Before you start a new diet that eliminates most calories and includes a five mile run every day, let’s start the New Year with a classic bang. Or you might even call it a binge. What do you think? Well, regardless, let’s just decide to celebrate the New Year with great recipes and then when the celebration is over, we can work to keep all the resolutions we’ve made.
Appetizer: Oysters Rockefeller
24 fresh oysters on the half shell
1 cup butter
1/3 cup minced parsley
¼ cup minced shallots
½ clove garlic, minced
2 cups chopped watercress
1/3 cup chopped fennel
1/3 cup fine, soft bread crumbs
¼ cup Pernod (anise-flavored liquor), Salt, pepper
Place opened oysters on a bed of rock salt in pie plate or a baking pan (the rock salt holds the oysters level. See photo). Heat butter in a skillet. Sauté parsley, shallots and garlic for 8 minutes. Add watercress and fennel and cook 1 minute longer, until watercress wilts.
Scrape sautéed mixture into a blender or food processor. Add bread crumbs, Pernod, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Spread sauce over oysters. Bake at 450 degrees for 4-5 minutes, until sauce begins to bubble. Remove oysters to serving plate and discard rock salt.
Vegetables with: Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cold butter
6 to 8 ounces (1 ½ to 2 sticks) butter, melted
In a medium saucepan, beat the egg yolks with a whisk for about 1 minute, until they become thick and sticky. Add water, lemon juice and salt; beat 30 seconds longer.
Add cold butter but do not beat. Place pan over very low heat and stir with the whisk until mixture slowly thickens to a cream-like consistency (l to 2 minutes). You will begin to see the bottom of the pan between strokes.
Immediately remove from heat and beat in the cold butter. Dribble in melted butter a few droplets at a time, whisking constantly. When all butter has been incorporated (do not whisk in the milky butter residue), season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice, if desired. (Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child etal)
Main Course: Chicken Tarragon for Six
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
¼ cup flour
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter, divided use
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
¼ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or ½ teaspoon dried
¼ cup chicken broth
¼ cup whipping cream
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, reserving remaining flour.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. Brown chicken on both sides. Transfer to a heated platter. Add shallots to skillet and sauté briefly. Add wine and boil over high heat until nearly evaporated, scarping loose brown bits on bottom of pan.
Add reserved flour, stirring to make a thick paste. Sprinkle with tarragon. Stir in the chicken broth. Return chicken to skillet, cover and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a heated platter and keep hot.
Add remaining butter and cream to skillet; heat, stirring and pour sauce over chicken. (The New York Times Cook Book, Craig Claiborne)
Classic Caesar Salad for Six
Salt, 1 clove peeled garlic
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Dash Tabasco sauce
½ can anchovies, drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 bunches romaine
¼ cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup pasteurized eggs
1 cup homemade croutons
Sprinkle bottom of a large salad bowl (preferably wooden) with salt and rub with the garlic. Add mustard, lemon juice and Tabasco. Stir with a wooden spoon until salt dissolves. Add anchovies and mash very fine with a fork. Add oil and stir rapidly to blend. Remove garlic hull.
Wash and dry romaine. Tear off and discard the top 2 inches (the tougher, dark-green part). Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces and add to bowl. Add cheese and pasteurized eggs and toss well. Sprinkle croutons over salad and toss.
Dessert: Vanilla-Sparkling Wine Pound Cake
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sparkling wine (you can use milk)
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 cups sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup safflower or canola oil
5 cold eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Sift mixture and set aside. Stir together sparkling wine and sour cream; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat sugar, melted butter and oil with electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla paste. Beat on medium to high 3-5 minutes or until thicker and lighter in color. Add 1/3 the flour mixture; beat on low just until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add half the wine mixture; beat just until combined. Repeat with 1/3 the flour mixture, the remaining wine mixture and remaining flour mixture. With rubber spatula scrap batter into prepared pan.
Bake 50-55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted at center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Turn out on rack; cool completely, drizzle with Sparkling Wine Glaze (Better Homes and Gardens Feb. 2010)
Sparkling Wine Glaze
In a small bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon sparking wine. Stir additional wine, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach drizzling consistency.
Finally, Dear Reader, whether you try any of the above or just welcome the NEW YEAR with your favorite pasta, I wish for you a peaceful 2015 with good health and prosperity, wonderful books to read, music and art to enjoy and the love of family always surrounding and supporting you. Thank you for sharing another year with me on Boomer Highway. And thanks to a 1998 copy of the Des Moines Register and a 2010 copy of Better Homes and Gardens for these amazing recipes. See you in 2015.
Thanks to Google Images