I don't contemplate a dinner plan for New Year's Eve with as much care as I devote to Christmas, so this only just came together. As reported earlier today, Sprouts has some nice looking swordfish on sale for $7.99/lb this week (also Copper River salmon), so fish simply done in the grill pan has suddenly become the focus for New Year's Eve dinner. To dress it up, we'll accompany it with an elegant potato gratin with Gruyere from this month's Bon Appetit, plus a festive green veggie like asparagus.
Since New Year's Day dinner is immersed in superstitions about what brings good luck for the entire rest of the year, we obviously can't jinx ourselves for a whole year by ignoring it. Our standard is a twist on traditional Hoppin' John, which Mark Bittman turns into a pretty healthy (and delicious) soup as black-eyed pea soup with ham and greens. Whole Foods (Pearl Street store and probably the others) currently has fresh, quick cooking black eyed peas refrigerated in the produce department. I like to add extra greens, and to do it in proportions that give us enough for a reheat dinner. Made with collard greens, this is supposedly a good luck dinner, with the collards and peas resembling bills and coins for a lucrative New Year. Homemade corn bread of course has to go along with this, and one of my favorites is green onion corn bread from Bon Appetit. Best wishes for 2011!