A celebration that the majority countries share around the globe is New Year! Different countries celebrate bringing in the New Year with parties and food heavily influenced by their own cultures and traditions. If you’re hosting a NYE party, make sure you start the year off in the right way with a tasty selection of foods that embrace the world’s diversity and creativity!
Roast Duck with Apple
The first contribution to your NYE table is very popular Russian favorite. Ducks are plentiful in the country and quite often, they are the focus of hunting and wild game. To add this beautiful dish to your table and send your party guests “quackers” you will need to first wash and remove any excess fat from your duck and pierce tiny holds across the skin. Place the duck in a colander and then into a large Dutch oven, add water and allow to steam for 45 minutes! During this time, chop some potatoes and apples, adding lemon juice to prevent browning. Score the apples, leaving the core. Add some honey, ginger and orange zest into a small saucepan and allow it to simmer until like a syrup in consistency. Preheat your oven to 375oF and remove the steamed duck from its steaming-pot and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Decant the juices and duck fat into a glass container. Line a roasting pan with parchment paper and toss the potatoes in 2 tablespoons of duck fat, season with added salt and pepper. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes. Next, add the chopped apples, add some horseradish, marjoram and caraway seeds for a boost of flavor. Salt the inside of the duck and stuff the apple mixture into the cavity. Secure the access cavity with either skewers or poultry string. Placing the duck, breast-side down, within the oven above the potatoes. Baste the duck with syrup and cook for 15 minutes and then flip. Repeat basting. Remove the duck, and tent with foil for 15 minutes. During this time, toss the potatoes in a final tablespoon of duck fat and add salt as required.
The Perfect and Not-so-Perfect Pfannkuchen
Originating from Berlin, Germany comes the “Berliner Pancake”. Despite most bakeries selling these throughout the year, they are heavily associated with NYE parties. Interestingly, the pancakes themselves are not what we know as “pancakes”- they are doughnuts! This German pastry is similar to a doughnut but without the central hole and they couldn’t be simpler to make! You must first mix 7g dried yeast, 5 tsp sugar and a dash of warm milk together. Within a large bowl sift 1kg flour and add a pinch of salt. Next, crack 4 eggs into a measuring cup and add warm milk until you reach 500 ml of liquid; then add 100g melted butter. Create a well in the flour and add the yeast-liquid; then the egg-milk-butter mixture. Mix well ensuring they are blended. Next, cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Afterwards, knead the dough and leave to rise for another 20 minutes. Now shape the risen dough into dough balls and place on tray. Again, covered for another 45 minutes. Finally, preheat your deep-fat fryer to 170o and fry each doughnut for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove and allow to cool. Once they have cooled down, fill with jam or thick custard and then cover with icing sugar.
In Berlin, for every 8 jam-filled doughnuts, you add one filled with mustard as a funny prank to play on an unsuspecting guest – who says Germans have no sense of humor?
Escargot Stuffed Mushrooms
With no surprises here where the Escargot-themed treat is from, France has got those covered who really want to be brave and embrace its culture’s delicacies! To make this unique, eye-catching dish you need equal amounts mushrooms to escargot! Stuff one escargot into each mushroom cap and arrange nearly onto an indented escargot dish. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter over a medium heat and cook shallots and garlic until softened. Drizzle a teaspoon of shallot butter into each mushroom cap and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of parsley. Next, cover the mushrooms with parmesan and gruyere and bake for 20 minutes. Finally, sprinkle with remaining parsley and then grate nutmeg over the top to finish. Serve with slices of baguette and bon appetit!
Ensalada De Pimientos Asados
Translating to “Roasted Red Pepper Salad”, Spain loves its salads and its greens…Or in this case, “reds”! To add this healthy and pretty side dish to your celebratory table this NYE just follows these simple steps. Firstly, grab some red peppers (you can also do different colored), as many as your heart desires! Then wash and dry well. Make one small perforation in each with a fork and then place in oiled baking dish and proceed to bake at a medium-high temperature for 1 hour. Remove when tender. Next, grate an onion and add to the peppers. Sprinkle with salt, vinegar and olive oil. Allow the peppers to marinate amongst the flavors for a few hours in the refrigerator. Serve with fresh crusty bread!
Happy New Year!