Finger food for the New Year's Eve buffet: With these appetizers you can slide into the New Year in a relaxed manner

Every year the question arises as to what to eat on New Year's Eve.

Finger food for the New Year's Eve buffet: With these appetizers you can slide into the New Year in a relaxed manner

Every year the question arises as to what to eat on New Year's Eve. Of course, those who go out don't have this problem. But many celebrate at home, with themselves or with friends, and if you don't want to use the raclette machine again and again, a buffet is the most obvious option. Then everyone can bring something with them, which not only makes the host's work easier, but also offers everyone something new and unknown. In addition to the usual salads or sausage and cheese platters, uncomplicated delicacies such as the following ensure maximum enjoyment.

They are called canapées, crostini or bruschette. We're talking about sandwiches, but not in the usual sense. For a buffet they can be a little more extravagant - when, if not now? This doesn't have to be more complicated. Fans of Italian cuisine may like classic bruschette with tomato and basil or a mix of salami, pickled tomatoes and artichokes. Always toast the bread. Gourmets may enjoy slices with salmon tartare, salmon cream or caviar. For your bread snacks you can combine avocado puree with crispy fried ham, cheese with fruit (figs!), mushrooms with bacon or shaved Parmesan cheese and and and... Get creative!

Another finger food classic, simple and quick to make: Hard-boil a few eggs, carefully cut them in half lengthways and remove the yolks. Strain the egg yolk through a sieve and mix with ingredients of your choice. For a herb mixture, for example, mix the strained egg yolk with mayonnaise, cream cheese or crème fraîche and season the mixture with salt, pepper and herbs of your choice (e.g. dill, parsley or chives). You can also use curry or mustard instead of herbs. Maybe you like a fruity version with fig mustard. Tip: It will be particularly decorative if you use a piping nozzle to fill it. Serve on salad and provide crackers.

Hollowed-out small pieces of vegetables can be quickly filled with lettuce or cream cheese. A few examples: Cut a top off of medium-sized cocktail tomatoes and carefully deseed the tomatoes with a spoon and fill them with chicken or tuna salad. If you prefer a vegetarian option, use a cream cheese mixture. For example, mix goat's cream cheese or feta with a little crème fraîche until smooth, fold in the roasted pine nuts and season everything with finely chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil or thyme), salt and pepper. Or mix the crème fraîche with the same amount of pesto, fold in the roasted pine nuts and season to taste. A couscous salad is also suitable for filling. And instead of tomatoes, you can cut a cucumber into pieces about 4-5 cm in size, carefully hollow them out and fill them.

The Spanish tapas also include many quick finger foods for a New Year's Eve party. The best-known example: dates wrapped in bacon. Simply wrap the dried, pitted fruit with bacon cut in half lengthways and fry or roast in a hot oven under the grill until the bacon is brown. If you want, you can fill the dates with, for example, an almond kernel or roasted pine nuts, feta, Manchego cheese or goat's cream cheese. You can also use plums instead of dates or, more exotically, fresh pineapple (then without filling). The good thing about the bacon snack: It also tastes lukewarm to cold. Insert toothpicks to serve.

Another idea from tapas cuisine: Prepare a Spanish tortilla of your choice, i.e. a thick omelet with potatoes and vegetables, for example one with onions and olives or one with peppers. Cut the finished tortilla into cubes, place a whole or half a cocktail tomato on top and skewer it with a toothpick. If you like, you can also skewer some Spanish ham or use small cornichons instead of tomatoes.

Speaking of toothpicks: Skewers are generally ideal for a buffet. And there is little that cannot be skewered and combined with each other: meat, vegetables, cheese, fruit, pure or in combination. Try mini mozzarella balls with tomato and basil, goat cheese cubes with figs or caramelized pear. Skewered rolls are a little more sophisticated, see below.

If you don't mind a bit of crafting, you can make mini burgers with small meatballs (see below) and buns and hold them together with a small skewer or toothpick. The whole thing becomes more elegant if you fill portions of potato salad into small Weck jars and insert one or two mini meatballs on a skewer. Instead of meatballs, you can also fold a slice of salami and place it between the mini bun halves with other ingredients.

The fillings mentioned under point 2 above - cream cheese, chicken or tuna salad - can also be rolled into fried vegetable slices, such as (larger) zucchini or eggplant. To do this, cut the vegetables lengthwise into thin slices, season, fry on both sides and degrease on kitchen paper. Then put a dollop on the bottom end and roll up, securing with toothpicks if necessary.

Mini wraps or involtini on skewers are also decorative and delicious. For example, you can top the wheat tortilla as you like, roll it up tightly, then cut the large rolls into small pieces and skewer them. You can also roll out toast bread thinly with a rolling pin, top it with bread and roll it up. Or you can use crepes if you have the time and desire to prepare them. Otherwise, guests are sure to enjoy exotic classics such as chicken satay with peanut dip.

Ready-made pizza or puff pastry can also be used to prepare quick snacks, sticks, snails, or pockets filled with sheep's cheese, spinach or minced meat.

For simple sticks, unroll the dough and spread it with pesto, green or red, for example. If you like, grate some Parmesan over it or add ham or bacon cubes on top. You can also simply top the plates with cheese, cheese and ham or salt and chopped herbs (if necessary, lightly oil them beforehand so that the ingredients stick better).

For crispy sticks, cut the plates into strips and twist them in on themselves, pressing the ends of the dough against each other. To make snails, roll up the dough sheet and then cut it into slices. Bake the sticks or snails on a baking tray lined with baking paper in a hot oven (200-220 degrees Celsius, middle rack) for about 10 minutes until they are golden brown. They taste best fresh.

Admittedly, they take a little longer, simply because they have to cook in the oven. Nevertheless, savory muffins are not necessarily difficult to prepare. And while they're in the oven, you have time for other things.

The basis is an egg milk: Mix four eggs with 200 to 250 milliliters of milk and season to taste. You can line the muffin cavities with strudel or yufka dough. For each (greased) cavity you need about four cut sheets of dough, each of which you brush with fat or a fat-milk mixture beforehand. Line the cavities and fill them with whatever you feel like: diced salami or ham, finely chopped mushrooms or spring onions, tomatoes or peppers, perhaps grated cheese or herbs. Pour the egg wash over it, sprinkle with cheese if desired and bake in a hot oven (180 to 200 degrees) on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes, if necessary cover with aluminum foil beforehand.

You can also use noodles instead of dough. For example, you can make nests out of cooked spaghetti. You can fill them as described above and pour the egg wash over them.

Almost everyone has their own recipe for meatballs: mix minced meat with eggs, soaked, stale rolls or breadcrumbs, diced onions and spices, if necessary add fresh herbs. Form small balls from this mixture and fry them. The balls also taste good cold, so no one cares if they sit around a little longer. By the way, they can also be a little more exotic than usual. They get an oriental note with lamb, feta and chopped apricots, and an Asian note if you season the minced mixture with ginger, chili and garlic.

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