Simply seasonal: A feast to celebrate the New Year
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado Its no secret that Americans like to ring in the new year with partying and merrymaking. What about a quiet dinner at home after the hoopla is over? A time to take stock, evaluate the past, make goals and resolutions for the new year. Treating your family (or someone special) to an extravagant meal can be economical when you cook at home. A juicy roast in the oven takes virtually no preparation time, and allows you to make a delectable batch of Jeremy Kittelsons crab cakes. Everyone loves crab cakes! said Kittelson, Restaurant Avondales executive chef. Make them as a starter, place them on a salad of delicate greens, with an easy roasted red pepper sauce on top, and you have a luxurious appetizer without a huge expense. Follow with your roast and a green vegetable and you have a special, but easy meal. For dessert serve Allison Helfers chocolate mousse with crunchy caramel corn. Pastry chef at Avondale, Helfer promises a dazzling, but simple finish to the meal.The smooth, sweet chocolate mousse is balanced by the salty, crunchy caramel corn, she said. By allowing the mousse to freeze on a baking sheet, you can cut it into whatever shape youd like and make a unique presentation.Finally toast the start of the new year with a Golden Raspberry Lemon Drop. At Avondales Bar, Brian Harker infuses vodka with fresh raspberries and serves straight up.Celebration Crab Cakes1 pound lump crab meat1 egg, beaten1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard2 teaspoon chives, snipped1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce1/4 cup bread crumbs2 Tablespoons butterMix all ingredients together in a bowl, being careful not to break up the crabmeat. Form into cakes about 3/4 inch thick. Press each cake firmly into bread crumbs to adhere on both sides. Melt butter in saut pan. Place crab cakes in single layer in pan and cook over medium low heat about 3 minutes. Turn and cook the other side another 3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Yield 4 crab cakes.Roasted Red Pepper Sauce1/2 cup roasted red peppers1/2 cup mayonnaise2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoningfresh lemon juice to tasteCombine all ingredients in food processor and whirl until smooth. Serve with crab cakes or other seafood. Valrhona Chocolate Mousse1 pound Valrhona bittersweet chocolate3/4 pound unsweetened butter1 1/3 cup egg yolks (may be up to 18 eggs, depending on size)1/3 cup sugar2 cups heavy creamMelt the chocolate and butter together. Whip the egg yolks and sugar together until they lift to ribbon stage consistency. Fold in the chocolate mixture. Whip cream to soft peaks and fold in. Spread in baking sheet and freeze until firm. Cut into desired shape and top with a cluster of caramel corn. Allow to thaw before serving.Caramel Corn6 cup popcorn 1/2 cup raw peanuts1/3 cup light brown sugar1 3/4 Tablespoons light corn syrup2 1/2 Tablespoons butter1/3 teaspoon salt1/8 teaspoon baking sodaPreheat oven to 200. Mix nuts and popcorn in a large bowl. Combine rest of ingredients except baking soda in a saucepan and heat until it simmers. Continue to cook on low heat until golden in color. Add baking soda and mix in. Pour over popcorn and mix. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool.Glitter and Golden Raspberry Lemondrop2 ounces Citron Vodka1 ounce Gold Raspberry Puree3/4 ounces simple syrup3/4 ounces fresh lemon juiceCombine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass with a sugar rim. Garnish with skewered gold raspberries.Sue Barham is the marketing director for Restaurant Avondale and Larkspur Restaurant. Avondale recently opened in The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon. The restaurant features a West Coast inspired, seasonal menu and the chefs use time-honored cooking methods, such as slow roasting and braising, to create simple dishes rich in flavor. The wine program focuses on small production wines to compliment the straightforward cuisine. For more information visit http://www.avondalerestaurant.com.