New Year’s Eve Inspired Go-To Dinner Party Menu


Mexican Portobello Mushroom over Greens
Spicy Garlic Salmon over Black Bean Salsa
Individual Margarita Meringue Creams

Spicy Garlic Salmon Image 1

BLUEPRINT: You can make the tomato, bacon and black bean salsa, meringues and whipped cream well in advance of your guest’s arrival. You can have the Portobello mushrooms and the salmon fillets completely prepped and ready to pop in the oven. The salad can be in a bowl ready to be dressed and the margarita meringue creams just need to be put together right before serving. Use foil trays for quick and easy end of the night clean up and don’t forget to make sure your dishwasher is empty and garbage and recycling cans too. Happy New Year!

Grocery List:

  • Fruit: 3 cups strawberries, 1 lime
  • Produce: 6 Portobello mushroom caps, 6 oz baby arugula, 2 ripe avocados, 1 yellow pepper, 1 orange pepper, 6 ears of corn (if using fresh), 1 onion
  • Fresh Herbs: 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch mint
  • Meat & Fish: six 6 oz salmon fillets (no skin), 1 pack bacon
  • Dairy: 3 eggs, 6 oz shredded pepper jack cheese, 16 oz heavy cream
  • Frozen: 4 cups corn (if using frozen)
  • Staples: 1 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1 can chopped tomatoes (approximately 14.5 oz), 1 can tomato paste, 5 tsp garlic puree
  • Baking: 6 oz super fine sugar, 3 tbs confectioners’ sugar
  • Spices: salt, pepper, 5 tsp chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Other: black beans (approximately 15.5 oz)

Mexican Portobello Mushroom over Greens 

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, cutting board, paring knife, chef’s knife, baking sheet, aluminum foil, non-stick cooking spray

Serves: 6

  • 6 portobella mushroom caps
  • 1 tbs each finely chopped yellow & orange peppers (about 1/3 of each pepper)
  • 6 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
  • baby arugula (about 6 oz)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Peel and clean the mushroom caps and place on a foil lined baking tray (sprayed with a non-stick spray). Salt and pepper the mushrooms and then divide the cheese evenly among the caps. Sprinkle the peppers over the top of the cheese. Bake in the oven for approximately 6 – 8 minutes. Cheese will be bubbling and gooey. Turn oven to broil and crisp up the cheese on top for an additional 2 minutes.

To Serve: Toss the arugula with Kitchen Moxie Vinaigrette and divide evenly on six salad plates. Place the warm mushroom on top in the center of the salad. Serve immediately.

Spicy Garlic Salmon over Black Bean Salsa

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, baking sheet, aluminum foil, non-stick cooking spray, spatula, large heavy bottomed sauce pan, can opener, chef’s knife, paring knife, cutting board

Serves: 6

  • 6 six oz salmon fillets (no skin)
  • 4 – 5 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 5 tsp of garlic puree
  • 1 1/2 tbs of olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 medium onion pureed
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (approx. 14 1/2 oz)
  • 1 can black beans (approx. 15.5 oz) drained
  • 3 tbs tomato paste
  • 6 ears corn (about four cups if using frozen)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 – 2 avocados (diced)
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the salmon: Pre-Heat oven to 500˚F. Place salmon fillets on a foil lined baking tray (sprayed with a non-stick spray). Season each piece with salt and pepper. Rub each fillet with a 1/2 tsp of garlic puree.  Combine 1 1/2 tsp of  chili powder and  1 1/2 tsp cumin. Sprinkle each with the spice mix and rub in with the back of a spoon. (At this point you can cover with saran wrap and place in fridge until ready to cook). Drizzle each salmon fillet with olive oil and bake for 10–12 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking.

For the Salsa: Remove corn kernels from the ears of corn & set aside. Cut the bacon into lardons and place in a large heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Once crispy, remove and set aside (draining on paper towel). Pour out all but about 1 1/2 tbs of the rendered fat from the pot and return to heat. Alternatively, if you choose to omit the bacon. Add 1 1/2 tbs olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic puree and red pepper flakes cook for about 3 -4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the black beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, corn kernels & cooked bacon. Stir to combine. Add chili powder and simmer over low heat for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped avocado – stirring gently to combine. Serve immediately.

To Serve: Place a generous scoop of the salsa in a heated large white bowl or plate. Place the salmon on top with a sprig of cilantro. Serve immediately.

Individual Margarita Meringue Creams

What you need: measuring spoons/cups, chef’s knife, cutting board, stand alone or hand mixer with whisk attachment, spatula (or off-set spatula if you have one), medium size pot, wooden spoon, citrus juicer, zester (microplane), baking tray, parchment paper

Serves: 6

This is a light and airy dessert that is sure to impress your guests. You can make the meringue nests and whipped cream ahead of time and put it all together right before serving.

  • 3 eggs (whites only)
  • 6 oz superfine sugar
  • 1 lime (zest + juice)
  • 1 sixteen oz container of heavy cream
  • 2 tbs of confectioners’ sugar + 1 tsp more for dusting before serving
  • 3 cups strawberries (cleaned, hulled and sliced)
  • 6 fresh mint sprigs

For the meringue: Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Prepare a baking sheet with a little non-stick cooking spray and then place a sheet of parchment on top. (The non-stick spray helps the parchment stay in place.) To make the meringue, place the egg whites in a bowl and whip them until they are stiff. A good way to know they are ready is to stick a spoon in and scoop up a little. Turn the spoon upside down and if the meringue sticks it’s time to add the sugar. Add the 6 oz of superfine sugar a tablespoon at a time while the mixer is still going. Once all the sugar is in incorporated, spoon the meringue onto the parchment lined baking sheet creating six nests or beds for the margarita cream. I use an off-set spatula, but any spatula will do. It doesn’t have to be perfect – in this case rustic is good! Place in the oven and turn down the temperature to 275 ˚F. Bake for 1 hour and then let the meringue cool.

For the Cream: Place the heavy cream in a mixing bowl and whip. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and continue whipping until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the lime zest and juice. Don’t over mix. Place in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

Tip: I always put my metal mixing bowl in the freezer beforehand to help ensure success in the whipping department.

To Serve: Place each meringue nest on an individual plate. Top with sliced strawberries and a dollop of the margarita cream. Add a sprig of fresh mint and dust with a little confectioners’ sugar. Light, airy and delicious!

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