New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate our friendships and memories with loved ones. So, if you are entertaining for New Year’s Eve, keep it simple, so that you can spend time with your guests and not in the kitchen. Serve a simple spread of anti pasti. Ask each of your guests to bring something that does not need to be heated. Serve an assortment of colorful bruschetta. Set out cocktail napkins, toothpicks, and paper dessert plates. Don’t even worry about washing silverware.
Alongside your bruschetta, serve a platter of some of your favorite prosciutto, salami, capicola, mortadella, supersade, assorted olives and pepperoncini. Top it off with a variety of your favorite cheeses: provolone, sharp cheddar, havarti and fresh mozzarella from The Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck.
What’s a cocktail party without the cocktails? Select red and white lcoal wines to pair with your display. I prefer the red Nautique from Peconic Bay and Pellegrini’s Merlot. Of course, you’ll need a bubbly to toast at midnight! Head to Sparkling Pointe and pick up a bottle of their new release Cuvee Carnaval.
Brush with olive oil. You can rub your slices with garlic, if your topping or oil does not contain garlic. Grill or brown them in broiler until edges are crispy.
You can try these two recipes and then get creative and make some of your own. Try sliced gravlax or buy your favorite smoked salmon, arugula pesto, chopped tomato and onion salad, even your favorite spread cheese topped with roasted red peppers or hard sausage. The possibilities are endless – email or comment with the toppings you choose!
1. Cannellini Bean Topped with Chopped Wild Arugula and Tomato
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup(s) beans, white kidney, canned, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon thyme, fresh, or 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, black
- 2 clove(s) garlic, cut up
- 1/2 cup(s) wild arugula, snipped
In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of the reserved oil and the 1/2 cup arugula; set tomato mixture aside. In a food processor or blender, combine another 1 teaspoon of the reserved oil, the beans, lemon juice, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Set bean mixture aside. Place about 1 tablespoon of the bean mixture on each of the toasted bread slices, spreading evenly to edges. I prefer to serve this at room temperature since I often use this for outdoor summer entertaining but you can broil for about 1 minute or until bean mixture is warm. Remove from oven. Top each with some of the tomato mixture. If desired, garnish with arugula sprigs. Serve immediately.
2. Homemade Lemon Ricotta Cheese
- 8 cups (1/2 gallon) whole milk
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 1/2 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
- Candy thermometer
- fine mesh strainer
In a small saucepan, heat milk to 190°, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove milk from heat; add lmeon juice and salt; set aside 2 minutes. Stir the mixture; the curds will have started to separate from the whey. Let it sit for another minute. Over medium bowl, place fine mesh strainer; pour curds and whey. Allow to drain in refrigerator until only curds remain in strainer, about two hours. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and salt.