Chef Ericís Merry-Happy Year-End Food Traditions!

Smoked Salmon Lollipops!

Chef Ericís Merry-Happy Year-End Food Traditions!

Hopefully your home is decorated, youíve finished your shopping and the gifts are wrapped.† Have you decided what foods youíll be making for Hanukkah or Christmas dinner?† Every family I know has their own traditions (green bean casserole, anyone?) and foods they just have to have to make it feel special. When I was a kid it was Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pudding and someone always brought over a fruit cake though Iím not sure we ever ate it!

Now, on to New Yearís Eve and how people celebrate.† Many people go out to their favorite restaurant, bar or club and celebrate.† I know our reservation book at Morris Tap & Grill and Paragon Tap & Table are almost full so make sure you call your favorite place for a reservation right now if you donít want to be disappointed.† If you have kids, you may be staying home and celebrating with friends and family.† Staying home keeps you out of what can be a boisterous crowd and eating or drinking too much and there is no requirement to stay up until midnight!† Youíll also save some money since you wonít have to hire a sitter on what is said to be the most expensive night to have someone else watch your kids.

If I wasnít working, Iíd be at home with my family and a few close friends.† Iíd keep the food light, perhaps all small plates served in intervals passing some Prosecco or sparkling cider.† We like to try out new flavor profiles so that has me thinking about creating a theme.† Iíve never been to Scandinavia but love fish so thatís where my mind is going.† Salmon, herring, pickled vegetables and maybe some savory preserves (onion & garlic jam is great with goat cheese) to serve on a charcuterie plate.† Iíd probably make some Swedish meatballs, too but would use ground turkey instead of beef to make it a bit healthier.††

Click here for the†recipe for a Smoked Salmon ďLollipopĒ.† It can be made ahead of time and best of all you can involve your kids.† If youíre not a smoked salmon fan, Iíve also listed a few things you can use to substitute for the salmon, or come up with your own fun combinations!††

One of my friends eats pickled herring on New Yearís Day.† She says itís supposed to bring you good luck in the year ahead.† Hmmm, I wonder what other people do?† Here are a few traditions from my staff and all are said to bring good luck and prosperity in the New Year.

Southerners:† Collard greens and black eyed peas

Sicilian Ė Lentils in soup or as a side dish

Spanish Ė 12 grapes just before midnight

Portuguese & Italians Ė Roast Pork

Polish & German Ė Pickled Herring

Iíd love to hear what traditional foods you and your family eat to ring in the New Year!

Fire It Up!

Chef Eric

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