Forgot to make New Year’s plans? Or worse, did you invite people over but put off planning? Have no fear. A great and simple New Year’s Eve party can be whipped up in a snap.
Chris Santos, executive chef and owner of The Stanton Social, serves lots of finger foods at his restaurant that are perfect for your party. He gave us his top 10 tips for ringing in the New Year with food and drink.
1) Recognize that New Year’s Eve is not a food holiday. “Don’t overthink the food.”
2) Serve foods that are easy to eat. “People are obsessed with things on sticks,” Santos said. “Make things people can pick up and go.”
3) Wow them with little flourishes. “Take a dish that is lowbrow and add an ingredient that elevates the dish to a new level and really impresses your guests.” Santos makes his own mini potato skins with goat cheese fondue and quesadilla wedges with caramelized fig, smokey bacon, blue cheese and truffle-honey.
4) Soak up the alcohol. “New Year’s Eve is about drinking,” Santos said. “But if you serve hearty items, like anything with a lot f protein or bread, so that people can keep drinking, you have won the battle right there.”
5) Create a pre-mixed cocktail. “No one really wants to work to make their own drinks,” Santos said. And as the night goes on, you’ll notice that drinks — not to mentionyour kitchen — can get messed up. “Come up with a really interesting cocktail, put it in a pitcher and refill it as needed,” Santos said. “No mess!”
6) Serve wine and ice-cold beer. Santos said he has a couple of parties each year, and all people need is wine, beer and one cocktail.
7) Invest in three or four serving platters. “When you have all these great hors d'oeuvres, you want them to look sexy in your apartment,” Santos said. “Serving them on the same plates you had since college would be not sexy.”
8) Use a dimmer or candles. “Light your apartment like you would any exclusive party,” Santos said. “Personally, I like mismatched candles. Everyone looks good in low lighting.”
9) Have a sexy soundtrack. Santos recommended keeping music low at the beginning of the party and letting it get consistently louder as the night goes on.
10) Warn your neighbors. “Then invite them over.” Having the cops called is not a great ending to a great party.