My Plan to Entertain: New Year’s Weekend

Between promoting At Home, and Frog Commissary’s catering and our move to and operation of The Franklin Institute restaurants, I have hardly had a moment to think about our own entertaining at home. Finally, Tuesday morning I made a plan and announced to Christina Tuesday evening that “I’ll have the food. You round up the guests.”

New Year’s Eve will begin with early evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for our Christmas hosts — Christina’s brother Larry, wife Susan and daughter Sarah — plus my entertaining son Noah, who is planning his own New Year’s Eve shin-dig in his shared Italian Market digs. A few other guests are in the works, but that’s not my department.

My goal is to spend time with guests and not in the kitchen. Everything is room temperature and sitting out with the exception of the Jerusalem artichoke bisque, the baby octopus and the cheese souffle. The soup is easy. Just heat and serve. Souffle’s are actually quite simple and a wonderful way to end the year. Souffle dishes can be prepared ahead, the souffle base made in the afternoon, the oven pre-heated and the egg whites in the Kitchen Aid mixer, ready to whip and fold. I had not planned for the baby octopus — but it was available at Whole Foods and I love octopus and know Larry does too. It will be marinated and ready to grill quickly in a grill pan just before serving.

Menu for New Year’s Eve Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres

Tangerine-Kumquat Martinis (We served these sensational martinis at our wedding last November. The Recipe is below and on page 47 of At Home.)

Olives & Pappedews

Roasted Sweet & Hot Peppers with Crostini

Demitasse of Jerusalem Artichoke Bisque with White Truffle Oil

Shrimp Cocktail

Citrus-cured Salmon with Cilantro Crème Fraiche

Scallops Cru with Pink Peppercorns

Mussels with Mustard Mayonnaise

Tuna Tartare

Paprika-grilled Baby Octopus

Cheese Souffle

New Year’s Eve marks the anniversary of Christina’s and my engagement. I cooked dinner for two. At midnight I popped the question, followed by a midnight walk and champagne toast to the New Year in Rittenhouse Square with Izzy. (It took us four years to actually tie the knot.) So our New Year’s celebration is dinner for two. Everything is cooked and ready to be heated and served except for the shellfish that will go into the hot stew shortly before serving.

Engagement Anniversary Dinner for Two

First Course Paparadelle with Red Wine Braised Boneless Short Ribs

Entree Seafood Stew with Lobster, Crab, Shrimp & Clams served with Rouille (Garlic, Bread, Sweet Red Pepper Mayonnaise)

Dessert Cara Cara, Navel & Blood Oranges & Red Grapefruit

Biscotti & Belgian Chocolate (in honor of our Belgian friends Pascal, Manou and Maelle)

For weekend visitors, my plan is sitting around and enjoying hors d’oeuvres in the living room, plus a help-yourself Thai Curry with Jasmine Rice on the stove in the kitchen, and taco’s made with a slow-roasted pork and a jicama-chayote slaw. Most of the hors d’oeuvres are remainders from New Year’s eve supplemented by some very fine cheeses. I’ll prepare the slaw vegetables Wednesday evening and dress them on Saturday. The pork shoulder for the tacos — infused with garlic and lime — will go in the oven when we go to bed on New Year’s Eve and come out of the oven late morning or early afternoon. I will make the base for the eggnog Wednesday evening and add the whipped cream just before guests arrive.

Menu for Casual New Year’s Weekend Visitors

Champagne

Traditional Eggnog

Hors d’oeuvres

Olives & Pappedews

Roasted Sweet & Hot Peppers

Shrimp Cocktail

Citrus-cured Salmon with Cilantro Crème Fraiche

Selection of Cheeses

• Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk (Washed rind cow)

• FireFly Farms Allegheny Chevre (Fresh Goat)

• Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor (Goat)

• Gorgonzola Dolce (Cow)

• Neals Yard Ardrahan (Cow)

Served with Metropolitan Bakery Breads & Crackers and Truffle Honey

Dinner Options

Thai Chicken Curry with Thai Basil and Jasmine Rice

Corn Tacos with Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder infused with Garlic, Thyme & Lime. Over Jicama-Chayote Slaw topped with Pico de Gallo.

Desserts

Almond Cookies (Gluten-free)

Cornmeal Sugar Cookies from At Home

Christina and I married last November at The Franklin Institute. I created this unusual and delicious martini as our house cocktail to mark the occasion. It’s also on page 47 of At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining.

Tangerine Kumquat Martini

This was the signature martini Christina and I served at our winter wedding. It’s rarified, tricky to make and absolutely worth the effort. The “prize” at the bottom of the glass is the candied kumquat. Kumquats are available in the fall and winter, so set this recipe aside during the rest of the year.

do ahead Kumquats can be made up to one week ahead. Martinis can be made up to one day ahead and chilled until serving.

Candied Kumquats

12 kumquats

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Martini

11⁄4 cups tangerine juice, pulp strained out

2⁄3 cup lemon juice, pulp strained out

21⁄2 cups vodka

11⁄4 cups Cointreau or Triple Sec

2⁄3 cup syrup from candied kumquats

2 cups cold water

1 Make candied kumquats: In a small pot, combine kumquats with sugar and water. Bring to a simmer. Cook until kumquats are glossy and translucent, about 30 minutes. Chill. When ready to use, remove kumquats from syrup, reserving syrup for martini.

2 In a pitcher, combine tangerine juice, lemon juice, vodka, Cointreau or Triple Sec, kumquat syrup and water. Stir. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

3 Pour martinis into glasses and garnish each one with a candied kumquat.

serves 8

Drying the candied kumquats for 12 to 24 hours improves their texture

Thank you for visiting.

Steve

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2 Comments

Filed under Entertaining at Home, Menus, Recipes, Uncategorized

2 responses to “My Plan to Entertain: New Year’s Weekend

  1. Pingback: Lessons from An Entertaining New Year’s Weekend « At Home By Steve Poses Blog

  2. Pingback: My Valentine’s Dinner…At Home « At Home By Steve Poses Blog

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