2011 was quite a year. New job, new city, new house, new state, new foods. We're further from some friends and closer to others. And our New Year's tradition of cooking with Dr. Ricky was broken, however we still managed to have a good feed. This year, I cooked 10 dishes, focusing on dishes that were relatively simple to prepare while cooking solo.
I started the evening with a riff on a margarita, the mandarin margarita, rimmed with a mixture of white and black salts to add contrast.
We quickly moved into an old classic, feta with honey and peppercorns. The salty, sweet, peppery goodness, contrasts with the crispness of the cracker, and is a nice, light way to start a large meal.
Our good friends in Maine brought fresh scallops and lobsters with them. We think scallops require very little work to make them delicious, so I seared them in sesame oil and served them with fishy sauce.
We followed this with my favourite soup of all time. Lobster bisque (I'll be writing this one up as a separate post soon). I love this stuff, it makes the house smell heavenly.
Next up, quick roasted dates, stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon.
In the interest of being healthy, we had a vegetable course. Brussel sprouts with garlic, roasted after being drizzled with lard, and seasoned with parmesan. Yummy.
Before we moved into the grilled courses, we cleansed our palates with a lime-basil sorbet.
I grilled a cheese sandwich using no-knead bread, caramelized onions and a mixture of fontina, Danish blue and monterey jack cheeses. Grilled over hot charcoal, it picked up a hint of smoke flavour. Yum.
Finally we grilled pork belly (holy flaring fat fire, batman!), and served it with a miso-garlic dipping sauce. I barely got a shot of this before it was devoured.
And for dessert, broiled blackberries with sabayon.
Not a bad 5 hour feed. At midnight, our local Boston friends served up grasshopper ice cream cocktails, and because I was off the clock I forgot to take a picture. A rich and decadent end to a lard-fueled evening.
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had as much fun as I did for your own New Year's Eves, and that 2012 brings you good things to eat.
By Bbq Dude