We rang in the new year with very good friends last night and proud to say us middle agers managed to make it till midnight! Dinner, as always, was delicious in every way. Starting with a fabulous baked brie, sliced sausage, olives and marcona almonds (yes I could have easily made that my dinner). Then we moved onto the main course, which was a garlic and herb studded beef roast:Which gave us the opportunity to try out the new Wusthof 10-inch Roast Beef Slicer that Santa brought us for Christmas, and oh-em-gee, it was like slicing through butter! Also, I owe you my tried and true method for cooking roast beef. It’s pretty foolproof and always a crowd pleaser assuming you’re serving meat lovers of course). Anyway, I usually serve my roast beef with an au jus, but decided to kick it up a notch for the holidays and serve it with this rich, red wine sauce from Fine Cooking Magazine: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/red-wine-sauce.aspx.
Loved loved LOVED the Mashed Potato Casserole with Sour Cream and Chives courtesy of the New York Times. I substituted panko for the bread crumbs, which gave the crust a really nice crunch. Best part: it can be made well in advance then just reheated in a 400° oven. Think I shall be eating the leftovers for lunch today:Rounding out the meal was this very simple but wonderful spinach and wild mushroom saute, again courtesy of the New York Times. And like the mashed potato casserole, this too can be made in advance and then just reheated in the microwave:
I should say that from an entertaining standpoint, this was just about the easiest dinner ever. With the potatoes, sauce & spinach all made in advance, all that’s really left to do when your guests arrive is roast the meat. LOVE meals like this! Oh yes and there was another spectacular dessert this year, made by my friend Kathy: a very flavorful and beautiful Blackberry, Lemon and Gingersnap Cheesecake Layered Pudding (wow that’s a mouthful):
And thus ends the holiday season. Today the Christmas china goes back into hibernation. The tree, I’ll probably keep up till the weekend. I’m planning to spend the day in my bathrobe, watching the football and the beautiful snow that’s falling here in Chicagoland. Oh yes and there will be more cooking today as well! Planning to make my most very favorite Jambalaya from Emeril (I owe you that recipe as well!)
Wishing one and all a safe, healthy and prosperous 2014.