The Food and Wine Hedonist

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My Big New Years Eve – The Food

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?

So much for my New Year’s resolution of not squeezing in a picture of a hot chick whenever possible. (

The Food

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?

Yes, I picked that piece out specifically for this picture. And no, I’m not 15 years old.

Beef tenderloin

  • 3 to 4 lb whole beef tenderloin
  • Olive oil
  • Creole seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups grated horseradish, mixed with salt and pepper, and a couple teaspoons chopped garlic
  • Worcestershire
  • Port wine reduction
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Rub the meat with the creole seasoning and olive oil
  3. Heat a large pan until really hot and sear the meat on all sides (approx 2-3 minutes per side).
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Place in large roasting pan with a rack and rub the meat with Dijon
  6. Press the horseradish mixture all over the meat.
  7. Roast until internal temperature is about 120-125 for rare and 135-140 for medium-rare. If I had to guess I’d say medium-rare takes about 35-40 minutes.
  8. Let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing
  9. Drizzle with Worcestershire and port wine reduction

Port wine reduction

  • 3 cups of port.  I used a cheap-o ruby.  There should be enough left in the bottle to take one good swig
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 bay leaves

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.

Lemon  Bars

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.

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)

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups 61-64 percent chocolate chopped in small pieces (or you can use chips)
  • Garnish: Powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×9 pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  3. In a small saucepan (or in the microwaveable glass bowl), melt half of the butter. Put the remaining butter into a medium bowl and pour the melted butter over the non-melted butter. Stir until remaining butter melts, and mixture is creamy with small bits of butter floating around.
  4. In a stand mixer, mix together eggs and sugar for 3 minutes, or until pale yellow in color and thick. Add vanilla. With the mixer on lowest speed setting, alternate adding 1/3 of the sifted dry mixture and 1/3 of the butter until just combined. Add in chocolate chips.
  5. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs sticking to it.
  6. Completely cool brownies in pan before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

5 comments on “My Big New Years Eve – The Food

  1. IamSimplyTia
    January 25, 2012

    The food looks amazing. I especially love those Thomas Keller’s Brownies! I bet they were divine!

  2. Yinzerella
    January 25, 2012

    I love grated horseradish with beef.
    That Emeril recipe looks divine. Perhaps one day I’ll get around again to making gourmet-type foods that don’t included canned soups or gelatin and make that tenderloin.

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2012 by in Ann Arbor, Cooking and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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