Happy New Year Eve Dinner

The celebration of New Years Eve in our home has evolved over the years. Before we had children, we would go out to dinner with friends - usually a good steak house or Italian restaurant. However, as our family dynamics have changes, both for us and our friends, we have found it is easier to celebrate at home. For the past few years, (except for last year when we went to Disneyland), we have hosted our friends and their families for a fun family-friendly New Years Even dinner and celebration.

 

When the kids were infants, our friends would join us and we would have a nice meal served family style starting around 8:00 pm. The little ones would be asleep upstairs, while the adults enjoyed each others company.

 

As the children started getting older we found our group dynamics evolving. Some of our friends were able to get sitters and come without children, others would bring their children, eat and then head out around 10:00 pm to get the kids to bed, and others would pass simply because of the challenging children logistics. But no matter what, we made it work and enjoyed the company of who ever managed to make it.

 

I would prepare appetizers for the adults and the kids would eat around 6:30 pm. Once they were done and situated with a movie or asleep, I would go on to finish preparing dinner for the adults and serve around 8:00 pm. The timing usually worked out pretty well.

This year, was no exception. While we were not a big group this year, we still hosted and had a wonderful meal with good friends.

 

For appetizers I made a cheese board, shrimp cocktail platter, vegetable plate and bowl of berries. The cheese board had a slice of Brie and Manchego cheeses. To enhance the cheeses, I served them with a Fig Jam and Truffle Honey. The Truffle Honey paired really well with the Manchego and the Fig Jam added sweetness to the creamy Brie. To finish the plate, I placed some fresh red grapes, strawberries, blackberries, sliced artisan French Baguette and pita crackers.

 

 

 

For the shrimp cocktail, I purchased some fresh pre-cooked shrimp, cut up a lemon and made cocktail sauce with a 1/2 cup of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of fresh horseradish and a squeeze of lemon.

 

For the vegetable tray, I cut up some broccoli, red bell peppers, cucumbers and arranged the carrots in a N Y and E for New Years Eve and served it with a side of ranch dressing.

The fruit bowl was simply some fresh strawberries and blackberries, washed and sliced for the kids to take.

 

Dinner for the kids, consisted of fresh steamed broccoli, bites from the vegetable tray and a pizza. I wanted to make them dinner, but they decided they wanted pizza. Who am I to argue on New Years Eve.

 

Dinner for the adults was a little more involved. Since we were a small group, I decided to do something a little different. In the past, I would typically make a family style chicken dish and a my beef short ribs. They are easy dishes, and great fix it and forget meals - prep them, put them in the oven to cook and let them go until we are ready to eat. But this year, I decided I wanted to do something a little more technical and slightly more sophisticated - Filet and Lobster Tail served with roasted asparagus and truffle mashed potatoes.

Below are the recipes for the Filet and Lobster Tail.

 

Smokey Sweet Filet of Beef Tenderloin

Ingredients 4 8 oz filets of beef tenderloin (cut about 1 1/2” thick) 3 Tbsp of Lars Bison Artisan Sea Salt from Saltopia 2 Tbsp of Olive Lucy Mild Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tbsp of Butter ½ cup of blue cheese crumbles

Directions 6 hours prior to cooking the filets, prepare the meat by patting it dry and applying the Lars Bison Artisan Sea Salt as a dry rub evenly to all four of the filets. Place them on a plate, cover them and put them back in the refrigerator to marinate.

About 45 minutest prior to cooking the filets, take them out of the refrigerator and let the meat come to room temperature. In the mean time, pre-heat your oven to 375° F.

When ready to cook the meat, heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and butter a large skillet on a medium high heat. Use either cast iron or heavy aluminum pan that can go in the oven. NOTE: Don’t use one that has a non-stick surface.

When the oil and butter start to sizzle, place the meat in the pan and allow it to sear and brown on one side for about 3-4 minutes, (you will see the browning start to come up the side of the meat). Then flip the meat and allow it to brown for another 3-4 minutes.

At this point, take the meat off the heat and place the pan into the oven to continue the cooking process. Allow the meat to cook in the oven for another 8-10 minutes which will cook the meat to approximately medium rare – medium doneness depending on the thickness of the steak.

When meat reaches your preferred temperature – take it out of the oven, place it on a plate, cover it with foil and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with a side of blue cheese crumbles.

 

Poached Lobster Tail

Ingredients 4 6oz-8oz Lobster Tails 1 whole lemon 1 tsp of whole pepper corns 3 Tbsp of butter

Directions Fill a large stock pot 3/4 of the way with water. Add the pepper corns and butter. Take the lemon and cut it in half, squeeze the juice from the lemon and then add the cut halves to to the stock pot. Bring the water, pepper corns and butter to a boil.

In the meantime, rinse and clean the lobster tails (if necessary). Once the water comes to a boil, gently place the tails in the water, turn the heat down to a simmer, and let the tails cook for 3-4 minutes, watching the shells turn red and the meat in the tail go from a translucent color to a white color. The meat in the tail will also firm up.

Once they were done, I placed them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. However, if you want to serve them hot, take them out of the pot, let them rest for a minute or two, cut the back of the shell with kitchen scissors so your guests can access the tail meat easily. If you place the tails in the water bath, after 2 minutes or so, take them out of the water and cut the shell.

Serve with a side of melted butter and slices of lemon.

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Below are the recipes for the side dishes.

 

 

Truffled Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients 4 medium russet potatoes, washed, pealed and cut into quarters 1 Tbsp of Kosher salt; additional for seasoning. 4 Tbsp of butter 8 oz of Sour Cream 2 teaspoons of truffle sauce

Directions Place the cut potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Make sure the potatoes are covered with at least 1 inch of water. Add salt and bring the water/potatoes to a boil. Cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes at or until fork tender (they should split when you stick the fork in them).

Once cooked, drain the potatoes. In the pot you cooked them in, add the butter and let it start to melt. Add the cooked potatoes back into the pot and then add half of the sour cream. Mash with a potato masher, making sure to incorporate the butter and sour cream.

When mostly mashed, add the truffle sauce and the remaining sour cream. Finish mashing and mixing in the sour cream and truffle. Taste the potatoes at this point to see if additional salt is required. If so, add salt to taste.

To keep warm, put a lid over the pot until ready to serve.

NOTE: If you don’t have access to truffle sauce, you can substitute Olive Lucy White Truffle Oil. Start with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and add by the teaspoon to the desired truffle taste.

 

Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients 2 lbs of fresh asparagus, cleaned with the bottoms removed 3 Tbsp of Mild Olive Lucy Extra Virgin Olive Oil - (I used a Mild Manzanillo Extra Virgin Olive Oil) 1 Tbsp of Kosher salt 1 tsp of garlic powder

Directions Pre heat your oven to 375° F Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and place the asparagus on it in a single layer. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the asparagus. Sprinkle the salt and garlic powder over the asparagus and lightly toss to evenly coat it. Make sure that it is spread back out in to a single layer. Place in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes or until the the asparagus is slightly tender.

Remove from the oven and place on a plater for service.

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I did most of the prep work prior to our friends arriving and finished cooking dinner while the kids were getting settled with their move. I finished the potatoes and lobster tails first, and while the filet was in the oven finishing I put the asparagus in to roast and the mashed potatoes in to warm.

When everything was done, I placed each item on a platter an served family style.

Our friends brought a fresh garden salad and fruit salad for dessert.

It was a wonderful night with good friends and good food.

Happy New Year! May 2017 be a happy, healthy, food loving year!

(c) 2017 @TheSundayCook. All rights reserved. Please do not repost these recipes without the permission of @TheSundayCook or Rishona Myers.

 

 

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