new years

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Toasts

At the end of each year food professionals discuss fads and popular trends in the culinary world and often make predictions about what's to come.

I don't know what's coming but I can say that as far as I know, one food trend this year was: avocado toast. Which is basically guacamole sandwich. Which is basically mashed avocado with some lime or lemon juice and anything else you might want in your guacamole, like tomatoes or chili pepper and so on.

I also know this: there's a good reason that avocado toasts became a thing. They're scrumptious. They're easy to prepare. They are incredibly versatile, as in you can use them as a base for a whole host of hors d'oeuvre, which might come in handy for New Year's get togethers.

For example: these avocado toasts on melba rounds topped with chopped salmon and some seasonings. 

Honestly, it couldn't get much easier than this and they do look pretty don't they?

They're on my menu for my New Year pre-dinner cocktail hour.

And btw, I buy salmon "scraps" that (fortunately) my local supermarket sells -- the leftover but still good pieces of salmon that the lox cutter cuts away to get those perfect slices. Because you chop this salmon up, so why not buy the cheap stuff?

 

SMOKED SALMON AND AVOCADO TOASTS

  • 24 toast rounds (or packaged Melba rounds)
  • 2 small avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
  • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 pound smoked salmon pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • pinch or two of cayenne pepper

If using bread, cut out small circles with a cookie cutter, or use packaged Melba rounds. In a bowl, mash the avocados. Add one tablespoon olive oil, the scallion, 2 tablespoons lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and add more lime juice if desired. Spread the avocado mixture evenly over the bread. Chop the smoked salmon, add the remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil, the chives and some cayenne pepper and mix ingredients thoroughly. Spread equal amounts of the salmon mixture on top of the avocado mixture.

Makes 24

 

Crispy Sautéed Potatoes with Rosemary

Did I mention that every New Year’s Eve I make the  same dinner ? 
 I know I have. 
 It’s very unlike me to do that sort of thing, but our little group has been spending the evening together for oh so many years that we know what we like and that’s what we want on that particular night. In the early days I experimented and served a new a tried-to-be spectacular entree each time. Most were terrific and there were a few notable failures, like the pseudo, gray-looking Beef Stroganoff that we laughed about for years. 
 So for years it’s been  rib roast , which my mother-in-law taught me how to make, the way Ed likes it. 
 And always, always, these sauteed rosemary potatoes. 
 There are six of us for dinner but I make a double recipe (each serves six) because these potatoes are so fine with morning eggs. 

 Mmmmmmmm 

  Sautéed Potatoes   
     
  18 “new” or small red bliss potatoes  
  lightly salted water  
  2 tablespoons butter or olive oil  
  2 tablespoons vegetable oil  
  1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)  
  freshly ground black pepper to taste  
  2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, optional   
     
  Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with lightly salted water. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the potatoes 15-20 minutes or until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and peel them when they are cool enough to handle. Cut them into smaller pieces if you like extra crispy potatoes. Heat the butter or olive oil and vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt, pepper and rosemary. Sauté the potatoes 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, or until the potatoes are browned on all sides and are lightly crispy. These may be reheated in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 6-8 minutes. Makes 6 servings  
     

   

Did I mention that every New Year’s Eve I make the same dinner?

I know I have.

It’s very unlike me to do that sort of thing, but our little group has been spending the evening together for oh so many years that we know what we like and that’s what we want on that particular night. In the early days I experimented and served a new a tried-to-be spectacular entree each time. Most were terrific and there were a few notable failures, like the pseudo, gray-looking Beef Stroganoff that we laughed about for years.

So for years it’s been rib roast, which my mother-in-law taught me how to make, the way Ed likes it.

And always, always, these sauteed rosemary potatoes.

There are six of us for dinner but I make a double recipe (each serves six) because these potatoes are so fine with morning eggs.

Mmmmmmmm

Sautéed Potatoes

 

18 “new” or small red bliss potatoes

lightly salted water

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, optional

 

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with lightly salted water. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the potatoes 15-20 minutes or until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and peel them when they are cool enough to handle. Cut them into smaller pieces if you like extra crispy potatoes. Heat the butter or olive oil and vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the salt, pepper and rosemary. Sauté the potatoes 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, or until the potatoes are browned on all sides and are lightly crispy. These may be reheated in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 6-8 minutes. Makes 6 servings