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Christmas dinner:

 

--Roast chicken (the raw chicken was organic and came from Costco--really tasty and very juicy)

--Roasted vegetables: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and whole heads of garlic

--Dried fruit and nut platter and fruitcake, courtesy of N's parents

--Vanilla ice cream with rumtopf

--SoyNog

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Working my way through some Indian recipes from a not very good book - an experiment in seeing what works and what doesn't. The night before last I turned my kitchen into a post-hurricane site with a

Ta. I must give this a try.

Thank you thank you. But doesn't everyone look better wearing a bath mat?

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Chanukah dinner on Christmas.

 

Roast Quattro chicken

Potato latkes

Applesauce, flavored with vanilla and nutmeg

Salad

defrosted quince tart left over from Thanksgiving.

 

(I confess that my latkes were not up to par, due to my excitement over receiving a Kindle.)

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2012 is going to be my "Year of Baking Dangerously"

 

Years ago, I used to bake quite a bit, but got out of the habit over a decade ago and have barely done any since. I really want to see if I have any talent for it left at all.

 

It was Lippy who first introduced me to the bialy (Kossar's??)in 2007. I have no idea why they came to mind when I started thinking about baking again, but for some reason I couldn't shake the thought that I should give making them a try

 

I am reasonably pleased with the end results, which were crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.

 

I had them with a "Brinner" of slow cooked scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.

 

Slapsie

 

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11 by Dos Hermanos, on Flickr

 

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12 by Dos Hermanos, on Flickr

 

6585417715_623dc3cbec_z.jpg

13 by Dos Hermanos, on Flickr

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Classic, traditional IndoItalian Christmas dinner on the 25th:

 

1) Starters: various antipastoey things and cheeses (piave, robiola,

provolone mandarone, etc.).

 

2) Manicotti made with fresh crepes rolled around local ricotta

and mozzarella.

 

3) Caramelized cauliflower with popped mustard seeds and sautéed

spinach, red pepper flakes, and garlic chips.

 

4) Biryani (layers of rice, caramelized onion and slow-cooked meat,

sprinkled with saffron-infused milk and baked in a sealed dish in a

slow oven).

 

5) Raita, with tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, green chillies, and cilantro,

to accompany (4).

 

6) Artichokes stuffed with breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, and garlic,

and steamed. Guests scraped the leaves with their teeth, working up,

Seinfeld-like, a new appetite after the old one was destroyed by the main

meal.

 

7) A Slovenian version of stollen (brought by one of the guests), cookies,

flourless brownies, assorted ice creams.

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About 2 weeks ago, I took delivery of 4 whole ducks from a local farm. I slipped off the breasts and froze them, made confit with the leg/thigh portions, roasted the wings and carcasses and made stock, rendered the fat (2 quarts!), and made a mousse with the livers.

Christmas Dinner

 

Vermont cheeses (Lazy Lady Valencay and Twig Farm Tomme) and homemade duck liver mousse, homemade whole wheat crackers sprinkled with fleur de sel and nigella seed, Perrier Jouet Grand Brut NV (must rethink beverage strategy now that all 4 kids are old enough to be allowed champagne).

 

Sauteed duck breasts with sour cherry sauce (gastrique** finished with dried sour cherries and dark duck stock), tiny potatoes* oven-crisped in duck fat, sweet peas* with pan-roasted tiny golden onions, and carrots* braised in garlic* and maple syrup. '07 Jaboulet Vaqueyras to drink.

 

Buche de Noel: hot milk sponge cake rolled with chestnut buttercream, dark chocolate ganache, meringue mushrooms.

 

buchedenoel.jpg

 

* All from the garden – peas from the freezer, the remainder from the root cellar. :)

 

** Lacking an appropriate vinegar for the gastrique, I improvised with a little chianti vinegar and a little balsamic. We opened gifts after dinner, only to find that my SIL had given us a lovely tiny bottle of...sour cherry balsamic vinegar. O Henry lives.

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About 2 weeks ago, I took delivery of 4 whole ducks from a local farm. I slipped off the breasts and froze them, made confit with the leg/thigh portions, roasted the wings and carcasses and made stock, rendered the fat (2 quarts!), and made a mousse with the livers.

