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!