serve atop seaweed salad, drizzle with lemon oil
Top herring in wine sauce with buttery-toasted panko, creme fraiche and dill
Make smoked salmon, basil and goat cheese quesadillas
Make beef or turkey sliders, serve on toasted dinner rolls with pesto or curry mayonnaise
Buy great fried chicken and serve with black-eyed peas
Boil a whole cotechino, slice and serve on lentils

Start chilling the bubbly!

4 Responses to “New Year’s Nibbles”

  1. veredgy December 27, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    This was a great fun merely reading your post.
    Go figure what will happen when actually preparing this good food.
    I liked it a lot.
    Thank you and have a very good new year.

  2. jane Hennigan December 27, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Love your recipes except for the nutella sandwich cookies which were disappointing.

  3. Echowood December 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    What great ideas for my NYE party. I made your nutella and olive oil sesame seed cookies for the holidays and they were a hit! Love reading your blog.

  4. Claudia December 28, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    We will have a party here and I will definitely make some of those great ideas!! Thanks

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