Celebrate the New Year by inviting your friend over for a New Year’s lunch. You can have your guests bring their leftover Champagne and pair your lunch nibbles with some bubbly cocktails. And your New Year’s lunch doesn’t have to be on January 1 – simply schedule it for later in the month. These recipes can easily be made-ahead a day or two for your convenience.
Herbed Goat Cheese Balls
Makes 8 servings
36 (1/2-inch-thick) slices baguette
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1 (11-ounce) log soft fresh goat cheese
1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh herb sprigs, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place bread slices on baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil. Toast bread about 10 minutes. If making ahead of time, store in an airtight container at room temperature once cooled.
2. Combine herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl. Using a melon baller sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or your hands, roll goat cheese into 1-inch round balls. Roll balls in herb mixture and place in single layers on a baking sheet or platter.
3. Drizzle cheese balls with oil just before serving and garnish with herb sprigs. Cheese balls can be made up to 1 day in advance. Store cheese in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Apricot Glazed Roast Pork
Makes 8 servings
This hearty dish can be put together a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator. The night before your lunch, turn the slow cooker on and it will be ready in the morning.
2 (10.75-ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth
2 (18-ounce) jars apricot preserves
2 large onions, chopped
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 pounds boneless pork loin roast
Combine broth, preserves, onion and mustard in a slow cooker. Arrange pork in slow cooker and flip a few times to coat the whole pork. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 8 or 9 hours. Serve with sauce or in a sandwich with mustard and caramelized onions.
Makes 1 drink
1 shot pineapple juice
1 shot orange juice
Shake pineapple and orange juices together in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a Champagne glass and fill glass with Champagne. Garnish with an orange slice.