I thought I would write a few ideas for a New Years party. Dishes that could be part of, or inspire, a cocktail party or maybe an intimate dinner gathering.
Each dish on its own has brought many accolades my way a few times.
These thick little pancakes, topped with sour cream and caviar, absolutely scream New Years! The dish, although a classic, makes its debut in the Oscar winning foreign film “Babettes Feast.”
- 8 oz buckwheat flour
- 1 oz yeast
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup luke warm water
In a bowl, mix all ingredients into a porridge like consistency, cover with a towel and let it rise for 4 hours. Then add:
- 8 oz flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter
- After mixed, then add:
- 1 cup lightly whipped cream
- 5 egg whites, whisked to a stiff peak
Cover the mixture, let it rest for 20 minutes.
After the dough has risen, add a pad of butter to a frying pan, once melted and at a medium temperature, drop a soup spoon full of the batter into the frying pan. When the tops of the blini are covered with bubbles, flip them over. Cook the blinis until batter is used or desired count has been reached.
Serve each blini warm with a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of caviar.
Some might like to sprinkle a little chopped egg and shallots to the dish. I advocate leaving it with just the sour cream along with the caviar.
Wild mushroom and goat cheese brushetta.
Serves 6 – 8 as an hors d’oeuvre or appetizer
- 2 oz. oyster mushrooms
- 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms
- 5 oz. Portobello mushrooms
- Olive oil
- 1 tbs of butter
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- Pinch of fresh thyme
- Pinch of fresh basil
- Salt and red pepper flakes
- 16 slices of baguette
- 4 oz. of goat cheese, room temp.
Chop the mushrooms roughly. In a large sauté pan or skillet, add olive oil and butter and sauté shallot and garlic for a minute or two.
Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes… Add sherry and chicken stock and cook until all liquids are evaporated, add herbs.
Keep warm and set aside.
Preheat broiler. Put slices of baguette on a roasting pan, spread the goat cheese evenly, divide the mushrooms onto the baguettes.
Place “brushettas” under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
Fresh heirloom tomatoes with corn flake and almond crusted goat cheese.
The tomatoes should be bought fresh in your favorite market or at one of our neighborhood farmers markets. Choose a variety of colors and species; make sure they are firm and ripe to the touch.
Make a simple dressing of:
- 1 1/2 tea spoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tea spoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tea spoon sugar
Salt and fresh cracked peppercorn
Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
Start with 3 lbs of tomatoes,
Cut tomatoes into halves, wedges or cubes, depending on the size of the tomatoes.
Place in a bowl, set aside.
For the “Corn Flake and Almond Crusted Goat Cheese”
With a warm knife, slice 6 disks of goat cheese, 3 oz each, set aside.
- 3 cups of corn flakes
- 1/2 cup of toasted almonds
Combine them in a food processor and blend until chopped (like bread crumbs)
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 eggs beaten
Bread the goat cheese by first rolling them in the flour, next a soak in the eggs, and finally thoroughly coated with the corn flake and almond mixture.
Set aside in the cooler for at least an hour.
When ready to serve:
Heat a frying pan with 1/4 inch of vegetable oil, about 325 degrees, gently and safely add the goat cheese disks into the oil and cook until golden brown. Turn once and repeat on second side.
Remove onto a paper towel.
Pour the simple dressing over the cut tomatoes and gently toss and coat the tomatoes with the dressing.
Arrange tomatoes on individual serving plates, place the goat cheese on top and serve immediately.
Lobster Gazpacho (serves 4)
- 1 1/2 lbs cooked Maine lobster
- 6 large vine ripe tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and seeded
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 table spoon sesame oil
- 1/4 of a jalapeno pepper
- 1 Anaheim chili pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil
- 1 clove of garlic
- Toasted bread croutons
Start with removing the lobster meat from its shell, cut meat into 1/4 inch pieces, set aside.
Peel, seed and puree the tomatoes through a food mill and set aside. Add the olive oil, basil and refrigerate the soup.
Seed all the peppers individually and cut in 1/8 –inch dice.
Cut cucumber into 1/8 inch dice.
Combine them all.
Mix salt and pepper to taste and lemon juice. Whisk in the sesame oil,
Add to the pepper and cucumber mix, set aside.
Once soup, lobster and garnish are made and ready to serve, ladle an 8 oz serving into a flat soup bowl. Divide the lobster between the serving bowls, arrange the cucumber and pepper garnish around the lobster, next place toasted bread on top of soup.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the soup, serve immediately.
- Court Bouillion
- 3 cups white Burgundy
- 2 cups water
- 1 large onion, cut in 1/4
- 1 carrot, cut in 1/4
- 1 stalk celery cut in 1 inch pieces
- Small bunch of parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp. Thyme
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon
- 2 live lobsters, 2 lbs. each
- 1/2 lbs sliced fresh
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- 5 Tbsp butter + 4 Tbsp Butter, separated
- 6 Tbsp flour
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream + 1/2 cup separated
- 1 Tbsp dry mustard
- 2 egg yolks
- Pinch Cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup Cognac
- 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
In a large pot simmer all bouillon ingredients for about 15 minutes. Add lobster and cover
and steam for about 10 minutes until done. Remove lobster from bouillon, set aside.
While lobsters are cooking, stew the mushrooms in the butter, lemon juice and season with salt for about 5 minutes.
Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add any mushroom juice to the bouillon, and reduce the broth to about 2 cups. Strain into a pot.
This is now the base for the sauce to be made.
In another pot, cook 5 Tbsp butter and flour slowly for 2 minutes without browning. Add lobster broth and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add Tbsp cream. Set aside.
In a saucepan whisk together egg yolks, mustard, 1/2 cup cream and cayenne. Add the lobster sauce to the egg mixture, add it slowly while mixing, reheat mixture (DO NOT BOIL).
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Split the lobster lengthwise, keep the shell halves intact, remove the meat from the tails and claws and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Set shells aside.
In another pan, sauté lobster meat with 4 Tbsp butter for 3 minutes, add the Cognac carefully.
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. In a large pan mix lobster meat, mushrooms and sauce.
Wrap the lobster shells with tin foil, (this will help shells stay in place).
Spoon the filling into the shells, sprinkle with the grated Gruyere cheese, place in the middle of the oven and cook for about 10 minutes until the cheese has taken a golden brown color. Serve immediately.
Flipped out Gorgonzola Souffle with a splash of cognac.
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 cup of flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 10 egg yolks
- 10 egg whites
- 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
- Pinch of Cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- 8 6 oz ramekins
Generously buttered and dusted in finely ground graham cracker crumbs
Bring milk to a boil, set aside. In a medium size sauce pot melt butter, add flour and mix until a smooth paste (Roux) cook while stirring for 30 seconds, add the hot milk, mix and toast on the burner while stirring for another 30 seconds.
Set aside for 5 minutes to cool a little, add egg yolks one by one, (an electric mixer is best used). Add Gorgonzola, season with cayenne pepper and salt.
In a separate bowl beat egg whites to stiff peak, by hand fold 1/3 of egg whites into Gorgonzola mixture, until fully mixed. Then gently fold in remaining egg whites.
Divide mixture into pre buttered and crumbed ramekins, bake @ 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Once done, flip soufflé onto serving plate, serve immediately and generously drizzle your best cognac on top (yes, the one in the back of your bar).
Happy New Year from TwoChefs Restaurant