Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's Feast - Seafood Spoons

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

Seafood spoons

Salmon tartare

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:

Jello rainbow

Maple jello verrine

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!

Seafood Spoons

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
Olive oil

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.


  1. O my goodness what à wonderful selection of delicious dishes!! I just hate computer crashes!! I back up always but still...

  2. That is a grand table to start the new year!
    It took 3 major computer crashes before I really got what the "backup" NOW and AGAIN really were all about.

  3. Sorry about the crash but glad you lost nothing. What a wonderful and tempting pic one after the other, looks like you ate like royalty.

  4. OMGosh! What a BEAUTIFUL spread!!! You are so lucky to have a family that cooks and bakes and presents food so beautifully - and, of course, they are lucky to have you. The New Year's Eve fare is right down my alley. I love to sit and nibble for hours and talk (and drink)!
    And tapas and appetizers with small desserts are my favourite part of EVERY meal! I could miss the main course altogether. No problem. Thank you for sharing. I also think the jello looks surprisingly gorgeous!

  5. What a delicious looking array of food! I would have to try one (or more) of everything, and go back for more.
    I just bought a big box of gelatin, because I've decided that jello can be elegant too. I never thought of maple though...

  6. What a lovely feast. The party must have been really special. It's hard to beat good food and good company. I hope you have a wonderful evening. Blessings...Mary

  7. MMMMMMM,..what a festive spread of grand appetizers!!

    They all look amazing, dear Valérie!

  8. OMG, happened to you too? Maybe your computer caught some kind of weird karma off my post about my computer crashing? lol

    Regardless, what a feast for New Years! Not only do I wish I had a long table filled with those seafood spoons, all for me, I might add, but I really want that maple jello! Love the color, I'm eerily drawn to it :)

  9. This is quite a feast! They all look SO good, especially the jellos and the Death by Chocolate looks sinfully delicious!