With a delicious meal! I mean, is there really anything better than staying in, cooking and eating a delicious meal, enjoying some good wine, cookies, and fireworks, and falling asleep on the couch at 12:05? I didn’t think so! I hope you all had equally enjoyable evenings and are looking forward to a wonderful, brand new year ahead. So what was this delicious meal I speak of? Adam and I dressed up in our finest attire (and promptly changed into sweats after we had a pre-dinner cocktail) and set out to create a meal that involved all of our favorite foods…goat cheese, butter, squash, fish, mushrooms, and trader joe’s salted caramel sauce (a new favorite food discovery!)
I first need to apologize…for some reason some of the pictures won’t load properly onto my computer…so you have to use your imagination a little bit. Let me just say, the salad course was beautiful looking and the squash gnudi were buttery and vibrant orange. Now, onto the meal!
First Course: Spinach Salad with apples and pecan crusted goat cheese (Yes we got all fancy for the occasion with “courses”)
Spinach (enough for two plates)
1 apple, thinly sliced
handful or two of pecans, toasted and chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
Place spinach and apples on plates. Roll goat cheese in balls and coat in pecans. Top salad with goat cheese and dressing. While so simple, this salad was also so delicious! We both said we could eat a giant plate of this for dinner and be happy. But with plenty more food to come, this was not allowed!
Main Course: Miso marinated black cod
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/black-cod-with-miso The only change I made to this recipe was the cooking method. I broiled the fish for about 5 minutes until nice and brown and then baked it at 400 for about 10 minutes. Perfectly flaky, sweet, and buttery good!
Side #1: Butternut squash gnudi with pumpkin/apple/brown butter sauce
1 butternut squash
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp butter
large spoonful pumpkin butter (I used Trader Joe’s)
1/2 apple, diced
Cut butternut squash in half and de-seed. Roast, flesh side down in 450 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Let cool and then mash flesh in a bowl. Mix in eggs, cinnamon, and salt and then slowly mix in flour. Refrigerate batter for about 1-3 hours, until slightly firm. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and scoop spoonful size balls and drop in the boiling water. Let cook until they float to the top. In the meantime, heat butter in a skillet over medium heat and let it cook until it starts to brown and smell so utterly amazing. Add pumpkin butter and apple and let cook until combined. When gnudi are finished, toss in butter sauce. How could anything cooked in brown butter be bad? I’ll tell you it can’t!
Side #2: Mushroom Medley with Swiss Chard, Ginger, and Soy
I used this recipe http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mushroom-Medley-with-Spinach-Ginger-and-Soy-15671:but used swiss chard instead of spinach. We bought some pretty amazing wild mushrooms from the farmers market and they worked quite well in this recipe.
Dessert: White chocolate, salted caramel cookies
You may have noticed that I’m not much of a baker. I rarely bake desserts, I get frustrated having to be so exact and even more frustrated when things don’t turn out. But, it being a special dinner for New Years and finding this amazing sauce at Trader Joes…I rolled up my sleeves (you know, not to get them covered in flour) and tried my hand at this cookie recipe.
Yeah, they are as good as they look…dangerously so actually. New Years day was filled with lots of relaxing, movie watching, and more cookie eating…not a bad way to spend a Sunday. In blog news, check out my new recipe page I created. I hope it helps you all find some inspiration to create your own special evenings at home, quick weeknight meals, and everything else in between. Happy 2012 Everyone!