If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party, you’ll want to check out these two crowd-pleasers from Rania Harris!

Flatbread with Bacon and Scallion Pesto

  • 6 thick strips bacon, thinly sliced
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 pound frozen pizza dough, thawed
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until browned and crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain; keep warm. Add the onion slices to the drippings in the skillet; sprinkle with the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook until light brown and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Combine the scallions, capers and parsley in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste and half of the lemon zest; pulse gently to chop and blend. Turn the processor on and add the olive oil through the top in a steady stream. Transfer the scallion pesto to a bowl; set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the creme fraiche and the remaining lemon zest until smooth. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Roll the pizza dough into an 8-by-14-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Spread the creme fraiche mixture on the crust. Dot with the onions and some of the bacon drippings from the pan; sprinkle with the bacon. Slice into pieces and drizzle with scallion pesto.

Serves: 4

Creamy Shrimp Scampi Dip

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • 1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp, tails discarded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Slices of crusty bread for serving

Directions:

Position an oven rack in the top position, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the cream cheese, mozzarella, sour cream, mayonnaise, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium high until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to add the shrimp.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp just start to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes (there will be some liquid left in the skillet). Remove the skillet from the heat, and let the shrimp cool completely.

Meanwhile, mix together the parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter, the lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.

Stir the shrimp, pan sauce and cream cheese mixtures together to combine; transfer to a 2-quart flameproof baking dish. (The dip and breadcrumb mixture can be covered and refrigerated overnight separately at this point.) Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the dip, and bake until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Switch the oven to broil, and cook until the top is golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve hot with bread.

Serves: 8 to 10