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Dec 17, 2006 07:19 PM

New Year's Eve tapas party

I’m having a tapas party on New Year’s Eve, for 20-30 people. The following menu is a work in progress. I’ve found what sound like good recipes, but would love any and all suggestions on what to add/subtract or on personal experiences with any of these. Thanks – can use all the help I can get.

Beef tenderloin canapes

Rice crackers with goat cheese and edamame

Grissini with Prosciutto

Plum-glazed stuffed shitake mushrooms

Herbed lima bean hummus

Caviar Moons

Crabmeat Deviled Eggs

Shrimp Scampi Pasta (small bite-size pasta)

Kir Royale

Gold-dusted bourbon balls

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  1. Sounds beautiful. For the pasta, I'd suggest, if you've not thought of it, getting small plates to serve it on.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      Thanks--yes, small plates for any and all!

    2. We're you interested in making any Spainsh tapas?

      I did tapas for 20 people last Christmas Eve- here is (what I can remember from) the menu

      Tortilla Espanola (Penelope Casas' recipe)

      Potato and Serrano Croquettas

      Boquerones en vinagre

      Asparagus wrapped in Jambon Serrano

      Calamares a la plancha

      Mussels a la vinagreta

      Chorizo in puff pastry

      Meat Empanadas

      Paprika rubbed roast pork tenderloin

      Pisto Manchego

      Chick Pea stew

      Manchego, Serrano, and Quince

      White and red Sangria

      7 Replies
      1. re: julietg

        Hi Julietg, I haven't had time to reply until now--but, thank you for this menu--I'm not sure about all of these items, but they sound delicious. Do any involve making them a day or so ahead of time & just reheating or bring to room temperature? I try to avoid a last minute flurry of activity. TIA for any recipe or advice.

        1. re: Robbie711

          Our party was in Scottsdale, AZ, and I live in LA. Plus I work full time.

          So this is what I did:
          --shopped 1.5 weeks before (I work next to a fab specialty store, so that was easy)
          --made pisto and chick peas the weekend before at home, put in ziplocks, cooled immediately in a cooler full of salted ice water and put in the freezer.
          --made puff pastry and empanada dough weekend before and froze
          --made the xmas cookie dough and froze
          --ordered the serrano, quince, and boqueronnes from whole foods' deli 1.5 weeks in advance
          --ordered the wine to be delivered to the house in AZ 1.5 weeks in advance.

          --after work, week of, baked the cookies and put in tupperware lined with wax paper in between each layer.

          --bought all the seafood day before we were to leave (try getting good mussels and squid in AZ! well- as good as one can get in Santa Monica)
          --packed all cold goods in a nifty plug-in cooler, plugged it into the cigarette lighter in the trunk, and hit the road for ten hours. I wrapped all the wet goods like a caterer, in several layers of plastic wrap and a few of foil. worked out fine.

          day before
          --assembled the pastries and chilled on cookie sheets (you may be able to get away with storing them on top of one another with parchment in between, but I would experiment first)
          --made the masa for the croquettas, shaped, breaded and chilled (it's better overnight, anyway)
          --made the sangria and chilled (also better chilled overnight)
          --rubbed and tied the pork (ditto)
          --peeled and cut the potatoes
          --I ended up doing a little more prep stuff day before- mincing garlic and parsley, etc. This cut down considerably on day-of stress.

          day of
          --this was key: assigned duities to various family members. made lists on index cards of things like "chop onion" or "clean squid" so that when someone wandered into the kitchen and said what can I do they were handed a card with a clearly defined assignment. I didn't waste time standing over them or re-doing their work this way. also, after every day-of task had been completed I could throw that card away and not worry about it anymore. the last card was quite a triumph.
          --baked everything
          --fried croquettas and tortillas
          --assembled garde manger stuff
          --nuked stews
          --printed placecards naming each dish (in Spanish and English- I know, I'm a geek)
          --served buffet style on hotplates and chafing dishes

          The best advice I can give to you is to plan, plan, plan. Use Excel and plan your menu, ingredients/shopping list (this way you don't overbuy lemons, parsley, etc), oven usage (keeping in mind what can or can't sit out after baking, preheating and turing your temp up and down, plus what pans will and will not fit together), and stove usage. Work backwards from plating if you have to.

          My family was certainly dubious (they're future in-laws so I was determined to impress them!). But with completely anal planning, right down to I know at 12.25pm I should have my carrots on, with ice water ready to cool them down or on Thursday I need to go to that specialty store to get the chorizo, it went off without a hitch (no yelling and only one burn). Prioritize your dishes so that you can drop one last minute if you need to. Make a binder with tabs and everything. Point is, you go crazy in your mind while planning, but execute stress-free.

