Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Ellyson New Years Eve Extravaganza

I am now 27 years old and I have to say that not once have I celebrated New Years Eve away from my family. My sisters and I consider ourselves a dying breed because we always skip out on all the big parties with friends to celebrate amongst our family and oldest family friends.

New Years Eve is my time to shine and I thank my parents for always giving me carte blanche as far as what food I want to cook up and how I want everything to be set-up. I actually came to the realisation that this is my 11th year organizing and preparing the celebrations.

Yikes…. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Every year I like to think of different dishes to cook up and different ways to spend a nice long meal together around the table. One difficulty though is always figuring out what to cook in order to please all of our different guests, who each have different tastes and eating restrictions.

This year, my recent trip to Morroco inspired me in the way of presenting the food. In Moroccan culture, everyone sits around the table and eats out of the same dish. I really like the sharing aspect and the way that everyone around the table gets involved. It’s very inclusive and really bring everyone together. I truly find that this is a great way of sharing a meal and I wanted to transpose that idea for this supper.

 I decided to prepare different dishes (a variety of different thing to suite everyone’s taste buds) that would be served in two different waves and placed in the center of the table (in 3 different groupings since we were 14 guestscand the table was quite long). This way everyone can eat what they want as we all share the dishes together.

Here is what the menu was composed of.

First wave:
-    Oyster platter with dad’s secret sauce (for as long as I can remember my Dad has always made this  oyster sauce… what a classic)
-    Lobster salade with avocado on endive scoops
-    Shrimp cocktail with 2 dipping sauces
-    Chicken skewers with fresh mint dipping sauce
-    Herb and tomato salad

Second wave:
-    Seared scallops on basil whipped cream
-    Blue cheese and walnut salad with marinated onions
-    Beef Wellingtons with a cream mushroom sauce
-    Slow roasted balsamic tomatoes

For dessert:
    - Pear caramel pots

The super was a real hit! Everyone had a great time and we brought in the new year on a really good note! I must admit that the whole shared dishes idea turned out great in the sense that it brings everyone together but at the same time everyone is really comfortable in eating what they want. Everyone insisted on being invited next year… so the traditional continues!

Here is the dream team! My sister Anne, myself and my sister Elizabeth. We pulled all of this off on our own! Hooray for teamwork!

I’ll share some of the recipes from this dinner party in later posts!

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