This three-course new year’s eve dinner worked out pretty well, hence I decided it is worthy of a writeup.
The first course, the appetizer, is a plate of prawns sauteed in butter and garlic, with some baby kale and sweet potato fries.
Out of laziness I bought the prawns pre-cooked, meaning they don’t need cleaning and require little cooking time, but nothing stops you from doing it with the prawns raw. Melt butter, add chopped shallot and minced/crushed garlic, then after caramelization add the prawns. The prawns are topped off with some Italian parsley. For the bed of baby kale, wash and cut to size some kale leaves, and I used a dressing of olive oil and balsamic crema (glazing with truffle, imported from Rome on our trip to Italy this year!). The sweet potato fries are pretty simple, I used the mandolin to cut fries out of the orangy tuber and then deep-fried them in safflower oil in my ultra-compact fryer. For sauce, the cooking liquid/glaze of the prawns is pretty delicious.
The main course then: veal scallopini on a gratin dauphinois, with creamy carrots.
The gratin comes straight out of Julia Child’s French recipe book: slice potatoes, wash and rinse in water, arrange in oiled baking dish and add some thin strips of butter on top. Bring some milk to a boil, after adding minced garlic, salt and pepper. Pour the hot milk over the potatoes in the dish. I also added some grated gruyere cheese on top (not in Julia’s book). Then put it in the oven at ~425F and bake ‘til done and properly browned (about 30min). The scallopini’s are cut in smaller size, salted (and peppered) with some added flour on top, then simply sauteed (roughly 1 minute each side, your mileage may vary depending on how thick the cut is). The carrots are sliced in small pieces; in a medium size pot or pan, saute a chopped shallot in oil, when hot add the carrots, saute for a while, then add (whipping) cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper and thyme (parsley as well, to be added at the end). They’ll be all nice and creamy when done. For sauce, simply glaze the cooking liquid of the veal and add to the meat on the plate. Et voila!
For the dessert, I used my traditional pot-de-creme recipe (see elsewhere on this site), but with the addition of blueberries, pureed with cream and cocoa powder and also added as garnish on the whipped cream. I resized/scaled the recipe a bit, but I got it somewhat wrong, as the texture was too thick/solid (I’ll need to revisit this)...