Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Eve Celebration

Forget the fact that Big J and I both fell asleep minutes before the new year, our real celebration occurred over dinner with good friends. The menu:

Spiced Pecans
Dates with Goat Cheese Wrapped in Prosciutto
Afton Mountain Vinyards Tête de Cuvée, Virginia Sparkling Wine
Swiss Fondue
Hot Pot Fondue
accompanied by:
Polyface Farms Flank Steak, Shrimp, Baguette, assorted vegetables,
garlic aioli, hot mustard, horseradish sauce
Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon
Individual Mexican Coffee or Cinnamon Splendora's Gelato Baked Alaska (recipe below)
Kluge Estate Cru
Shenandoah Joe Smokey Mountain Roast Coffee

It was a wonderful celebration and we all wondered why we don't do fondue more often. Since both families have small children (a five-year old for us and a 9-month old for them), we ended the evening about 8 p.m. with a small fireworks display complete with sparklers. As the evening wound down little j fell asleep on the couch and Big J and I spent a quiet couple of hours in front of the fire with glasses of his uncle's port.

Individual Baked Alaskas

Pound Cake
Gelato or Ice Cream
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar

Slice pound cake about 1/2 inch thick and cut into 6 rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop, place one rounded scoop in the middle of each pound cake round. If you are making ahead, at this point you can place cookie sheet in the freezer until just before preparing the meringue.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In the bowl of a standing mixer place egg whites with a pinch of salt and beat on high until soft peaks form. Slowly add in sugar and beat until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes.

Mound meringue over ice cream. Place in preheated oven for up to 6 minutes until brown. Watch carefully -- gelato melts much quicker than traditional ice cream so it may not take quite as long (3 - 4 minutes). Alternatively, if using gelato, you can place the sheets under a broiler on low until browned.

Serves 6.

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