The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 17, 1999


A New Year's Eve Dinner to Welcome the Millenium

It all started back in 1984 when Bob and Beth Hambleton, Verna and Ira Gilbert, and John and Betty McCullough signed up for a wine-tasting class that Peggy Gill offered at her home in Carlisle. As Verna Gilbert remembers, they all were interested in learning more about wines and the pairing of wine with food. After taking several of Gill's classes, these couples, plus Peggy and Paul Gill, became friends and when New Year's Eve rolled around, the group decided to get together for a New Year's Eve wine-tasting dinner.

Using the expertise they gleaned from Gill's wine-tasting class, plus their own keen interest in fine foods, the group is now into their 16th year of celebrating New Year's Eve with a very special meal, accompanied by fine wines and good friendship.

After Thanksgiving, usually the first week in December, Verna calls a meeting to talk about the meal. Everyone does their homework beforehand and comes with ideas and recipes to discuss. More often than not, recipes that have appeared in Bon Appetit, Gourmet or Cooking Light magazines are chosen. It is here that the menu and wines are selected and decisions made as to who will bring what. The home where the entire meal will be served is rotated year to year.

In honor of Y2K, the group has decided to make it a black-tie affair this year.

On New Year's Eve the group gathers together around seven o'clock for a leisurely meal, with plenty of time between each course for lots of good conversation. Often the meal isn't completed until after midnight or later, and always followed by a toast to the New Year with a glass of champagne.

All serious cleanup is undertaken as a group effort before the party breaks up and people start heading home.

"This is the one night that none of us want to do much driving and we're so happy to be celebrating right here at home in Carlisle," said Verna. "It's something we all look forward to year after year."


Smoked salmon on toasted baguettes

Goat gouda cheese on toasted baguettes

Wine: Bourgogne "Curvée" St. Vincent 1997


Mixed green salad with shrimp and mushrooms

Wine: 1997 DeLoach Russian River Valley Chardonnay


Herb and garlic crusted beef tenderloin with red and yellow pepper relish

Roasted herb potato medley

Balsamic roasted onions

Green beans with chives


Wines: Cline Morvedre ancient vine 1997

Pichon Leland, Pauillac 1979


Coconut soufflé with chocolate sauce

Wine: Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noir


Mixed green salad with shrimp

Adapted from Bon Appétit, June 1999 Serves 10

3 Tbs. raspberry vinegar

3 Tbs. minced fresh tarragon

2 Tbs. minced shallots

2/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin

olive oil

12 oz. assorted wild mushrooms

(such as crimini, shitake), sliced

1 lb. cooked deveined large shrimp

10 cups mixed baby greens

1. Whisk vinegar, tarragon and shallots in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in

2/3 cup oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and rewhisk before using.)

2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool.

3. Combine shrimp, baby greens, and mushrooms in large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper.


Roasted herb potato medley

From Bon Appétit, November, 1999 Serves 10

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup chopped shallots

5 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 2 tsp. dried

5 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or 2 tsp. dried

2 tsp. fennel seeds, chopped

3 lbs. medium-size red-skinned potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges

3 lbs. medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges

fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs.

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Oil 2 large baking sheets.

2. Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add potatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

3. Using slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to prepared sheets, spreading in single layer. Reserve oil mixture in bowl.

4. Roast potatoes until tender and golden, stirring and turning potatoes occasionally, about 1 hour. Return potatoes to reserved oil mixture in bowl; toss.

(Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Transfer potatoes to baking sheet; rewarm in 400°F oven about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.)

5. Transfer to bowl. Garnish with herb sprigs.

Herb and garlic crusted beef tenderloin with red and yellow pepper relish

From Bon Appétit, December, 1999 Serves 10

8 Tbs. olive oil

2 21/4 to 2 3/4 pound pieces beef tenderlion (thick end), trimmed

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme

2 1/2 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary

6 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Rub 1 Tbs. oil over each beef piece. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Heat 2 large nonstick skillets over high heat. Add 1 beef piece to each; brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

3. Place beef pieces in large roasting pan. Mix 6 Tbs. oil, garlic, 2 Tbs. thyme and 2 Tbs. rosemary in small bowl. Coat top and sides of beef pieces with mustard, then with herb mixture.

4. Roast until meat thermometer inserted into center of beef registers 125°F for medium-rare, about 45 minutes. Transfer to platter. Let stand 10 minutes.

5. Cut beef into 1/2 inch thick slices. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 Tbs. each of thyme and rosemary and serve with pepper relish.

Red and yellow pepper relish

2 Tbs. (1/4 stick) butter

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup coarsely chopped pitted

Kalamata olives

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1 large garlic clove, chopped

1. Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.

2. Add peppers; sauté until just tender, about 3 minutes.

3. Add olives, mustard and garlic. Stir 1 minute. Remove from heat.

4. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer relish to bowl. Cool.

5. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill.) Bring to room temperature before serving.

Balsamic roasted onions

From Bon Appétit, December 1999 Serves 10

4 lbs.medium-size red onions

1/4 cup olive oil

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) butter

3 Tbs. sugar

6 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

1. Position 1 rack in center and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 500°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil.

2. Cut onions through root end into 3/4-inch thick wedges. Place in medium bowl; toss with oil.

3. Arrange onions, cut side down, on baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Roast until onions are brown and tender, rotating pans in oven and turning onions once, about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.

6. Remove from heat. Add vinegar. Return to heat. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. (Onions and balsamic glaze can be made 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover separately and chill. Rewarm onions in 375°F oven about 15 minutes. Stir glaze over low heat to rewarm.)

7. Arrange onions on platter. Drizzle glaze over. Sprinkle with parsely.

Coconut soufflés with chocolate sauce

From Gourmet, December 1998 Serves 6

6 Tbs. sugar plus additional for coating custard cups

1 7-ounce package sweetened flaked coconut (2 2/3 cups)

1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1 cup canned unsweetened 14% to 15% fat coconut milk

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

3/4 tsp. coconut extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla

5 large egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

For chocolate sauce

4 1/2 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweeteded)

1 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter six 3/4-cup custard cups or a 1-quart baking dish and coat with sugar, knocking out excess sugar.

2. In a baking pan spread coconut evenly and toast until pale golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool coconut in pan on a rack. (Toasted coconut may be made two days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.)

3. In a saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes and whisk in coconut milk. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in lemon juice, coconut extract, vanilla and 2 Tbs. sugar. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool mixture, its surface covered with a buttered round of wax paper. Chill coconut mixture until cold, at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F.

5. With a wooden spoon beat coconut mixture to loosen. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with cream of tartar and a pinch salt until they hold soft peaks. Gradually add remaining 4 Tbs. sugar, beating until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 whites into coconut mixture to lighten and fold in remaining whites and 3/4 toasted coconut.

6. Pour soufflé mixture into custard cups or baking dish and sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut. Run tip of a knife around edges of soufflés to aid rising.

7. Bake souffles in lower third of oven until puffed and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes if using custard cups or 20 to 25 minutes if using baking dish.

Chocolate Sauce.

1. Chop chocolate. In a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate, stirring until smooth.

2. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and stir in cream until combined well. Chocolate sauce keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week.

3. Top souffles with sauce and serve immediately.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito