New Year’s Eve
January 1, 2011
There were four of us celebrating the end of 2010 and the start of 2011 at our house in Beaulieu-sur-Mer. I prepared a festive dinner. Jean and Christiane brought the excellent bottles of Champagne and of Bordeaux.
Our gardener, Bruno, picked the remaining cauliflower from our kitchen garden in the morning; I used the firmest one, but it wasn’t firm enough to slice as Eleven Madison Park had done it so I used flowerlets.
I laid out ingredients in our kitchen in the afternoon and started chopping, slicing, cooking etc.
The fantasy rice to go with the monkfish would be called crab fried rice in New York, although I added some cross-cultural items such as sultana raisins and pine nuts.
Preparations were done two hours before the guests arrived so I could relax and get ready to enjoy the evening. Linda set the table for four.
For aperitif and with the first course we had
Dom Pérignon, Vintage 2002
The first course was
Anguille fumée avec sa petite salade de concombres
The smoked eel is brought to us from Holland by our good friends Kees and Els. The cucumber salad offsets its richness.
With the next two courses we drank
2002 Gewürtztraminer, Dopff & Irion, Grand Cru Vorbourg
The second course was
Soupe tiède de moules.
This cool, creamy bisque of mussels is enhanced with bits of sausage and fennel.
Délice de queue de lotte au safran, riz fantaisie
The simplicity of the baked chunk of monkfish is offset by the complexity of the crab fried rice.
With the two meat courses and the cheeses we enjoyed bottles of
1994 Château Latour
1995 Côte-Rôtie, Brune et Blonde de Guigal
To drink at the end of the meal with the mignardises from Patrick Moriano, our excellent local chocolatier and patissier, was a
1993 Banyuls Rimage, Cellier des Templiers
The first meat course was
Emincé de veau, champignons, échalotes, châtaignes sur tagliatelles à la crème de truffes « Bruno »
The ragout of veal, mushrooms, shallots and chestnuts was enhanced with a truffle cream I bought from Terres des Truffes, the shop in Old Nice of Bruno of Lorgues, the regional truffle king.
Carré d’agneau, chou-fleur du jardin aux épices des Indes
The lamb and cauliflower were roasted with cumin, cardamom and sesame.
Tomme de montagne
Selles-sur-Cher cendrée au lait cru de chèvre
Saint Marcellin au lait cru
Nougat Noir au figues
I didn’t get photos of the cheeses or mignardises as they were on little plates being passed around and I wasn’t really thinking photography at that point. We had a fine evening and a good start to 2011. We hope that you did too.