Christmas was truly wonderful. I had eleven teenagers, one baby and 14 adults in my little house in Queens for dinner.
Due to necessity we had to have two seatings. This was the first seating, the "kids" table. They all helped get the table ready and kept me entertained all evening.
This was me. I never stopped moving long enough for any one to get a picture of me in focus.
This was the menu that I wrote on the wall. Can you make out at the bottom Tangerine Sorbet with Star Anise? That was an inspired combo I was particularly proud of. Even my Brother-in-law the sous chef at Craft Steak was impressed. Everything on the menu tasted great. The Brownie Pudding was contributed by my sister-in-law and it was SICK good.
So here is what we drank:
Petrale. Aglianico 2006. This was a gift.
This one was called Carinu. I picked up at a wine tasting in Chelsea Market for about $16.99. Both wines were really nice. The Carinu in particular had a lot of character and complexity. Amanda, do you know them? What do you think?
I had spent a full day cooking the day before and then just heated everything in the oven right before serving. With the vegetables I blanched them ahead of time, then made some seasoned olive oil: lemon and shallots for the green beans and garlic and red pepper flakes for the broccoli rabe. Before serving I heated the oils in skillets and quickly sauteed the vegetables in the hot oil till they were warmed through.
While I was doing all this cooking I still had to eat! I made a treat for myself and sauteed some broccoli, olives, chickpeas and sun-dried tomatoes in some olive oil and garlic.
I made some spaghetti and tossed it all together with a splash of white wine and a handful of grated Romano cheese. Delish!
My family's holiday was a warm and happy event. We have so much to be grateful for. Access to plentiful and fresh food is an incredible blessing that I try never to take for granted.
Note to Amanda: Best wishes to get well soon! xoxo d