Sunday, January 07, 2007


Now that you’ve all recovered from the shock of my Christmas Eve, I feel that you’re ready to learn about New Years Eve. As you might’ve expected, it involved another big family meal.

FrankenFeet and my sister had other plans, so the family unit was somewhat reduced that night. However, Arm and Butt made a triumphant return to my parent’s party palace for the event. And, courtesy of Amtrak because she's afraid to fly, so did my Grandmother.

We started off with crab cakes--using the left-over crab meat from Christmas Eve. The recipe is from Cooks Illustrated, and is a keeper. I've made it for each of the last several years. It is accompanied by a sauce of mayo, chipotle peppers, lime juice and garlic. I went heavy on the chipotle this year. Why? Because there ain’t much chipotle in Spain.

The main course was a rack of lamb, and a bunch of lamb chops as thick as my thigh. I grilled them rare. Big Mamma and Butt sent theirs back to the Weber (as they do every year) because they don't like their meat "raw."

Grandma had pork chops. She doesn't like lamb. It's too "spicy."

Here we see the dinner guests, sans Arm.

Here we see Arm...the Cajun.

Here we see the entire layout. Clockwise from top--(a) grilled portobello mushrooms; (b) lamb (“raw!!!”); (c) Trader Joe's risotto with asparagus; (d) white beans with tomatoes, garlic, scallions and thyme (I winged that one); (e) sauteed grape tomatoes with garlic and parsely; (f) asparagus; and (g) fennel bulb braised in white wine.

Big Mamma made apple pie for dessert. At midnight NY time, we ate twelve grapes in twelve seconds (a tradition in Spain) and got toasted--I mean, we toasted--with glasses of Sambuca and coffee beans.

Our next big holiday meal will be Groundhog Day. Believe me, you DON'T want to know.


At 1:51 AM, Blogger woman wandering said...

So if I don't want the jet ski thingie wotsit ... waverunnner? ... can my adoption be considered and maybe approved before Groundhog Day??

At 4:29 AM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Wow. That looks like a great meal! And I'm with you on raw meat. When I order steak, I ask to have it warm on the inside.

At 4:30 AM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Oh, I almost forgot... Our best wishes for 2007, Sal!

At 6:44 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I dunno....that lamb looks like it might be ba-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ad.

Oh boo me all you like:)

Glad you had a great new years!

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lamb looks strange. All the rest - yum. Can`t believe you actually had leftovers from Christmas...

At 9:12 PM, Blogger christina said...

Wow. Great food, good friends, adorable family. What more could you want?

Happy New Year!

At 9:31 PM, Blogger The Big Finn said...

Sal -
I had no idea that you were the son of Dr. Bernie Kauffman (Medical Reporter) from NBC5 Chicago.

At 2:51 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I forgot to ask, how does one prepare "groundhog"?

I am assuming it's a fatty little critter, so I'd probably go with smoking it low and slow.....being from Tennessee, I guess I should know! ha ha ha

At 5:04 AM, Blogger Orange-X said...

Sal, I went through the last three posts and my mouth is watering. I can't believe the amount of food on those tables. I think I could spend the week from Christmas Eve until New Year's Day with you and yours and just drink and eat all of the time. Maybe I'd take a short nap during the breaks :-) As for dessert: we can dance Swan Lake together. You get to wear the tutu and I will wear the tights!

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Learn Spanish Lessons said...

Those crab cakes sure do look good.


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