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New Year's Eve, chow and traditions

  • b

Over the years, we have recognized this is not our favorite night of partying--too much forced fun, a kind of downer from Christmas, and - of course- the thrill of driving with questionably competetent drivers on the highways and byways. Our best New Years are at home. So what do other hounds do/eat/enjoy?

For us this year, Moet bubbly, crab legs, shrimp, pate, and if we're hungry still later, sirloin, Shiraz, green beans with hazlenuts dressed with lemon and olive oil and key lime pie.

And at midnight, the Austrian custom of a snack of creamed herring!

So, what will you be doing?

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  1. For dinner we're having risotto with grilled prawns, and asparagus. I have a bottle of Landmark Overlook chardonnay that'll go nicely with the shrimp. I'm going to do something from _The Last Course_ for dessert, possibly pear crisps with dried sour cherries. At midnight, we're having American caviar and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot.

    3 Replies
    1. re: zora
      Christopher Oliver

      Eeeek! We had broiled shrimp [adapted from Hazan],
      mushroom risotto, and asparagus soup. There's either
      a conspiracy here, or the men from outer space are
      broadcasting menu suggestions into our minds while
      we sleep. [cue melody from E.T.]

      An old high school chum gave me some VCP NV for
      Christmas, but no one wanted to help me drink it, so
      it remains waiting. (Hrrrmmm... grumble...)

      1. re: Christopher Oliver

        Great chowminds often think alike! Since we had fired up the Weber Kettle to grill the shrimp, we did some skewers of mushrooms, onions and red pepper, and grilled the asparagus over the coals while we were at it. All were basted with lemon-garlic oil. The prawns were succulent, the veggies were luscious and the mushroom risotto was savory and creamy. I hope your dinner was as good as ours.

      2. re: zora

        Five years ago my husband and I decided that sharing the roads with a bunch of drunks was not a good way to start the New Year. We hied ourselves to our favorite Chinese seafood restaurant and splurged on lobster. Have been doing it every New Year's Eve since - soup and lobster. They make their lobster Hong Kong style. It's Lobster Cantonese with two exceptions. They chop up the lobster and stir-fry it in butter (first exception) with lots of garlic and ginger.

        When it's fully cooked (having done something magical to produce a very yummy sauce), the Cantonese throw in a beaten egg white to make the sauce cling to the pieces. Really finger-lickin'-good. In this version, they throw in shredded Monterey Jack cheese instead. (exception number two) Does the same thing but, somehow, enhances the butteryness.

        By the time we finished, we were butter to the elbow. Not to be dauunted, our smiling hosts brought over a bowl of tea and lemon slices and we bathed at the table!! Seemed right at the time.

        Then, home in time to watch fireworks from wherever and have a snuggle or two before we hit the sack. Now that's the way to start a year! ! !

      3. We are going out for a New Years Eve dinner and after spending the rest of the evening at home with some Paul Barra. Instead of a big dinner on New Years Day I have decided to do an array of meats, artisianal chesses and breads and any mushrooms we find on our New Years Day hike.

        1. Berkleybabe, you're serving many of my favorites! It all sounds so delicious.

          We've also decided to stay home and celebrate. Some of the things we're having with our Moet & Chandon are American paddlefish caviar on toast points, lox, brie, des causses blue, paper thin sliced swiss hobel kase and air dried bundnerfleish w/ french baguette. Later on, assorted swiss chocolates with movie... A Pocketful of Miracles w/Bette Davis. Happy New Year!

          1. c
            Caitlin Wheeler

            Our family has a tradition of staying home and cooking a fabulous dinner! This year we were the recipients of a bottle of Cristal and 2 oz. of beluga caviar, so we enjoyed this with buttered toast points. (Good, Irish butter) Then we had our traditional feast of Shrimpt Remoulade, Herbed saddle of lamb with potatoes and greenbeans, and trifle for dessert. Last year we were in Italy (my parents were living there) and we had pasta with fresh truffles and Prosecco. The year before that included fresh foie gras and tiramisu. We figure we can splurge on ingredients because going out would be so much more expensive!

            1. As usual, went to a potluck at friends. I brought a salmon salad, but the highlights of the affair were jackrabbit chili and turkey roasted in the ground.

              1. We decided we'd had about enough holiday fuss, so we picked up some Brie and a movie, and I made kedgeree with some leftover salmon we happened to have, while my spouse made a savory cabbage-mushroom-onion saute. With that and a box of Harbor Sweets chocolates that fell into my hands over the holidays, we felt about as festive as we wanted to. Today we had a big breakfast of scrambled eggs and rosti, a long walk in the woods, then a light, late afternoon tea in lieu of lunch. Tonight I'm going to try my hand at Cornish pasties.

                1. We did a standing rib roast that was excellent, along with a really good salad, scallion mashed potatoes and broccoli sauteed with parm and bread crumbs. We cooked the roast using Alton Brown's slow first then crust it at the end method. It was great, but it took twice as long as he states in the recipe.

                  New Year's Day, we cooked hog jowl, blackeyed peas, cornbread and collards for 15. A lot of fun.

                  1. It was shrimp wrapped in phyllo with aioli,duck breast with sour cherry sauce, wild rice with pecans, green beans, chestnut/onion/fennel confit, salad. For dessert, deep fried banana and chocolate filled wontons with mango sauce. And a bottle of Moet.

                    1. w
                      wendy jackson

                      We stayed home, had a big fire and a wonderful feast. We started with ossetra caviar with a bottle of Pol Roger 1990, followed by seared venison loin with a gooseberry sauce, potatoes fried in duck fat, and brussel sprouts all washed down with a Ponzi 1998 Reserve Pinot Noir. For dessert, we had two French cheeses, a Bleu de Basque (a very rough farmhouse blue sheep's cheese) and a washed rind cow's milk cheese (not unlike Epoisses)that I can't remember the name of. Later on, we had bhaba au rhum with whipped cream (from the NY Times recipe last week). Needless to say, after all that food, I was barely concious by midnight, but it was divine!

                      For New Year's Day, following a long walk in the woods, we had good luck black-eyed peas, collards, and buttermilk buscuits with ham.

                      For me, the best part of the holidays is the feasting!

                      1. My fiancee and I started with Sevruga caviar served on medallions of steamed rock lobster tail with a touch of creme fraiche. We had this with a sparkling Reisling from Canada (yes..Canada..and it worked very well.) Then we had a broiled Porterhouse for two with a veal demiglace sauce and a truffle-onion-bacon tartlet (a la Joel Robuchon). We had this with 1993 Chateau Ferrand-Lartigue, St. Emilion (somewhat disappointing). Dessert: chocolate pot de creme using ScharffenBerger chocolate for the first time. Very impressive.
                        Happy New Year!