This year we went to our friends Libbie and David's house for New Year's Eve. The plan was to have a long, leisurely dinner and to relax and ring in the New Year with old friends. Libbie and I decided to split the cooking, and we planned the relatively simple meal ahead of time in a two-minute phone call.
Both of us commented on how little preparation was involved and how easy the whole thing was. She would do hors d'ouevres, except for one, which I would bring. She'd make the salmon; I'd make the risotto and a vegetable and bring the bread. She'd make the salad and dessert. David was in charge of the wines and champagne Come to think of it, I think I got off lighter.
Anyway, here is a photo of what I brought over.
You'll note a small round of brie. I didn't take photos of this but I will now admit the very, very shameful thing we did with the cheese. It was dipped in an egg, which had been beaten with some cream, and then covered in bread crumbs, and then pan-fried in butter. Yes, that's right. We had fried brie. It was amazing, savory, gooey, and yes, 90 gazillion calories. What is your point?
Here is the dinner:
The asparagus was made as follows: After trimming 1 and 1/2 pounds of asparagus, I put them in boiling water for about 5 minutes, and then refreshed them in a bowl of ice water. After draining them, I made a layered casserole. A little olive oil on the bottom, then a layer of asparagus, salt and pepper, and some freshly grated parmesan cheese, then on top of that another layer of asparagus, s and p, and cheese, and then a third layer of the same. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Now for a confession about the risotto - I made it in the microwave. The recipe is from Barbara Kafka's Microwave Gourmet and it works like a charm every time:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup minced yellow onion Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup arobrio rice
3 cups of chicken broth
1. Heat butter and oil in 10-inch quiche or deep pie dish, uncovered at 100% for 2 minutes. Add onions and stir to coat. Cook, uncovered at 100%, for 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Cook, uncovered for 4 minutes more.
2. Stir in the broth. Cook, uncovered at 100% for 9 minutes. Stir well and cook for 9 minutes more.
3. Remove from oven. Let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes to let rice absorb remaining liquid, stirring several times. Stir in salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. I threw in some chopped parsley at the end for color but it's not necessary.
For dessert, Libbie made orange souffles. She served it with a bitter chocolate sauce. What a way to ring in the New Year!