Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year's Eve Menu

I forgot to do a post about the awesome food that we had on New Years Eve in France. Well, I didn't forget exactly, I just haven't had time til now.. So, here goes

Food: Smoked salmon blinis some served on blinis, others served on little rounds of wholemeal bread. I love that in France they do whole loaves of little bread specifically designed for making your little savouries. Shame we can't get those here... Where was I? Oh yes, some of those were served with 'fake' caviar, others with a dab of creme fraiche, and all with a squeeze of lemon - Yum!

As if that wasn't enough one of our friends, who is from India, had made a chick pea spice mix, which he piled into little vol au vent cases and topped with a little creme fraiche too. Yum!

To drink: Blanquette - this is a sparkling white 'wine', but it is more like champagne than wine.. it's lovely.

Starter no. 1
This one is not really my cup of tea ... foie gras. It is typically a goose, that is overfed until its' liver is engorged, and the liver is then used to make this pate. You can literally translate 'foie gras' as 'greasy/fatty liver'.  However, my French friend was unable to find the goose variety, and so went for the duck version instead. When she questioned the availability of the goose variety she was (rightly) told that it is no longer available, as it is no longer acceptable to produce it, but she was told that she could have the duck variety... I can only assume, and hope, that it is not produced in the same way..

This was served with what can only be described as fig jam with whole great figs in sugary syrup. This also came with the little toasts which also had figs studded through them.

To drink: A specific sweet wine that is matched to the foie gras. Cannot remember the name, didn't even see the bottle. Just slurped and munched. It was good but not as good as the Aperitif nibbles, nor what was to come.

Starter no. 2
Huge, massive langoustines which I ordered from E.LeClerc (French Supermarket) and collected on New Year's Eve, thus skipping all the queues. Result!

When I got them home, I tossed them in garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper, and left them to their own devices in the fridge. Later they were grilled on an open fire with more lemon on the side and finger wipes. Yum.

To drink: I'm not sure what this was called, but I know it had 'Oceanique' in the title, e.g. 'of the ocean' so once again my friend has bought a wine to match the food. As I recall this was a delicious, crisp white.

Another neighbour was making the lamb which was barbecued and served with roast potatoes, brocolli and cauliflower cheese bake and roast potatoes. The lamb was cooked to perfection!

To drink: What else, but a classic red ? I have a bottle here actually I believe we drank 'Chateau de la Riviere' 2005 from Fronsac. Find out more about it here:

Cheese course

A selection of typical French and English cheese - a stinky stilton, a soft Goat's cheese, a Brie and others, all served with crackers.

To drink: I took along a bottle of port. I think it was Croft's, myself and a Scottish friend enjoyed a hearty glug of the port along with the stilton. This was all served with some lovely iceberg lettuce on the side in a tasty dressing. The salad was probably the best bit looking back. Although, it was all good.

and on to ... Dessert

CC and I made a lovely chocolate mousse and also my famous Black Forest trifle, which one of these days is going to get a blog post all of it's own. I keep mentioning it here and there, but it's always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Even after all that food, we still managed to shovel down a small portion of each.

To drink:  Nothing super-duper to go with the desserts, but a glass of cold Muscat would  have gone down nicely..

Although this sounds like a lot of food, the trick was keeping the portion sizes small, although I could have just eaten the aperitif and starter 2 and been done with the rest, although that port and stilton was rather good.

Fond memories of good food and even better company. Bonne Annee everyone.

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