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A New Years Dinner Party

Happy belated New Year to everyone! Wow its been a while since I posted here. After exams it seemed that I spent too much of my too-short winter break eating delicious food instead of posting about it here! Now that I am back at school and settling into routine again, I think it’s a good time for a few posts on all of my food related adventures the past few weeks. This break was filled with amazing food from start to finish, that I was able to share with many family members and close friends. This makes it all them more special to me; one of my favorite aspects of food is its ability to bring people together and foster warm exchanges and interactions. Between the amazing holiday meals, wine-and cheese parties with friends, a romantic dinner with a certain girl, and an awesome New Years dinner, the past week and half has truly reinforced foods amazing power to unite us and foster wonderful conversation.

Over the next few posts, I will cover a few of these events in more detail, but right now I want to focus on the most recent: New Years Eve! For me, New Years Eve has always been a time to spend with my family and friends, generally in the comfort of one of our homes and sometimes with the odd trip to a restaurant for a special dinner. I personally prefer this to spending my time freezing outside, and battling for transportation home after midnight. Instead I get to spend time with the people who really matter and enjoy their company.

The Finished Lamb...let it rest!

This year, we had a relatively small gathering, as many friends and family were in warmer and sunnier destinations than Canada for the break! We decided that instead of our usual night full of small (albeit good) finger foods and pizza, we would get together and put together an amazing meal we could all enjoy together. It really was quite simple; we had some appetizers set out for everyone (the standard chips and dip fair), and then an incredible meal consisting of: roasted leg of lamb, roasted potatoes, spinach and green-been salads, and an amazing tiramisu cake for dessert! Now that’s a New Years meal!

For this event I actually didn’t do much of the actual cooking (I was a little cooked-out from the previous few nights which I will describe in later posts), instead I was able to play the role of host as a few of my friends prepared the awesome dinner in my kitchen. My friend Josh (in the pics below) took on the main job of preparing the lamb and potatoes. He made a simple marinade for the lamb using orange juice, white wine, thyme, salt, and pepper, and let them marinate for about 4 hours. He used Parisienne potatoes (the small ones that come ready-peeled in a bag) simply covered with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic. He also taught me a new technique for roasting, we simply placed the lamb legs directly on the top oven rack, and the large pan with the potatoes below them on the bottom rack. This allows the lamb to roast more evenly and

Amazing roast potatoes

preserves the juices as they drip onto the potatoes.

The lamb turned out absolutely delicious! I have developed a real taste for lamb over the past few years, it is a nice change from beef, and have never had this particular cut before. It is a little awkward to carve, but the meat was supremely tender and flavourful and we all enjoyed it very much. Dessert was a selection of cookies, ice cream, fruits, and a wonderful tiramisu cake. New Years is definitely a time to indulge and enjoy a bit, especially in the good company of friends!

Tiramisu Cake and other desserts

Well that’s it for now. I will be putting up some more posts on our spectacular wine and cheese night (and some info on why this might not actually be the best pairing!) as well as an awesome and relatively simple dinner I cooked for my girlfriend as part of her holiday present.

-JR

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Categories: Food Adventures
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