Whether it’s done sipping bubbly in sequins or snuggling with the pooch in your pajamas, marking the beginning of a new year is always an excuse for merrymaking.
Tony Conway, bon vivant extraordinaire and owner of Legendary Events, knows a thing or two about celebrations and what it takes to pull out all the stops. “Elements of surprise, like a private fireworks display, are always a lot of fun for a New Year’s Eve gathering of friends,” he says. Before guests arrive, Conway suggests creating printed, personalized menus for place cards, preselecting the music and lighting the fireplace if you have one. “If it’s not chilly outside, turn the A/C down and light it anyway!” Conway says.
His ideal fête would feature a multicourse dinner including decadent, caviar-stuffed baked potatoes as well as rack of lamb. “It sounds difficult, but it’s oh so easy,” he says. “I also like to move guests around between courses to make things more interesting.” If your budget allows, hire a server so you can enjoy every minute of the revelry. Cheers!
A LEGENDARY NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER MENU
Caviar Baked Potato
Green & White Asparagus Soup
Heirloom Mediterranean Salad
Classic Rack of Lamb
Passion Fruit “Pavlova”
Caviar Baked Potato
Yield: 8 servings
8 medium-to-large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
Melted butter (or olive oil) as needed
Coarse kosher salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
36 ounces of your favorite caviar
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack.
Using a dinner fork or small paring knife, poke each potato at least 10 times on all sides and place on the rack. Bake for 25 minutes then remove from the oven.
Using a pastry brush, brush the outside of each potato with 1-2 teaspoons of melted butter or olive oil until completely coated on all sides. Sprinkle potatoes with generous pinches of salt and pepper and return to the baking sheet, reverse-side-up so potatoes can cook evenly on both sides. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Using an oven mitt, carefully squeeze a potato to check for doneness. If the insides are soft and give under pressure, remove the potatoes from the oven. Otherwise, continue cooking in 5-minute increments until soft.
Using a small paring knife, slice halfway through each potato lengthwise, then give it a gentle squeeze to open. Top each potato with 4 ounces of caviar and serve immediately.
Suggested pairing: Do Ferreiro Albariño, Val do Salnés, Rías Baixas, Spain 2020
STORY: Shelley Skiles Sawyer
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