Seriously. I'm barely kidding.
If you've been paying close attention to our habits over the years, you may have noticed that it's tradition for us to celebrate New Year's Eve at home in the company of our good friend Steph. It's customary for us to get together the week before Christmas to choose a theme for our celebration. And then we spend the days before New Year's gathering up a slew of great looking recipes to challenge us in the kitchen. Last year, we cooked up an amazing Asian feast that took us almost three whole days to consume.
This year, we were inspired by an issue of Saveur magazine that featured a number of Greek small plates. So, we decided to pull out all the stops on an amazing Mediterranean theme.
Oddly enough, even the weather cooperated with our concept. You probably won't believe me, but I've got to get it on record that it was 55 degrees here in Milwaukee on New Year's Eve Day. Um... yeah. Absolutely balmy. For those of you who aren't familiar with Wisconsin weather, it's pretty unbelievable to get above 30 degrees in late December, so fifty was a pretty nice treat. Although it was a little bit rainy, we spent part of the morning outside sipping wine next to the grill while our eggplant and peppers blackened.
Melintzanosalata, an amazingly spicy smoky eggplant dip. We also pulled together some Tzatziki and a batch of garlicky Skordalia (which we made with walnuts, instead of the more traditional almonds).
Laganes (Greek flatbreads) we prepared.
Dolmades, which were the perfect complement to the minty & garlicky tzatziki.
Garides Saganaki (shrimp with tomatoes & feta) -- which was not only delicious on its own, but perfect scooped up into the Laganes.
Smart Ass (which turned out to be a seriously fun time, despite its awkwardly large dice & strangely small game pieces).
It took a while, but we managed to get through almost every one of the recipes we'd chosen -- including delicious lamb meatballs with feta, oregano, & garlic...
Fried calimari... which was amazing when paired with the smoky eggplant dip...
We made a particularly large batch, but it wasn't a problem at all since we were delighted to have leftovers to eat for lunch on New Year's Day.
When we tired of cooking, we settled in with our flat-bread and dips, chatting animatedly as we sipped refreshing glasses of iced ouzo and nibbled on olives & pomegranate seeds. The hours and minutes remaining in 2010 slipped away almost effortlessly -- as time tends to do when we're eating & drinking with good friends.
What did you do for NYE this year?
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Want more? Read Lo's latest ruminations at FOODCrush, her Milwaukee Magazine blog.