New Year’s Eve Dinner

Started out with Ezra’s calamari:






Served with a garlic aioli and a home-made sweet chili dipping sauce.

Plus a bottle of champagne.

Here’s the sweet chili dipping sauce:

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 red jalapenos or serranos, chopped, with seeds.

3 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed.

1/2 tbs salt

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 tbs corn starch mixed with 2 tbs water.

Put the first six ingredients into a blender and blend until well mixed. Heat mixture in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, then simmer until the garlic and peppers soften, about three minutes. Add the slurry of corn starch and stir. Let cool completely, refrigerate, serve with something good to dip it in, like, uhm….anything at all. Really.


Then we cleared that and rolled out the salmon bisque.

The bisque is seriously delicious. Here’s what I did:

2 cups of leeks, sliced, washed, patted dry with a paper towel.

2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced.

3 cloves garlic, pressed.

drop a stick of butter into a large stockpot and put it over a medium flame. add the ingredients above and saute until the leeks are tender, about five minutes.

Add 48 oz clam juice.

Add four cups diced tomatoes.

Add handful of chopped parsley, a tablespoon of fresh dill, and salt and pepper to taste.

I let this base simmer most of the day. You can skip that and go right to the next step, but I really like to let the flavors meld for a while, as long as I can stand.

Just before serving you can drop in as much salmon as you’d like. I used a couple of pounds, skin off, cubed, salted and peppered. Let that cook for a few minutes until the fish is cooked through. Stir in four cups heavy cream. You read that right. Four cups. Don’t think about it, just do it.

There. Isn’t that better?

I also stirred in about a quarter cup of flour at the end to thicken the broth, but you don’t really need to. And I skimmed the fat off the top a few times along the way, which makes for a prettier bowl of soup, but again, isn’t really necessary.

All you really need with this is a hunk of crusty bread and some wine, red or white, it don’t matter. Not so good with beer.

This recipe comes from Robin’s in Cambria. It’s good there, it’s better at home.


We served the bisque with my new favorite way to eat green beans. Rubbed with garlic and olive oil, roasted in the oven at 425 for twenty minutes, slathered with oyster sauce, topped with slivered almonds. Simple as pie, good as death.


And for dessert?

Mango sorbet served with a homemade lime vanilla rum syrup.

You can make that just like the sweet chili dipping sauce, just substitute the juice of two limes, a drop or two of vanilla extract, and a splash of rum.


Oh, hell yes.

Happy Freakin’ New Years!!!




See ya in 2012!



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