8 appetizers for your New Year's Eve party

November 6, 2014

To help you coast into the new year with a casual New Year's Eve party menu that has all the gourmet touches, without the stress, here are eight easy appetizers your guests will love.

8 appetizers for your New Year's Eve party

1. Barbotage cocktail

Celebrate the New Year's Eve party with a classic barbotage and set the palate up for a night of savoury starters. To prepare this timeless favourite:

  • Simply add equal parts of brandy and orange cognac liqueur to a Champagne flute. Then, top it off with brut Champagne.

2. Beef tenderloin with sour-cream sauce

Thinly sliced beef tenderloin adds rustic elegance to any New Year's Eve soirée.

  1. Cook two pounds for 20 guests and one pound for 10.
  2. Roast the beef in a 175 °C (345 ºF) oven until it reaches about 55°C (130 ºF) in the centre.
  3. Mix three parts of sour cream with one part mayonnaise to make the sauce. Adjust the consistency with double cream.

3. Fresh herb and coconut granita

Granitas chill the palate and erase the previous dish from all but your memory.

  1. Blend fresh basil with four parts of coconut milk and one part of simple syrup. Pour mixture into a freezer-safe container.
  2. Freeze the granita for three or four hours, stirring every 30 minutes to develop a flaky consistency.
  3. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes.

4. Bacon-wrapped dates

Sweet, salty and meaty, stuffed bacon-wrapped dates cover all the taste sensations.

  1. Stuff each date with an almond and some goat cheese.
  2. Wrap a piece of smoked bacon around each date and secure it with a toothpick.
  3. Roast the dates in a 175 °C (345 ºF) oven for five to seven minutes.

5. Apple-brandy sorbet

This dish has enough sweetness to encourage another nibble of this savoury starter, but not enough to linger on the palate.

  1. Simmer three parts water with one part chopped apples; add a half-part each of lemon juice and sugar until the apples soften.
  2. Stir in apple brandy to taste.
  3. Blend and freeze the mixture until almost frozen through.

6. Chicken-liver pâté

This dish takes so little time to make, you can't pass up the opportunity to include it on your New Year's Eve menu.

  1. Combine two parts lightly sauteed chicken livers with one part melted butter in a food processor.
  2. Purée in enough double cream to create a smooth texture and add apple brandy to taste.
  3. Chill slightly before serving.

7. Pepperoni and Parmesan puff pastry

Frozen puff pastry is the go-to ingredient when you're short on time and don't want it to show.

  1. Unfold the puff pastry on a floured work surface and brush it with olive oil.
  2. Layer the pastry with pepperoni slices and shredded Parmesan.
  3. Add fresh herbs and roll the puff pastry into a cylinder.
  4. Bake the pastry in a 200 °C (392 ºF) oven until golden brown.
  5. Slice the pastry crosswise in 1 to 1.5-cm (about 1/2-inch) intervals.

8. Satsuma-cinnamon smoothie

Like an echo of the satsuma orange traditionally found in Christmas stockings, satsuma smoothies follow a savoury dish with sweetness.

  1. Blend two parts yogurt, one part satsuma juice and a half-part of ice.
  2. Add orange liqueur to your mixture to taste.
  3. Serve with a cinnamon stick in the shot glass.

A casual ending

To finish the menu, serve a glass of extra-dry Champagne to your guests.

  • The Champagne does two things: it cleanses the palate and ends the food portion of the party on a crisp, clean note.

Don't forget palate cleansers

Palate cleansers are key to a balanced night of sweet and savoury flavours that satisfy you without weighing you down.

  • Alternate delicious, easily made starters with crisp palate cleansers and you'll close the year in style without sacrificing too much time.
  • Serve all the palate cleansers in chilled double-shot glasses.

With some easy prep and easier cleanup, you can kick-off the New Year with a delicious, casual menu.

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