Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Deep down, I believe New Year's Eve celebrations are for the young, the wistful, the unmarried. Each year I proclaim that--but on the years we're invited somewhere, we easily ditch Jim Svejda's broadcast and eagerly show up on our host's doorstep. With bubbly, of course.

On the nights to ourselves, we plan an upscale menu: oysters or blini with salmon roe (and vodka, clearly an homage to my nonexistent Russian roots), and a bottle of bubbly big enough to last the night (Cost Plus--a magnum of Segura Viudas cava is $9.99!! Time to stock up!). And something extravagant for the main course.

Here's beef stroganoff from the City Cuisine cookbook, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. It's a bit of a last minute affair, but this is what I cooked for Christmas Eve, a luscious addition to a menu when you're pulling out all the stops.

Have a pot of water boiling, ready for a pound of fettucine or broad noodles. Start boiling before you cook the meat.

Slice a trimmed 2 pound beef tenderloin in 1 inch slices. Lightly salt and pepper the slices. Allow to come to room temperature. Saute 2 1/2 cups sliced mushroom caps in 1 tbls butter. Add 1 1/2 cups julienned dill pickles (Bubbies are what you want here) and 2 tbls pickle juice. Cook until slightly reduced, (two minutes). Begin cooking noodles. Add 2 cups heavy cream. Cook until reduced by half.

While sauce is reducing, heat in a skillet 2 tblsp oil, until almost smoking. For medium rare sear meat two minutes each side. Serve on a bed of noodles, with the sauce ladled over.

A blissful way to say farewell to the old year, and welcome to the new.


  1. I wonder that you guys don't weigh 10K pounds apiece. But you don't; you're pretty darned skinny.

  2. I don't know how much cooking I'll be doing on NYE, but I will at least be popping the cork from my favorite bubbly.

  3. S: Which bottle makes the cut this year?
    AH: Skinny is my favorite word! I would say it's just strategic lighting, but I wouldn't want to disillusion you.

  4. We make it a tradition to stay in on New Year's Eve. I did plan something to cook but I forget what it was...something.

  5. No babysitter = no new year's eve plans for us. We used to have so much fun . . . mmmm stroganoff . . . .

  6. I cooked up a pot of red beans, leftover ham from Christmas, salt and diced onions. It's kind of dull. Any suggestions? garlic maybe? Can I substitute a swirl of ricotta cheese on top?

  7. PA: Sounds like a great beginning!
    For a little zest, why not saute a little more onion, bell pepper and garlic (in bacon fat, if you've got it) add to beans, along with a bay leaf, some cayenne pepper, and let simmer. Ladle over white rice, garnish with green onions.
    Bec: at least with young ones you can put them to bed early!