Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's 2009

We were a smaller group than usual this year, but that's ok - we still had a fabulous night of good friends, good food & good wine!

We started off with a wonderful rose, Montaudon, to go with gougeres that I made with some English cheddar, and stuffed with some truffle pate whipped into some cream cheese (in my new 4 cup Cuisinart).
We also had some home smoked trout by Andrew, that was brined in a maple syrup based brine (but perhaps left in a bit too long, as it was a tad salty), smoked with apple wood in the Cookshack. We served that on granny smith apples with a dab of horseradish cream.
Our friend Andy made a sweet corn chowder, with red pepper & crab that was outstanding. It was really thick and wonderful, like maque choux and butter made into a soup. I hope he wrote that one down (I know he probably didn't)! That went perfectly with a 2006 Turley White Coat that we picked up a while back in the Paso Robles tasting room.

I made olive crusted rack of lamb, from this recipe on Epicurious, which came together like a breeze -- I made the topping earlier in the day,
then just had to sear off the racks, paint them with a bit of dijon, and press on the crust.

It was cooked perfectly if I say so myself (though the crust didn't want to stick), and went well with a parsnip potato mash with olive oil (no cream), and just a simple wine sauce made with veal stock reduced and red wine/shallots/rosemary reduced.
Next time I'll thicken the sauce a bit more, but the flavor was definitely right. We had a magnum of 2003 Vieux Telegraph La Crau to go with the lamb, and finished up (after a little walk and Travis Pastrana jumping the rally car on TV) the wine with some Beecher's Flagship cheese and some smoked almonds - home smoked again -- one with bbq rub (top secret) and one with hot sauce (Red Rooster) and brown sugar. The hot ones were addictive. Somehow I had no photos of the almonds... and they are all gone. He will be making more of the hot ones for sure!

For dessert, our friend Kate made a winter fruit ravioli in phyllo pastry, with some sauce that was to die for - reduced berries & wine.
I need to make sure to get some ice cream to use up the leftovers! We had a Konzelmann Vidal Ice Wine with this.

Then we talked, laughed, cleaned up, and mocked Ryan Seacrest before popping the cork on a Dom Ruinart Brut & watching some illegal fireworks in the night sky.
All in all, another very nice evening in a great tradition.

1 comment:

capngroovy said...

Saute four pieces of bacon, diced.
Meanwhile, thaw frozen sweet corn and dry on paper towels. Spread corn evenly on a sprayed cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast until desired color is reached.
Back to the bacon, pull the pieces out and set aside. Add two diced medium sweet onions, 1.5 diced red peppers, and celery. I also added some butter, but then I'm a jerk like that. Sprinkle kosher salt liberally.
Add two quarts of chicken broth (I use salt free, control freak I am), some white pepper and a touch of cayenne, and the corn. Kate put a ball of fresh thyme in at this point, a clever maneuver to pull the dish out of New Mexico.
Reduce the broth by half.
Right about now, Sandra Lee would down a bottle of grapefruit vodka and tablescape all over her cutting board. Me, I just add some heavy whipping cream and drop the heat to medium-low. Add crab near the end--you don't want it to overwhelm--and sprinkle bacon bits atop.
I s'pose some might want measurements. Okay, you got me there.