Cooking for New Year's Eve

Joined Apr 3, 2008
Does anyone cook for New Year's Eve? We're not the clubby type and will be staying at home but might have a couple of friends over to ring in the new year. I want to cook something but it doesn't feel like a "sit around the table" kind of evening. I was thinking finger foods and apps. What do you cook for New Year's Eve?
Joined Jan 5, 2007
It's my cousin's turn to host our family Hogmanay party - but we all muck in to supply the food!

I've already baked Black bun - and will do the traditional steak pie, shortbread and kedgeree. We will also have a turkey to be carved, various salads, a large roast of beef and a pilaff; for puddings, apart from the black bun and shortbread, I'm making Tipsy Laird(Scotland's version of the English Trifle), a cranachan (but the rasps are frozen) and a HUGE clootie dumpling.

Oh yes, we Scots LOVE Hogmanay! Just to prove how much we love it - here's a link
Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2009 - 2010 MMIX - MMX- The World's Best New Year Celebrations!
Joined Aug 18, 2007
something to soak up the booze in small portions

We're having sushi/pakoras with chilli dip/grilled spicy prawns/cheese board with oatcakes and homemade date & walnut bread/Koftas- fried,spicy lamb meatballs/Lots of dips and crisps. And sweet popcorn.
I've got 2 Normandy Camembert to bake with garlic, but i may leave them for apps before lunch the next day.Could get messy

Traditionally in Scotland we make a big pot of stovies. (a mush of onions fried in beef dripping mixed with potatoes shredded roast/corned beefand enough rich beef stock to cook it alldown into a sloppy mess. Served with oatcakes on paper plates once everyone's had a turn at singing.

Happy hogmanay to you all
Joined Jul 3, 2009
Last New Years Eve I went to my brother and sister in laws place. It was only six of us and we all brought something. My sister in law had a roast chicken cooking in the crock pot all day, another one of our friends brought penne in a vodka sauce and I brought some coffee squares.

Apps and cocktails are always good. You could easily make your friends full and satisfied with a nice array, maybe a cheese / antipasti plate, some sort of dip or bruschetta, asparagus wrapped with proscuitto, white bean caper crostinis, etc. Also easier than preparing a sit down dinner.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
I cook every New Year's eve, cuz we never go out that night. Too many amateur drunks on the roads.

If we're having guests it depends on the number. Four or less and it's a sit-down meal. More than that and I put out a tapas spread, shooting for one tapa per guest. That is, if we're having, say, four couples over, I'll make ten different items.

Just the two of us this year. But it's still a special meal. We'll start with sizzling garlic shrimp as an opener, then cardamom roasted lamb loin with safrron carrots and Israeli cous couse in blood orange juice with dried cherries.

Dessert is traditional with us. Don't remember how it started, but I always make Bananas Foster to ring in the New Year.

Here in the south we have a New Year's day tradition of greens, to bring money, and black-eyed peas, to bring luck. I'll be making black-eyed pea cakes on a bed of Tuscan kale to maintain that tradition.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
For us, New Years Eve is about having a great meal that doesn't require too much work. Our menu is pretty much the same every year:

- 2 types of canapes: with fish eggs and pate
- smoked salmon, aneth, lemon and toast
- boiled shrimp with cajun spices, home made lemon mayonnaise
- boiled crab
- grilled lobster tails with garlic/parsley butter
- pommes dauphines
- ice cream

The good thing with that menu is that the only things to worry about at the last minute are deep frying the pommes dauphines, and grilling the lobster tails. Nothing too difficult or too time consuming!
Joined Oct 16, 2008
The misses and I do a small, 12 ppl dinner every year and this year everyone wanted to do Fondue, so we are doing a cheese pot with breads and veggies, a stock and oil pot for NY Strip, Shrimp and Chicken with a side of tempura, and a chocolate pot with fruits and brownies.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
We 4 stay home NYE. Too many idiots on the roads. It going to be very hot here, so I'll put together something cool, probably mainly finger foods, very casual, to keep us going till midnight. Strawberries are in season here, so maybe a champagne cocktail after the countdown, watch the Sydney Harbour fireworks on the idiot box.

Haven't thought or planned it really'll create itself, as cooking does :)
Joined Aug 13, 2006
When i was still in the states, my family would take out Chinese. Does anyone else do that? Ours was an italian-american family, and all the other families we knew were italian-american, and they all did the same.

Here in Rome, my daughter started the tradition of taking out Indian.

But the traditional Roman meal for new year's eve is Zampone and Lentils - I've had it a couple of times at friends' houses when we've been invited, and frankly it is the LEAST festive dish i can imagine. Zampone is a pig's shin with foot attached, with the meat inside it ground up with seasoning like a giant sausage and put back in - mainly gristle that, having been boiled for hours has become gelatinous, and pork meat, and you boil the h--l out of it and then add lentils and cook them in the water. Lentils represent money and it's supposed to make you rich during the year. In my family we used to all have to eat a "black" grape and a "white" grape on new year's eve. It was my family's region's good luck and good money tradition. Much less painful than the greasy gelatinous lentils.

But the other, parallel tradition is to have a big fish dinner both christmas eve and new year's eve.

