Looking for something a little “different” for your New Year’s Eve gathering? Something tasty, but unique to welcome 2017? I asked family and friends to suggest some treats they’ve served that went over well. Below are a few of the recipes they passed on.
Alligator Sausage and Shrimp Cheesecake
As a Christmas appetizer, Deb got a big chunk of Broadway Oyster Bar’s “cheesecake.” It sounds like a dessert, but it’s actually an incredible creamy, cheesy spread for pita or crackers. It’s one of the best sellers at the little downtown seafood shack, that has the decor and ambiance of a NOLA diner. The spread is described on the menu as the ultimate savory “cheesecake” of shrimp, alligator sausage from Poche’s in Louisiana and a blend of cream cheese and warm Gouda.
If you insist on making this yourself and have access to alligator sausage, here’s a recipe.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roasted Eggplant Dip
The internationally famous Israeli chef works out of his restaurant in London. His ingenuous Mediterranean recipes can be found in his cookbooks: Jerusalem; Plenty; and Plenty More. Yotam encourages you to play with new spices and healthy foods. I took a class at Kitchen Conservatory, where we cooked a half dozen of his recipes—all flavorful and unique. For Christmas Day this year, Robin and JC made this Roasted Eggplant Dip from the Plenty cookbook. I later noticed that it called for a sprinkle of za’atar, which I don’t see in the photo. Wish I had known. I still have some of the blend of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and salt that I bought for a recipe I tried last year.
Cyndy’s Lemon Berry Tartlets
Cyndy suggested these great little Lemon Berry Tartlets made with puff pastry dough. Chocolate mousse also makes a great filling topped with whipped cream. They’re no trouble to make and sooooo tasty! This quick video shows just how easy they are to assemble.
Tina’s Apple Honey Brie Spread
There’s a number of variation to this cheese spread, but I especially like the mix of cheese, apples and honey in this one that Tina makes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap the wheel of Brie cheese and crescent rolls. Unroll the dough and place Brie atop. Cover the cheese round with a pinwheel of very thin apple slices. Drizzle with honey and a few chopped pecans, if desired. Place in a 9″ round baking dish. Sprinkle more nuts on top and drizzle honey over the whole thing. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is soft. Serve with more apple slices or crackers.