Post and images by guest blogger, Rebecca White, of A Pleasant Little Kitchen.
Visit her full blog or find out more about her here.
New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday to nibble and graze upon a selection of filling and unique tapas. This type of dining is relaxed and open-ended and one I crave at the end of the year.
My longing for a laid-back meal probably has something to do with the fact that Thanksgiving and Christmas (and Christmas Eve!) tend to require extensive menus and a more of a formal “sit-down” dining experience.
I want the opposite for New Year’s Eve.
Don’t get me wrong—I still want a unique menu full of delicious bites, but I want it to last the whole evening while I wait to ring in the New Year with the ones I love.
This year, I am going tapas style—small, shareable plates that will fill me up, but will keep me going back for more. Duck Fat Potatoes! Harissa Grilled Shrimp! Asparagus Tart! Crème Fraiche Beet Dip!
I want to encourage you to do the same.
The beauty of this meal is that each item pairs beautifully with bubbles. Sparkling celebratory sips that I plan to purchase from the extensive selection at Market Street.
If you haven’t benefited from the wine stewards that Market Street provides, let me encourage you to use this service for the New Year’s Eve holiday.
Several times throughout the year I rely upon the expert suggestions of the wine stewards. They always direct me to the proper pairing. If you can’t get ahold of a wine steward while at Market Street, there are also notes attached to particular wines to indicate their favorites. I have found this to be incredibly helpful.
I’ve used the help of the wine steward, Emily, at my local Market Street to pair the best drinks for the following recipes. Her knowledge was great and I can’t wait to pair all four of these recipes with her suggestions.
Cheers to grazing and sipping!
Herb Smashed Potatoes: Chardonnay, Decoy Chardonnay
Asparagus Tart: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Saint Clair
Harissa Grilled Shrimp: Riesling, Kong Fu Girl by Charles Smith
Crème Fraiche Beet Dip: Brut (Sparkling Wine), Gruet
New Year’s Eve Appetizer Dinner
Herb Smashed Potatoes
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
28 ounces small gold potatoes
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Place on the stovetop. Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, tarragon and salt. Set aside.
Strain the cooked potatoes from the water. Place the potatoes in the oil and herb mixture. Toss and stir to coat the potatoes.
With a slotted spoon, place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet (for easy clean-up line the baking sheet with foil).
With the back of a spatula, or a large spoon, press down on the center of the potatoes until they are “smashed.” Continue to do this with every potato.
Drizzle the leftover olive oil, herb and salt mixture on top of the potatoes.
Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, or until the tops are slightly crispy. Serve immediately.
canola oil spray
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
16-20 medium-sized asparagus
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the rough ends of the asparagus.
Place the olive oil and asparagus into a bowl. Add the oil and salt to the asparagus and toss well to coat.
Spray the inside of a 10x10 baking pan with canola oil. Place the sheet a puff pastry in the inside of the baking pan.
Top the puff pastry with a layer of all the parmesan cheese and then a layer of all the mozzarella cheese.
Place the asparagus evenly across the puff pastry.
In a small bowl place the egg and scramble it to make an egg wash.
Lightly coat the edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash.
Place the baking pan into the oven and cook for 40 minutes at 400° or until the edges are golden brown. Remove the tart from the oven.
Zest the lemon evenly over the tart. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Grilled Harissa Shrimp
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for taste
1 10-ounce jar of harissa
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
crumbled goat cheese
In a large bowl combine 5 ounces (half of the harissa) with the shrimp and salt. Stir well to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes. After the shrimp has marinated for 30 minutes, remove from the marinade and place onto grilling skewers.
Combine the remaining 5 ounces of harissa and paprika, stir well. Take a small handful of each of the herbs and place into a bowl. Stir well to combine.
Grill the shrimp, 3 minutes per side, for a total of 6 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skewers.
Place into a serving bowl and toss with crumbled goat cheese and herbs. Serve with additional harissa Salt to taste.
Crème Fraîche Beet Dip with Pesto
for the beet crème fraîche
2 pounds beets, with greens
2 shallots, peeled and halved
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
8 ounces crème fraîche
2 tablespoons heavy cream
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tarragon
6 tablespoons water
Heat the oven to 400 degrees
Peel the beets and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
Place the beets and shallots into a medium-sized bowl. Evenly distribute 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt on top of the vegetables. Stir well to coat.
Place the beets and shallots onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 35 to 45 minutes, or until softened. Stir the vegetables once or twice during the roasting process.
Remove the beets from the oven and bring to room temperature.
Add the ingredients into the Vitamix container in the following order: 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, crème fraîche, beets, shallots, tarragon, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Secure the lid and set the speed to Variable 1 and then start the machine. Slowly increase to its highest speed. Blend for 50-60 seconds until smooth.
Serve the beat crème fraîche dip with beet green pesto (see recipe below) on the side or on top of the beet crème fraiche with favorite vegetable chips.
for the pesto
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh tarragon
2 cups beat greens, stems removed
1/3 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Add the ingredients into the Vitamix container in the following order: olive oil, lemon juice, cheese, garlic, mint, tarragon, beet leaves, nuts and salt. Secure the lid and set the speed to Variable 1 and then start the machine. Slowly increase to its highest speed. Blend for 40 seconds until smooth.