For my part, I don't like new year's eve - everyone forcing themselves to be happy and excited because a number on a date is changing - wowee. :) So i'll probably go for the indian takeout and watch the fireworks from the terrace where every roof of the city has a display worthy of a small town's fourth of july - crazy, dangerous and noisy - makes the city look like world war three just hit. Best not to be outside.
Bah, humbug.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
It's nice to hear of New Years traditions, they seem so different and yet all so alike. It's mainly about getting together and eating food.

There's an old greek tradition of making loukoumades (fried dough drizzled with honey and cinammon) and maybe I'll reinstate that. We also sit around playing cards and nibbling before we cut the traditional vassilopita.

What is the American tradition? Too often it's too easy to assume that it means drinking, drinking, and more drinnking.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Koukouvagia, I don't think you can point to any one thing and call it the American tradition.

There are regional traditions (such as the greens and peas thing in the south), and various ethno-American traditions, and individual family traditions. Basically, a collection of traditions that, collectively reflect the American experience.

I once did research for an article on American New Year's traditions, and it quickly got too unwieldly because there are so many of them.
Joined Dec 4, 2001
When it comes to food I don't much go for traditions. I'm much to fond of doing something different. (At Thanksgiving the "tradition" in our house is that it's never the same from year to year.)

However, under pressure from "She Who Must be Obeyed" on NYE I make crab cakes with a sweet corn relish and roasted yellow pepper vinaigrette. We have that and champaigne for dinner.

Hmm, black bun Ishbel? I haven't had that in years. I've got a Christmas pud left over so we'll have that maybe. I made some mincemeat for pies so I'll do that too if I have time.

Happy Hogmanay and Ha'e a guid New Year!
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Different strokes for different folks :D

Siduri - I know what you described sounds....unusual, but how does it taste? Pig's shins & feet when cooked for long time normally is , to me, tasty. Lentils too. Would be interesting to see what you think of it.

New Year's Eve Resolution anybody? That's not for me. Maybe it works for some. Good luck to those who make them.

Stinking hot here. Have ended up making a chilled spicy potato salad (lots of chilli), coleslaw (lots of chilli :) ), teriyaki chicken wings, keftedies of lamb and feta(lots of smells great!), platters of various meats, salad veg., boiled eggs etc. And a cheat of spicy nachos and bought salsa...hey why not? Anything I could chill I have made it so. Oh plus really boring ham and cheddar cheese rolls melted together. Made some Strassbouorg ones too which taste ok.

Will be peaches and strawberries and vanilla icecream later. All chilled :D

Safe New Year everybody....keep off the roads as much as you can.

Till next year....Daina
Joined Aug 21, 2009
I make alot of finger foods and we play board games all night with the kids.

Happy New Year everyone!
Joined Mar 3, 2007
Icame from a ukrainian-canadian family (about three generations in Canada), and that was our tradition for christmas eve. My dad mentioned it at the dentist's office one day, and found out that about half of my neighbourhood did the same. Which also meant a five-hour wait for pick-up food if you called too late! :rolleyes:

No tradition for me, really, might make a nice sweet for my flatmate and I for while we're watching the countdown... or just pick something up. It's only me at home for dinner tonight, so it's going to be homemade comfort food, I'm still not sure what though!
Joined Dec 2, 2009
A great box of chocolates, a good book and a fireplace. NYD is another story...rib roast (with par boiled potatoes thrown in during the last 30 min), candied carrots, soft white rolls with butter and the ubiquitous blackeyed peas. Baking pecan bars for dessert...the crust is shortbread and not so much ends up in the garbage disposal. I give a rib to the dog and freeze the others for a good boy treat.
Joined May 26, 2001
We used have a quick dinner at home, then go out to some sort of show (movie, dance, poetry reading, music) with my aunt and cousin and my cousin's two sons. When we started doing that, my aunt was in her mid-80s and the boys were in high school. Now Aunt Bette is 93 1/2 (still sharp as a tack and great fun to be with!), one boy is finishing college and the other has been done and working for a couple of years. And my cousin brought Bette down to where she (cousin) lives. They invited us to join them, but we can't spare the time to travel and stay over. Too many work deadlines. :(

So we're back to staying in, I'm cooking my usual nice dinner* and we may go to sleep before it's New Year in the next time zone to the west. :lol:

*Tonight will be braised pork chops and cabbage with sour cream, egg noodles, salad, and some sort of wine. If we're not too full from that, maybe a little black raspberry goat ice milk left over from Xmas. :lips:
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Personally, if i never had to eat zampone again (or its close cousin, cotechino) I would be quite happy. I find it unbearably heavy (and believe me i can deal with heavy) and while i can like lentils, usually in a soup with a tasty garlicky soffrito base, and maybe some spinach in it, I really don;t go for plain boiled lentils and that's all they really are, boiled in some mightily greasy water! The cotechino or zampone is like a sausage made with gristle, and its gelatinous texture is quite unpleasant, the taste is ho hum to me, a bit artificial, like a boiled sausage. But then, i'm not one for stews - i like my meat grilled or roasted and preferably crusty on the outside. Not a big fan of cooked preserved meats. The thing is it's not pig shins, it's ground up pig gristle with lots of seasoning, like a salame or sausage. I have no problem with pig shins, just the added flavor and gristle.
But there are plenty of people who go wild for it. Worth trying if you like that sort of thing.
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