2017-12-28 / From The Garden

Fun Hors’ d’Oeuvres For New Year’s

By Cynthia Gibson

Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport. Cynthia Gibson is a gardener, food writer and painter. She gardens and tends her miniature orchard in Newport. The new year holds promises for many, which is why we have fun celebrating New Year’s Eve. A cocktail party is a great idea, because you won’t have to labor over choices for soup, entrée or dessert.

Whether you are a party of one, two, 20 or more, the only way to enjoy your celebration is to plan and prepare your hors d’oeuvres in advance. After giving and attending many New Year’s Eve parties, I would like to suggest some recipes that are delicious.

After the Christmas and Hanukah holidays, and all the parties and planning you have already been through, the thought should be that “simple is better.” I have made a list of eight recipes that will not take much time to prepare, thus keeping your time productive and stress-free.

Avocado Stuffed Eggs

They taste so good. Rather than using mayonnaise in your recipe, substitute half or a whole avocado. Use your own recipe, or add a few finely chopped jalapenos to the egg and avocado mixture, salt and pepper to taste and stuff the eggs. Garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro.

Black and Green Olive Tapenade

Use only imported Greek, French or Italian olives in this recipe. It is a French classic, and delicious when spread on a toasted baguette or crispy French “mini-toasts.” It’s up to you whether to place the following ingredients in a blender or food processor and finely chop or puree. It depends on which texture you prefer, but either way it will taste the same. Place the spread on a mini toast just before serving. The recipe makes one cup of spread. 1 cup black imported, pitted olives 1 cup green imported, pitted olives 1 Tbsp.capers 1 fresh garlic clove 1 anchovy filet (you will not taste it) 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil Stuffed dates with stilton and pecans

This hors d’oeuvre is the easiest of them all and you control the amount you make. The large elegant Medjool dates from Palm Springs, California are the best, and you can find them in the supermarket. Buy a package of about 20, only use the amount you will need, and then enjoy the rest of the dates for another party or for yourself. They keep for months in the refrigerator. Carefully slice them down the center, but not in half. Remove the pits, fill the inside with crumbles of Stilton cheese and one half of a pecan. Push the halves closer together, but let the cheese and pecan stick out of the date. The taste combination is excellent, and you can use any cheese you like. Gorgonzola and blue cheese are also good choices.

Shrimp with Tzatziki Sauce or Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp is always the welcome staple at a cocktail party, and it’s easy to prepare. You can buy green shrimp, and then steam and de-vein them, but why bother? You can buy sauce pre-made or make your own. You will find very tasty Tzatziki sauce at the supermarket in the deli section where hummus is sold.

Newport Caviar

What is a party on Aquidneck Island without Newport Caviar? If you are thinking about fishing for sturgeon in the harbor, you are way off base. This hors d’oeuvre is paired with seemingly every cocktail and glass of wine served in Newport. This party treat sounds more like a hors d’oeuvre that Elvis would serve. Why, you might ask, is Newport Caviar in demand? People adore it! First, make the toast, and then use a tiny glass about one inch across and cut rounds from the toast. Next, slather the rounds with peanut butter. Yes, you read correctly, peanut butter! Lastly, place crispy, crumbled bits of bacon on top of the peanut butter and voila, you have Newport Caviar.

Regardless of your choice of hors d’oeuvres, have a glorious and Happy New Year! Cheers!

Return to top