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Video: Quick meals for New Year’s Eve

TODAY recipes
updated 12/31/2009 10:43:51 AM ET 2009-12-31T15:43:51

You thought you were content watching the ball drop with your honey, but the phone won’t stop ringing from friends who want to party! Fortunately Robyn Moreno, author of “Practically Posh: The Smart Girls’ Guide to a Glam Life,” has plenty of ideas for hosting a festive fête in a flash.

Moreno’s main tip: When it comes to serving food at a party, your appetizers should be sassy on the table but simple to prepare. Consider these easy and elegant possibilities:

Recipe: White bean puree (on this page) Recipe: Portable caprese (on this page) Recipe: Warm spiced olives (on this page) Recipe: "Pan tomate" (on this page)

Recipe: Posh pigs in a blanket (on this page)


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Recipe: White bean puree

Hummus is so passé! Make your own dip by blending a can of white beans, poached garlic, olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups canned white beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preparation

In a saucepan, sautée the garlic in chicken stock. Add the beans and cook until heated through.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree with the remaining ingredients, except lemon juice. Adjust seasoning, and add lemon juice to taste. Serve with chips as dip or on bruschetta.

Recipe: Portable caprese

Ingredients
  • Package of grape tomatoes
  • Package of marinated mozzarella balls
  • Bunch of basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
Preparation

Skewer a small ball of mozzarella, a grape tomato and a bit of basil leaf. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil.

Recipe: Warm spiced olives

Ingredients
  • 2 cups mixed olives
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 long strips of lemon zest
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place olives on a long (about 18-inch) length of aluminum foil. Toss with the bay leaf and other spices. Add the lemon zests and drizzle with olive oil.

Wrap the foil around olives and seal seams.

Warm in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve while still warm.

Recipe: "Pan tomate"

Ingredients
  • 2 thick slices of rustic bread
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
Preparation

Toast or grill bread. Slice off the end of the garlic clove and rub the exposed side over each slice of toast.

Slice tomato in half, and rub thoroughly, flesh side down, over the bread, one half-tomato to each slice of bread.

Drizzle the tomato bread with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt

Serving

Can top with jamón de serrano (or prosciutto di Parma if that’s easier to find).

Recipe: Posh pigs in a blanket

This app is a total crowd favorite. For a fancier New Year's version, use kosher cocktail franks (or even chicken sausage or veggie sausage) wrapped in phyllo dough and accompanied with chutney or a yummy homemade dipping sauce of tamari, honey, apricot preserves, mustard and sesame seeds.

Ingredients
  • For the pigs in a blanket
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, rolled out to a 15-by-15-inch square and covered with a damp towel
  • 1 large egg
  • For the apricot mustard dip
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 pinch of sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the sausage into 1/2-inch slices (or use individual cocktail franks). Brush a sheet of thawed frozen puff pastry with a beaten egg and cut circles (same number as 1/2-inch sausage pieces) of pastry using a 1 1/4-inch fluted cutter.

Skewer each stack with a toothpick and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a 400-degree oven until pastry is golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

Serve with apricot mustard dip: Stir together the 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon tamari, 1 pinch of sesame seeds and 1/4 cup apricot jam.

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