Sunday, December 28, 2008

A New Years Celebration!

There is nothing like bringing in the New Year with family and friends. For a simple and delicious New Year's Eve dinner you might like to try all or part of the menu I served at a holiday celebration this past weekend. Recipes follow the party photos.

Smoked Salmon with toast points
Crab dip with crackers
Assorted cheeses with sliced ficelle bread
Entree and Sides
Beef Tenderloin with Bernaise Sauce
Mashed potatoes with Parsnips
Steamed Broccolli with Hollandaise
Baby Greens with roasted pine nuts and sliced pear
Brownies, Lemon Bars and Seven Layer Bars
Fresh Fruit
Getting ready.

Here come the appetizers!
(Even in a small kitchen, there is room for everyone.)

Appetizers in the living room.

A little cooking help is always appreciated.

The mashed potatoes are ready!

Is it time to eat yet?
(This is a good view of the small passage way from our tiny kitchen to the living room.)

A toast!
(Seat everyone together, even if your dining room is tiny. This makes for good conversation, more fun and a warm comfortable feeling. Here, three generations of family and friends - 12 adults plus 2 young children - are seated at the same table.)

Dinner is served!



Bourbon-marinated roast tenderloin
(from the Chicago Tribune 12/18/96)

Cooking time: 35 minutes
Yield: 12 adult servings

1/3 cup bourbon
1/4 cup each: packed light brown sugar, soy sauce
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon oil (I like to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 small onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon each: minced fresh rosemary, Worcesterchire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 beef tenderloin, 4 to 5 pounds

1. Combine bourbon, sugar, soy sauce, mustard, oil, onion, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf in small bowl; stir to dissolve sugar.
2. Transfer marinade to a large, heavy-duty plastic food bag. Add meat, seal tightly and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight, turning bag over several times. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking.
3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove meat from marinade and blot dry. Place in shallow roasting pan. Bake until temperature, tested with instant-reading thermometer, reaches 130 degrees for medium rare, about 35 minutes; or longer as desired. Tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Mashed Potatoes with Parsnips
(My recipe so proportions are approximate)

1 5 pound bag of medium red potatoes
4-5 medium to large size parsnips
1 stick salted butter
2 cups half and half (more if desired)
Salt to taste

1. Peel potatoes and parsnips and cut into large pieces. Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until a fork can be inserted easily into potatoes and parsnips.
2. Drain potatoes and parsnips in a colander and let sit for a few minutes. In same large pot used to boil potatoes and parsnips, melt butter then add half and half and stir. Add potatoes and parsnips along with salt to taste (I like about 2 teaspoons).
3. Mash potatoes and parsnips by hand or use a mixer. Add salt as needed to taste. Serve garnished with parsley.

Hollandaise Sauce and Bernaise Sauce

This is as easy as it gets. Buy the Knorr hollandaise and bernaise sauce mixes and follow the directions.

Salad with Baby Greens, Roasted Pine Nuts and Pear
(My recipe so proportions are approximate)

1 bag baby greens
3 Bartlett or Bosc pears
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bottle Robb Ross Red Wine Vinegar and Oil Dressing (available at most grocery stores)
Salt to taste

1. Saute pine nuts in a dry non-stick pan on medium until brown; about 2 minutes. Let nuts cool.
2. Cut pears into thin slices length wise.
3. Place green, pears and pine nuts into a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil add a pinch of salt and mix to coat greens with oil. (I do the mixing with my hands, this seems to work best.)
4. Add 1/4 of the Robb Ross dressing to the salad and mix again to coat the greens. Serve salad on dinner plate or separately.

Everything Else Including Desserts and Appetizers

Call me lazy, but I buy all my desserts and appetizers. It makes things much easier and I'm able to enjoy my guests and the party. Of course, many of you are much more talented and organized than I am so you can probably whip those appetizers and desserts together in a minute. I'd love to have your recipes!

Happy New Year!


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