A belated Happy New Year to everyone!
For me, the year is starting out with a tenacious cold and a massive computer crash. But I'm not too down about it: at least the cold isn't an all-out flu, and at least I didn't lose any important data.
We spent New Year's Eve in a chalet, with friends of Laurent's family. There were about twenty people expected for supper, so our hosts kept the main meal relatively simple: raclette and Asian hot-pot. Most of the preparation consisted in making dipping sauces and laying out platter after platter of cheeses, cured and raw meats, seafood, and vegetables.
However, as for Christmas, there were tons of appetizers and tapas to give the evening that fancy, glitzy vibe.
Pear and blue cheese bites (also featured at Christmas)
Egg-topped croutons with sauce
I helped out with the seafood spoons (recipe below) and the salmon tartare verrines, as well as a vodka-citrus granité (not pictured). There were also tons of dessert, including two which revealed to me that jello can actually be fancy:
Other desserts included two kinds of chocolate tarts (courtesy of yours truly), a yule log, cardamom cookies, and a hardcore Death By Chocolate (which we photographed during the day, while it was chilling outside – we were afraid removing the plastic wrap would smudge the whipped cream topping).
Now that's the way to kick off the new year!
Yields 20 appetizer servings
10 fresh tiger prawns (or frozen and thawed)
10 fresh scallops (or frozen and thawed)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
One bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
One 1 cm (1/2 inch) slice of lemon, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
Pat the scallops and prawns dry with a clean paper towel. Heat 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet over medium high heat, and sear the scallops, 1-2 minutes per side, until browned and just cooked through. Transfer the scallops to a plate, wash the skillet (or use another one), heat the remaining oil and butter, and sear the shrimp in the same manner, until pink and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and reserve.
Put the parsley, lemon, salt and pepper in a food processor, and pulse until parsley is shredded. Gradually pour in the olive oil and continue to pulse, until your obtain a smooth, liquid texture.
Put a couple of tsp of parsley sauce into twenty china spoons, and divide the seafood amongst the spoons (one scallop or one prawn per spoon). Serve at room temperature.