leave your inhibitions at the door
Last week, I posted about what we had to drink at our little B-Lister New Year’s Eve party. Afterwards, it occurred to me that I really could’ve lied and said we had some semi-famous people there and you really wouldn’t have known the difference. Seriously, how would you know that David Brenner or the other guy from Wham! wasn’t there? Or Heather Thomas?
While the drinks were literally “big” (gallon wine, 3L Cab, magnum of Prosecco), the food was big in flavor. There wasn’t a particular theme, so it was an eclectic variety – much like the people there.
First up – The Sicilian’s little “blinis”
These were mini savory pancakes made with Dijon and mustard seed, topped two different ways. One had cold-smoked salmon, crème fraiche, and dill. The other had hot-smoked trout, horseradish, sour cream, and dill. The cheap-ass didn’t think we were good enough to serve the Russian caviar so she used Tobiko, the flying fish roe used in sushi, with both. I guess I don’t blame her. If I would seen me coming in with a jug o’ Carlo Rossi, I probably would’ve used carp.
Next up – The Architect’s Rasam
This is a tomato-based soup that hails from southern India. It was nice and spicy with strong hints of cumin and chili pepper. Ever the artist, he served in aperitif stems garnished with a fried curry leaf.
My turn (part 1) – Horseradish Crusted Beef Tenderloin
This is one of my go-to dishes when I’m a) invited to a fancy dinner party b) strapped for time, and c) want to show off. This is actually an Emeril Lagasse recipe (from his Creole Christmas cookbook), but I’ve made it so many times I have it memorized. You’ve probably had or seen roast beef or prime rib served with that horseradish cream sauce at some buffet. Instead of the cream sauce, this recipe uses a grated fresh horseradish crust to get that flavor combination. Have you ever seen fresh horseradish?
Port wine reduction
Place in sauce pan and boil over medium heat until you have about ½ a cup. Around 30-40 minutes. Strain the mixture through fine sieve and then serve at room temperature.
My Turn (parts 2 & 3) – Desserts
I made a couple of desserts. I was already planning on making the tenderloin there, so I wanted to make stuff that I could just bring so I wasn’t spending my whole NYE cooking.
Everyone that was there is a chocolate lover, but out of habit I made an alternative in case there was some heathen present. These had nice balance between the tartness of the lemon curd and the sweetness of the coconut. The almonds also added a crunchy texture. It was good, but not anything I’m dying to make again. Worth a try because it’s super easy. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Easy-Lemon-Curd-Bars
Thomas Keller’s Brownies
These were taken from the ad hoc at home cookbook. As expected from the consensus greatest chef in America, these were sheer perfection. They were very easy to make and well worth the couple of extra minutes of effort versus anything that came out of a box that says fucking Betty Crocker. Although, I honestly don’t know what Betty Crocker looks like. So she could be worth fucking. (Darn, there goes another New Year’s resolution down the drain – no gratuitous cursing)