Criteria for New Year’s Eve Snacks
Another year has come and gone! It’s really hard to believe. It seems to me I just put away Christmas decorations from last year. If you like to ring in the new year with a bang, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got a couple of great new year’s eve snack ideas for you right here. But what makes a good new year’s horderve? I have four criteria. They need to be small. The snacks should be one to two bite nibbles. They shouldn’t be overly messy, less they end up on your furniture. Lastly, they should go well with any beverage, whether that is beer, wine or cocktails. But probably the most important benchmark is that your nibbles are easy, quick and delicious. I’m hungry, let’s cook.
Country Ham Biscuits for Your New Year’s Eve Snacks
Country ham biscuits are a great new year’s eve snack, but we’re not talking about throwing some ham on a biscuit. Every year at Christmas, my grand parents would buy and entire country ham. I always looked forward to that. If you are even thinking of cooking a country ham, just don’t. The process is incredibly labor intensive, and messy. I tried it once, and I will never do it again. It’s just easier to get the ham sliced paper thin for you from your butcher. My personal favorite choice for ham is Smithfield, but then it’s a Virginia product. You can make your own biscuits (even use my recipe), but I prefer tea biscuits for this. They are smaller, thinner and not as crumbly. You can find these in most bakeries and grocery stores. Correction: When I went shopping for this recipe, I couldn’t find tea biscuits anywhere. I even checked Amazon. So, I guess we will have to make them. Just use a small biscuit cutter when you cut out the dough. You can also use rolls if you would prefer. One trick I have learned is to dry the inside of the biscuits. Slice the biscuits in half, and put them, cut side down, in a skillet over medium low heat. Let them dry out for a couple of minutes. After adding the ham, you can go crazy with the condiments. The go to is mustard, whether it’s hot, Creole or Dijon. Other possibilities include preserves, mayo, pimento cheese (my Beer Pimento Cheese would be great), or butter. Just don’t go too crazy!
Devils on Horseback
The inspiration for this recipe came from my visit to Durham, North Carolina, and Mateo restaurant. At the time, I didn’t know the name, but it was the best thing I ate all weekend. These little bundles are fantastic! The origin of this is basically unknown, but they probably started as pub food in English taverns. You can use various cheeses with these, but you need something tough and tangy. This will balance the sweetness of the dates. Personally, I like goat cheese here. Buy pitted dates, if you can find them. Otherwise you will have to pit them. Simply cut the dates open, but not all the way, and stuff some cheese in the middle. Then wrap the date in bacon. Stick a toothpick in, and you’re ready to bake them. Repeat as needed. Some recipes suggest soaking the toothpicks in water, but this isn’t necessary. The best part is that you can cook these in a toaster oven. You do have a toaster oven? If not, get one. I use mine almost every day. But you will need a high rimmed pan to contain the bacon fat. WARNING: These little guys can be addictive!
New Year’s Eve Snacks at Your Party
O.k., you’ve got biscuits and devils. All you need now are some libations. Champagne of course for the midnight toast. You can always get folks to b.y.o.b. One serious note here. Take everyone’s keys when they arrive. This way, you can control who drives at the end of the night. You really don’t want something horrible on your conscious. O.K., PSA over. You can easily add more favorite new year’s snacks to your list. By all means, relax, enjoy your party, and ring the new year in with style. Happy New Year!
Country Ham Biscuits
- 16 - 20 Tea Biscuits (see accompanying recipe)
- 1/2 Pound Country Ham, Sliced Paper Thin
- Condiments of Choice
- If you can find frozen tea biscuits, bake them according to the package directions. Otherwise make your own biscuits or use rolls.
- Remove the biscuits from the oven, and allow them to cool. Once they are cool, split them in half with a sharp knife.
- Heat a large pan over medium low heat. Place the biscuits, cut side down, and heat just until the cut side is dry.
- Place some ham on each biscuit, but don't overload the biscuits. Garnish with condiments as desired, and serve.
Devils on Horseback
- 12 Ounces Medjool Dates, (about 24 dates)
- 12 Slices Bacon, cut in half
- 4 Ounces Goat Cheese
- 24 Toothpicks
- Pre-heat oven to 400°. Line a tall rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut each date open with a sharp knife, but not all the way through. If necessary remove the pit and discard. Fill the dates with goat cheese. You don't need much, and you will need to be able to close the dates.
- Wrap each date with half a slice of bacon, and put a toothpick through the dates.
- Arrange the dates on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, and remove from the oven. Flip them over, and return to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp.
- Remove from the oven. Using tongs, transfer the dates to paper towels to drain. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and serve.