Sunday, January 13, 2008

Break out the Bolly(wood)

New Year's Eve 2007 - 2008

I have always loved New Year's Eve (NYE) parties, especially ones held in someone's home. I have a really vivid memory of being at a big NYE house party with my parents and their friends; the crowd were raucous and as they belted out the countdown I remember it being so loud I had to cover my ears. It was delirious fun, capped by a big guy running around kissing everyone, slurring, "I can't believe it's 19 f*'n 82, man." This party defined NYE for me. I was 6 years old.

So since NYE 2002-03 my partner Chris and I have thrown a party. We started doing it because:

  1. We hate being out on NYE. Too many crazy people (see above).
  2. Our neighbors with kids weren't going out either.
We've done themes before, but this year I wanted to challenge myself with a new cuisine - Indian. I've taken an Indian cooking class and have been practicing with recipes from Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni for more than a year, which is woefully inadequate training and preparation to pull off authentic dishes. I was really nervous that I was going to muck it up big time, and while the food is not the feature of a NYE party (it's the champagne!), it should at least be edible!

So in the true spirit of "Countrypolitan Cooking" I pulled together some tried-and-true recipes from parties past, many of which are southern or country party staples, and updated them with Indian flavors, spices, and cooking techniques. The results turned out great and everyone had a smashing time, so I would definitely recommend these for your next cocktail party or small gathering.

Indochine Chaat Mix
Lamb Shami Ka-meatballs with Bombay BBQ sauce
Almost Tandoori Chicken with Raita
Curried Chicken Salad with Butterflake Rolls
Crudites with Curried Dip
Cheese plate
Spiced Chocolate Sheet Cake
Ginger Donuts - from Bon App├ętit | January 2002

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