Another year has ticked off the calendar. Coincidentally, I also happened to see last month that the combined prizes of Power Ball and Mega Millions were in excess of $1 billion. Needless to say, I started thinking about luck.
Once again, as we bring in the New Year I find myself thinking about the New Year and symbols of luck. There are so many traditions when it comes to colors, luck and the New Year. In Spain it is a superstitious tradition that if you do not eat 12 grapes at midnight you will put yourself at risk for bad luck for the year. In Japan they eat soba noodles at midnight, which symbolized one year to the other. In Brazil and Italy they eat lentils and have been since the roman era! It’s no coincidence that food and luck are put together during the New Year but the real question is how should I serve it?
There are varieties of foods that bring luck in the New Year but if you want that extra bit of “luck” you should serve it with luck in mind. Let’s start with how to serve your noodles, grains, and legumes. Your noodles should be served in a deep bowl, and shallower bowls for grains. You want to have enough room in the bowl where you can make and arrange fixings almost like you’re making a zodiac sign.
If you are looking for an extremely healthy, nutritious, low calorie meal that just happens to be lucky then pay attention. Grab a side of legumes like Black-eye peas, put in some black and red beans, throw in some bacon or ham and serve them in smaller bowls. You want bowls that show off rich earthy colors. There are several choices and sizes available from FOH and CAC for great prices that are easy to get.
Last thing I forgot to tell you about is the hot sauce, you can use a green, red, or yellow hot sauce for added flavor. A clever way you can store it is in a homemade aged cask once used for bourbon or scotch, which gives your hot sauce a kick in flavor.
Now that we’ve covered the luck of the Italians, let’s move on to some Oriental, Latin and Mediterranean dishes that will bring you luck in 2018. Better yet, let me work you through a three-course meal, full of good luck, great food, and even better presentation.
For your appetizer let’s have noodle soup, you can serve your soup room temp, warm, or cold but make sure it is colorful and hearty. If you want to add symbolism into your soup add some greens, like lettuce, a universal symbol for cash and prosperity. Add some garnishes with interesting greens like chopped cilantro or parsley.
My personal favorite for a main course is one large plate sized ravioli stuffed with smoked duck. Place it on a dark coupe plate to give it that vibrant contrast and then garnish with a drizzle of oil and colorful salsa, yum!
Now for dessert you want to make sure it has that “special” flare. How about a warm apple dumpling, paired with some homemade ice cream, drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with some cinnamon or powdered sugar. Serve in an orange or rust shallow bowl placed with a silver plated dessert spoon.
I mean hey, what’s luckier then starting the New Year off with a silver spoon in your mouth?