New Year's Eve Recipes from Rozanne Gold

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Adapted from Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease  (Rodale) and from Rozanne’s selected articles.


“Bittersweet” Champagne Cocktails

This is a wonderful way to serve inexpensive Prosecco, Cava, or other dry sprarkling wine.

1 bottle dry Prosecco, Cava, or other brut sparkling wine, chilled well

¼ cup Campari

¼ cup freshly-squeezed orange juice

2 to 3 tablespoons Chambord or Cassis

Pour Prosecco (or other sparkling wine) into a large pitcher.  Slowly add Campair and orange juice.  Add enough Chambord (or cassis) until desired sweetness and taste.  Serve in tall champagne flutes.  Serves 6 


Smoked Salmon, Basil & Lemon Quesadillas

Cut into small wedges, these are the perfect New Year’s Eve hors d’oeuvres.  They can be kept warm in the oven.   Also delicious topped with a bit of salmon caviar.

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas

6 ounces whipped cream cheese

8 ounces good-quality smoked salmon

4 ounces goat cheese

½ cup julienned basil

1 large lemon, zested and quartered

4 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place 4 tortillas on a flat surface.  Spread each with 3 tablespoons cream cheese to completely cover.  Cut the salmon into 1-inch strips and scatter over the cream cheese.  Crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle over the salmon.  Scatter the basil over each, adding a little grated lemon zest and black pepper.  Top each with a second tortilla, pressing down firmly.  Heat 1 teaspoon oil in each of 2 large nonstick skillets. Place 1 quesadilla in each skillet.  Cook over high heat, turning once, until golden, 2 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.  Repeat.  Cut each into 8 pieces.   Serve with lemon wedges.  Serves 8 


Prosciutto-Wrapped Grissini with Red Pepper-Cranberry Tapenade 

This unusual tapenade is addictive and can be made days ahead.

 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers

1 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened if possible

1 cup pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted

1 cup freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 small cloves garlic

2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

18 paper-thin slices of prosciutto, room temperature

18 grissini (very thin, long Italian bread sticks)

Drain peppers in a colander and rinse under cold water.  Pat very dry.  Put cranberries, and pecans or walnuts in a food processor and process until blended. Add cheese, garlic and enough oil to make a thick smooth paste.  Season well with salt and black pepper. Cover and chill until ready to use.  Wrap each breadstick with a slice of prosciutto, in a spiral fashion, to cover the top 2/3 of the breadstick. Serve with the tapenade.  Makes 18 (2 cups tapenade)


Chilled Shrimp with Guasacaca Sauce

This vibrant green sauce is from Venezuela.  It is acidic and piquant and delicious drizzled over a pork chop, a salad, little arepas, sliced avocado or as a great dip for chilled shrimp.

1 very ripe avocado, about 10 ounces

¾ cup packed cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 large clove garlic

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime jice

1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced jalapeno

1/3 cup olive oil

1-1/2 cups cold water

Kosher salt to taste

32 large chilled cooked shrimp, tails on

 Scoop out the flesh from the avocado and put in the bowl of a food processor.  Add the cilantro, onion, garlic, vinegar, lime juice and jalapeno and process until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil and water until a thick pourable sauce is achieved.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and chill.  Serve with shrimp.  Serves 8 (makes 2 cups)

“Secret Ingredient” Spicy Pecans

This recipe uses Thai fish sauce, available in most supermarkets.  Worcestershire sauce may be substituted.

4 cups shelled pecan halves

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter and add 2 tablespoons fish sauce.  Add pecans and stir well.  Add a pinch of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper and cook 3 minutes, making sure all the pecans are coated.  Transfer pecans to a rimmed baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, stirring often.  Drain on paper towels.  Toss with remaining fish sauce, salt and pepper, if needed.  Makes 4 cups


New Year’s Day Cheese Strata with Prosciutto, Feta & Spinach

This is the best kind of dish to serve for brunch.  You assemble it the night before (or early in the morning) so that the layers –or striations—of bread, cheese, and spinach soak up the egg-and-milk base.  Baked for 1 hour the result is custardy, rich and quiche like.

3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

16 slices firm white sliced bread, crusts removed

8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded

¼ cup finely minced scallions, white and green parts

4 ounces fresh baby spinach

½ cup finely julienned fresh basil

5 extra-large eggs

2 cups half-and-half

½ teaspoon Sriracha or hot sauce

Butter a 12 –x- 7 inch glass or ceramic dish with ½ tablespoon of the butter.  Cover the bottom with 6 slices of bread, plus 1 slice cut in half to fill the spaces.  Evenly cover the bread with half the prosciutto.  Sprinkle with half of the feta, provolone, scallions, spinach and basil.   Repeat to make a second layer.  Cut the remaining 2 bread slices into ¼-inch cubes; scatter on top.  Beat together the eggs, half-and-half, and hot sauce.  Pour over the strata, press down firmly with a spatula. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and drizzle over the top.  Cover, refrigerate 5 hours, or overnight.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Uncover and bake 1 hour, until golden.  Serves 8 


Nutella Sandwich Cookies

The chocolate-hazelnut spread both flavors the batter and serves as the filling for the “sandwich.” 

13-ounce jar Nutella

2 tablespoons unsatled butter, room temperature

1 extra-large egg

1-1/4 cups self-rising cake flour

Preheat the oven tot 375 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.  Beat together ¾ cup of the Nutella, the butter, and egg.  Slowly add the flour until a wet dough forms.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently, adding more flour if necessary;  the dough will be sticky.  Divide the dough  into 18 pieces and roll each into a perfect ball, flouring your hands as you go.  Please several inches apart on the baking sheet.

Bake 12 minutes, until firm. Cool 10 minutes on the sheet.  Using a serrated knife, split each cookie in half horizontally.  Spread each bottom half with 1 teaspoon Nutella. Replace the tops, pressing lightly.  Makes 18 


Lemon Buttermilk Ice Cream

This is a refreshing end to your New Year’s Day brunch.   Serve atop a bowl of sweetened strawberries splashed with Grappa and lemon zest.  I like to add a bit of julienned basil or mint. Serve with Nutella cookies.

2 cups sugar

4 large lemons

1 quart buttermilk

Put the sugar in a large bowl.  Grate the zest of the lemons.  Squeeze the lemons to get 2/3 cup juice.  Add the zest and juice to the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Whisk in the buttermilk and add a pinch of salt.  Stir until smooth.  Chill for several hours, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Serves 8