LOS ANGELES, Ca, December 29, 2014- Caviar and Blinis, red wine and glazed leg of lamb and bread pudding, is your mouth watering yet? Ringing in the New Year takes work especially after the hands on holiday marathon that we just experienced. The last thing anyone wants to do is think about the elaborate meal to make for New Year’s Eve dinner, so with a few of our great recipes, let us do the planning for you.
¾ cup AP Flour
¼ cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup buttermilk
¾ cup milk
1 extra-large egg
1 tablespoon butter melted
1 stick of butter clarified to cook the pancakes with
Black American Caviar (black caviar that runs from $20-30)
In a small sauce pot or the microwave melt the butter. When the butter is melted then remove the white froth at the top also known as the milk solids with a spoon. Removing the milk solids will clarify your butter. Set aside.
In a medium sized mixing bowl add together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients together add then add the wet ingredients (buttermilk, milk, egg and butter) to the dry mixture. Mix it thoroughly.
Heat a non stick skillet to medium high and use a spoon to drop the clarified butter onto the pan and then gently spread it around with a paper towel so that the entire thing is well coated (or the part where you will cook the bllnis). Next use a regular metal dinner spoon to scoop a tablespoon of blini batter, drop it into the clarified butter, use your spoon to spread out the batter slightly (the trick to blinis is to cook them well until they are slightly golden brown and then flip) and then flip them once there are bubbles coming through. Remove them from the pan and set them on paper towels until you are ready to serve them.
Blinis can and should be made ahead of time. To reheat them put them on a cookie sheet and reheat at 300 degrees for 4-5 minutes.
Serve the blinis with caviar with a dollop of crème fraiche (I put the crème fraiche into a plastic Ziploc bag, cut the tip off, and pipe a small amount on the blini). Then add a small spoon full of caviar next to the crème fraiche with a tiny garnish of dill.
Red wine honey leg of lamb
Boneless leg of lamb can be bought at a normal grocery store in the meat department, but you can also find good quality lamb at a butcher. Leg of lamb typically comes with the bone in, and if this is the case than you have two options, one, debone the meat yourself of two, ask the butcher to do it for you.
Lamb can be bought in Cryovac packaging to prolong the shelf life. If you buy the lamb in the packaging know that when it comes out it will be slightly bluish in color and have a stronger smell. Don’t worry the lamb will change back to the red color and the strong smell will dissipate the longer it’s out of the packaging.
Lamb will cost you around $5.00 a lb. and you will need around ½ to ¾ pound of lamb per person. Don’t forget there is a lot of fat removed from the actual the lamb so the weight on the packaging isn’t the amount of edible meat.
Prepping and cleaning:
To clean a leg of lamb it’s best to cut the thick fat from the meat, pat it dry or rinse it under cold water and pat it dry. There are many articles advising home cooks not to rinse raw proteins in water. This is a good practice to prevent the spread of bacteria but as long as you clean and disinfect your surface after washing the meat you can rinse it with out fear of cross contamination.
Boneless leg of lamb is best seared on the outside and finished in a 350-degree oven to a medium rare (130-140 degrees Fahrenheit).
Lamb should be served warm but can be served at room temperature. It’s best sliced thin and served with a hearty grain like polenta or wild rice. Beware not everyone loves lamb so don’t be offended if someone’s plate comes back with lamb still on it.
Red wine honey glazed leg of lamb:
Serves: 3 to 4 Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
3 pounds of boneless leg of lamb
½ teaspoons paprika
½ cup of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons oil
2 shallots sliced
1 cup red wine
½ cup of water
¼ cup honey
Salt and pepper
Cut the fat off of the leg of lamb and open it up, fat side down.
In a bowl mix chopped parsley, oil, paprika, salt and pepper together.
Smear the parsley mixture all over the inside of the lamb.
Roll the lamb back up and tie it with butchers twine or put the netting back on the meat.
Season the meat with salt and pepper and then dry it.
Heat a sauté pan with oil and sear all four sides of the lamb.
Then add a little more oil and the shallots to the pan, sauté them lightly.
Turn the fire off and add the wine.
Turn the heat to low and simmer the red wine until all the alcohol has evaporated.
Add the honey and the water to the pan.
Place the lamb in the oven and baste it every ten minutes.
Cook the lamb for 40 minutes for a medium rare.
Remove the netting and cut the lamb, keep the sauce and serve it with the lamb.
Gingerbread Croissant Bread Pudding
- Preheat oven to 350F. Tear up croissants into medium sized pieces. Place into buttered 9×9 or 9×13 baking dish
- Mix together all remaining ingredients.
- Pour into baking dish. Allow croissants to soak up batter, but do not overfill or cover the croissants. Any remaining batter can be saved for up to a week.
- Place dish in preheated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 30-45 minutes. The center should be slightly runny when done
1½ C milk
1½ C heavy cream
7 egg yolks
3/4 C sugar
5 whole cloves
3 oz Southern Comfort
1 t ground cinnamon
½ t ground nutmeg
1 T vanilla extract
- Combine milk, cream, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a pot. Heat over medium heat
- Once hot, slowly pour a small amount over the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Once mixed, pour egg mixture back into pot.
- Continue cooking until slightly thickened. Take off heat and strain.
- Once cooled, mix in Southern Comfort.