New Years Eve ’11

New Years Eve is a special night in most households and ours is no different. For the past 8 or so years, my parents and Aunty Lea and Uncle Kevin have taken turns to host a special dinner party where no effort or cost is spared. 2011 was back to our turn and although I usually help out in some way, this year I was determined to step up to the plate and take an equal share of the work load. We were also upping the numbers this year and invited another aunt and uncle – Tan and Richie. So including myself and my cousin Theo, we are cooking for 8 (not including the Princess who will hardly eat anything). After lots of discussion and researching and arguing, we came up with a menu we were happy with. In the end, all courses are either straight from Matt Moran’s “Dinner at Matt’s” or adapted from one. This is one of my favourite cook books. If you don’t have it, I recommend you check it out!
We didn’t do a very good job with the photos because there wasn’t much time. They will give you an idea of how everything looked though.

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And so on with the prep…

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Eye fillet trimmed and wrapped for the Beef Wellington

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Duck breasts, trimmed and scored

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Lobster tails ready for steaming

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Bomb Alaska filled with sorbet and ice cream into the freezer

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The table set for 8

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Pasta rolled and cut for tortellini

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And so it begins. White Peaches Wrapped in Serrano Ham and served with White Peach Bellinis

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Cod Brandade with smoked oysters

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Lobster Salad with Tomato and Lime Dressing
The semi-dried tomatoes and the dressing were the stars. The lobster was a touch disappointing. We hadn’t cooked them before and had high expectations. Might try a smaller crayfish next time. Marron or scampi?

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Ricotta Tortellini, Pine Nuts and Basil
Matt’s recipe was supposed to be stuffed zucchini flowers. We could not get any on the day so adapted it, using his tortellini recipe instead.

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Roast Duck Breast with Pickled Red Cabbage and Figs
Dad thought he over-cooked the duck a bit but I still loved it!

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Beef Wellington out of the oven and resting

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Beef Wellington with Asparagus and Mash
A classic that I had never seen or eaten before. Lots of effort but worthwhile!

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Peach and pedro Ximenez Bombe Alaska. I am really sorry for not getting a photo of this when it was flaming and before it was cut. It looked amazing! I made it even better for a later dinner party.

After this feast, we were exhausted and slept like babies!

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