New Year's Day the Ali Larter Way

Actress and recent cookbook author Ali Larter shares her New Year's Day party philosophy: plenty of cocktails, a make-ahead main course and a big, gooey cake for dessert.

Actress and recent cookbook author Ali Larter shares her party philosophy: plenty of cocktails, a made-ahead main course and a big, gooey cake for dessert.

The first time I met Ali Larter was at last year's Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, at a dinner prepared by Los Angeles chef Michael Voltaggio. Ali and I agreed that our favorite course was the branzino with cauliflower branches. Later that night, she texted me a picture of her bedtime snack: a bag of salt-and-vinegar potato chips. I texted back a photo of mine: a canister of sour-cream-and-onion Pringles. We are culinary soul mates, I thought.

At the Voltaggio dinner, Ali had shown me a copy of her new cookbook, Kitchen Revelry, with a year's worth of entertaining recipes arranged by month. At first, I was skeptical of a cookbook from an actress who became an icon for wearing a whipped-cream bikini in the film Varsity Blues. But I liked the look of the book, with its holiday cheese fondues followed by January juice regimens. "When I'm cooking, I want people near me, so I keep the fondue warm on the stove; my friends sit on the counter and dig in," says Ali, who grew up cooking meat loaf and Philly cheesesteaks with her mom in New Jersey.

Ali recently made fondue for a New Year's Day party—a serious three-cheese one, spiked with sparkling wine and served with cornichons for dipping. "I never go out on holidays; it's the worst," she says. Instead, she invites friends over to her Hollywood Hills home where she's ready with pitchers of blood orange screwdrivers. "They're killer, whether or not you've got a hangover," she confides. To avoid last-minute party stress, she prepares a make-ahead main course of wine-braised chicken braciole, stuffed with spinach and raisins. Because the chicken isn't too heavy, she goes all-out on dessert: a big, gooey, utterly delicious German chocolate cake, packed with coconut and pecans. I'm going to make it on New Year's Day and text Ali a picture.

Ali Larter's New Year's Eve Party Menu:
Three-Cheese Fondue with Pickles
Champagne with a Twist
Blood Orange Screwdrivers
Chicken Braciole with Spinach
Winter Lettuces with Pomegranate Seeds
Buttery Buttermilk-Mashed Potatoes
German Chocolate Cake

Related: Fast, Make-Ahead Cocktail Party
New Year's Eve Recipes for a Crowd
New Year's Eve Recipes

DownComment IconEmail IconFacebook IconGoogle Plus IconGrid IconInstagram IconLinkedin IconList IconMenu IconMinus IconPinterest IconPlus IconRss IconSave IconSearch IconShare IconShopping Cart IconSpeech BubbleSnapchat IconTumblr IconTwitter IconWhatsapp IconYoutube Icon