New Year’s Eve Menu

29 December 2022

Whether you are serving a crowd, a few people, just you and a special someone, or you are flying solo, finger foods are always welcome on New Year’s Eve.

Candied Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon or Canadian bacon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet pan with silicone liner, parchment paper, or foil. Lay uncooked bacon sliced onto the pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and peppers. Stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle the mixture over the bacon slices, fully coating all of the slices. Using your hands, gently pat the sugar down onto the slices of bacon.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until brown and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Check at 30 minutes and if it isn’t as crisp as you’d like, put it back in for the full 40.
  • Carefully transfer the bacon from the baking sheet pan to a cooling rack and let cool for another 10 minutes.
  • Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Air Fryer alternative: Preheat air fryer to 400. Spray well with olive oil. Add bacon and fry for 4 minutes, check to see if the bacon needs to be rearranged or needs more time.

Spicy Chinese Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized cubes

Marinade:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon garlic ginger paste*
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

For Cooking the Chicken:

  • Walnut or vegetable oil** for shallow frying about ½ cup, should measure 1 cm. deep in pan

For the sauce:

  • ½ tablespoon oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 teaspoons garlic ginger paste
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • 1 green chili pepper
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 3 green onions

*Ginger garlic paste can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or you can make your own by combining garlic cloves and ginger in a food processor.

**You need a relatively high smoking point; extra virgin olive oil won’t give you that.

Directions:

  • Mix egg, garlic ginger paste, chili powder, cornstarch, and soy sauce. Add raw chicken, making sure the poultry is fully coated and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Put ½ cup of oil in a large skillet or wok and shallow fry the marinated chicken. Remove the chicken and allow to drain on paper towels
  • While the cooked chicken is resting, remove the majority of the oil and prepare the sauce by frying the onion, garlic ginger paste and red and green chilies. When the onions are soft, add the ketchup, honey, sweet chili sauce and soy sauce. Combine well.
  • When the sauce has come to a simmer, return the chicken to the pan and allow the meat to become well coated with the sauce.
  • Top with nuts and green onions for garnish.

Gruyere Prosciutto Puff Pastry Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 1 package puff pastry
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese
  • 3 oz. prosciutto or sliced ham
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup minced basil or other fresh herb

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Remove 1 package of puff pastry from freezer and thaw both sheets for 45 minutes
  • Shred 2 cups of Gruyere cheese and tear prosciutto or ham into pieces.
  • Unfold both sheets of puff pastry once they have slightly thawed. Lightly flour a flat surface and roll them out slightly to remove the creases from the pastry sheets.
  • Pierce each piece of puff pastry with a fork 10-12 times. This will prevent the pastry from ‘puffing’ as it bakes and will allow the pinwheels to stay together.
  • Add ½-3/4 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese and half of the prosciutto each pastry sheet. Make sure the cheese and prosciutto reach the edges.
  • Roll each into a tight log shape.
  • Cut each log into ½ inch slices
  • Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or use parchment paper.
  • Place each of the slices cut side down
  • Make egg wash by beating 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Brush each pinwheel with egg wash.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes or until tops are nice and golden.
  • Let cool and place on serving tray. Garnish with the zest of 1 lemon. Garnish with basil or fresh herb of choice.

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