At a good New Year’s Eve Party, the star is the champagne. When planning the menu for your party, consider flavors that pair will with bubbly. So that you can be a guest at your own party, select dishes that require little work, can be made ahead of time, and will taste delicious at room temperature; not having to keep foods hot or cold is one less thing to worry about. Serving finger food is a win-win! It means fewer dishes at the end of the party, and it also keeps guests’ hands free, allowing them more freedom to mingle and munch their way through the evening.
For an elegant affair with your foodie friends, try the following ideas:
Getting the Party Started
To get the party going with a little fun and whimsy, serve popcorn drizzled with melted truffle butter and sprinkled with a fine grating of good parmesan.
Also, ease your guests into the party with an inviting charcuterie platter. Include a variety of offerings such as peppery Dry-Cured Saucisson Sec or Wild Boar Saucisson Sec and Jambon de Bayonne (French Prosciutto). Pâté is always welcome on a charcuterie platter. If you can’t decide which one to serve, try The French Pâté Collection, which allows you to sample three different kinds. Include water crackers or thin bread sticks with your charcuterie platter.
Leading Up to the Countdown
Serve an understated beef carpaccio. (Freeze a beef tenderloin until firm. Slice as thinly as possible. You might even gently flatten the slices with a meat mallet to ensure ultimate thinness. Arrange the slices of meat beautifully on a plate. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with big grains of salt and black pepper.)
For a spin on a classic party appetizer, try Duck and Scallop Rumaki.
Make D’Artagnan’s Mousse of Foie Gras with Candied Hazelnuts, and the foie gras and hazelnuts will both sing in harmony with champagne.
For a savory bite, serve canapés with mushrooms – tiny toasts topped with creamy goat cheese and wild mushrooms sautéed with garlic, shallots, and a splash of sherry or Madeira.
Just after Midnight
After the clock strikes midnight and your guests have celebrated with a toast and a New Year’s kiss, continue the party by bringing out a platter of French Kisses, prunes marinated in French Brandy and stuffed with foie gras mousse.
Late into the Night
For a sweet ending to the party, you can’t get much easier than strawberries with mascarpone and chocolate. (Slice strawberries in half, leaving the tops on for garnish. Pipe a little mascarpone cheese on the cut side of each berry and top with shaved chocolate.)
With your perfect over-the-top menu all set, you might not know how to respond if a guest asks what they can bring to the party. Remember that you can never have too much champagne. Also, a lovely wedge of soft, rind-ripened cheese will complement the charcuterie platter perfectly.