Almost all holiday’s end up centered around a meal. New Year’s Eve is one holiday that can be hard to cook for. If you give your guests a big meal they just might end up too tired to go on. After all, nothing puts you to sleep faster than a big holiday dinner. Of course, you could prepare a late, late dinner and plan on finishing it up in time to count down to the New Year. If you want to follow the Russian tradition, serve some pickled vegetables until midnight and then start rolling out a long, multi-coursed meal that will keep your guests partying until sunrise.
You can also take the simple path and present an endless stream of great appetizers and finger foods for several hours. With a little preparation and a backyard grill, you can do this easily and virtually invisibly. Many grilled dishes are marinated and can be prepared ahead of time and put in the refrigerator. The list below would keep you going for a good five hours without a lot of fuss. The secret is to prepare items early, put them in an orderly fashion in the refrigerator and then take them out and throw them on the grill at regular intervals. This way you can keep a steady flowing of hot items going to your guests all night long (and well into the morning).
A few quick tips:
- Let someone else handle the drinks so you have time for cooking
- Have platters and serving dishes prepared and close at hand so you can take foods off the grill and straight to the plate
- Make sure you have a good supply of fuel
- Prepare your schedule ahead of time and keep a close eye on the clock
A good work flow will keep you close to your guests while amazing them with a long list of delicious items. You will want to make sure you know the cooking times of each item so you don’t have to wait by the grill, but also don’t have to worry about burning things. Remember the secret to any great party is largely in the timing.
Here are some suggestions for your New Year’s feast:
- Coconut Lime Shrimp with Peanut Sauce
- Grilled Red Pepper and Feta Cheese Dip
- Grilled Jumbo Shrimp
- Grilled Rumaki
- Egyptian Style Chicken Kebabs
- Steak Kebabs with Anise
- Spicy Orange Grilled Shrimp
- Shrimp and Scallops Citrus Kebabs
- Indonesian Pork Satay
- Calypso Grilled Pineapple
No matter how you celebrate, be safe and have a Happy New Year.