Easy New Year’s Eve Appetizers

When I think about what makes a really great New Year’s Eve party, I immediately recognize the importance of being with the most-loved people in your life to ring in the new year — to celebrate your successes and relish in the memories of the past year while toasting to an even better year ahead. But what else makes a New Year’s Eve celebration really great? Well, that’s got to be the food.

The key to hosting a successful and enjoyable New Year’s Eve party is to create a menu of simple yet glamorous food. This is no time to be hidden away from guests preparing meals and clearing dishes in the kitchen. To avoid this, I recommend offering appetizer-like treats throughout the night. Finger foods are hassle-free and require very little clean-up, which means more time to mingle with your loved ones. Here are some of my favorite, easy hors d’oeuvres perfect for any New Year’s Eve celebration (and that I plan on creating myself tomorrow evening):

Smoked Salmon Crostini – Crostinis are an easy and versatile snack to create. To make these really special, set the base of your crostini with homemade dill-flavored cream cheese. Then start stacking with a small scoop of diced hard-boiled egg whites, a slice of smoked salmon and top with capers.

Mini Crab Cakes with Tandoori Aioli  I use tandoori spices a lot in my cooking. Mix them with some yogurt for a simple and delicious dipping sauce to compliment the crowd-favorite crab cake.

Jalapeño Bacon-Wrapped Smoked Scallops – Yeah, you read that right. Sizzle your bacon with some jalapeños and your scallops will gain a nice, crunchy kick.

Chimichurri Flank Steak Bites – Marinate your flank steak in a chimichurri sauce (I like to use parsley, onion, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper) and throw on the grill or pan fry. Then just chop the meat into bite-size pieces.

And, of course, don’t forget the champagne!

I hope that no matter where you are or what you’re cooking, you have a wonderful celebration. Happy New Year from the Sidewalk Chef!

Happy New Year 2015

Lobster Francaise and Scallops Recipe

Lobster Francaise and Scallops Recipe

Shashank Agtey

This is an easy recipe, that produces an elegant seafood dinner. Skip the restaurant and make this instead!


Lobster tails

Old Bay Seasoning

Eggs, beaten


Worcestershire sauce

Large scallops


Olive oil


White wine

Blackening seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 350˚

Cut lobster tails in half lengthwise. Dust tails with flour and then dredge the tails in the eggs. In a large oven-safe sauté pan, heat olive oil to medium-high until you see the wisp of smoke. Sauté the tails for four to five minutes, browning the egg mixture on all sides. Add butter and Worcestershire sauce and continue sautéing for an additional three to four minutes. Squeeze the lemons and add ½-cup white wine over the tails. This is the Francaise sauce. Bake the tails for five minutes at 350˚ (in the oven-safe sauté pan).

Place the pan back on the stovetop and add salt and pepper to taste. Place the tails in a slow oven (200˚) until the scallops are ready. Sprinkle scallops with blackening seasoning to desired taste and sauté for eight minutes. Plate the lobster tail halves with the scallops adorning the edges of the plate. Add in a little spring mix salad for color and drizzle the Francaise sauce from the pan liberally over the tails.