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Dec 23, 2010 04:57 PM

Looking for New Years Eve dinner menu inspiration

We're having our best friends over for NYE dinner and I'm just now getting around to thinking of a menu. Its just the 4 of us (we'll feed the kids early and put them to bed then eat later) and we can't do nuts or mushrooms. (The nuts I understand b/c its a matter of a life or death allergy to pretty much every type of nut there is, but the mushrooms is just b/c of a picky eater). Otherwise, we all like good food. Trying to think of a good dinner menu but after all the hustle of Christmas I'm drawing blanks. Plus everything I think of is for a big group of people - this needs to be more intimate. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Two words: Dublin Lawyer. My husband and I have New Years Eve alone every year and one of the items we always have is this amazing lobster dish with the unusual name as a first course. There's not really a recipe, but here's how you make it. Start with undercooked lobster meat. Have on hand butter, creme fraiche and Jameson's Irish whiskey and watercress. No substitutes for any of these ingredients. It takes about 5 minutes to make. Slice up the lobster into chunks and saute quickly in the butter. Add a good splash of the whiskey and flame--be careful! Pull out the lobster and keep it warm while you add enough creme fraiche to make a sauce, reduce a little. Plate up with lobster and a little handful of watercress. Perfect!

    1 Reply
    1. a few years ago for an intimate NYE dinner i served miso-glazed cod, braised baby bok choy with shiitakes (you can obviously skip the mushrooms), and sticky brown rice with pomegranate and sesame.

      it was perfect for the occasion, and my guests still talk about it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        GHG - do you mind sharing the sticky rice recipe? I'm kind of obsessed with pomegranates right now. (I'm always obsessed with sesame.)

        1. re: darklyglimmer

          i don't have a formal recipe because kinda winged it - as i usually do - but it's pretty simple.

          - cook a batch of sweet brown rice (a.k.a. mochi rice or brown sushi rice), subbing pomegranate juice for half the cooking water, and include 1 or 2 large chunks of peeled ginger in the pot. in terms of amounts, the pomegranate sauce & garnishes should be sufficient for 3-4 cups of cooked rice.

          - meanwhile, thinly slice a few scallions, reserve the green parts, add a little oil to a hot pan and sauté the white parts along with a bit of minced garlic for a couple of minutes just until soft & fragrant.

          - in a small saucepan over low-medium heat, combine about 1/4 cup of pomegranate molasses, about a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, 1-2 tablespoons of unseasoned rice vinegar, 1-2 teaspoons of tamari or soy sauce, and a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. whisk to combine thoroughly, and cook until warm and glossy. season to taste with freshly ground white pepper (i prefer the flavor of white over black in this dish.)

          - remove the ginger chunks from the rice, and transfer the rice to a large bowl. fold in the sauteed scallions and garlic, plus about 1/4 cup of fresh pomegranate seeds and 1-2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds. pour some of the warm pomegranate sauce over the mixture, and toss to distribute the sauce throughout the rice.

          - garnish with reserved scallions & serve.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Wow that does sound great. However my husband, who is Thai/Chinese just quashed any Asian influenced food. Picky picky. On the other hand I might make that another night so thanks for the recipe!

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Thanks! Sounds amazing. I bet it's beautiful, too. Will try it as soon as I can get my hands on the ingredients.

        2. My wife and I do a bunch of recipes that we have been wanting to make, but never had time for during the year and do tasting portion sizes of multiple dishes. Very disconnected in terms of being a "menu," but it's always fun. We usually entertain another couple that are adventurous and enjoy cooking. We've dubbed the concept Extreme Fusion.

          So far this year I know I'm doing some sesame noodles with black garlic. I've wanted to do a duck ham from one of Tom Colchicio's books, but I'm out of curing time at this late date.

          1 Reply
          1. re: laststandchili

            My husband and I are spending NYE alone as well, but we're doing a "bar food" menu. We're making salsa, queso dip with chips, mini burgers (sliders), and either sausage balls (with baking mix and cheese) or scotch eggs. I'm trying to find some fresh oysters around here to fry up, too, but I'm not having much luck.

          2. A fond Christmas or NY Eve dinner memory was what my late MIL would do. Spread newspapers on the floor in front of the fireplace. Cover newspapers with a tablecloth, then surround this with lots of pillows. Menu: Fresh cracked crab, lobster and shrimp in bowls served with slaw and sourdough bread. Lots of white wine, interesting dipping sauces with nice plates and wine glasses. There would be just 4 of us and we would sit around on the pillows and eat, talk and enjoy the wine for hours.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Gail

              That sounds like perfection. We have crab on the menu for NYeve and I think I will definitely do it up in front of the fire now.
              I was going to be all tight and rigid and insist we sit at the tale for the crab -it's messy! Your post is encouraging me to throw caution to the wind and break out my all-cotton tableclothes.
              My bff will be so surprised I'm not being anal for a change.
              I am hoping to score some nice oysters too, and have a variety of delicious snacky-snacks to enjoy with bubbly.
              I have a thick New York if we need it, but I doubt we'll even get there.