Every year before everyone makes their trek home for the holidays, the friends and I usually have a dinner/gift exchange. This year I had the itch to cook and had a few fun ideas that I wanted to try so, here's the recap.
For our appetizer, I made a meyer lemon & goat cheese pizza. Orginally, I had been surfing the net for a dessert to make out of the awesome lemons that I had found at the FM. Instead, I stumbled upon a pizza recipe. This seemed interesting, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I do like making pizza dough and have A LOT of yeast in the fridge. I loved the crunch of the crust and the presentation with the whole slices of lemon.
Next, came the seafood course. I had success with poaching lobster in butter (during Thanksgiving), so naturally, I decided to use this cooking method again with monk fish (aka the poor man's lobster). I infused clarified butter with strips of pink grapefruit zest and peppercorns. My garnish for this dish would be a fennel confit, since fennel and fish pair together so well. I sliced up one fennel bulb and wrapped it in parchment with a healthy dose of olive oil. In the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and the fennel was melting away. Once the monk fish took a six minute swim in the butter, I topped it with grapefruit zest, fleur de sel and a drizzle of ruby grapefruit olive oil. The fleur de sel gave a nice crunch to contrast the oh so tender fish. I garnishd with the vibrant green fennel fronds.
For the main course, I picked up a beautiful grassfed bison tenderloin from Linder Farms. I wrapped it in bacon (because everthing is better with bacon, right?) to keep it from drying out. I'm always cautious not to overcook bison, since it is such a lean meat by nature. I bypassed the normal potatoes and went for some creamed leeks. Just a hint of oniony flavor with a luxurious, creamy texture. I also roasted some baby rainbow carrots. These are not only beautiful, but also have a distinctive taste. The white one is reminiscent of a sweet potato.
The vegetarians just had everything minus the bison.
Happy holidays to all! Wishing you wonderful eating.