Friday, January 7, 2011

New Years Eve Dinner 2011: The Menu

Starting in the year 2000, my dad began making several course dinners for New Years Eve instead of going out on one of the craziest (and most expensive) nights of the year.  That year it also meant they were close to home in case all the Y2K bug rumors turned out to be true and the world starting coming to an end...just kidding, the Y2K bug had nothing to do with their decision to stay home but it is sort of funny to think about all the stockpiling people did months before January 1, 2000.

The theme that year was Dinner Around the World and each course featured a dish from every continent (except Antarctica) with a corresponding (and complimentary) bottle of wine.  My parents enlisted my siblings and me to serve them dinner, which is one of the benefits of having four kids.  We got to eat the courses too, but in the kitchen because there was no room for us in the dining room and we were kitchen help after all.

Gradually I have moved up in the world and this year J and I got to eat at the "big kid" table with my parents and their friends.  

And boy was the food good.  I am going to share some of my favorite recipes from the dinner, with pictures, in the subsequent posts, but for now I thought I would share the table setting and menu with you all.  You know, to get your mouth salivating on this Friday morning.

First, the table setting.  Notice the three different wine glasses: one for whites, one for reds and one for champagne at midnight.  It is a good thing my mom put the champagne glasses because by the time we finished the last course, it was 11:15!  We even had to stop cleaning the kitchen to watch the ball drop at midnight.  We watched the Dick Clark one (of course!) although Ryan Seacrest did most of the hosting this year.

See all that silverware?  I sort of felt like Leo in Titanic when I sat down (we don't eat at really fancy restaurants very often, can you tell?) but then I remembered Molly Brown/Kathy Bates advice from the fancy dinner scene in First Class and started on the outside and worked my way in.

Alright enough blabbing.  Now onto the main event, the menu for this festive dinner.  The theme this year was A Night in New Orleans.  All the recipes were either Cajun recipes or recipes served by Paul Prudhomme or Emeril in their NOLA restaurants, with the exception of the mushroom crusted lamb.  We have this recipe every year for NYE (never fear I will share the recipe with you!) and it just wouldn't be NYE without it.  In fact, when my dad's friends (who we celebrate with every year) heard the theme, their first question was: will we still get the lamb?  It is that good.

New Years Eve 2010:

Scallops and Cauliflower with Caper-Raisin Sauce

Turtle Soup

Mushroom Crusted Lamb with Leek Puree
Leek Gratin

Shrimp Remoulade

Beef Wellington
Creamy Cabbage Alfredo

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

Those of you who are somewhat familiar with my 130 Before I'm Thirty list may notice that we made Beef Wellington, which is on my list.  You better believe that when my dad gave us the menu a few days before New Years, I immediately enlisted myself to make the dish!

So there you go, our NYE menu.  Are you drooling yet?  Stay tuned for the recipe for the first course, Scallops and Cauliflower in a Caper-Raisin Sauce!

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