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New Year’s Eve is coming quick and if you’re looking for some delicious dishes to serve at a party, check out these two from Rania Harris!

Snow Crab Cocktail Claws with Green Goddess Dressing

  • 2 pounds Snow Crab Cocktail Claws – defrosted and drained (roughly 40 – 50 cocktail claws)

For the Green Goddess Dressing:

  • 1 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (6 to 7 scallions)
  • 1 cup chopped basil leaves (18 to 20 leaves)
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream


Set a bowl for the dressing in the center of a large round platter and surround the bowl with the cocktail crab claws.

For the dressing:

Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and process just until blended. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. Serve as a dip with the cocktail crab claws.

Serves: 10 – 12 as an hors d’oeuvre

Mascarpone and Goat Cheese Torta with Smoked Salmon

  • ½ cup shelled salted pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • 12 ounces mascarpone or natural cream cheese,
 at room temperature
  • 12 ounces fresh plain goat cheese, at room temperature
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 cup finely chopped smoked salmon, packed
  • 1 baguette, cut into slices ¼ inch thick


In a small, dry fry pan over medium-low heat, stir the pistachios until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a kitchen towel and fold the towel over them. Let the nuts cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then rub them together vigorously inside the towel to loosen the skins. Pour into a colander and shake over the sink, letting the skins fall through. Chop the nuts into pieces no larger than ¼ inch. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone and goat cheeses. Season with white pepper and stir until blended and smooth. Line a deep 6-cup rounded bowl or mold with plastic wrap, letting the edges hang over the sides. Lightly oil the plastic wrap. Spoon one-third of the cheese mixture into the bowl. Using an oiled tablespoon, pack it down firmly. Spread the smoked salmon evenly over the cheese, packing it down and leveling the top. Spoon in another third of the cheese, packing it down firmly. Sprinkle most of the pistachios evenly over the cheese, reserving some for sprinkling on top. Spoon in the remaining cheese, packing it down firmly and leveling the top. Cover with the overlapping plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven until dry on top, about 5 minutes. Turn the slices over and toast on the other side until crisp on the edges but still soft in the center, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. To serve, uncover the top of the torta and unmold it onto a large serving plate. Remove the plastic and sprinkle the reserved pistachios on top. Let the torta stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Arrange the baguette slices around the torta and serve.