I set out to make a dinner for my friends as a way to close out 2009. It had been a year of many changes and I wanted a fitting meal to say farewell with.
I started the day before, sourcing, shopping and running food home. By 9 p.m. I was done and getting set for the day of cooking ahead. I had some wonderful helpers who got me through some pretty grueling prep work. Without them, this meal would have been a dismal failure.
Before I get to the meal proper, I just want to add that throughout the whole affair, I had the most relaxing theraputic cooking experience Ive had in a long time. Yes, the hours were long. Yes, I walked all over Gods half acre looking for duck legs at 7:30 the night before new years eve, but in the end, I got to see 15 people sit down and feast. There was laughing, joking, a healthy amount of silence (broken only with the sound of cutlery on plate) and good cheer all round. Thank you to my friends for sharing a memorable meal with me. Special thanks to Julia for a drop dead yummy strawberry shortcake.
1. Jersulem artichoke, apple and leek soup.
2. Mixed Beet and escarole salad with warm herbed goat cheese.
3. Rillettes of duck confit served on homemade bread with a cherry and black garrlic reduction.
4. Mustard and anchovy crusted rack of lamb served with shredded Brussel sprouts, herb roasted potatoes and carrots.
5. Strawberry shortcake a la my favorite baker, Julia
As a final word, the thing that really surprised me was the overall organization. In the past, when I have cooked for large numbers it has entailed mad rush and panic immediately leading up to service and during each course. This was laid back and relaxed. Everything was preped ahead and waiting to go. I even had time to eat and hang out… all in all a great meal. Unfortuantly I have no pics… if anyone has any…please drop me a line.