As the clock strikes midnight, many will be sipping fizzy champagne, kissing strangers standing nearby, or staring at the television watching New Yorkers and Dick Clark ring in the rockin’ New Year. For chefs, these hallowed traditions are rare luxuries – most are confined to their upscale restaurant kitchens, preparing their intensively planned and carefully executed New Year’s Eve menus. For those individuals bold enough to host New Year’s Eve parties of their own, a few favorite Texas chefs – James Holmes of Olivia and Lucy’s Fried in Austin, Scott Gottlich of Bijoux in Dallas, and Paul Qui of Uchiko in Austin (and Top Chef Texas) -have kindly shared some of their favorite New Year’s Eve recipes with TEXAS MONTHLY crew, which we bestow unto you all. Happy New Year! Paul Qui My typical New Year’s Eve consists of going to work [and] making sure the food is up to par and my staff is ready for service. It’s been a while since I’ve had a New Year’s Eve off. I usually do the toast with my guys at the restaurant. If I wasn’t, I would spend it with my girlfriend Deana and my family, but that’s rarely the case. Usually Deana has dinner at the restaurant and waits for me to get off, then we go off and find a place to have drinks. I love eating satsumaimo during the wintertime. It’s a simple, common dish that’s great when it’s cold out. Eating satsumaimo is a sensory experience, from holding the warm potato to the aromas you get from the ginger and garlic. This is a dish I would prepare for New Year’s Eve because it’s an engaging dish and great to serve for dinner parties. There is an element of surprise being hidden in a humble wrap of foil. The surprise comes from all the flavor of the sweet potato. Roasted Satsumaimo 1 Japanese sweet potato 1 teaspoon ginger, grated 2 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon white soy 1 teaspoon green onion Cut the sweet potato into four pieces. Wrap each of them in foil with the listed ingredients. Cook in oven at 350˚ for 1 hour or until tender. Serve in foil. Satsumaimo is something very common in Japan during the winter months. Scott Gottlich My usual New Year’s Eve tradition is manning the kitchen at Bijoux. The restaurant is always booming, and I make sure to go over and beyond to ensure my guests have a memorable New Year’s Eve meal and dining experience. As for New Year’s Day, I spend time with my wife and two sons watching football and eating black-eyed peas. You have to eat those black-eyed peas. They bring you good luck. Carrot Soup with Marshmallow Panna Cotta For the soup: 3 pounds carrots, peeled ¼ onion, chopped 1 quart milk 3 tablespoons butter Place onion and cut, peeled carrots in a pot with butter and milk. Cook until fork tender. Blend all ingredients together and pass through a sieve. Season with salt to taste. For the Panna Cotta: 6 ounces marshmallows 1 cup milk 2 sheets of gelatin Place marshmallows and milk in a pot and melt. Add bloomed gelatin to the mix by mixing thoroughly. Place in greased molds for desired shapes. To serve, place marshmallow in bowl and ladle the carrot soup tableside. James Holmes We jam it out at the restaurant every New Year’s Eve, and after all that is said and done, it is time for me to hang out with my wife and two daughters [Olivia and Lucy]. We go grab a New Year’s Day bite and usually catch some live music. Being with my family is my favorite way to usher in the New Year. Grilled Oysters with Black-Eyed Peas Courtesy of James Holmes and Ryan Town, Lucy’s Fried Chicken Cook your favorite New Year’s black-eyed peas, but take some out before they get creamy and cool them off for this recipe. You’ll need one teaspoon for each oyster. 1 dozen Gulf oysters 3 tablespoon reserved black-eyed peas 1½ roasted red peppers, diced ½ lemon 3 tablespoons butter, softened green onions, thinly sliced (garnish) Shuck and clean a dozen oysters, being careful to reserve the juice in the shell. Place the oysters on the half shell on the hottest part of the grill and divide the black-eyed peas and roasted red peppers among them. When the black-eyed peas are warm, place a teaspoon of butter on top of each. Cook until bubbly and remove from heat. Squeeze the lemon over all of the oysters and garnish with the green onions. – LAYNE LYNCH
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