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Video: Throw a New Year’s bash in a flash

TODAY recipes
updated 12/29/2008 9:37:15 AM ET 2008-12-29T14:37:15

Looking to plan a last-minute New Year's Eve party? It's not impossible. Real Simple magazine offers some entertaining ideas that you can pull together with very little time and money. On the snack menu: chickpea and mint crostini, pears with blue cheese and prosciutto and smoked salmon with creme fraiche sauce on shallot toasts.

Recipe: Chickpea and mint crostini (on this page)

Recipe: Pears with blue cheese and prosciutto (on this page)

Recipe: Smoked salmon with creme fraiche sauce on shallot toasts (on this page)


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Recipe: Chickpea and mint crostini

Ingredients
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds from 1 small pomegranate (optional)
  • 1 16-ounce bag store-bought crostini
Preparation

Drain, rinse and coarsely chop chickpeas. In a medium bowl, combine them with scallions, mint, olive oil, salt, pepper and pomegranate seeds. Serve with crostini.

Serving Size

Yield: Makes 6-8 servings

Recipe: Pears with blue cheese and prosciutto

Ingredients
  • 2 pears (such as Bosc or Bartlett), each cored and sliced into 9 wedges
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces blue cheese cut into small pieces
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup arugula
Preparation

Roll up an arugala leaf, a piece of pear and a piece of cheese in the prosciutto. Serve.

Recipe: Smoked salmon with creme fraiche sauce on shallot toasts

Ingredients
  • 2 cups creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 loaves thinly sliced white bread
  • 4 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 side presliced smoked salmon (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 lemons, halved and sliced
Preparation

Combine the creme fraiche, mustard, dill and salt. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day ahead.

Heat broiler. Arrange the bread slices on baking sheets. Toast until lightly browned; turn and toast the other sides. Remove from oven and rub 1 side of the toasts with a cut shallot. Cut each slice into 4 triangles. Serve with the salmon, sauce, toasts and lemon slices.

Note: Salmon is expensive, but it’s elegant when served on a big platter and guests make open-face sandwiches. Mix leftover salmon and sauce with cooked spaghetti the next day.

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