Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Dinner was Great

I owe you closure on our Christmas dinner. It came out pretty good. I had not tried a meal this ambitious in a while and so a lot of my rhythm and process in the kitchen was not well tuned. But, the results were delicious.

I had to modify a couple of recipes that were still in metric measurements as you can see from the scribbles in the photo. There are now updated on the web site.

Rick and Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I had to make a number of sauces, so started with them. While they cooked I did the rest of the prep work. And, I had made a few things in advance such as the Onion Confit.

Rick and Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The starter was Foie Gras Chaud, a nice salad of sauteed apples, endives dressed in a light vinaigrette and some quick fried foie gras. I screwed up the vinaigrette some, but the result was still tasty and we have enough foie gras left over (vacuum-sealed and frozen) to try again soon.

Rick and Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The main course was pan seared duck breasts with a classic bitter orange sauce, a vegetable terrine, and caramelized mushroom tarts. The links will take you to the recipes.

For the duck, I did not use a whole duck as the recipe calls for. Instead, I used a duck breast where I scored the fat with a knife and then pan fried it fat side down for about 6 or 7 minutes, flipped it for about 2-3 minutes and then placed in a hot oven to finish cooking while I plated the rest of the meal.

Rick and Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I was not completely happy with the vegetable terrine. While the flavor was fantastic, the consistency was different from I remember making at Sylvie’s house in Provence. I’m pretty sure we pureed the vegetables instead of simply “grating” them. I think that would give it a lighter and smoother texture. Still, can’t argue with the flavors from the three vegetables.

Other than the great taste of the reliable duck and orange sauce recipe, the huge winner in this dinner was the mushroom tart! This is a Tom Colicchio recipe that is just phenomenal. I made 4 tarts. I plan to warm the remaining two in the microwave to get them pretty warm, then pop them in the oven (perhaps with a bit of foil covering the pastry) to get them bubbly hot again. I hope they are good reheated this way.

Paired with our Tignanello—which was definitely ready to drink if not just a bit beyond—we had a great dinner followed by the Buche Noel.

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Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 12/30/2008 at 07:20 AM
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  1. Wow, what a feast!  And such art!  I was not so ambitious and went for a very relaxed, standard comfort food menu from all of our family get togethers over the years.

    Hope you have a wonderful 2009!


    Posted by firefly  on  01/24/2009  at  09:14 AM

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