Friends are coming for New Year's Eve AFTER an earlier cocktail party. I was planning on lots of substantial appetizers, drinks and dessert. Now what do I do??
A very traditional Italian menu would include lentils (preferrably "lenticchie di Casteluccio" from Umbria) along with cotechino, which is a pork sausage. The lentils symbolize coins to bring good luck for the coming year.
Why not just do all desserts but small things - mini cupcakes; variety of cookies; fruits; sorbets and dessert wines
I am with Monita. You can add a cheese plate and you will be covered.
I disgree with the all the desserts things. Some people can't eat sweet things, and others prefer not to eat sweets. I personally prefer savory to sweets and rarely order deserts. Especially when drinking is involved. Fruit is good tho.
As for savories, Scotch eggs, sausage cheese biscuits, cheese and mini rye bread with lunch meats for mini sandwiches.
Bread and dips, Fondu with skewers of breads and fruits for dipping---apricots and other dried fruits.
Quiche...ham roll ups. spanikopita. Stuffed grape leaves. Hummus.
Lox and bagles. etc..etc.
If they've done a early cock tail party...and coming to your place for the midnight event. Just hold back serving until 9pm or so. They'll get their second wind about then.
I suggest a few savory items and a few sweet items, so you cover all your guests' preferences (I prefer savory to sweet later in the evening). You can make items in advance and freeze, like savory gougeres, and reheat for 10 minutes when your guests arrive, serve a cheese platter with fruits and maybe some candied nuts, do chocolate and/or cheese fondue, etc. A variety of savory and sweet shortbreads would be great as well, and there are plenty of recipes on this site. http://food52.com/recipes...
Greens are good luck for the New Year, symbolizing money. Many bruschetta recipes use greens. Round foods, symbolizing eternity, for Asian New Year good luck ... oranges are traditional. Light food after the cocktails, I think. I have been making some salad buffets, with different kinds of salads and vegetable dishes that are good at room temperature, warm, or cold. Fruity desserts like Mrs. Larkin's Lemon Posset. An assortment of breads. A little cheese and chocolate.
I agree with serving savory - after a couple weeks of eating sweets you can offer something different - maybe a soup buffet. Make three different soups buffet style so people can have as much or as little as the want.A seafood chowder, a hamburger tomato, and maybe a chicken broth with Chinese wontons and carrot slices. Whatever your favorites are.Have a bowl of different breads.Serve the soup in mugs (with a spoon) to make handling easier.
Think flatbreads. Easy to snack on and not filling. There are plenty of clever recipes and topping combinations online, and can be catered as a light meal with a salad or cut smaller for finger foods or apps. Or even just serve homemade chex mix, pretzels and spicy mustard, or grilled salsa and tortilla chips. I like to encourage people to stand and mingle, especially for a new years party. Put most of your efforts into 2 or 3 cleaver cocktails and print up small drink menus. If you have heavy foods or an actual sit down meal, everyone will get tired on the couch and no one will have fun. We can't have that, now can we.