Reveillon derives from the French “wakening” and began in Creole communities because they were predominantly Catholic. Families went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and returned home to a very late dinner.
A century ago, the typical Reveillon dinner was a simple affair with an uncomplicated menu: egg dishes, sweet bread, fruit, and coffee. Today the celebration has become a fantastic reason to splurge on cuisine not normally eaten for even special occasions. Lobster, foie gras, fine chocolate, and the best vintage wine can be found gracing modern Reveillon tables.
The Creole Menu
Celebrate in traditional Creole fashion, with ingredients from southern Louisiana prepared with French flair. The result is a fantastic buffet that showcases delicious, local Creole food and pays homage to classic French cuisine.
Starters or hor D'Oeuvres as they are known are an important part of the dinner. What is served can be small but should also be extremely tasty and look amazing. In addition to the requisite nuts and light cocktails, add a localized version of traditional French cheese puffs (Gougeres) and a make-ahead mushroom dip.
Always after the starters, though in France itself, the salad would be served later and most often not at Reveillon, only in the States would be it be served so early in the meal. If you are following Creole tradition, then have mixed baby field greens and a selection of simple vinaigrette dressing like blood orange vinaigrette on hand for the salad course. To really enhance the salad, add Andouille sausage to a salad or make something special your guests couldn’t possibly find bottled in a store.
Oysters are a huge hit at a Reveillon celebration, creole or not. Make a rich, creamy oyster soup out of the tiniest of these mollusks and you’ll be a hit, too. Add a brothy garlic soup with substantial, toasted slices of baguette for those that don’t favor seafood. Serve pomegranate cranberry sorbet to clear the palate after the soup course.
Entrée With Side Dishes
For ease in preparation, make your side dishes early and then heat them while you’re cooking the main course. Be sure to use care when adding the Cognac to the main dish; it might flame temporarily. In France, it is unlikely these dishes would be served but for a Creole theme, you'll want to serve, cognac shrimp with beurre blanc sauce, orange rice, quick onion confit, and winter squash puree.
Serve a sumptuous dessert buffet perfectly tailored to a Creole celebration. Beauty to behold and to taste is what is required so do not hold back and serve dishes including banana tarte tatin and pears belle helene.