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New Year's Day Open House Menu suggestions

gardencub Dec 4, 2009 01:41 AM

Ok, I need help with some ideas for a party.

We are having an open house on New Years' Day - 1-5pm for 50-75 guests.

I am willing to spend hours and hours cooking before the event, but on the day of, I do not want to spend all day in the kitchen, heating, plating, garnishing etc. I want to enjoy our company. With that in mind, these are the criteria for what I want to serve.

No last minute cooking, must be able to serve at room temp, or cold. I have a tiny kitchen and NO dishwasher, Having a mountain of dishes, pots, and pans to deal with minutes before guests arrive will be a disaster.

Must be able to eat with hands, or with just a fork. This is a stand and mingle kind of event.

I am thinking:

Smoked salmon mousse

Chopped chicken liver, dried cranberry and pistachio "Pate"

Hummus Platter

Cheeses, fruits and bread

Thai chicken salad on cucumber slices

For the sweet side I am going to do a huge selection of petit fours. small tartlets, homemade candies, etc.

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  1. care11 RE: gardencub Dec 4, 2009 04:13 AM

    Yes, yes...and yes! Sounds delicious! I might add some sort of pork dish as isn't it considered good luck on new years day? Make ahead pork spring rolls perhaps you could heat up that day. Usually perfect hot or room temp. ....Also, maybe "ho hum" for some but a classic shrimp cocktail always a crowd pleaser!

    1. d
      Diane in Bexley RE: gardencub Dec 4, 2009 05:33 AM

      This may sound trite but everyone loves deviled eggs. You can top them with a dab of salmon caviar (not too $) or piece of fresh dill.

      You can also serve meatballs at room temp. These are always a huge hit and many different ways to prepare.

      Instead of salmon mousse, how about a whole salmon gravalax? Very easy to make, impressive visually. You can serve with mustard/dill sauce or creme fraiche.

      1. w
        weezycom RE: gardencub Dec 4, 2009 06:16 AM

        sliced ham with a good grainy mustard on parkerhouse rolls.

        12 Replies
        1. re: weezycom
          GretchenS RE: weezycom Dec 4, 2009 06:53 AM

          Ham was my immediate thought too reading the OP's lovely menu. Even the supermarket spiral sliced ham is delicious when prepared right -- throw out that glaze packet, stick in loads of whole cloves, cover well with foil and slowly heat in a 300 oven. Doesn't matter that it cools over the course of the afternoon. Parkerhouse rolls are good and so are potato rolls or brioche -- slightly sweet goes well with the salty ham and hot mustard (agree with grainy recommendation).

          1. re: weezycom
            gardencub RE: weezycom Dec 4, 2009 11:52 AM

            Ham is the usual suspect at almost all our parties. We both looked at each other and said "We can't serve these folks another ham."

            I am always a fan of really good ham, and ham on a biscuit, roll or mini brioche can make my tummy happy at almost any party.

            Any other pork ideas that aren't ham?

            1. re: gardencub
              weezycom RE: gardencub Dec 4, 2009 12:31 PM

              how about doing a ginger-based marinade for pork loin/tenderloin and serve on soft rolls with hoisin sauce and a little bit of chinese hot mustard?

              1. re: gardencub
                LaLa RE: gardencub Dec 25, 2009 09:44 AM

                pulled pork butt on mini rolls or sandwich buns

                1. re: gardencub
                  AGM_Cape_Cod RE: gardencub Dec 27, 2009 04:54 AM

                  I make a Cambodian pork dip from The Elephant Walk Cookbook. It has ground pork, coconut milk and peanuts and I usually serve it with shrimp chips. If you are interested I can paraphase it.

                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
                    meatn3 RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Dec 27, 2009 08:55 PM

                    Please do - it sounds fantastic!

                    1. re: meatn3
                      AGM_Cape_Cod RE: meatn3 Dec 30, 2009 03:48 AM

                      RED PORK WITH COCONUT MILK
                      SERVES 6 T 0 8

                      ¼ cup vegetable oil
                      ½ pound ground pork
                      1 dried New Mexico chili, soaked, seeded, deveined and ground to a powder (or 1-1/2 tablespoons paprika)
                      8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
                      1 large shallot, thinly sliced
                      1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
                      ¼ cup sugar
                      ¼ cup peanuts, roasted and coarsely ground
                      1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
                      ½ teaspoon salt (if not using fish sauce, use 1 ½ teaspoons)

                      In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the pork and chili powder and saute breaking up the pieces of pork. After a few minutes add the garlic and shallots followed by the remaining ingredients. Cook until the pork has lost its pink color and the flavors have melded.

                      I put this out in a mini crock pot with shrimp chips.

                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
                        meatn3 RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Dec 30, 2009 05:37 AM

                        Thank you! This sounds like a winner.

                        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
                          gardencub RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Jan 2, 2010 02:03 PM

                          What are shrimp chips?

                          1. re: gardencub
                            AGM_Cape_Cod RE: gardencub Jan 3, 2010 05:58 AM

                            Per Wikipedia they are deep fried crackers made from prawns and starch.

                            1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
                              sparky403 RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Dec 30, 2012 02:30 PM

                              sounds fantastic - do you have a link to the recipe? I find it easier to book mark and save (I googled but couldn't find)

                            2. re: gardencub
                              hotoynoodle RE: gardencub Dec 30, 2012 05:08 PM

                              you can buy them boxed in asian markets. they start about the size of a quarter but POOOOOOOOOOOOOF up enormously and quickly in hot oil. i'm guessing you can buy them pre-cooked, but i haven't seen them that way. they last at least a day so can be pre-cooked.

