New Year's Flavors
Winter flavors are all about the taste of coziness, which comes with a certain degree of warmth and earthy appeal. If you think back to your own holiday memories, you'll likely find flavors like cranberry, brown sugar, and vanilla. Sift through the flavors that appeal most to your taste buds to create a delicious menu of New Year's food ideas. Here are three suggestions to get you started.
Like other round foods, cranberries can be a symbol of good luck in the year ahead. Why not pair the spectacular flavor with orange and ginger for a simple syrup that's perfect for your New Year's mocktails and cocktails?
- Mix 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 1 bag of fresh cranberries, 8 inches of chopped fresh ginger, and the zest of two oranges in a saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, and let it simmer until it's thickened.
- Strain out the berries and ginger and store the syrup in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
Pork plays a huge role in many culinary New Year's customs — the more you eat, the luckier your year might be. Brown sugar's light notes of molasses and sweetness add just the right touch to pies, crumbles, and other sweets. It's also an ideal addition to your holiday ham, with just the right kiss of warm winter flavor that glazes salty pork to perfection. Mix one 16-ounce box of brown sugar with 1 cup of spicy mustard, 1 cup of cola, and 3/4 cup whiskey for a delightful glaze. Heat the mixture and let everything dissolve before using the glaze on a pork roast.
Vanilla is soft and sweet, making it the perfect complement to this warm, cozy bread pudding from Cooking Light. Make individual puddings in a muffin tin for an easy-to-pass sweet treat that's sure to wow your guests and become part of your New Year's customs.
For the pudding:
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup raisins or cranberries
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 large eggs
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 8 cups cubed bread
For the sauce:
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- Whisk the pudding ingredients together, saving the bread until last. Stir the bread cubes into the mix and chill, covered, for 90 minutes.
- Add the bread mixture to a greased baking dish. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by adding butter and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk the milk and cornstarch together in a small bowl before adding it to the pan.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continually.
- Turn the heat to medium-low, stir in the bourbon, and allow the mixture to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.