News from the Tennessee Valley Food

Chopped lemon and orange, black pepper and red pepper flakes are used in Spicy Citrus Shrimp.
AP photo by Larry Crowe
Chopped lemon and orange, black pepper and red pepper flakes are used in Spicy Citrus Shrimp.

Ring in 2007
with these party food ideas

By Patrice Stewart · 340-2446

It’s time to plan your New Year’s Eve party. You may be inviting friends over to celebrate at home this year, since it falls on Sunday.

Whether you need party fare ideas for New Year’s Eve or a New Year’s Day buffet, you’ll like some of these recipes, which also work well at other times.

You can consider the old standbys, such as pizza, lasagna, spaghetti or chili, or you could serve a shrimp dish, or the traditional Good Luck Soup with black-eyed peas to guarantee prosperity in the new year ahead.

Martha Schoel of Decatur shared her recipe for Good Luck Soup. She likes to serve it to her supper club or family with a salad and corn bread.

A couple of other ideas come from Annette Sanderson of Moulton, whose “Good Taste” cookbook has been reprinted (call 256-974-0311 for locations). The Buckaroo Bean and Bacon Salsa in her book is perfect for New Year’s, since it includes blackeyed peas, and her Mock Champagne Punch makes a good nonalcoholic choice for gatherings.

If you’d like something different from soup, salsa and dips on your New Year’s buffet, try Spicy Citrus Shrimp.

AP food writer J.M. Hirsch said New Year’s Eve always meant shrimp in his family. It was steamed and served with plenty of melted butter, so he went in search of a version on the leaner side.

He likes the Spicy Citrus Shrimp from Dr. Arthur Agatston’s recent cookbook, “The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook” (Rodale, 2006, $25), which can be adjusted to serve as an appetizer or main course.

Looking for a low-fat dip to start your new year right? Smoked Salmon Pate and Shrimp Dip may be just right.

These recipes from show you can cut the fat and keep the flavor. Both rely on fat-free cream cheese for body, and seafood for rich, savory flavor. Serve these with fresh crusty bread, slices of baguette, crackers or sliced vegetables.

Combine some new flavors in a spread with Taste of Home’s Blue Cheese and Roasted Pepper Spread.

Good Luck Soup

1 pound dried black-eyed peas (do not soak)

2 quarts chicken stock

1 ham hock

1/3 pound smoked ham, cut in 1-inch cubes

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 10-ounce package okra, thawed

1½ teaspoons salt

In a large saucepan, combine peas, stock, ham hock, ham, onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir in okra and salt and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Remove cover and cook, stirring, until creamy thick, about 10 minutes.

Remove ham hock and serve hot with buttered corn bread. Makes about 12 cups.

Buckaroo Bean and Bacon Salsa

Vegetable cooking spray

1 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 15-ounce can blackeyed peas

1 15-ounce can black beans

1 15-ounce can pinto beans

1 14.5-ounce can salsa with chipotle peppers

1 14.5-ounce can salsa with cilantro

4 bacon slices, cooked, drained and crumbled

2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Rinse and drain peas and beans.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add onions; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Add peas, beans, salsas and bacon; cover and cook until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.

Note: Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Variations: If the salsas listed are not available, just substitute a good salsa. A 4-ounce can of chopped black olives can also be added. Makes 7 cups salsa.

Blue Cheese and Roasted Pepper Spread

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 4-ounce package crumbled blue cheese

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

2 tablespoons roasted red pepper, drained, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate. Makes 2 cups. Serve with crackers or cut-up vegetables.

Note: Spread should be stored in refrigerator; serve at room temperature.

Mock Champagne Punch

3 cups sugar

3 cups water

2 6-ounce cans frozen lemon juice

2 2-liter bottles ginger ale

1/2 cup sparkling white grape juice

In large pan, boil sugar and water and let cool. Add lemon juice, ginger ale and white grape juice. Pour over an ice ring. Serves 30 to 35.

Spicy Citrus Shrimp

1 lemon

1 navel orange

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

30 medium shrimp, peeled and veins removed


Zest the lemon and half of the orange and place the zest in a medium bowl. Peel both pieces of fruit, then finely chop half of each. Place the chopped fruit in the bowl with the zest, reserving the remaining halves.

To the bowl, add the oil, garlic, black pepper and pepper flakes. Mix well. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight.

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, allowing bits of citrus to stick. Discard the marinade. Season the shrimp lightly with salt and grill until opaque and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Use the reserved halves of lemon and orange to squeeze a bit of juice over the shrimp just before serving.

Makes 10 three-piece servings, each with 60 cal., 4.5 g total fat, 25 mg sodium, 4 g pro., 2 g carbo., 0 g dietary fiber.

Shrimp Dip and Smoked Salmon Pate let you have your dip and fit into your jeans, too. Both are made with fat-free cream cheese.
AP photo by Larry Crowe
Shrimp Dip and Smoked Salmon Pate let you have your dip and fit into your jeans, too. Both are made with fat-free cream cheese.
Smoked Salmon Pate

4 ounces smoked salmon, flaked

Two 8-ounce packages fat-free cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Dash of hot pepper sauce

In a food processor, combine half of the salmon and all remaining ingredients. Pulse until mostly smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Transfer the pate to a bowl and mix in remaining salmon. Cover and refrigerate several hours to let flavors develop.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 49 cal., 1 g total fat, 5 mg chol., 280 mg sodium, 7 g pro., 3 g carbo., 0 g dietary fiber.

Shrimp Dip

1½ pounds cooked shrimp, peeled and finely chopped

4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened

Juice of 1 lemon

3 green onions, minced

1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

Splash Worcestershire sauce

Splash hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the shrimp in a food processor and pulse several times to roughly chop. Add cream cheese, lemon juice, green onions and mayonnaise, and pulse until well mixed, but still chunky.

Season to taste with Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Chill about 1 hour.

Makes 16 servings.

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