                  2. v
                    vafarmwife RE: gardencub Dec 4, 2009 06:31 AM

                    I would serve ham biscuits, cocktail weiners, meatballs, cheese ball, and probably a shrimp platter, but then I'm not too sophisticated and neither are my guests.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: vafarmwife
                      care11 RE: vafarmwife Dec 4, 2009 06:46 AM

                      Yes, "Pigs in a Blanket" is a no brainer!

                    2. care11 RE: gardencub Dec 6, 2009 05:13 PM

                      I just made Mini Crab Cakes as a practice run for Christmas Eve Open House. 1 lb jumbo lump easily made 30 appetizer size cakes. At $20.99 lb it's not the least expensive option but people love them and they can certainly be made ahead and then reheated. Probably even better. I would say to save $$ use claw meat...but not nearly as good. http://cookwithcare.blogspot.com/2009...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: care11
                        danna RE: care11 Dec 30, 2009 11:25 AM

                        ooh...see I disagree. I think the claw meat is better in a crab cake because it's stronger flavored. Lump my preference if I were going to eat it plain. AND the little whole claws the line the top of the containers look great if you put one of those on top of each cake.

                        1. re: danna
                          care11 RE: danna Dec 30, 2009 11:38 AM

                          I just find the claw meat too sweet, a mix would be nice and I love your idea for placing a piece of claw meat on top of each one...very nice touch/presentation!

                      2. elfcook RE: gardencub Dec 6, 2009 05:20 PM

                        two favorites at MILs Christmas Eve open house - stuffed mushrooms (make the stuffing ahead, pop under the broiler & serve, and they are fine as they cool as well) and crab dip (on large platter, layer cream cheese, chili sauce - or cocktail sauce if you prefer - and well drained/dried lump crabmeat) with crackers. Neither is especially fancy, but both are crowd pleasers.

                        1. roxlet RE: gardencub Dec 27, 2009 04:12 AM

                          For our New Year's Day open house, we always have cassoulet, lasagna and smoked turkey. We usually have homemade sausage and biscuits, clam dip and crudite with green goddess dip. Desserts consist of lots of cookies as well as cheese cake. We don't usually have lots of left-overs!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: roxlet
                            hotoynoodle RE: roxlet Dec 27, 2009 05:34 AM

                            i was also thinking the op needs a centerpiece of something too -- something more substantial than the nibbles on the menu now. people will have had a very light breakfast (if any), no lunch, and it runs into some people's dinnertime.

                            lasagne ( i prefer a white or a vegetarian version)
                            pulled pork
                            a roast of any kind- foul or meat (great at room temp with different sauces)
                            lamb tagine
                            flank steak, sliced, with gorgonzola sauce
                            pork tenderloin with apple-mustard chutney
                            duck confit hash
                            sausage stew

                            1. re: hotoynoodle
                              gardencub RE: hotoynoodle Dec 27, 2009 05:20 PM

                              I had vetoed the roast ham or turkey as we have done that at 4 of the last 6 parties we threw. I have added ham and cheese in puff pastry that I ganked from Ina Garten and Marha Stewart.

                              Oh, and for the record, I am a recent graduate of pastry school, so I am really planning on showing off my baking skills. probably far too many desserts, but.. hey, I am a baker, not a cook!

                              1. re: gardencub
                                hotoynoodle RE: gardencub Dec 29, 2009 05:14 AM

                                then what about something en croute, or beef wellington?

                                you're only serving "nibbles". you will need to prepare an awful lot of them.

                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                  gardencub RE: hotoynoodle Dec 30, 2009 03:20 AM

                                  As it is an open house, and not intended to be an actual meal, I didn't plan on a main entree', We keep going back and forth about adding one more savory dish, but in looking at the quantity of food I have made already and what I am still going to make, I am pretty sure there will be enough food.

                                  I have toyed with making some pulled pork for little sliders, or , god forbid, another ham, but I really want food that needs no untensils or a fork at best. There will be no room for most folks to sit down and trying to cut ham, or a roast on your lap is messy business, especially for those of us who find our laps getting smaller and smaller!

                          2. j
                            jwg RE: gardencub Dec 30, 2012 01:57 PM

                            our menu for open house New Year's Day:

                            smoked turkey with Pepperridge Farms VT sliced bread with Dukes Mayo

                            ham with sister shubert rolls with whole grain mustard or honey mustard

                            Hoppin John (Black eyed peas with smoked sausage)

                            crudite with basil cottage cheese dip (Best of Gourmet recipe)

                            Fruit plate

                            Soup (TBD)

                            Cheese plate

                            Pound cake

                            Bloodies and Screwdrivers/Mimosas

                            1. s
                              sparky403 RE: gardencub Dec 30, 2012 02:08 PM

                              I might reccomend a blackeyed peas' / 3 bean salad for luck in the new year? Or a crock pot of them?

                              Smoked Salmon, chive & dill creamed cheese. For Crackers or bagels?

                              Spring Rolls with Shimps and an asian dipping sauce.

                              Tortilla espanol - good at room temp.

                              I 2nd the deviled eggs Idea.

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