So, here we are, off and running, last minute planning for the big New Years Eve Meal. What to make? Dinner sounds so formal, chips & salsa so plain and informal. Here are a couple of great ideas that are simple, inexpensive and have a huge "WOW" factor.
3 Cheese Fondue with Crisp Vegetables and Sourdough Chards
Make a simple cheese fondue, with recipes from the Food Network (http://www.foodnetwork.com/) or Epicurious (http://www.eqicurious.com/). Select some fresh celery, broccoli, carrot sticks, red pepper sticks, green onions and dice a loaf of sour dough bread for dipping. If you don't have a fondue pot, which I'm sure most of us don't, just use a nice sauce pot and serve on a wooden cutting board with the vegetables and bread artfully arranged. If you want to kick it up a notch on a tight budget, you can purchase small cooked shrimp and skewer them on tooth picks. This is a nice presentation without the big shrimp price. (Is big shrimp an oxymoron?)
Crab & Asiago Bites
Get a few cans of crab meat, open and drain well. Slice some silver dollar sized pieces of french bread and brush liberally with salted butter. Top the bread with a small amount of crab and then some shredded asiago cheese. Place in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is a light golden brown.
Both of these items pair exceptionally well with an inexpensive dry sparkling wine or champagne due the the rich flavors of the food and the acidity of the bubbly!
My personal favorite, Mini ham & cheese bites made with prosciutto and provolone.
Just like a grilled cheese, cut the crust off and serve in quarters. Make sure the prosciutto is sliced very thin or it will be chewy. You can garnish with a small slice of sweet pickle on the top. The type of bread you use is up to you. I recommend a sliced french or sourdough. But a good salted rye makes a great option.
Good luck at the grocery store, I will be checking in to answer any questions throughout the day. Tune in tomorrow morning for how to make your home feel warm and welcoming and tomorrow afternoon for some great games to play with your friends.
Thanks for reading!