Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Year's Eve at Our House

Many years ago when we were young and our children were small, we began a New Year's Eve tradition of eating a fancy dinner at home.  Budget constraints, the hassle of hiring a babysitter and fighting crowds had no small part in the decision to celebrate "in."  I created a recipe that was a blend of several favorite seafood ideas that I had tried previously and called the new creation:  New Year's Eve Shrimp.

No expense was spared in selecting the freshest and finest shrimp available.  After all, we were saving by staying home.  I spent the afternoon taking off the shrimp shells, chopping onions, measuring spices, squeezing lemons, and setting the table for the night.  The mise en place technique would ensure that I could enjoy the meal with my husband.  The actual cooking time is very short.

New Year's Eve Shrimp is always  served on my best china.  The sterling silver flatware and crystal stems also make an appearance.  The candle wicks are trimmed and lighted and real (as opposed to paper) napkins and tablecloths are laid out. This year we will repeat our tradition though not with the fancy tablesetting as we are moving in a week or so and all our good stuff is packed and sitting in the POD on our front driveway.

The menu consists of a salad, the shrimp over pasta, warm rolls and pecan pie.  The white wine used as an ingredient in the Shrimp dish doubles as our accompaniment beverage.  At midnight we open a bottle of  Freixenet sparkling wine as this was in our budget when the tradition began. This year we will substitute a bottle of Colli Trevigiani Prosecco that was a Christmas gift from a dear brother and sister-in-law.  Can't wait.  I have it chilling already. 

Last year, I submitted the New Year's Eve Shrimp recipe to Louisiana Cookin' magazine.  They published it in the December 2008 edition.  The picture here is their rendition of the delicacy. Of course, I have framed the page and have proudly hung it in my kitchen.  I have also shared the recipe with my son, the gourmet cook, and he has prepared it many times for his friends in Boston .  I am sharing it here with you.  I am also including my Famous Pecan Pie Recipe.  Happy New Year to each of you!

New Year's Eve Shrimp

2 pounds fresh large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves finely minced garlic
1 bunch green onion, washed and chopped
½ cup salted butter *
2 (or more) tablespoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon dill weed
Juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste
Cooked angel hair pasta (for 4)

1. Saute’, in a large skillet, garlic and green onions in melted butter until slightly tender.
2. Keep the heat on low and add shrimp and other ingredients (except the pasta.) and stir gently.
3. Cook only until the shrimp are pink and tender.
4. Serve over pasta. Makes a meal with a salad, bread and the rest of the white wine.

Dot's Famous Pecan Pie

3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
½ cup sugar
1 cup Dark Karo syrup
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecan halves

1. Blend first six ingredients with a wire wisk.
2. Stir in pecans and pour into a 9 inch pie shell.
3. Tent the edges of the pie shell with aluminum foil to prevent it from getting too brown.
4. Bake pie in center of oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until center is set. Remove the foil      “tent” after the first 30 minutes of baking.

3 comments:

  1. I could not decide what to prepare for New Year's Eve, but after I read your post I bought everything for the shrimp and pasta. I hope mine turns out as good as yours.

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  2. Dot - What time should I come over? {grin}
    Seriously, this looks and sounds delicious. I may have to try it out, but don't tell anyone I know how to cook. It will ruin my image.

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