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Romantic New Years Eve dinner for 2


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I'm preparing dinner for my current GF (and most likely wife-to-be) and my former long time love....  who are meeting each other for the first time. - chicken liver mousse and some soft stinky cheese with water crackers before dinner....

- crabcake appetizer

- baby spinach salad with sliced pears and walnuts

- Miso Glazed Sea Bass with wild rice and sauteed haricots verts (or ordinary string beans if I can't find the haricots verts)

- flaky pastry layered with peaches baked with small scoop French vanilla ice cream

I forgot to take pics of the food (drat!) but my former GF and my current love (and future wife I think) seemed to genuinely enjoy meeting each other and dinner was a success.

The crabcakes became crawfish cakes when I discovered a half pound of crawfish tail meat in my freezer. IIRC it was a Paul Prudhomme recipe. They turned out very well but I had to coat the outside in cornmeal rather than bread crumbs as I'd used up all the bread crumbs in making the cakes. My guests loved them but I'd like them to be a bit spicier and with bread crumbs on the outside. First time I made any crab/crawfish cakes at home and was fairly pleased with the results. They seem to freeze well too.

The chix liver mousse wasn't done in time and we had it for dinner the following day. I altered the spinach salad to one with bacon and taosted chopped pecans with a bacon fat./cider vinegar dressing and crumbled goat cheese. Very nice.

I tried an English cheese (whose name escapes me) that had many green veins throughout - it was a sage flavoring and that cheese was bland and uninspiring despite looking great. The Stilton with Apricots was a big hit - it's tad on the sweet side but my lady friends both loved it. I stuck with the aged cheddar, which always works for me.

I had a couple Meyer Lemons someone had given me and used them to make a lemon butter for the haricots verts, which were setrved with sliced toasted almonds. The wild rice never got cooked but that sea bass recipe is truly a winner. It['s incredibly easy to prepare. After a five hour marinade and an hour at room temp before cooking, the filets were placed about 6" under a low broiler until a caramel colored glaze developed (about six minutes or so). I flipped them over until a similar finish developed on the other side and then served.

Folks, I have to tell you, it was the best piece of fish I've ever eaten. Perfect texture, great subtle flavor and perfectly cooked from edge to center even in the thickest part of the filet with nary a dry spot to be found. Credit goes not to the chef but to the recipe. Try it sometime.

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I second short ribs especially since you can make ahead and re heat next day so that you can focus on putting kids in bed.

How about  fried rissotto balls for appetizer. You can make basic risoto night before then shape and fry on spot. I like to make mine with peas prosciutto and stick in a little piece of mozzerella in each ball. Fry up then roll in some parmigianno.

Dessert creme brulle or bread pudding both easy do ahead prep dishes.

My dh and I have just started making these. They are positively addictive!

Patti Davis

www.anatomyofadinnerparty.com

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I tried an English cheese (whose name escapes me) that had many green veins throughout - it was a sage flavoring and that cheese was bland and uninspiring despite looking great.

sage derby?

it's not english, but i've seen bravo farms sage cheddar - almost a cinderblock design. i'm also not mad for it. they have a chipotle variety that isn't bad though.

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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I second short ribs especially since you can make ahead and re heat next day so that you can focus on putting kids in bed.

How about  fried rissotto balls for appetizer. You can make basic risoto night before then shape and fry on spot. I like to make mine with peas prosciutto and stick in a little piece of mozzerella in each ball. Fry up then roll in some parmigianno.

Dessert creme brulle or bread pudding both easy do ahead prep dishes.

My dh and I have just started making these. They are positively addictive!

Which did you make the SR or the Rissoto balls?

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