A Tasty New Year's Eve Pairing

potato crispyny2011 2New Years Eve is upon us. Before kids, the hubs and I would pick a great restaurant, go out with friends, drink too much, and spend way too much money. After several years of that, we switched to cooking an amazing meal at home, made great cocktails, invited friends, and played board games until dawn.

Then we started a family. When Eli was young, we grabbed my parents and made 6p.m. reservations at The Palm. Came home, put on our sweats, and played games. We now bring in the New Year with friends, great food, cocktails, and lots of board games. The kids like to stay up until 12 (I rarely make it) and the evening usually ends with someone else’s kid sleeping here, and one of ours sleeping elsewhere.

This year we are having cocktails with friends. A light snack of cripsy potato skins and a simple “French Blonde Cocktail” to start off the evening. After that, a huge Tripoli match is on tap along with chocolate lava cakes. Let’s just hope I make it until 9p.m. That way I can at least bring in the New Year, east coast time!

Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for filling my year with blessings and gratitude.

French Blonde Cocktail
recipe from Saveur
Yield: one drink

2 oz. White Lillet
1 oz. gin
2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. elderflower liqueur (I used St. Germain)
A few dashes lemon bitters

1. Pour all ingredients into a shaker (or a ball jar), filled with ice
2. Strain liquid into a fancy glass
3. Garnish with a lemon rind


Crispy Potato Skins

I sprinkled half the batch with some truffle salt and served immediately. The other half, I sprinkled with Celtic Sea Salt and then dusted with the parmesan cheese, baked in a preheated 350* oven for about 4 minutes. Served both with the dipping sauce.

2 lbs. Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes (I used both)
truffle salt
1/4 cup (2 oz.) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Celtic Sea Salt
canola oil

1. in a small, heavy duty dutch oven (I use a Le Creuset 3 1/2 quart), heat your oil to 360*
2. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
3. grate cheese. set aside.
4. using a vegetable peeler, slice potatoes about 3-4″ in length. set aside.
5. fry potato skins in batches, until browned and crisp. using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towel. sprinkle half the skins with truffle salt (you may have to do in 2-3 batches).
7. transfer the other half of the potatoes to a different rimmed baking sheet and generously sprinkle with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. bake until the cheese melts, about 4 minutes.
8. remove from oven and let cool. transter to a serving bowl.
9. serve with mustard dipping sauce


Mustard Dipping Sauce
Adapted recipe found here

4 Tbsp. lime juice, fresh squeezed
1 tsp. sesame oil
4 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tps. grainy mustard
1-2 squirts Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

1. whisk all ingredients in a small, glass bowl.
2. can be made the day ahead


Susan Salzman writes The Urban Baker blog to explore her dedication to good food in the hope of adding beauty to the lives of her family and friends.