Monday, January 01, 2007

Annual New Year's White Dinner

But first, New Year's Eve! Lacking a sitter and down with colds, we stayed in last night, toasting the new year's arrival with ice water. After a spectacular anniversary weekend at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, I was perfectly happy to ring in 2007 at home. I played with recipes while J & the boys had an X-Files marathon. For dinner, J made a cheese pizza and I made arancini for the first time. I had never even eaten them before, but was intrigued by the idea. I will definitely be making them again.

2 lg. eggs, beaten
2 c. cooked rice (I used jasmine rice...have heard arborio recommended, but the jasmine worked
nicely for me)
1/2 c. grated parmesan
1 1/2 c. dry breadcrumbs
A good couple-few shakes of Italian seasoning (or use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs)
2 oz. mozzarella, cut in 1/2" cubes (I used fresh mozzarella)
Oil for frying

Heat about 3" of oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Mix eggs, rice, parmesan and 1/2 c. of the breadcrumbs together. Season with Italian seasoning. Form into small balls, pushing a cube of cheese into the center of each & sealing closed around it. It is easier to do this step if you run your hands under cold water between balls. Roll each ball in a mixture of the remaining cup of breadcrumbs and a generous shaking of seasoning. Fry in oil until uniformly golden. Place on paper towel lined plate and salt. Allow to cool a couple minutes before serving. This makes 20-25. I imagine they would be tasty with meats like sopressata or crisp pancetta thrown in, too.

This morning, I felt a special breakfast was in order. J & the boys did not share my opinion. The boys opted for Lean Pockets, while J ate her beloved Walker's shortbread for her New Year's breakfast. She says that she always eats those mindfully, enjoying every bite, not trying to do 2 or 3 things at once, without a racing mind. I made myself some Welsh rarebit on toast. My mom used to make it for me when I was a kid & I have never lost my love of it.

Welsh Rarebit
2 c. grated sharp cheddar
1 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
3/4 c. beer
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (I always splash in a bit more, as I like my rarebit nice & sharp)
Toast or English muffins

Toss the cheese with the dry ingredients. Heat the beer and Worcestershire sauce until hot but not boiling. Add the cheese a small amount at a time, stirring to thoroughly melt before adding more. Keep stirring until smooth. Serve over toast. This serves 1-2 people.

My New Year's Day dinner never varies. I sear a few pork chops on both sides in a skillet. Then, I add sauerkraut & turn down the heat. I like my sauerkraut to get kind of brown & crispy & pork-flavored. If you do, too, drain it before adding it to the skillet. You can also leave the juice for less browning. I cover the skillet and let it cook on low heat for about an hour. I also serve mashed potatoes and black-eyed peas spiced up with some garlic, hot sauce and salt. This year, I experimented with adding a smidge of thyme, too, as a purely symbolic measure. It was a good addition. We had this with buttered Italian bread and orange wedges.

Happy New Year, everyone!

No comments: