Every corner of the world has its own take on what to eat on New Year’s Eve, typically some combination of foods that bring good luck and decadent dishes that soak up enough “celebration” to get everyone through to midnight.
The New Year’s Eve tradition I stick to is seafood. Seafood is a splurge, a treat for guests, and it goes well with champagne. The late Dave “Pops” Masch, whom we said goodbye to in 2013, suggested in his Cooking The Catch II cookbook that New Year’s Eve is “a great occasion for serving fish, to celebrate another year and the grand seafood we are fortunate enough to enjoy” and suggested “oysters and clams, raw on the half-shell, cold shrimp, pickled herring, scallops wrapped in bacon and broiled, and gravlax with pumpernickel bread and butter (and a little beer and sparkling wine).”
On New Year’s Eve, I plan to raise a glass to Pops and celebrate the New Year over a pizza of smoked mussels, roasted red peppers and Havarti cheese; mushrooms stuffed with crab meat; and sea scallops wrapped in bacon. I’m certain he would say to “go for it!”
This time of year, when fresh fish is often tough to acquire on our own, shellfish are an excellent option, as is smoked seafood – and they both match well with champagne. Here are a few ideas for delicious seafood meals to help you ring in the New Year: