New Year's Eve Hors D'Oeuvre Recipes

Whatever the plans for New Year's Eve, a night in with family and libations or a cocktail hour soiree with friends before heading out on the town, you need some simple and elegant bites to accompany the champagne. We have a menu in mind, and recipes for classic Hors D'Oeuvre to create the perfect cocktail spread, to help get you going or keep you ticking until the clock strikes.

Hors D'oeuvre recipes after the jump

Salmon Tartare-serves 12- 16

Ingredients 1 side smoked salmon (1.5-2 lbs), finely diced 1 red bell pepper, finely diced 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced 1 large shallot, finely diced 3 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard ¼ cup champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar) ½-3/4 cup mayonnaise (Best brand) 1 lemon, juiced 3 sprigs fresh dill for garnish cucumber rounds, thinly sliced for garnish (Tip: score the length of the cucumber with a fork for a finished look)

In a large mixing bowl, combine finely diced salmon, red and yellow pepper, shallot and chopped dill.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, champagne vinegar, mayonnaise, and lemon juice.
Add mayonnaise mixture to salmon mixture, and stir with a spatula to combine thoroughly.

Use vegetable spray or brush vegetable oil lightly on the inside of a large ring mold or large straight-sided bowl.
Line ring mold or bowl with food safe plastic wrap.
Pat salmon mixture firmly into mold. Cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 6 hours or better, overnight.
To serve-turn mold over onto round serving platter, remove mold or bowl

Garnish salmon tartare with sliced cucumber and dill sprigs
Serve with pumpernickel triangles.

Leftovers- if you have some, serve the salmon in a scooped out tomato with a side of sliced avocado and steamed asparagus spears for New Year's Day lunch.

Pistachio Encrusted Chevre- yield 12 slices
1 -11 oz log plain Chevre (goat cheese), sliced into 12 pieces*
2 extra large egg whites
1 Tablespoon water
8 oz pistachio meat, finely chopped
1 French baguette, sliced on the diagonal
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + more to brush bread
1 Tablespoon butter

Tip: Chevre easier to work with completely chilled. Use a cheese wire or un-flavored dental floss to cut through the cheese.
*For even slicing, first slice the log in half, line up the two halves, slice each piece in half, and divide the quarters into thirds

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with the water.
Place the pistachio meat in a separate bowl.
Dip each slice of cheese in the egg white to thoroughly coat.
Dip egg white coated cheese into the pistachio meat.
Place coated cheese on a parchment covered baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F
Brush the baguette slices with olive oil.
Place on a baking rack and bake 5-7 minutes until toasty and lightly browned (Note: if the grill is hot, grill the bread!)
Remove from oven and cool on a rack

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium high heat.
Add butter and olive oil and heat until tiny ripples are visible in the oil
Add goat cheese slices to the pan, sauté until brown on the outside.
Note: only brown the outside; do not allow the cheese to melt
Serve on a platter sprinkled with pistachios for garnish along side toasted baguette

Easy Cheese Straws
1 package frozen puff pastry dough
1 egg + 2 Tablespoons water, whisked
1 cup grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese, finely grated
½ cup poppy seeds OR ½ cup sesame seeds-optional
AP flour

Defrost puff pastry according to package directions.
(Tip: it's easier to work with if slightly chilled)
Preheat oven to 400F
Line baking sheet with parchment paper
Lightly sprinkle work surface with flour
Place sheet of puff pastry dough on floured work surface (brush off excess flour with a pastry brush)
Brush prepared egg wash over the dough
Sprinkle the dough with the cheese and the seeds ( if using)
Using a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut the dough into ¼ inch strips
(Tip: For manageable strips, cut the dough in half and then cut the strips)
Hold both ends of each dough strip and give the ends a few twists to create corkscrew
Place straws on the baking sheet and bake until light golden brown
Cool and store in a covered container
Serve standing in a decorative glass container or tumbler

Smoked Fish Spread
2 smoked fish fillets (trout or other whitefish), skin and bones removed
4 oz cream cheese
1 Tablespoon heavy cream or half and half
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4-6 drops hot sauce
2 heads Belgian endive, leaves separated and cleaned
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

additional ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted for garnish

Break the fish fillets into small pieces
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the fish fillets with the remaining ingredients.
Process until it becomes a smooth mixture.

Form mixture in a large ramekin and refrigerate.
Spread mixture on endive leaves or serve with thinly sliced and toasted white bread. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Caponata-serves 18
1 medium onion, small dice
2 celery ribs, small dice
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-6 cloves garlic
4-6 anchovies
1-teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper, ½ inch dice
1 medium eggplant, ½ inch cubes
3 cups tomatoes, peeled-½ inch dice
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons capers, drained
½ cup brined black olives, pitted and chopped

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and when hot add the diced onion and celery. Sauté until onions are translucent and beginning to brown.
Turn the heat to low.
Use a motor and pestle or small grinder to mince the garlic and anchovies, add the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and combine to a paste.
Add the paste to the onion and celery mixture in the pan.
Cook over a medium low heat.
Add the diced eggplant and red pepper. Continue to cook until eggplant is soft and losses shape. (If the vegetables stick, add a little water or wine to loosen from the pan)
Add the tomatoes and partially cover the pan, simmer until the tomatoes cook and soften (about 10-12 minutes)
Add the red wine vinegar, capers and olives to the pan.
Simmer until the liquid is reduced. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place mixture in a bowl and cool. Serve at room temperature with pita toast or pumpernickel triangles.

Left over caponata makes a tasty sandwich topping and omelet filling!

Toasted Chickpeas- yield 2 cups

1-15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
1-teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Pat the chickpeas dry.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, then add the olive oil.
When oil is hot, add the chickpeas to the skillet and toss the chickpeas frequently, cooking until slightly crusty, about 5-7 minutes
Strain the chickpeas to drain excess oil, return drained chickpeas to the skillet
Lower the heat; add the chopped garlic and rosemary to the pan
Remove from the heat when garlic begins to turn light brown
Add the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat the chickpeas
Serve in a bowl, best served warm

Roasted New Potatoes with Crème Fraiche and Caviar-yield 24 potatoes Ingredients 24 small new potatoes 4 oz crème fraiche 1 oz caviar 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, crushed Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 F
In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil, crushed garlic and sea salt
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
Place potatoes on foil, and bake 30 minutes (the potatoes will be lightly brown in color, and easily pierced with a knife)
Cool the potatoes
With a paring knife, slash a cross shape in the top of each potato and squeeze lightly to form an opening
Fill the opening with crème fraiche and top with a sprinkle of caviar
Note: potatoes can be prepared ahead and kept warm, top prior to serving

Easy add ons: Edamame with sea salt, Picholine olives, sliced Soprossata, cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce, spiced nuts, chunky mango salsa.

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