These days after New Year’s Day last week have been so hectic. Good hectic – so maybe it’s foretelling of a great business year ahead!
We had a wonderful small dinner party on New Year’s Eve. Just six of us, with a couple of kids around through the soup course. My brother, Steve, and his wife, Trish, joined us along with our good friends, Margaret and Wayne. Steve brought along some Petrossian caviar (divine) and served it up on homemade blinis with a touch of crème fraiche – heaven! Our dinner started with a family favorite from the Zuni Café cookbook – asparagus & rice soup with pancetta and black pepper, paired with an excellent champagne – Georges Laval. I then served pan–roasted loin lamb chops with garlic and ginger together with a carrot, parsnip and tarragon puree with oven-roasted tiny Yukon gold potatoes. We finished with holiday cookies and tea and missed the ball dropping.
Then on New Year’s Day, after everyone woke up late, we had a traditional Polish breakfast with fresh Polish sausage, chrzan, scrambled eggs, homemade bread and fruit salad. The kids played St. Petersburg all afternoon and then we moved into our first dinner of the new year.
We started with artichokes simmered in a bath of water, lemon, crushed garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper and crushed juniper berries, with a mayo-Dijon dipping sauce. Our oldest then wanted to make a pasta course. He made this Mark Bittman recipe that was so easy and SO GOOD!! Watch the video here.
The pasta was delicate and toothy at the same time, so very satisfying and delicious! And really, it was easy. Making these large sheets – handkerchiefs as Mark calls them – adds further ease. The sauce was a simple fresh plum tomato sauce with a little olive oil, garlic and two anchovies, which adds big, big flavor. Topped with some grated Parmesan, this was one fine dish. I really encourage you to make this – it will not disappoint!
Our main course was a Melissa Clark recipe of pan–seared center cut pork chops that had been marinating in olive oil, mashed anchovies and minced garlic, along with some beautiful sautéed escarole, substituting her Swiss chard.
The anchovies were so good in that dinner, I continued with them through the week and shoved some under the skin of a chicken I roasted, along with some rosemary and roasted garlic. My husband and I loved it. Our youngest, not so much. I used six fillets on that chicken, maybe four would have been better to get the big flavor but not the recognizable fishy anchovy taste. I grew up on anchovies. My father loved them and used to serve them to us on saltines!! Talk about salt! And we loved them, so you know how big of a fan I am. (Of course in those days, the variety of crackers available today, just didn’t exist then.)
I hope that your New Year’s celebrations were wonderful and fun. Please write and let me know what you did.
Wishing you an awesome and inspiring New Year that is love-filled and delicious!