This year for New Year’s Eve we wanted to do something really low key, so we had a very small group of friends over to the house to eat, drink, and play some fun games. And even though I had an aching back from the six hours I spent on my feet in the kitchen that day preparing food, it was totally worth it, because the evening was a smashing success! Want to know what I served? Well, I’ll tell ya and I’ll even provide links to some of the recipes!
Spiced Macadamia Nuts
Bloomy Rind Artisan Cheese platter w accompaniments
Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Blue Cheese and Bacon Purple Potatoes (recipe coming next week!)
Pork Tenderloin Toasts with Herb Garlic Cream (recipe calls for beef, but this time I used pork w great results!)
BBQ Shrimp (courtesy of my friend Leigh Ann)
Sausage and Tart Cherry Stuffed Mushrooms
Gorgonzola, Fig and Walnut Tartlets
(Oh, and an entire dessert bar with truffles, cookies, and cake, some of which I made myself and others provided by family members)
Every item on the menu I had made previously, or at least tasted in the past, with the exception of the mushrooms. Before serving them, I was slightly worried that people might find the cherry component a little strange, so I was completely thrilled when one of the guys exclaimed “Beth, these mushrooms are incredible!” Pretty soon all of the other guests joined in singing their praises, adding to my relief.
Unlike most stuffed mushrooms that are drab in color, the vibrant red of the cherries and green of the onions actually make these pop off the table. They’d make a nice, festive addition to your Christmas party spread, but heck, don’t wait that long to try them, because they’re so good you need to eat them now!
Sausage and Cherry Stuffed Mushrooms
Yield: 30. Slightly adapted from Taste of Home.
30 large fresh button mushrooms
1/2 lb bulk pork sausage
1 pkg (8 oz) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Remove stems from mushrooms (discard stems or save for another use). Place mushroom caps on a greased baking sheet or casserole dish.
In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Lower heat, stir in the cream cheese until well combined. Remove from heat. Stir in cherries and onions. Spoon into mushroom caps.
Bake for 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.