"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014: Greek-Inspired "Mezze" (Small Dishes), Horseradish Crusted Prime Rib Roast, Marinated and Fried Brussels Sprouts

Greek Mezze Platter: A little something different for appetizers

I love embarking on new culinary adventures. Yesterday's appetizers for Christmas dinner were inspired by the talented Chef Ina Garten and her new book "Make It Ahead". I think I did the Barefoot Contessa proud (if I may say so myself).

The picture above shows my platter (top) with Ina's platter (right). Toasted pita triangles - not pictured - were yummy. Even the kids loved them.

My version of Ina's homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (top) with Ina's Hummus (bottom).

Ina's Easy Tzatziki (top) with my version (bottom). Very easy to make.

Delicious Marinated Herbed Feta Cheese - Ina's (top) with my version (bottom). This was Patrick's favorite!

My version of the Thyme Roasted Red Bell Peppers. Aromatic and delicious.

My special twist - Thyme and Lemon Roasted Zucchini.


Horseradish,, Garlic, and Fresh Herbs Crusted Prime Rib Roast - roasted to perfection - thanks to Patrick - who is usually in charge of the roast - once it's in the oven. This roast, which is inspired by Food Network Chef Tyler Florence, is one of my favorite holiday roasts. I love the leftovers, which taste even better.

Not pictured - because I got preoccupied - were some fried Brussels Sprouts. These were inspired by a recent visit to Barbacco (San Francisco) with my friend Kate. Kate and I saw the waiter carrying the Brussels Sprouts, which looked really good. So, we decided to order some. I asked the waiter how the Chef prepared them, and he described the preparation to me. I decided to give it a try yesterday. (Kate: They came out pretty good!)

I peeled the layers off, and sliced the Brussels Sprouts in half (no water). I then marinated them for a couple of hours in a mixture of good olive oil, chopped anchovies and capers, chopped fresh parsley, fresh lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Then, I deep fried them in really hot Canola Oil - for about a minute (flash fried). Even some of the kids had seconds - of Brussels Sprouts! I was speechless. . . .

The roast was also served with Cheesy Bacon Au Gratin Potatoes.

A trio of delicious wines - Absolutely perfect pairing with the meal. I got the Thomas Fogarty Meritage (Red Wine Blend) during our Legal Department Offsite a couple of months ago at the winery, which was breathtakingly beautiful.  A special thank you to Gail and Nadine as well as Rene and Evelyn for the other wonderful wines (awesome choices!).

For dessert, we had a mix of delicious treats - brought by my good friends  and some homemade chocolate truffles we made with the kids this week. They included homemade Christmas cookies - including red velvet and delicious thumb print cookies (Nadine and Gail), special chocolate wafer cookies (Evelyn and Rene), and delicious macaroons (Tara).  A special cheer to my friend Tara for spending part of her Christmas with us. It's always great to see you and catch up.

The table was decorated simply, but beautifully!

My family and I wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a blessed New Year 2015.

Until next time . . . Cheers!


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