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Five Recipes to Ring in the New Year

Festivities shares their favorite recipes for your New Year's Eve celebration

Crab cake with an avocado and cucumber salad in a crystallized ginger lime consommé


Lobster Salad on Chive Corn Cakes

Nothing goes better with champagne than lobster. This gorgeous lobster salad is flavorful and surprisingly light by substituting sour cream for strained Greek yogurt. The salad can be made ahead, and the bite sized chive corn cakes are perfect for an hors d'oeuvre.

Lobster Salad

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. lemon juice
¼ C. finely chopped shallot
½ tsp. celery salt
½ C. mayonnaise
½ C. strained Greek yogurt
2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
Kosher salt, to taste
24 oz. cooked lobster, chopped

  • Put everything but lobster in a bowl and mix well.
  • Fold in lobster, and season to taste with kosher salt.
  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Can be prepared 1 day in advance.

Chive Corn Cakes

½ C. yellow cornmeal
½ C. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. Koser salt
¼  tsp. black pepper
1 C. reduced-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 C. frozen yellow corn kernels, thawed and drained
1 C. chopped chives
Vegetable oil spray

  • Whisk dry ingredients in large bowl to blend.
  • Whisk buttermilk and eggs in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in corn and ½ cup chives.
  • Add buttermilk mixture to cornmeal mixture and whisk until blended.
  • Spray large nonstick skillet; heat over medium heat.
  • Drop 1 tablespoon of batter into skillet at a time.
  • Cook until corn cakes are golden brown, about 1 minute per side.
  • Drain on paper-towel-lined plate.

To assemble: Top each corn cake with lobster salad and garnish with chopped chives.

Lemon Scented Risotto with Asparagus

Creamy risotto will warm even the coldest night!  Serve as the main course or with a simple piece of grilled chicken or shrimp.

6 C. chicken broth
1 C. dry white wine
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 C. finely chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 C. Arborio rice
1 1/2 cups asparagus, blanched and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ C. grated Parmesan
2 tsp. grated lemon zest

Combine chicken broth and white wine in a pot and heat just to simmering.
Keep warm.

  • In a large 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the onions and a pinch of salt and saute about 5 minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir.
  • Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the grains are translucent around the edges.
  • Be careful not to allow the grains or the onions to brown.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Add enough of the wine and chicken stock just to cover the top of the rice.
  • Stir often, until the liquid is completely absorbed into rice.
  • Once absorbed, add another amount of liquid just to cover the rice and continue stirring.
  • It should take approximately 35 to 40 minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed.
  • After the last addition of liquid has been mostly absorbed, add the asparagus and stir until risotto is creamy and asparagus is heated through.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and lemon zest.
  • Taste and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Sweet and Spicy Chick Peas

A fun make ahead snack for your guests!

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. canola oil
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. smoky paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • Place the chickpeas in an airtight container.
  • Add the oil and shake well to coat.  Add the sugar and spices and shake well.
  • Spread on a Silpat lined baking sheet (with edges) and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, gently shaking every 15 minutes to roll the chick peas.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Elegant and very decadent, dark chocolate truffles are the perfect dessert because they can be made in advance, and who doesn’t love dark chocolate?!

1/2 C. heavy cream
8 oz. good-quality (70 percent) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 C. cocoa powder, for dusting

Note: in addition to rolling the truffles in cocoa powder, you can also roll them in crushed pistachios, chopped caramelized ginger or shredded coconut.

  • In a saucepan, bring the cream just to a simmer over medium-low to low heat.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let stand about 10 minutes to melt the chocolate.
  • Add the vanilla and stir until smooth.
  • Set aside to cool to room temperature, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Chill truffle base in the refrigerator until firm enough to roll, about 3 hours.
  • Line rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper.
  • Roll 2 teaspoons truffle base between fingertips into ball.
  • Transfer to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining truffle base.
  • Chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Pour the cocoa powder onto a deep plate or shallow bowl. Use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop to scoop out balls of chocolate and gently roll into a ball. Place them on the plate with the cocoa powder and roll between 2 forks to completely coat with the cocoa powder. Then use the forks to carefully transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.

If making the truffles a day or two ahead of time, let them stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.

Festivities is known for the finest in catered foods, sophisticated presentations and innovative event designs.
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