Hors d’oeuvres can be complicated and you could NEVER make enough. So for a last minute party plan, focus on simple options and quality Champagne. Careful selection of bubbly and a few quick and dirty recipes and you can have a bang-on New Year’s Eve party. We surveyed our writers for their favorite easy recipes. We also reached out to a few of our favorite Champagne houses for some fresh ideas for traditional bubbly.
Henriot Brut Souverain is 60/40 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir. It’s noted online as their entry-level Champagne which, I suppose, is in consideration of price. Regardless of cost, it is a terrific wine with a well defined balance of a bready nose and a crisp mild-citrus finish. A certain chalky minerality gives enough depth to broaden pairing options to include delicate meats (unctuous serrano ham but not spicy copa).
Rosé is an interesting Champagne segment. Rosé’s aromatics can extend into flowers and berry and finishes sway between sweet cream and clean citrus. The Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Rosé brings a distinct berry note that is carried through to a creamy finish. It is sharp and bright and if you’re looking for a dessert-oriented rosé this takes the cake. That said it could also stand next to salads with vinegar dressings.
Philipponnat Royale Reserve Non-Dosé Brut is a unique wine that has no sweetness added to it. Dosage is a small amount of sweet wine or spirit that is typically added to a Champagne. The Philipponnat Brut brings a mild citrus and minerality but is certainly not sweet. This style of wine brings a stronger acidity to consider with pairings and can certainly stand up to almost any food.
Lanson Ivory Label is a Demi-Sec which means semi-sweet. Usually reserved for desserts, demi-sec also can surprise along side richer foods. A sweeter Champagne can cut through the richness of charcuterie, cheeses and patés. The Ivory is fairly sweet but has a nice spice note that plays on the finish. If you are serving fruit, chocolates or other desserts it would be a go-to option there as well.
Our recipes include a quick and easy charcuterie platter, crabby cheese layered dip, shrimp dip, mushroom canapés, sweet and sour meatballs, a baked brie and a salmon ball. While crackers are the vehicle for a good dip, don’t ignore them! Thinly sliced and lightly toasted french bread, veggies… they can do the job but you can get good value out of gourmet crisps. John Wm. Macy cheesesticks are ridiculously crispy and add a nice cheese flavor and seasoning. They’re snack-worthy on their own but their varieties go well with different options, from asiago and cheddar to sesame gruyere and even madagascar vanilla to compliment a coffee. Recipes follow!
Charcuterie and Cheese Board – Jenna Temkin
3 cheeses: one mild like a chèvre, something in between like a pleasant ridge reserve and a well aged cheddar or Gouda.
3 meats from a local butcher including thinly, thinly sliced prosciutto, sopressata, summer sausage. Keep everything at room temp at least an hour before guests arrive.
Throw on roasted red peppers, a tapenade, cornichons, honey, homemade date spread,crackers or sliced baguette drizzled in olive oil, and an arrangement of olives.
For a veggie-friendly option add a tahini-free hummus with chickpeas, lemon juice, lots of garlic cloves, pinch of sea salt …cumin or smoked paprika… smoked salt and drizzle of Olive oil to finish.
For Stacy Kenny it’s all about the cream cheese
The famous Crab and Cocktail Cream Cheese Spread
My mom use to do one that I loved that is so 70′s
A block of cream cheese
A block of fake crab meat
A bottle of cocktail sauce
Place block of fake crab meat on top of block of cream cheese. Pour cocktail sauce on top. Enjoy! If you can…
The famous shrimp dip
A block of cream cheese
A can of cream of shrimp soup
A can of baby shrimp
A can of shrimp pieces
Garlic powder to taste
Mix it up with a blender and serve with Fritos!
The famous mushroom canapés–
A block of cream cheese
garlic powder to taste
Saute mushrooms. Toast 6 slices of bread. Cut into 4 equal parts. Mix cream cheese, garlic powder and egg. Top each toast slice with mushroom slice and cream cheese mix. Put under broiler until brown. Watch carefully! Don’t burn them!
Sweet n Sour Meatballs – Stacey Ballis
2 lbs frozen meatballs
2 jars Heinz Chili Sauce
1 small jar grape jelly
1 T ground mustard powder
Mix chili sauce, jelly and mustard in a saucepan over medium heat till jelly melts and everything combines. Drop in meatballs, still frozen, and stir till they are well coated. Dump the whole thing in a slow cooker on high for about an hour till the meatballs are hot. Turn to low or warm and serve in the cooker. Can substitute 2 lbs of cocktail franks for meatballs if you like.
Amanda Topper’s Baked brie:
1 sheet frozen pastry dough
1 wheel of Brie
1 tablespoon jam of choice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons chopped apple
1) Slice Brie in half and place lower half on top of pastry dough
2) Spread jam on top of Brie
3) Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and chopped apple
4) Place top of Brie over lower half
5) Repeat steps 2 & 3
6) Seal Brie in pastry dough and place on Brie plate or oven-safe dish
7) Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until golden brown
8) Serve with your favorite crackers or fresh bread
Josh’s Mom’s Salmon Ball
1 can of red salmon
1 block of cream cheese
1 tbsp ketchup
Remove bones. Whip salmon, ketchup and cheese together. Roll in toasted walnuts or parsley. Serve.