Christmas Dinner

 

Vermont cheeses (Lazy Lady Valencay and Twig Farm Tomme) and homemade duck liver mousse, homemade whole wheat crackers sprinkled with fleur de sel and nigella seed, Perrier Jouet Grand Brut NV (must rethink beverage strategy now that all 4 kids are old enough to be allowed champagne).

 

Sauteed duck breasts with sour cherry sauce (gastrique** finished with dried sour cherries and dark duck stock), tiny potatoes* oven-crisped in duck fat, sweet peas* with pan-roasted tiny golden onions, and carrots* braised in garlic* and maple syrup. '07 Jaboulet Vaqueyras to drink.

 

Buche de Noel: hot milk sponge cake rolled with chestnut buttercream, dark chocolate ganache, meringue mushrooms.

 

buchedenoel.jpg

 

* All from the garden – peas from the freezer, the remainder from the root cellar. :)

 

** Lacking an appropriate vinegar for the gastrique, I improvised with a little chianti vinegar and a little balsamic. We opened gifts after dinner, only to find that my SIL had given us a lovely tiny bottle of...sour cherry balsamic vinegar. O Henry lives.

 

The meringue mushrooms are a wonderful final touch!

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Since Christmas was a write off, we decided to push the boat out for New Year's Eve supper.

 

We began with scrambled eggs made with black truffles and served with some homemade dinner rolls.

 

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7 by Dos Hermanos, on Flickr

 

Followed with a rolled piece of belly pork, stuffed with garlic, rosemary, thyme, and orange zest and rubbed with salt, fennel seed, juniper berries and bkack peppercorns.

 

I served it on Puy lentils cooked with carrots, celery, garlic, shallots and some homemade bacon.

 

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10 by Dos Hermanos, on Flickr

 

I bought the cheesecake and served it with some hot blueberries cooked in Applejack and a little sugar.

 

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11 by Dos Hermanos, on Flickr

 

Happy New Year Everyone

 

Slapsie

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Last night seven of us sat down at ten after watching Midnight in Paris (an ideal movie for New Years Eve). Oysters, choucroute garnie, lots of Laurent Perrier blanc de blancs and rose, palmiers, tangerines, chocolates.

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For lunch, made carpaccio tonnato.. Thin slices of filet mignon, pounded out and topped the steak with a homemade mayo, caper, tuna sauce. Served on this amazing pan pugliese from Bien Cuit Then a broccoli soup.. simple boiled broccoli with wine, garlic and chile oil. Served in a bowl with broccoli topped with shredded aged gouda. We opened an 82 Barbaresco and drank it with homemade spinach tagliatelle in a chicken liver sauce.. a little toasted pistachio, pickled red onion, guanciale. It sounds strange but,it was really well balanced and went so well with the wine..

 

A happy and a healthy.

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Yesterday, we bought some fresh fusilli from this pasta spot. Came home and made a bolognese-esque dish... Diced fennel and onion, garlic, some ground beef, some fennel powder, tomato paste, white wine, guanciale, and water.. Cooked down, added peas at the end, with a couple of spoons of ricotta and added the fusilli. A salad of arugala and toasted bread crumbs.

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Branzino.. 2 x 1.25 lbs. 5 dollars a pound. Took the whole fish. Made a thin long cut the length of the fish along both sides of the spine, then at the ends, by the head and the tail, I slit down rounding out the filet. I cut the inside separating the spine from the filet.. Salted and added rosemary. Salted the outside and put the fish over a half of a lemon that was cut side down.. A beer can fish. The fish looked like they were swimming.. Roasted it.. When the fish cooks, because of the slits, the filets break away. you can easily serve the filets off the whole fish.. Crispy skin, it looks perfect. Served with mashed potatoes for Miss K and roasted fennel for us.. (perhaps some potatoes spilled on to my plate) Served with an italian white and an arugula salad. salad was the kitchen sink sort of speak.. still getting rid of crudite from Christmas. The fridge is pretty amazing like that. Though, we rarely shop for more than a few days out. Red onion, red pepper, a cucumber, blue cheese from a cheese plate, vin cotto, olive oil.

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