Dinner party

Bring your cooking skills up a notch and give your guests a real New Year’s Eve treat

Champagne 58 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Champagne 58
(photo credit: Courtesy)
This year New Year’s Eve happens to be Friday night – a good reason to put on the apron and make an effort.
CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL WITH SEA BREAM CROSTINI makes 6 servings ✔ 1 baguette ✔ 3 fillets of sea bream, cubed ✔ olive oil ✔ lemon juice ✔ salt and pepper ✔ pomegranate seeds (optional) ✔ bottle of bubbly
Pour cava or any bubbly into tall champagne glasses and place a few pomegranate seeds inside. Cut baguette diagonally, rub the slices with olive oil and grill in a preheated 180º oven until golden.
Place the fish cubes in a bowl, season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Add a little olive oil. Cover each slice of bread with a heap of fish and serve with the champagne.
GROUPER WITH COCONUT AND KAFFIR LIME makes 6 to 8 servings ✔ 1 fillet of grouper with the skin ✔ 1 stick of lemongrass, chopped ✔ 5 leaves of Kaffir lime chopped (can be found in Far Eastern food shops) ✔ 2 Tbsp. olive oil for frying ✔ 1 can coconut milk ✔ 100 ml. water ✔ salt and pepper ✔ 3-4 mint leaves ✔ 3 cherry tomatoes quartered (try to find green ones)
Put water, Kaffir lime and lemongrass in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Discard leaves and add coconut milk and tomatoes to water. Season with salt and pepper and reheat. Pour into a deep dish.
Prepare the fish: Fry the fish with a little oil, starting with the skin side. Place fried fish in the sauce. Arrange the plate: spoon some sauce on the plate, place fish on top, garnish with mint leaves and tomatoes.
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE AND TRUFFLE SOUP Makes 6 servings ✔ 1 kg. Jerusalem artichoke ✔ 21⁄2 cans of coconut milk ✔ 500 ml. water ✔ 2 chopped onions ✔ 2 crushed garlic cloves ✔ 2 Tbsp. chopped truffles (can also use paste)
✔ 5 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ salt and pepper Heat the oven to 180º.
Peel and cube the artichokes.  Place the artichokes in a lined baking sheet. Drizzle a little oil and bake until softened.
Fry the onions in a little oil, add garlic and continue until transparent. Add baked artichokes, coconut milk and water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and let cool. When cooled process in the food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat before serving.
FESTIVE LAMB CARRÉ This is a very festive dish, but its not as difficult to prepare as you might think.
Makes 6 to 8 servings ✔ 2 sides of ribs – ask the butcher to clean ✔ 3 bunches of parsley, washed and chopped ✔ 200 gr. ground hazelnuts or any other nuts ✔ 3 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ 2 cloves of garlic, minced In a food processor grind together parsley, nuts, olive oil and garlic until resembling pesto.
Heat oven to 200º. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a little oil in a pan and saute the meat slightly on all sides.
Coat the ribs with the parsley paste, place in a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven 15-20 minutes. Slice into separate ribs and serve 2 or 3 ribs each. Courtesy of Ziv Sheleff of ZED Catering. Photos Dan Peretz