For the New Year we decided to make some quick appetizers before dashing off to our swanky party. Nothing brings in the New Year in style like an exotic and easy appetizer/mixed drink wrapped into one. Oyster shooters are a fun novelty to entertain with and take a minimal amount of time to prepare. Just make sure everyone is ready for the double whammy of the vodka and horseradish sauce!
Everyone (except for Nathan before I told him) also knows that it is customary to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s day to ensure luck and prosperity in the coming year. The custom is seen in many cultures and there is evidence that the ‘good luck’ tradition dates back to as early as 339 AD! So, this year it was important to me to see that Nathan ingested some of these ‘magical fruits.’ I concocted this black eyed pea puree and discovered that it’s a nice change from the normal hummus dip or cheese tray and is surprisingly flavorful and addictive. It was a perfect accompaniment to the quick and easy oyster shooters that we made on New Year’s Eve and I can rest easy knowing that Nathan and I have done what we can to ensure an awesome 2012. Happy New Year!
Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Infinium
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
We decided to do something a little different from the traditional champagne toast at New Years and went with this beer that is a collaboration between Boston’s Sam Adams and Germany’s Weihenstephan (apparently the world’s oldest brewery). Infinium has the bite and carbonation of champagne but strong fruity aromas with surprisingly malty flavors. The unique blend of flavors certainly made for an interesting way to bring in the New Year. At a hefty $18 dollars for this magnum bottle and an even heftier 10.5% alcohol content Infinium is probably better left to special occasions for beer adventurists.
Black-Eyed Pea Puree:
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic (1 finely chopped, 1 smashed)
1 bay leaf
1 15-oz. can black-eyed peas, 1 cup liquid reserved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. thyme, the chile flakes, chopped garlic, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 2 minutes. Add black-eyed peas and reserved liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the flavors have melded, 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf and transfer the pea mixture to a food processor; purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until thick. Serve with crackers or toasted bread.
Oyster Shooters :
Ingredients: (Quantities are ‘to taste.’)
1 raw oyster
Fresh lemon juice
Place oyster in a shot glass. Add cocktail sauce, horseradish, hot sauce and vodka and then squeeze lemon juice over top.