As some of you may know, New Years Eve is the only holiday that I care to observe and one of my favorite days of the entire year. Some people may not see NYE as a food driven holiday, but I totally disagree! All of the best restaurants bust out their most over the top prix fixed menus of the year, which are generally priced accordingly, but well worth it. If that isn’t the route you choose to take, a long and satisfying dinner with friends or family is an absolute must to start out the evening that will surely be filled with livelihood and libations. This year we decided to stay in, and I couldn’t be happier about that. A few couples gathered at our friends Steve and Lindsey’s new home and made a nice coursed out dinner, had great conversation, and played it generally low-key. Linds was kind enough to let me help out with dinner and the table setting, which brought a mildly sick yet totally fulfilling sense of joy to my day!
We started the dinner off with a cheese course. I splurged and got a round of Uplands holiday cheese, Rush Creek Reserve, and I have to say that based on the reaction from my comrades, it was money well spent. After warming the cheese up in the oven, we served it with Quince & Apple’s Shallot Confit and Red Wine preserve and crackers. It was an incredibly beautiful and delicious combination that really complimented one another. The mild creaminess of the Rush Creek against the sharp flavors of the preserves was pretty spot on!
Secondly, we served a spinach salad with cut dried figs, Bosc pears, red onions, slivered almonds and a light vinaigrette. All of the flavors in this salad are very distinct and can really stand on their own. I was pleasantly surprised by how, when put together, they just blend together into a dynamic and flavorful seasonal treat.
The entree was alllll the hostess and I have to admit she absolutely brought it! Lindsey prepared a simple saffron cous cous that really set off the PERFECTLY roasted Gorgonzola and mushroom stuffed beef tenderloin. And if that wasn’t enough, she made a delightfully rich Merlot sauce to be drizzled atop the tenderloin. The tenderloin was so moist it melted in your mouth. I was blown away when she said she had purchased it at her local supermarket, which is a definite credit to her cooking abilities. The filling had such a distinctive taste, so rich and wonderful, that I would have eaten it with a spoon if given the opportunity. The only bad thing about this entree was that I can’t eat it every single day of my life.
For dessert, I made a simple baked Fuji apple with homemade caramel and Sassy Cow Vanilla ice cream. I made this dessert a week earlier for my families holiday dinner and frankly, I wanted more.
I have to say that NYE 2012 dinner was about as good as it gets. I can’t wait to share another meal with those people, particularly if it’s as delicious as that one was!