Happy New Year! My fella and I had a ball with a cleverly composed collection of companions! I set the table with pink candles stuck into Russian-inspired in tone candelabras with fir boughs draping forth from a homey Burleigh ware pitcher, surrounded by pine cones and dried Victorian blue hydrangeas on a framed antique map over a vintage runner scattered with Japanese tangerines. We selected the red wines ahead of time and placed a host of whites in the refrigerator. Several bottles of Perrier-Jouet Champagne and prosecco joined them in anticipation of a toast at midnight! I don't mind telling you we put out paper napkins, "silver" plastic forks, knives and spoons and Chinet appetizer and dinner plates for our guests. Nobody seemed to mind and my, how much clean-up time we saved ourselves!
Our buffet menu was simple and elegant--links are below.
We started out with duck liver mousse--and do make this the day before you plan serving it, allowing this delicacy a chance to settle in. John Greeley's (executive chef at '21') steak tartare was utterly perfect and was eaten quickly by our guests. A fantastic French onion soup followed, courtesy of Julia Child, poured into cups and topped with individual slivers of French bread toasts covered with grated Swiss, Emmental and Parmesan cheeses. A salad of red and green lettuces is seen here, tossed with shallot vinaigrette and crisped prosciutto. We couldn't find escarole, as suggested in the recipe, so we improvised--improvisation is as much of a necessity as is a skillet or a spatula in the kitchen.
The peas! And mushrooms too went into our penne pasta (instead of garganelli) with cream sauce. Since the recipe called for prosciutto, we subbed wild mushrooms to avoid redundancy while bulking up on meaty flavor. It was delicious!
Bloody Mary Steaks--Baby made this up. He marinated several pounds of flank steak with a Bloody Mary mixture overnight and a scoche of Russian Standard vodka. After that, the steaks were a snap to cook, arriving to the table medium rare in less than 15 minutes (including six minutes allowing the meat to rest before serving).
For Something Completely Sweet
Pepperidge Farm Chocolate and Coconut Cakes. Store bought. Love. Colorfully decorated the silver serving tray with more of the tangerines.
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox