Happy New Year…almost. As 2016 comes to an end, many of you may be thinking about how to ring in 2017? While many of you may have been invited to a New Year’s Eve party, included in a dinner reservation, or the such, what do you think of quietly celebrating at home & having a romantic dinner with that special someone? Just the two of you. Doesn’t a romantic New Year’s Eve menu at home sound perfect after all the hustle & bustle of the Holiday Season? In my mind, entertaining doesn’t always mean hosting an event. Sometimes, it means cooking a lovely meal together, enjoying each other’s company & making that one person whom you care about most feel special. After all, you’re planning to spend 2017 together, right? Why not focus on each other & get the new year off to the right start?
My Romantic New Year’s Eve Menu is super-easy! With all the bowl games going on New Year’s Eve Day, why spend anymore time in the kitchen than you have to? Everything on this Romantic New Year’s Eve Menu can be made or prepped ahead of time, which allows you and your special someone to maximize your “together-time”. Be sure to buy Champagne or Prosecco & chill well, as this is all you need to serve with this menu.
As an appetizer or starter, we are going to make Goat Cheese Puffs with Caviar. You can make this 4-ingredient appetizer in minutes! The hardest part is defrosting puff pastry in the refrigerator! You may also make this appetizer a day or two ahead of time, and refrigerate until ready to bake. The goat cheese puffs can also be frozen, then baked when ready to serve, which makes this a great appetizer to have on hand for your next fête. When serving, add a dollop of caviar…I buy what’s locally available, and I’ve never had a complaint. What I like most about this appetizer is that it looks more complicated than it is. No one needs to know how our little secret. Most importantly, it’s the perfect romantic appetizer for New Year’s Eve! Caviar is an aphrodisiac, in case you didn’t know.
Next, we are serving pasta! Not just any pasta, though…it’s New Year’s Eve & this menu is romantic! Black & White Truffle Butter Linguine with Lobster & Prawns will not only impress your special someone with your culinary prowess, but he/she will not believe how quickly this dish can be prepared! The key is having the lobster & prawns…or jumbo shrimp…prepped ahead of time. I advocate doing this the day before so you can relax on New Year’s Eve. Squid Ink Linguine may be bought on Amazon. You can buy truffle butter typically in most grocery stores, and it also may be purchased on online as well. I just love the combination of black & white linguine! It’s so festive, especially for New Year’s Eve!
As you may know, I love serving a salad. This New Year’s Eve shouldn’t be any different. Cruciferous Crunch Salad with Pomegranate, Oranges & Toasted Walnuts pairs beautifully with the pasta, and it’s full of nutrition & antioxidants! If you live nearby a Trader Joe’s store, Cruciferous Crunch comes ready-made…if not, you can buy brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, red & green cabbage, & thinly slice everything. A mandoline works best for this. I also add thinly sliced fennel for that wonderful anise flavor. Adding pomegranate seeds & oranges add a wonderful “pop” of color & tart, fresh flavor. Toasted walnuts provide a buttery warmth to the salad. Just before serving, I toss the salad with a grapefruit-cranberry-pear vinaigrette. Both the Grapefruit White Balsamic & the Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegars come from Midtown Olive Oil. The salad’s acidity balances the richness of the pasta, while the crunch adds a wonderful contrast in texture to the linguine & seafood.
For New Year’s Eve, can you think of anything better to serve than chocolate? I simply cannot. However, I must serve peppermint & chocolate, as the Holiday Season hasn’t ended just yet! This classic combination should not be limited to Christmas, nor to December, for that matter. Why not serve Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Pie on New Year’s Eve as well? You can make this dessert way ahead of time, which makes for more fun on the last night of the year. While you are pouring another glass of Bubbly to ring in 2017, take out the pie from the freezer. In minutes, you can serve yourselves a deliciously decadent slice of chocolately-peppermint goodness that will put a smile on your faces. Can you think of anything better? I think that I will serve this dessert throughout January as well.
I hope you all have a wonderful ending of 2016 and great beginnings in 2017. Avoid the crowds this year & stay home…entertain each other…that the best part of Life, isn’t it? Happy 2017!