A new year is rapidly approaching, and you want to celebrate, but can’t decide what to serve. Don’t worry, here are some suggestions for new year’s dishes that will help you get the year started right.
The first of the new year’s dishes on our list is one generally associated with the wealthy and/or Swiss: Fondue. This melted cheese dish is actually pretty fun to serve and eat but is probably one of the more complex options on this list. Despite the stereotype of fondue being enjoyed only by the wealthy and high-class, it’s actually something of a winter tradition among the Swiss, and there are ways to make it at home. You don’t need a fancy fondue pot or special forks to make or enjoy this dish, but if you own a hot plate, that might make serving the melted cheese somewhat more convenient. The great thing about fondue is that it’s only as expensive or classy as you make it and you can use anything from artisan cheeses to Velveeta. The general setup for making fondue and serving it can also be used to fry meat by swapping the cheese for oil.
2. Pot Pie
Next on our list of New Year’s Dishes is something my family often makes around this time of year, Pot Pies. No, not that kind of pot. These are basically small ceramic bowls filled with savory stew, topped with individual pie crusts. They are quite delicious and because they are cooked in ceramic bowls, they’re pretty easy to serve. The flavors of the crust and the stew complement very well, and you can use basically any kind of stew or filling you want, making this dish incredibly versatile. My family normally uses a creamy vegetable stew, but you can use beef, chicken, fish, or whatever else you feel like eating. Just make sure you have enough bowls for everyone.
3. Swedish Meatballs
Our third new year’s dish is a hearty meat dish from northern Europe. Swedish Meatballs are a filling entree made from beef, pork, and spices, and served in a delicious cream sauce. The meatballs aren’t actually that difficult to make as long as you’re not too squeamish about handling meat. I would not advise serving these if you have any vegan friends, but otherwise, they’re an excellent and filling dish and are generally a party pleaser with a variety of serving options. You can also buy pre-made Swedish Meatballs at various stores, including IKEA, which is a missed opportunity in my opinion. I mean they make you put everything else there together yourself, so why not the meatballs?
4. Bacon-Wrapped Whatever
Switching to more appetizer-like New Year’s Dishes, Bacon-Wrapped whatever. This isn’t so much a single dish as a whole category of dishes. You can wrap small chunks of literally almost any food in bacon, and boom. Instant appetizer. Thinly-sliced meat wrapped around food isn’t a new concept, but it’s super easy and versatile. You can wrap anything from fruit to sausages, to blocks of cheese. You don’t even need to use bacon, as prosciutto and melon is a classic appetizer even today. So do some experimenting, and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Bacon-wrapping is kind of like deep frying. If a food exists, someone, somewhere, has probably tried to wrap it in bacon.
5. Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs are a classic appetizer, and a favorite of egg enjoyers everywhere. This is one of the simpler New Year’s dishes, as it is essentially a more complicated variant of hard-boiled eggs. The basic recipe can be altered to suit the tastes of the chef and partygoers, and I have seen some quite funny decoration ideas for deviled eggs as well. You can make them look like little rabbits, or boats, or even just color them blue. There’s really no limit to the number of variants you can make on this dish. I personally go with a standard “filling” but tend to swap the paprika used to top the eggs with cayenne pepper for that extra kick. If you’re a fan of egg dishes or egg salads, you should make these sometime.
6. Ice Cream (But ON FIRE)
If you’re looking for a dessert that will really end a meal in a stylish manner, and one of the flashiest new year’s dishes, try this one. This dessert is incredibly neat, very simple, but a little bit dangerous. The dish is at its core just ice cream, possibly served over a brownie or other sweet treat. The trick is that just before serving, you pour a splash of Gran Marnier or some other sweet, high-proof liqueur over the ice cream, and ignite the alcohol with a lighter. This will create beautiful bluish flames over the ice cream for a short duration. Most of the alcohol will burn off during the process, meaning that there’s a very low risk of getting drunk from eating this dish. While the liqueur used might be on the expensive side, a small bottle will last you a while if you don’t intend to actually drink it.
7. A Butter Board
Last on our list of New Year’s dishes is a relatively new phenomenon in the appetizer world: The butter board. Basically a cheaper, more modern take on the cheese and appetizer boards, a butter board is soft butter, flavorings, seasonings, and other decorative goodies spread out on a communal board. This form of appetizer has exploded on TikTok, and unlike other TikTok food trends, isn’t encouraging you to eat dangerous things or trying to sell you a product. It’s simple, cost-effective, and offers lots of room to experiment and decorate. You literally just take fancy butter, get it to room temperature, spread it on a board, put decorations and toppings on said butter, and then serve it with bread. Not only is it cheap and easy, but it will probably get your guests talking, and a communal snack area is a good place to start conversations.