Thursday, December 29, 2011

The New Year's Eve Menu

The preparation for New Year's Eve 2011 has begun, and while the stress level is way down from the past two years, it still is lurking in the background, and will most likely intensify as the week lopes along.  This morning I finally got the completed menu from Kevin to post here.  The gigantic sweet potatoes pictured above, from Joseph's fields, will figure somewhere in the selections, but mostly they were just gigantic sweet potatoes. 

The box of Lobsters will figure prominently in the seafood side of the entrées, being paired with the salmon.  These were some big crustaceans, which Kevin will cook humanely, in order to theoretically prevent the meat from seizing up and becoming tough.  His method - which also prevents a lot of clattering in the pot of boiling water - is to stick a very sharp knife through the head of the lobster.  While they may not feel any pain, they sure feel even less when they don't have to boil to a slow death; if the meat is more tender with this method, all the better.
The kumquat chutney came about because of the pint of the fruit we bought at the grocery store for our own Christmas meal.  This is the big batch brewing on the stove yesterday.   

Anyway, here's the menu - so far.  I don't think there will be any changes, but you know how it is...

New Year's Eve 2011

Hors d'oeuvres

Choice of Appetizer 
Buttermilk sautéed quail with sweet potato purée
and cranberry mostarda
Goat cheese in brick pastry with caramelized fennel
and kumquat chutney

Choice of Soup
Beef consommé with seared St. Brigid's Farm sirloin
Chestnut soup with wild rice and foie gras

Winter Salad

Choice of Entrée
St. Brigid's Farm veal loin
with fried oysters
Scottish salmon
with lobster lasagna

Dessert Selection
French chocolate torte with crème anglaise
Three nut tart with cranberries
Pavlova roll

Frankly - and quite objectively of course - I think it's a pretty good menu.  The choices are varied enough to make decisions difficult for some diners, but strong enough to keep things fairly even.  We figure the salmon will win out over the veal - seafood and prime rib are the past big winners - but fried oysters with veal?  that's where I'm going.  Angie's been working on the desserts this week - making the chocolate tortes first, then the pavlova (with cherries we think), and finally the tartes.  The book is pretty much booked - there are a couple of seats left at 5:30 and a 9:00 perhaps; other than that it will be reserved seats at the bar.

Champagne?  But of course!  We'll have our sparkling Gruet by the glass, as well as bottles of Gosset and half bottles of Roederer for our celebratory diners to imbibe.  Personally I cannot imagine New Year's Eve without champagne, but in reality we don't usually serve that much - I'll chill plenty and then we'll most likely be drinking some ourselves as we relax on the patio with a New Year's Fire into the wee hours of New Year's Day.  Not a bad way to start out 2012, eh?

And neither is a meal like the one Kevin is planning!

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