Christmas Dinner

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yes, I realize it is January 16 (Steve's birthday, by the way!) and I'm just now blogging about our Christmas dinner. If you'll remember, I blogged about our Christmas dessert on December 28, with the best of intentions to share our dinner soon after that post. Sigh. Time just goes by too fast! But I couldn't let any more time pass without sharing this fabulous food.

To decide what to make, we busted out our trusty Top Chef Cookbook. Since we're avid watchers of the show, it's been fun to thumb through this cookbook to read recipes of some of our favorite dishes from the show.

Since we've never worked with scallops before, we chose Dale Levitski's seared scallops with purslane and marinated grapes as a starter. We bought four big, fabulous scallops from Whole Foods and Steve seared them to perfection. We did have to substitute dandelion leaves for the purslane.

The grapes were marinated in EVOO, tarragon, rice wine vinegar and lemon zest...awesome.

For the entree, we landed on another of Dale's dishes - seared elk loin with cauliflower and fingerling potato mash, and pickled cauliflower. Turns out, Whole Foods doesn't sell elk, so we subbed in veal loin.

Dale makes great sauces, and Steve had fun with this one! It was originally a huckleberry-blackberry sauce, but since we couldn't find huckleberries we did blueberries and blackberries. I'm bummed this picture is out of focus, but you can still see the berry goodness.

I've always wanted a reason to buy star anise, and lucky for me we needed it for the sauce! Along with peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves.

As the sauce cooked, it began to look and smell amazing.

The night before, Steve had put cauliflower florets with shallots, sherry vinegar, sugar and salt in a container so that it could pickle.

While making the sauce, he had made a cauliflower and potato mash that included goat cheese and dried cherries.

After searing the veal, he plated everything, topping the dish with toasted pecans. Everything turned out amazing, and it was the perfect winter dish - warm and comforting with great layers of flavor.

The Christmas festivities were a little bit too much for Charlie - he was passed out with his new toy while all of this cooking was happening!

Again, all I can say is "Mmmmmm." It was a perfect Christmas dinner for two!

1 comment:

Katie said...

Oh my goodness - what a special dinner indeed! I'm impressed with all of the work that went into it: looks spectacular!

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