          All of the recipes were from Penelope Casas' "Food and Wines of Spain"

          "Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain"

          Both great books. Oh- except the squid was from the web, and in Spanish...

          PS- two menu items I just remembered- Carrots with ginger and marinated mushrooms. Come to think of it, Paella is a great crowd-pleaser, easy (and sometimes better) to make day before, and feeds a ton of people.

          Best of luck!!

          1. re: julietg

            You are amazingly impressive! SO well organized, down to the tiniest details! I'm going to try a few of these ideas (about staying organized) and recipes. They sound delicious. Thanks so very much for all your time and effort--I greatly appreciate it. I doubt I can be as stress free as you are, but this really helped me get a jump on things. Happy New Year!

              1. re: julietg

                Hi julietg, thanks so much for asking! The nye party went extremely well--great food (thanks to your and others' help!), good company, and live music (my husband was a musician in a former life). I tried to utilize some of your organizational techniques, but wasn't able to even get into your league. Thanks for the recipes and the advice. Happy New Year to you all!

        2. re: julietg

          Ha HA! I can now post pics of the above menu. Yipeee!!

          1. re: julietg

            WOW!!!! These pictures are amazing---the food looks better than I even imagined. Very impressive. Thanks for sharing them with us. Robbie

        3. i have a work-in-progress italian themed tapas nye party you go!

          1. Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
          2. Ricotta-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates or PARMESAN-STUFFED DATES WRAPPED IN BACON - or another option - Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates
          3. Pizzette with Gorgonzola, Tomato and Basil
          4. Miniature caprese salads on toasted baguette
          5. White bean dip
          6. Marinated olives
          7. Prosciutto, Melon, and Mozzarella Recipe
          8. Fig sandwiches (pick from 3 choices) - PROSCIUTTO AND BRIE SANDWICHES WITH ROSEMARY FIG CONFIT or FIG, RICOTTA, AND HONEY OPEN-FACE SANDWICHES or PROSCIUTTO, GOAT CHEESE, AND FIG SANDWICHES (will either have 2 things with prosciutto or 2 things with ricotta) ... another fig option is Crostini with Gorgonzola, Carmelized Onions and Fig Jam ... another fig option is ricotta fig bruschetta ... another is Balsamic Fig Bruschetta
          9. Espresso Brownies
          10. Champagne Grapes

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrsricho

            Hi mrsricho, As with the Spanish tapas, these Itallian tapas sound fabulous!!I think I might try the Parmesan-stuffed dates, Pizzette w/Gorgonzola, etc., the white bean dip, and the fig sandwiches. Do you care to share any of the recipes for these? TIA--this menu is really great!

          2. Here's a recipe for figs with gorgonzola and prosciutto that might be a nice addition to your menu. It calls for 3 figs per person as a starter, but you could adapt the serving suggestion so that you could place them on a tray instead of plating them, placing each individual fig in a little nest of prosciutto...

            Prosciutto Di Parma With Baked Stuffed Figs

            Yield: 4 servings

            12 figs, cut open at top but left whole at base
            6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, softened to room temperature
            2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
            2 bunches Italian parsley, finely chopped to yield 1⁄2 cup
            8 ounces Prosciutto di Parma, sliced paper thin

            1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
            2. Place figs on non-greased baking sheet, opening with fingers as best you can. In a mixing bowl, stir together Gorgonzola cheese, chopped walnuts and chopped parsley until well mixed. Using a tablespoon, stuff 1 tablespoon filling in each fig.
            3. Bake figs 8 to 10 minutes, until cheese filling is bubbling out. Meanwhile, lay 3 or 4 slices of Prosciutto on each of 4 plates.
            4.Remove figs from oven, place 3 in center of each plate and serve immediately.

            1. fried chickpeas with pimienton are a delicious addition--easy to make too

              2 Replies
              1. re: Produce Addict

                I'd love it if you'd give some specific info about how to make these. They should great!

                1. re: melissad

                  Sorry for the delayed reply. I use canned chickpeas, rinse and dry thoroughly; pour enough oil in a large pot to fill it about two inches or so. heat oil to about 365-370 degrees. i think i use canola, though probably any cheap vegetable oil would be fine. pour in chick peas -- be careful, i always get burned at this point! allow to cook for about four minutes, until golden brown. i usually stir a little bit while they're cooking so they don't cluster together.
                  remove chick peas with a sieve or slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to absorb the extra oil. season with pimienton (smoked spanish paprika) and some coarse salt (i use kosher). enjoy!