The Day After: A Recap of 12 Courses

Happy New Years!  I hope 2013 is off to a good start for you!

I am writing this at 6:30 in the evening.  I’ve had an incredibly lazy day with a lot more lazy planned for the evening.  Last night was an amazing evening; we served 12 courses to 13 people last night.  Several friends helped in the kitchen and we had a real casual dinner that spanned more than 6 hours.

It’s my second time cooking 12 courses in an evening.  I actually gave the option to quit to our friends several times and they surprised me by wanting to keep going – both impressive an exciting.

The theme was a mixture of new and old – just as several friends joined our traditional New Years feast for the first times and many returned, several of the dishes were repeats of years gone by as well as some newcomers.  The dinner is a great way for me to see what I’ve learned in the last year and lets me really test myself.  I enjoy making it as much as I enjoy eating it.  The biggest revelation?  I am learning how to make homemade food much quicker – our last 12-course tasting menu took 3 days of cooking in total; this one took less than 24 hours (on the calendar) and had 3 times the amount of homemade ingredients.

We’ll share some recipes in the coming days but here’s the progression we served last evening:

  1. Mini-pizzas; simple warm-ups with salami, mozzarella and oregano at the last-minute.  Used this pizza dough-recipe which has never failed us.
  2. Cured Artcic Char (with salt, maple syrup and ramp-infused vodka).  Served with a simple chevre and honey-infused orange zest.
  3. Side Striped Prawn Ceviche.  Served with fried sunchoke chips dressed with salt and deep-fried rosemary.
  4. Pole-caught Ahi Tuna Sashimi served similar to the ‘Italian Sashimi‘ we made a few years back.
  5. Smoked Mackerel warmed in evaporated milk and potato fritter.  This was a tribute to my Grandfather who ate a similar dish for breakfast for years.
  6. Lobster Bisque (using the leftover shells for our Chirstmas Eve dinner)
  7. Ling Cod Fish tacos with homemade tortilla and apple slaw.
  8. Lentils with cold Pork Tenderloin (that was brined with, amongst other things, pieces of our Christmas tree).
  9. Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Orange-infused Honey.
  10. Squab with matchstick potatoes and buttermilk-cheddar biscuits with fermented hot peppers.
  11. Braised beef-cheek pasta.
  12. Apple pie with Rumtopf.

Happy New Years – my couch beckons once again!


  1. You must have been exhausted. What a way to end the year.

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