New Year's Eve dinner for four

Last year's New Year's Eve dinner didn't turn out as well as I would have liked. The ham turned out a little dry. And the whole assembly process was just too rushed and disorganized. This year I want to make sure it goes at my own pace and gives me more time to socialize too. Kevin and Vivian are again invited. This just might turn into an anual event from now on.

So here's the menu:

Starters(chit-chat session): tortilla chips served with two salsas -- mixed tomatoes salsa; beets with apples and ginger salsa.

Soup: buttercup squash and celery root soup. (this is not a typo. Buttercup is not the same as butternut. Buttercup is close to (or the same as) the asian squash variety called Kabocha)

Entree: homemade cornbread and sweet italian pork sausage stuffed turkey thighs, served with maple glazed parsnips and creamed spinach with bacon and pearl onions. Turkey gravy and cranberry chutney on the side.

dessert: mini cream puffs filled with chantilly cream and raspberry jam, dressed with creme anglaise and raspberry sauce

For the year ending meal, I thought I should keep it in the sort of Christmas spirit, hence turkey and pork "theme". And since the main meal is quite heavy I prefer to have a light appetizer course. But on a strategic side, the salsas can be made hours ahead, and they certainly don't require table service -- good for just sitting around the room and munching. Many of the cooking prep can be done beforehand. In fact there are quite a few.

For the soup, stuffing, and gravy, I made fresh chicken stock (with a whole uncooked chicken) two days ahead.

For the day before the dinner, cornbread is made, cream puffs are made. Creme anglaise (a vanilla custurdy sauce) is made a day ahead too. I also cooked the spinach and pearl onions. The soup is cooked on this day. I made the turkey stock using the chicken stock and turkey parts.

So on the day of dinner, I only need to make the salsa and stuffing. Stuff the turkey and roast. Soup is reheated, seasoned, and added a touch of cream to smooth it out. Finish the final assembly of creamed spinach, and cook the parsnips. Parnips may turn brown after peeling so I wait until right before I need to cook it. All that is left to do for dessert is to whip to the cream, fill the puffs, and plate them.

Pictures to follow soon...


how to cook cabbage said…
I was searching for articles on how to cook rice when I came across New Year's Eve dinner for four, which is a bit weird really. I've enjoyed the experience but I'm not at all sure I've found what I'm looking for :0)

Just thought I'd say hello.
how to cook chicken said…
Crikey! One minute I'm searching the web for things on how to cook chicken, and the next I'm reading New Year's Eve dinner for four. I'm not sure that's exactlly what I had in mind, Albertitto, but I've enjoyed my visit. Now I'm off to try another search on how to cook chicken.
thanksgiving turkey said…
Hi Albertitto
Look, I hope you don't mind, but I found your blog using salmon as a search term. I'm trying to find original articles and recipes for my cooking websites.

I can and do use the article directories, but much of the stuff in them is hardly original and gets widely used. I'm hoping to persuade people like you, who have an interest in cooking, to contribute as well. I use a wide variety of articles and styles - just so long as it's food orientated - and I think the kind of things you write about in New Year's Eve dinner for four would be very popular :0)

The quid pro quo is a link back to your blog - or website if you have one. If this doesn't interest you, please forgive the intrusion. If it does, I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes
Michael Sheridan
salmon said…
Well, I've enjoyed my visit to New Year's Eve dinner for four, but I'm not sure it's what I was looking for. I was actually searching for articles on how to cook lobster - these search engines are weird! Just thought I'd say hello while I'm here :0)
how to cook lobster said…
G'day Albertitto
I seem to have found New Year's Eve dinner for four while searching for things on rice. I can see why, but I'm not sure it's exactly what I'm looking for. Just thought I'd say hello :0)

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