By Chef Matthew Robinson
The holidays are always a fun time of year, but let’s face it – managing family and holiday events can take its toll. And if you’re hosting New Year’s Eve dinner, you can pretty much count on additional stress since planning a menu and cooking a New Year’s Eve feast for the family is a big undertaking. This year, instead of stressing about what to cook for the holidays, try our simple New Year’s Eve menu instead.
The Drink: Homemade Eggnog
No New Year’s Eve feast is complete without some homemade eggnog. Many people are scared off by trying to make their own eggnog, but this recipe is so simple that anyone can follow it. And if you end up having some leftover? You can use it to make a tasty eggnog ice cream (recipe here).
The Starter: Parsnip Soup
Forget everything you thought you knew about New Year’s Eve foods and think about cozy, Fall dishes instead. This parsnip soup is a perfect starter for New Year’s Eve dinner, but it’s different enough to turn heads and make a statement. It’s also quick and affordable to make, and it can be stored in the fridge the day before (so it’s easy to reheat for New Year’s Eve dinner). Find the recipe here.
The Entree: Duck a’la Orange
Just within the US, there’s a huge range of New Year’s Eve dinner traditions that range from roasting a turkey to cooking a New Year’s Eve ham, so why not shake things up a little? Duck is a much less commonly cooked entree – especially during the holidays – so you can usually get a pretty good deal on a whole duck. This recipe for duck a’la orange features a sweet orange glaze topped with fruit that everyone will love.
The Sides: Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Pommes Anna
Because there’s so much food served during the holidays, it’s a good idea to keep things simple with the sides. A basic side of sauteed brussels sprouts is a great choice for a vegetable. Pair that with a heartier side of potatoes in the form of a delicious pommes anna – a layered potato dish that looks elegant, but is incredibly easy (and quick) to make.
The Dessert: Gingerbread Cake
Finish things off with a New Year’s Eve classic: Gingerbread Cake. This recipe uses molasses to create a deep flavor that pairs perfectly with the cream cheese frosting it’s topped with. Serve it with an espresso or a digestif to finish up the meal.