New Year’s Eve Nibbles

22 December 2021

If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party or have been invited to one and are bringing some tasty bites to share, you may want to up your game from ordinary bag of chips and a jar of dip. Here are some suggestions:

charcuterie

Charcuterie Board

Take a wooden cutting board and arrange cured meats (prosciutto, salami, smoked turkey) with some cheeses (brie, manchego), different types of crackers, and fill in with olives, fruits and nuts. This will take a bit of maintenance though. You will need to keep refilling some of the bowls since these are smaller sized and the cheese and/or meat may need to be rotated if it starts looking unappetizing.

Crab Rangoon

Use an oil that has a high smoke point like canola oil. After assembly if you freeze the packets for about 15 minutes before placing them in the oven to prevent them from exploding. Also be sure to seal the edges well. If you want to make these ahead of time, store them in an airtight container for up to two days. You can also freeze the uncooked rangoons until solid. Fry without thawing.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crabmeat
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 16 wonton wrappers
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in onions, crab and garlic.
  2. Place about 1-1/2 teaspoons in the center of a wonton wrapper. (Keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use.) Moisten edges with water; fold opposite corners over filling and press to seal. Repeat.
  3. In an electric skillet, heat 1 in. of oil to 375°. Fry wontons, in batches, until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sweet-and-sour sauce.

Cream Cheese Bites

These are cute and easy. Top each one with a rye crisp or pita chip cut or broken to a reasonable size for the ball.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

Directions:

  • Divide the cream cheese into 36 sections and roll in toasted sesame seeds or minced fresh rosemary.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Small Sandwiches

Start with a slice of party rye bread and add a folded piece of deli meat (ham, roast, turkey), add an appropriately sized piece of cheese that will complement the meat, skewer an olive or baby gherkin pickle with a toothpick and stick it through the entire sandwich. You now have an open faced sandwich that can be easily eaten in about two or three bites.

Baked Potato Rounds

This is in the same genre as the Small Sandwiches.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium potatoes (about 7 ounces each), cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

TOPPING:

  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss together first 6 ingredients. Place potato rounds on greased 15x10x1-in. pans. Roast until tender, 12-15 minutes.
  2. Mix the first 5 topping ingredients; spoon onto potato slices. Top with crumbled bacon. Transfer to serving platters. Serve immediately.

Garlic Bread Bites

Serve these with a dipping sauce like pesto or tomato sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

TOPPING:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine mozzarella cheese and cream cheese; microwave, covered, on high until melted, 30-60 seconds. Stir until smooth. Stir in egg. In another bowl, mix almond flour and seasonings; stir into cheese mixture until combined (mixture will be thick).
  2. With wet hands, shape into 12 balls. Place 1 in. apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Combine butter and garlic; brush over rolls. Bake until light brown, 2-4 minutes longer. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

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