New Year's Eve can be traced back to Neolithic peoples who tied the holiday to agricultural concerns and fertility. Contemporary New Years celebrations feature feasts that include festive home cooked dishes as well as the use of fireworks and noise makers.
My paternal Great Grandmother Kohler used to tell of New Years Eve celebrations in old Germany where men shot their rifles into the air to ward off witches and all things evil. Then came the celebration of the New Year which was about to begin, with feasting and merriment!
Great Grandma Kohlers' daughter, my grandmother, Irene, was wonderfully skilled in German cooking, and after years of widowhood, married a man of Italian descent, who taught her the fine art of Italian cooking. As a child I helped her to prepare wonderful German and Italian dishes that graced the tables in her home for our New Years Eve dinner.
Your 'feast' will take the stage on this evening, and preparing it shouldn't take your time away from relaxing moments with your guests. These dishes will make you the star of the evening! Ein Gutes Neues Jahr!! (Happy New Year!!)
Yields four servings
These Spicy Meatballs will start off your evening with a savory appetizer that I am sure your guests will love. As a child I loved taking my little toothpicks with the colored papers at the ends, piercing meatballs with them, making sure to gather some of the tasty pan drippings they were sauteed in.
This is a wonderful recipe for flavorfull tiny meatballs that go together in a flash. Your guests will love these. So plan to double or triple the recipe for your very special party!
1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 cup crushed seasoned croutons
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
-In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, croutons, sweet onion, egg, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, red pepper flakes, and Cajun seasoning.
-Form the mixture by hand into small meatballs.
-Heat the olive oil and melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place the meatballs in the skillet, and cook, turning constantly, 20 minutes, or when you desire it to be done.
You may serve these with pan drippings or with your favorite dipping sauce.