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A Budget-Friendly New Year´s Eve Bash

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Celebrate in style without breaking the bank.

To serve 16, you'll need to double the spinach dip and toast points, and make additional cocktails (though one batch of rosemary syrup should be enough). The shopping list reflects the scaled-up amounts.

Caviar, lobster, and truffles? That’s so 1999. Still, you want to celebrate making it through the oughts. This hors d’oeuvres menu for sixteen does it in style without going overboard. The five appetizers coax big flavors out of inexpensive ingredients (like caramelized onions) while putting the spotlight on splurge items (like shrimp). To keep your booze budget in check, choose one signature cocktail like these not-too-sweet, not-too-dry rosemary gin fizzes, and round it out as needed with beer and wine.

Menu Timeline

One Day Ahead:

  • Make the rosemary syrup for the cocktails.
  • Make the toast points.
  • Make the spinach-artichoke dip, but don’t bake it, and refrigerate, covered.
  • Caramelize the onions and make the dough for the Caramelized Onion & Thyme Tart.
  • Make the spicy mayo and breadcrumbs for the Poached Shrimp.
  • Make the hummus.

4 Hours Ahead:

  • Roll out the dough for the Caramelized Onion & Thyme Tarts.

1 Hour Ahead:

  • Bake the Spinach Artichoke Dip at 425°F.
  • Poach the shrimp.
  • Slice and salt the cucumber rounds. Top them with hummus and yogurt.
  • Assemble the Caramelized Onion Tarts.

30 Minutes Ahead:

  • Bake the Caramelized Onion Tarts at 375°F.
  • Make the sweet potato-bacon filling for the Endive Spears and fill the leaves with the mixture.

As Guests Arrive

  • Set out the Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Toast Points.
  • Slice and serve the Caramelized Onion Tarts
  • Top the Endive Spears with sour cream and chives.
  • Make the cocktails.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 2 medium heads Belgian endive
  • 3 medium yellow onions
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 large seedless cucumber
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 lime

Meat, Eggs & Dairy

  • 2 lb. jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per lb.)
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 1-3/4 cup sour cream
  • 7-1/2 oz. (15 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

Other Groceries

  • 2 10-oz. packages frozen leaf spinach
  • 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups ruby red grapefruit juice (or buy fresh grapefruits to squeeze yourself)
  • 2-2/3 cups gin
  • 1 750-mL bottle dry sparkling wine, such as cava or Prosecco (or club soda)
  • 2 6-oz. cans artichoke hearts
  • 1 loaf home-style white sandwich bread (such as Arnold or Pepperidge Farm)
  • 2-1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. tahini

Pantry Staples

  • 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • kosher salt
  • black peppercorns

The Menu

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