Christmas is over, and I’d say it’s no time to get soft, except that’s kinda the name of the game this time of year.
How bout, “It’s no time to slow down.” At least in the kitchen.
Enter – my mini collection of 3 recipes perfect for you New Year’s Eve table. A cocktail, blinis, and goat cheese truffles.
If you’re a South Park fan, you’ll understand why I stood over the Crème Fraîche in the cheese section, and laughed like an idiot. If not, proceed, knowing that it’s just delicious.
The cocktail is super easy to make, and the ice mold is a great “made ahead of time”.
I was surprised at how easy blinis were to create, like mini pancakes of fun.
Goat cheese truffles, I mean come on! Who needs chocolate when you have cheese?! Totally my version of heaven!
I’ll be adding a couple of appetizers and a drink your way in the next few days, to make this your best New Years soiree… ever!
The Long Hello
1 3/4 cups Calvados or other apple brandy
1 cup St-Germain
10 dashes bitters, preferably Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters or Angostura
1 750-ml bottle Champagne, chilled
Freshly grated nutmeg
Make and freeze ring mold with pears and apples according to ice mold directions.
DO AHEAD: Ring mold can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and keep frozen.
To Make the Ice Ring: Slice 2 green pears into 1/2″ wedges and lay skin-side down in a 12-cup Bundt pan. Line side of pan with overlapping apple rings from 2 cored red apples. Add water to cover pears by about 1/2″ (about 2 cups) and cover about 1/2″ up sides of apples. Freeze until set, about 2 hours.
Fill mold with cold water to completely submerge fruit. Return to freezer and freeze until solid, 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, dip the bottom of the mold into a bowl of hot water to loosen. Invert a plate over mold; turn out ice ring and transfer to your punch bowl.
To Make Punch: Stir Calvados, St-Germain, bitters, and 1 cup water in a punch bowl. Add ice ring, then Champagne. Ladle punch into glasses and grate nutmeg over.
From Bon Appetit
Smoked Salmon Blinis with Crème Fraîche and Dill
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 tablespoons crème fraîche
1/2 teaspoon Agave syrup
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon horseradish
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
1 tablespoon minced dill (plus sprigs for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound smoked salmon, thinly sliced in 2-inch pieces
Whisk eggs in a bowl, then whisk in sour cream; set aside. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture; whisk until smooth.
Heat a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium heat; brush lightly with oil. Working in batches, spoon 1 tablespoon amounts of batter into 2 inch rounds. Cook, flipping once, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and repeat with remaining batter. Top each blini with smoked salmon, a dollop of the crème fraîche mixture, and a dill spring.
To make crème fraîche mixture: In a small bowl combine crème fraîche, agave, lemon juice, Worcestershire, horseradish, chives, dill, salt and pepper. Mix well. Chill for at least an hour.
Blini recipe from Saveur
Goat Cheese Truffles
10 ounces goat cheese, softened
3 slices thick bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
In a small bowl, combine goat cheese, bacon bits, sun dried tomatoes, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix well. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, or until firm.
Roll the mixture into 1/2 inch – 1 inch balls. Roll in walnut, until well coated. Place finished balls on a large plate. Well all balls are rolled, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve with crackers.