Holiday Gathering 2008

My sincere apology to those of you who regularly check our blog and have been anxiously awaiting the recipes from our December gourmet group. What can I say? It's been a busy time of year. December 2, 2008 was a wonderful evening of food and friends at Lynley's home. Please enjoy the pictures and recipes below. (And leave us comments when you do!) Happy New Year and stay tuned for January 2009 gourmet night coming up on the 13th! (Be sure to click on picture above to enlarge & see how beautiful Lynley's table was!)

 Appetizer: Cranberry Jalapeno Salsa (Lara) 
I know for certain that between the gourmet girls and our friends, this has been made at least five different times during this holiday season. It's a big hit! Everyone loves it!
12 oz package cranberries
1 jalapeno, seeded
2 T chopped cilantro
1/4 t. cumin
1-2 chopped green onions
1/2 cup sugar (we revised this from the original recipe).
Chop all ingredients well in food processor. Add sugar. Make 1-2 days before using so flavors will blend. Serve with tortilla chips. (We like to chop the green ingredients first and add the cranberries last).

Salad: Spinach and Bacon Salad (Andrea)
1 package baby spinach
1 bunch red leaf lettuce
1 small. size carton of cottage cheese
1 purple onion
1/2 lb. swiss cheese, grated
3/4 lb. cooked bacon - chopped into bite size pieces
8 oz sliced mushrooms (she says she usually does more)
3/4c. veg. oil
3/4 c. white vinegar
1 t. dehydrated onion
1/2 t. dry mustard
1 t. poppy seeds
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. sugar
 Main: Roast Prime Rib of Beef with Horseradish Crust (Lynley)
1 bone in prime rib beef roast, 3 ribs, about 6 pounds
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup grated fresh or prepared horseradish
Leaves form 2 fresh rosemary spring
Leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cans canned chicken or beef broth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lay the beef in a large roasting pan with the bone side down. (The ribs act as a natural roasting rack.) In a small bowl mash together the garlic, horseradish, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a paste. Massage the paste generously over the entire roast. Put the pan in the oven and roast the beef until the internal temperature of the meat registers 125 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer (medium-rare), 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the beef to a carving board and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Pour off some of the pan drippings and place pan on stove top over medium-high heat.
Add the white wine and bring to a simmer, scraping the bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine by half. Whisk in the flour, then add the broth and continue to cook, whisking until sauce thickens into a gravy, about 10 minutes.

Side: Nutty Wild Rice (Jodi)
Another fantastic recipe from "Favorites". Very tasty, and fairly simple. Seems to be a good stand-by rice.
1/2 cup slivered almonds or pinenuts (she used pinenuts)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup wild rice (uncooked)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Toast nuts. In large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat, add onions, carrots, garlic and mushrooms and saute until tender. Add rice and cook until lightly browned. add broth, wine, salt pepper, oregano and basil. Bring to a biol and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Toss with parsley and nuts and serve.

Bread: Cheese Straws (Bridget)
Barefoot Contessa - these are easy and tasty. (see link)

Desert: Banana Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce (LS)
Laura totally redeemed herself on this one. It was AMAZING! (see link)
Sadly, no picture, but this dish is all about the taste anyway!