New Year’s Eve means letting go of the past, and a “get out of jail free card” to letting go of your diet (if you are on one). Besides Christmas, New Year’s Eve feasts tend to lean towards the gluttonous side, and not to mention, the boozy aspect of dining. With Christmas only a handful of days before, we’re pretty sure you’ve got plenty of wine bottles lying around waiting to be consumed or finished off. We can help you with that, with several handy and easy recipes that you can whip up for your New Year’s Eve dinner maximising that leftover loot of Christmas wine!
Porcini-Red Wine Butter
Want to truly impress your kitchen skills? Make you own boozy butter! With only 4 ingredients, there’s no excuse why you shouldn’t attempt this. Put ½ cup of unsalted butter (room temperature) on a work surface and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of finely chopped porcini mushrooms. Drizzle with a tablespoon of red wine and season with just a pinch of salt. Using a knife, finely chop together until well combined. Transfer the butter mixture to a sheet of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap, placing on edge closest to you. Fold paper over and roll into a cylinder, twisting the ends; wrap airtight in foil. Chill until completely solid. Just a gentle reminder that the butter will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.
Drunken Cheesy Bread
What to enjoy with the homemade butter you just made? More boozy bread (with a generous serving of cheese)! Of course, you can choose to use your favourite cheese for this recipe, but our cheese of choice would have to be silky, smooth Gruyere. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, place half a baguette (cut into 2-inch slices) in a buttered oven-proof skillet, a 9-inch square baking dish, or a casserole. Scatter ½ of a yellow onion (thinly sliced) and 55g of thinly sliced ham over the bread. Pour ¾ cup of wine over the onion and ham and sprinkle a pinch of pepper together with 1½ cups of Gruyere. Bake everything until the cheese has melted and begun to brown at the edges, for about 20 minutes. Best served piping hot!
Roasted Pacific Cod with Olives and Lemon
Fish doesn’t need to be boring, especially when you decide to throw alcohol into the mix. Switch your protein up a bit with this light main, as an alternative to the usual beef or chicken. Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Place about 900g of cod fish fillets in a small roasting pan. Add enough white wine (about ¾ cup) to reach halfway up the sides of the fish. Scatter ½ cup of olives and lemon zest (from 1 lemon) around the fish. Drizzle with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Roast the fish till it flakes easily with a fork, for about 20 minutes. Remove the cod from the oven and sprinkle with ¼ cup of finely chopped parsley. Remember to spoon the olives and wine sauce over the cod when serving!
Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze
Baking a cake can be daunting, but trust us when we say this one will be worth the effort! Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Lightly butter and flour a 9” springform pan. Heat 225g of dark chocolate (chopped), 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup butter in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water). Stir until chocolate is almost completely melted, for about 3 minutes; remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Let it cool completely. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, add 4 large eggs to the melted chocolate mixture one at a time, beating and blending it after each addition. Continue beating until mixture has a mousse-like consistency. Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and add ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and ⅓ cup of flour; mix until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it all out. Bake the cake until top is firm and edges are slightly darkened, for 55 to 65 minutes. You may rely on visual cues or insert a toothpick into the cake’s centre to check if it comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the chocolate cake cool completely before tipping it out.
For the red wine glaze, heat 225g of dark chocolate, ¼ cup of unsalted butter, and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until chocolate and butter are melted, for about 5 minutes. Whisk in ½ cup of powdered sugar. Meanwhile, bring ½ cup of red wine to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and whisk in the heated wine. Let the whole mixture cool until it slightly thickens and a rubber spatula leaves a trail in mixture while stirring for about 8 to 10 minutes. Set the cake on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the red wine glaze over the chocolate cake and spread it across the top and over the edges with an offset spatula. Let the entire cake stand at room temperature until glaze is set, for about 2 to 3 hours.
Apricot Sorbet Floats
Not into decadent desserts? Perhaps your guests prefer variety. Then this 3-ingredient recipe will certainly keep your taste buds and friends very satiated. Just a word of advice – don’t use your best Champagne for this dessert; any affordable bottle of cava or Prosecco will do. The key ingredient in this machine-free sorbet is the apricots; choose the ripest, most fragrant ones you can find. Bring 1 cup of sugar, 450g of apricots, ¾ cup of sparkling wine and 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer, stirring occasionally, until apricots are very tender, for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the apricot mixture cool completely. Transfer apricot mixture to a blender and purée everything until smooth. Add water to the apricot mixture so it measures 4 cups. Transfer the mixture to a large shallow baking dish. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours. To serve, we recommend scooping sorbet into coupe glasses or bowls and top with more apricot slices and even more sparkling wine.